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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

...And Justice For All [Blu-ray]

 

(Norman Jewison, 1979)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Image Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:59:04.137 

Disc Size: 22,536,035,278 bytes

Feature Size: 21,879,545,856 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.96 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 5th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2121 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2121 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Deleted Scenes - Fleming's Office (2:43 - in 480i)
Theatrical Trailer (2:58 - 4X3 - 480i)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: When a corrupt judge is charged with rape, Arthur Kirkland must defend him. Kirkland has had problems with the judge in the past, including one incident when the judge wrongly sentenced his client, Jeff McCullaugh, because of a technicality. Kirkland faces a moral and legal dilemma, especially difficult because the judge admits he is guilty.

 

 

The Film:

Norman Jewison's blackly satirical look at the American justice system has gained in stature as one of the more incisive... social commentaries of its time. Al Pacino plays Arthur Kirkland, an incorruptible attorney who attempts to initiate reforms in the Maryland justice system. Kirkland is haunted by the fates of two past clients, one of whom committed suicide in jail; the other is still alive but is locked up on a trumped-up traffic violation. The ability of power and money to distort the pursuit of justice becomes all too clear as Kirkland finds out how deeply the rot has spread. He finally retaliates by representing a repulsive judge (John Forsythe) accused of rape. Pacino's and Forsythe's performances are intense and powerful. Many critics found the film biting and almost painful in its razor-sharp indictment of the justice system, while others declared the script too outrageous.

~ Don Kaye, All Movie Guide

The more you consider ...And Justice for All's message, and the means by which it is delivered, the more aware you become of how uncompromising Jewison's attack is on the legal system. Insane and corrupt judges dole out life-and-death sentences with as much thought as a butcher would give to carving a side of beef. Attorneys view the courtroom as an arena where they can grapple with an opponent without concern for the cost in human pain and tears. And those who genuinely care about their clients are foiled at every turn by the deeply-rooted hypocrisy and cynicism that defines American law.

Pacino plays Arthur Kirkland, a defense attorney who has been in practice for twelve years. He has a good reputation, so his caseload is heavy. However, Kirkland isn't in the game for money, prestige, or power. He's one of those rare lawyers who believes in the judicial system and wants to help people. He'll spend a night in jail for contempt of court rather than let a judge ignore a crucial piece of evidence. Yet all of Kirkland's principles are about to be called into question when he is asked to defend a hard-line justice, Judge Fleming (John Forsythe), who is accused of rape. Kirkland's dislike of Fleming runs deep, but circumstances force the lawyer to take this case, which he should stay far away from.

Excerpt from James Berardinelli at ReelViews located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

So Image Entertainment picks up another Columbia film for release on Blu-ray. The image quality of ...And Justice For All shows a decent level of detail and while relatively modest overall - it still looks like HD. It has some textures (grain) and is not at all 'glossy'. The source used is damage-free. This is only single-layered and contrast is not pristine but skin tones seem true and it can look reasonably thick and film-like at times. There is no edge-enhancement - or other manipulations. This Blu-ray has a consistent and healthy appearance that is easily in advance on the last SD-DVD of the film which was even noisier.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Like the video - a reasonable transfer in terms of audio with a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2121 kbps. There is minor separation but the film is heavily dialogue driven without much aggression or effects for the lossless track to extol. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Not much in terms of supplements with only a deleted scenes and trailer - both in 480i.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
...And Justice For All is still a great film. A younger Pacino grabs the role by his teeth and doesn't let go while the supporting cast is excellent. Jewison made so many great films and I was very happy to have revisited this one - in the newer format. I think the Blu-ray is as good as we are likely to get and the price ($12) is certainly offering tremendous value taking into account the performances and film itself. We recommend - especially to those who haven't ever seen ...And Justice For All - or, like myself, if it has been a long while.  

Gary Tooze

April 2nd, 2011

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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