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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Runaway Jury [Blu-ray]

 

(Gary Felder, 2003)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: New Regency Pictures

Video: 20th Century Fox

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:07:33.312

Disc Size: 44,203,777,221 bytes

Feature Size: 39,297,171,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.40 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 28th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1987 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1987 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
DTS Audio Italian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
DTS Audio Russian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, Arabic, Croatian , Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by director Gary Felder

2 Deleted Scenes with optional commentary (1:55 - HD!)

• Selected Scene Commentary - Hoffmann/Hackman (6:25)

• Exploring the Scene - Hackman/Hoffman together (14:17)

• Off the Cuff: Hackman and Hoffman (8:56)

The Ensemble Acting (4:24)

The Making of Runaway Jury (12:02)

Shadow and Light: Cinematography (5:49)

• A Vision of New Orleans: Production Design (5:07)

• Rhythm: the Crafting of Editing (5:05)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From master storyteller John Grisham and the director of Don't Say a Word comes a taut suspense-thriller that "grabs hold of you and never lets go" (Philadelphia Metro).

In their first film together, screen legends Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman face off in this electrifying nail-biter about a ruthless jury consultant who'll do anything to win. With lives and millions of dollars at stake, the fixer plays a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a jury member (John Cusack) and a mysterious woman (Rachel Weisz) who offer to "deliver" the verdict to the highest bidder. Packed with danger, intrigue and pulse-pounding twists and turns, Runaway Jury rules!

 

 

The Film:

Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman have never shared the screen before, as they do in ''Runaway Jury,'' the latest film adaptation of a paranoiac John Grisham courtroom potboiler. Yet something feels familiar about the picture -- Mr. Hackman has played this grubby-souled, hand-tailored heart of modern corruption before, and in a previous Grisham adaptation: ''The Firm'' (1993). This time he's a slick jury consultant named Rankin Fitch -- apparently Lex Luthor was already taken -- who employs ruthless, pre-Miranda tactics generally seen on the Fox News channel to empanel a jury favorable to his client.

Excerpt from The New York Times located HERE

Although the jury selection process is intended to weed out bias among prospective jurors, it's an open secret that both sides look for bias -- in their own favor, of course. There's an argument that juries would be more fairly selected by a random process, and "Runaway Jury" plays like the poster child for that theory. The new John Grisham thriller is about a jury consultant who tries to guarantee a friendly panel, and a juror who does a little free-lance jury consulting on his own.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago SunTimes located HERE

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

Fox's Blu-ray of Runaway Jury looks pretty good. The dual-layered 2.35:1 transfer has, most probably, maximized how 'pleasing' this film can look in digital. Depth and detail appears to mark the most significant areas it has extended beyond the capabilities of SD. Skin tones seem warm - contrast exhibits reasonable, if not overwhelming, black levels. There is no notable noise. This Blu-ray is a not glossy and gives a fine presentation. I can't imagine that the film looked much better than this.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1987 kbps is tested early with some explosive gunfire - although the rest of the film is fairly passive and dialogue driven. It, like the video, seems competent. Original music is by Christopher Young (perhaps notable for Spider-man 3) is supports the thriller aspects and seething suspense elements sounding crisp in the lossless rendering. There are plenty of optional subtitles, a few foreign language DUBs and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

The supplements all appear to duplicate the 2004 DVD with a fairly innocuous commentary by director Gary Felder, as well as 2 deleted scenes with optional commentary as well as a selected, 6.5-minute, scene commentary with Hoffmann and Hackman giving separate impressions. This tacks on a 15-minute Exploring the Scene with Hackman/Hoffman together and another 9-minute featurette discussing working together. Included are 5 more featurettes on production - the longest being a 'Making of...' plus others on cinematography, ensemble acting, New Orleans and the editing.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
While no masterpiece and having little directorial flair - Runaway Jury fits a nice mold as a courtroom drama with a deep investigation into the process involved in jury selection and tampering. It's not Grisham's best - but can certainly hold your attention for a night in the Home Theater. There is certainly merit to a film that kills off Dylan McDermott in the first 2 scenes. The Blu-ray is okay - a fair leap beyond SD and I enjoyed the evening viewing. 

Gary Tooze

February 26th, 2012

 


 

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 5000 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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