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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Devil's Advocate [Blu-ray]


(Taylor Hackford, 1997)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Warner Bros. Pictures

Video: Warner Video



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

Runtime: 2:23:55.668

Disc Size: 46,638,293,268 bytess

Feature Size: 39,729,328,128 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.95 Mbps

Chapters: 43

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 18th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3692 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3692 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Thai 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, none



• Commentary by director Taylor Hackford

Deleted Scenes with optional commentary (47:04)

Trailer (2:21)





Description: Too old for Hamlet and too young for Lear--what's an ambitious actor to do? Play the Devil, of course. Jack Nicholson did it in The Witches of Eastwick; Robert De Niro did it in Angel Heart (as Louis Cyphre--get it?). In The Devil's Advocate Al Pacino takes his turn as the great Satan, and clearly relishes his chance to raise hell. He's a New York lawyer, of course, by the name of John Milton, who recruits a hotshot young Florida attorney (Keanu Reeves) to his firm and seduces him with tempting offers of power, sex, and money. Think of the story as a twist on John Grisham's The Firm, with the corporate evil made even more explicit. Reeves is wooden, and therefore doesn't seem to have much of a soul to lose, but he's really just our excuse to meet the devil. Pacino's the main attraction, gleefully showing off his--and the Antichrist's--chops at perpetrating menace and mayhem. The film was directed by Taylor Hackford (Against All Odds, Dolores Claiborne).

Excerpt from Jim Emerson at located HERE


The Film:

In this enjoyably daft legal thriller, from a novel by Andrew Neiderman, Reeves is a small time Florida defense attorney corrupted by ambition, greed and vanity. At one point, Al Pacino, impressive head of the multinational law firm that's lured him to New York with promises of fame and fortune, takes Reeves to the top of a high building, and promises to make him lord of all he surveys. But what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, if he loses his sexy girlfriend (Theron) and quaint, church-going mother? As the epitome of charismatic evil, Pacino is perversely attractive, his seductive performance making Reeves' temptation all the more believable. For his part, Keanu never quite convinces that he has the brain power necessary for exacting legal work. Tongue planted gently in his cheek, director Hackford makes his anti-materialist points without ever taking things too seriously.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Supernatural forces hover over the courtroom in this devilish drama adapted from the novel by Andrew Neiderman. Attorney Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) doesn't heed the Bible-based warnings of his mother (Judith Ivey), who views New York City as "the dwelling place of demons." Instead, he leaves Gainesville, Florida, with his wife Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) to put his legalistic skills to the test at a leading Manhattan law firm run by John Milton (Al Pacino). It all goes smoothly -- with Milton urging them to stay, putting Kevin on a $400-per-hour salary, and moving the couple into a luxurious apartment in his own building on Fifth Avenue -- where Mary Ann falls under the influence of neighbor Jackie (Tamara Tunie). After Kevin defends a weird animal sacrificer (Delroy Lindo, uncredited), he moves up to an important case with an apparent murderer, real-estate tycoon Alexander Cullen (Craig T. Nelson). Ignored by Kevin, the troubled Mary Ann has some disturbing experiences, verging on the occult, while Kevin, at work, becomes attracted to redhead Christabella (Connie Neilsen). Dazzled by his entrance into paradise, Kevin doesn't grasp who handed him this Big-Apple success. Could it be...Satan? The film features demonic creatures by Rick Baker. Cameos (Senator Alfonse D'Amato, Don King, others) add to the ambiance of ambition and power in the canyons of Manhattan.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

The Devil's Advocate gets a fine Blu-ray transfer from Warner and looks quite impressive. The image rendering is only bound by the film's 2.5 hour running-time. It is dual-layered and has a supportive bitrate. Colors seem richer and tighter than SD could relate and the detail is impressive. Skin tones are true and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. This Blu-ray exports the film's video consistently and adeptly.  There is no noise and the image isn't overly glossy. This Blu-ray probably looks like the film The Devil's Advocate did originally and provides a solid presentation for your Home theater.

















Audio :

Like the strong video we have a buoyant DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio at a healthy 3692 kbps. Depth is the key here with the satanic gyrations stirring a powerful bass. The original music is by James Newton Howard (2005's King Kong and Batman Begins) and he creates a spooky aura at times via the lossless. There are foreign-language DUBs and subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

Although taken from the previous DVD, we can't really complain with a full commentary by director Taylor Hackford and almost 50-minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary from the director. Nice to see his support and participation. A trailer is also included.



And they wonder why there are so many 'lawyer jokes'. Keanu was still trying to shed his surfer-dude image and he is, actually, okay in The Devil's Advocate. Pacino is his usual and 'flares-up' better than anyone (literally). Hackford delivers (not dissimilar to Adrian Lyne) - as he usually does with reasonable source material. There is entertainment here - lacking only in... depth. The Blu-ray gives a fine presentation and there are important supplements for any who wish to indulge. Sure - knock yourself out. I enjoyed. 

Gary Tooze

September 6th, 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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