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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

True Crime [Blu-ray]


(Clint Eastwood, 1999)




Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Warner Bros.

Video: Warner Video



Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:07:23.677 

Disc Size: 44,218,977,487 bytes

Feature Size: 41,403,734,016 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.94 Mbps

Chapters: 39

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 3rd, 2016



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3450 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3450 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 Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 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 Czech 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB



English (HoH), Japanese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Thai, None



• The Scene of the Crime (9:27)
True Crime - True Stories (22:05)

• Music Video "Why Should I Care" - Diana Krall (3:52)

• Trailer (2:30)





Description: Investigative reporter Steve Everett (Clint Eastwood) has just relocated to the west coast after getting fired from the New York Times. Thanks to his old friend, Alan Mann (James Woods), the editor-in-chief of The Oakland Tribune, Everett still has a job, but that's hardly the end of his problems. An alcoholic and a womanizer, he's been sober for two months and his marriage to Barbara (Diane Venora) is in as bad a shape as his car. Everett has also earned the hatred of city editor Bob Findley (Denis Leary), and not without reason -- Everett has been sleeping with his wife. One day, when another reporter dies in an automobile accident, Findley asks Everett to take over her assignment -- the final interview of condemned murderer Frank Beachum (Isaiah Washington). Everett researches the case before the interview, and finds Beachum was convicted of a robbery and homicide in an Oakland convenience store. But the reporter finds several discrepancies in the story, and a visit to death row only confirms Everett's suspicions that Beachum was not the killer. The reporter begins a hurried search for information that will stay the execution. Plagued by his inner demons, the reporter has 12 hours left to save the life of a man he knows is innocent.



The Film:

When a colleague dies in a car crash, Steve Everett (Eastwood) of the Oakland Tribune inherits a human interest story on the upcoming final few hours of Frank Beechum (Washington), a convicted killer on Death Row. Trouble is, Steve's an investigative reporter by trade, tradition and temperament and, when he begins researching the case, starts to suspect the remorseless Beechum may be innocent. Moreover, his life is such a mess that he hardly has time to meet Beechum for a last exclusive interview, let alone to search for clues and win a stay of execution. Though the closing quarter of an hour is inevitably flawed by the kind of contrivance parodied in The Player and repeated in numerous race-against-time stories, for the most part this is another typically intelligent Eastwood film, a thriller that's unusually and movingly perceptive about human emotions.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE


The script sets up an interesting contrast between Beechum and Everett: both have a wife and infant daughter, but Everett, who has the freedom to enjoy his family life, is bent on destroying it. The prison scenes, with Beechum clinging to his family as they visit him for the last time, are extremely powerful, thanks to Isaiah Washington's resolute performance as the condemned man. But Everett's domestic scenes are perfunctory in the extreme: a bizarre comic interlude in which he races his daughter round the zoo, and a belated and tired scene in which his wife throws him out. As director, Eastwood's attention seems to wander from scene to scene: if a scene doesn't grab him, he just knocks it out and moves on to the next. Where the film really sparks, however, is in Everett's sparring matches with his editor-in-chief - a gleeful, cigar-chomping performance from James Woods, who relishes such hard-boiled lines as: "Issues are shit which we make up as an excuse to run good stories."

Excerpt from Sight and Sound located HERE


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

True Crime - arrives on Blu-ray from Warner. The over 2 hour film is on a dual-layered disc with a very high bitrate. It is in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It looks solid in 1080P. Colors are bright and true with depth and detail in close-ups is very pleasing. There is a lot of depth and can be quite crisp and very clean. It is pretty flawless and the Blu-ray provides a wonderfully consistent video presentation. It's even better looking than I anticipated in HD.


















Audio :

Warner use a very robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track at 3450 kbps (24-bit) and it handles the film's effects with some definite depth and occasionally surprising separations. Lennie Niehaus (Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River) contributed in the soundtrack department. It sounds effective and subdued playing beside the narrative. Warner include some foreign-language DUBs as well as optional subtitles on their region FREE Blu-ray disc.



Extras :

There are some older supplements; The Scene of the Crime runs 10-minutes examining details - as does the interesting 22-minute True Crime - True Stories. There is also a Music Video of Diana Krall's "Why Should I Care" and a trailer. Standard stuff but the addition of it is appreciated giving a closer face to the background of the True Crime.



I thought True Crime, as most of Clint's films, was very watchable. I had modest expectations and was very pleased with my Blu-ray viewing. There is a side of it that is standard Hollywood - and another that pushes some issues and it is genuinely suspenseful - in a kind of obvious way. I'll certainly watch it again one day The Warner Blu-ray package is certainly recommended to Clint's fans and those who haven't seen this interesting, above-average, investigatory-crime thriller. For the price (under $10) it offers a lot of value, IMO.  

Gary Tooze

April 28th, 2016



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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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