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Reasonable Doubt (Blu-ray Review)

Reasonable Doubt - www.whysoblu.comHot-shot district attorney Mitch Brockdon commits a fatal hit-and-run and feels compelled to throw the case against the accused criminal who’s found with the body and blamed for the crime. Following the trial, Mitch’s worst fears come true when he realizes that he’s acquitted a guilty man, and he soon finds himself on the hunt for the killer before more victims pile up. 
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Film 

Mitch Brockdon has everything he could ever hope for. A beautiful wife, newborn baby daughter, and high flying career as district attorney in Chicago but all of that goes out the window after a night of heavy partying and even heavier drinking. Mitch is involved in an automobile accident where a person that ran into the street is hit by Mitch in his SUV and is left on the street for paramedics to take over. Mitch takes off and tries to resume with his life – hopeful taking this dark secret with him to the grave. If only it were that easy.

The next day, Clinton Davis (Samuel L. Jackson), is arrested with the body of the hit and run victim in his car in which he claims he was just trying to get some help for the person that was hit. It’s up to Mitch’s bosses as to whether Mitch will be given the task of prosecuting Clinton for a crime Mitch knows Clint didn’t commit. This is the rub in Reasonable Doubt and it’s not a bad one on the surface. Dominic Cooper has been an actor I look forward to seeing onscreen after his amazing dual performance in 2011’s The Devil’s Double that unfortunately no one saw due to it being released in limited theaters. Samuel Jackson continues to stack work and is actually fairly decent as the mysterious Clinton Davis who has a dark and grim past of his own.

Reasonable Doubt works as a standard legal mystery/thriller where we have our main protagonist trying to cover up a crime that he committed and that there’s no way out of. That’s established. Add to that an antagonist who also has a dark secret and will use it against our “hero” without hesitation. This is all fine and dandy but the part that I’m not a fan of is that Clinton’s role is severely underwritten while we know everything there is to know about Mitch. We know that Mitch is very successful, has a family, and even has extended family that no one knew about. Clinton, on the other hand, has had a raw deal in life and we’re only told about it as opposed to shown it. I wasn’t heavily vested in Clinton’s plight. We don’t even get a flashback or two about what Clint has gone through, which doesn’t help if we’re to go along with what he is doing.

Reasonable Doubt is an ambitious and obvious low budget production but looks as good as any of the big budget John Grisham adaptations and all of the actors give it their all. There was only one scene in the entire film that gave away its low budget roots but that may have had something to do with the way the shot was being lit, as it was an exterior shot. In fact, now that I remember, this film is a cross between Law Abiding Citizen and Fracture, with hints of Keanu Reeve’s character in The Devil’s Advocate. That’s not bad company to be in.

I was entertained with Reasonable Doubt – it’s not the worst film I’ve ever seen in terms of subject matter and our cast is great and they work great together and with the material that they have been given. The film runs at a brisk 91 minutes, which is weird, because there’s about 10 minutes of credits, so technically the film is only 81 minutes long. You’ll be in and out before you even know it. I give it a mild recommendation.

 

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Video

Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Reasonable Doubt is a great looking Blu-ray – you could not tell by its low budget roots, though. Detail is spot on, with crystal clear clarity. There is a lot of information coming at you and the Blu-ray handles it very well. This is a near-reference Blu-ray.

Depth: Scenes taking place at the courthouse, outside in night all benefited the most as some of those interior shots were filled with warm low light and those exteriors were cold and sleek.

Black Levels: Black levels were pristine and not an instance of crush was detected.

Color Reproduction: The color wheel is on full display here. The Canadian scenery doubling for Chicago looks absolutely stellar and banding was never a problem. 

Flesh Tones: Everyone looks nice and healthy unless they’ve been tortured, injured, or killed.

Noise/Artifacts: Noise was not an issue and I found no artifacts anywhere on this print.

 

Reasonable Doubt - www.whysoblu.com

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English, Spanish, English SDH

Dynamics: The film starts off nice and tame before developing into a more gritty thriller and the Blu-ray audio presentation has absolutely no problem is handling what its thrown at it. This is a near-reference Blu-ray with regards to audio presentation.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer channel really bumps and sounds great during musical cues – mainly due to the film having a very synth-heavy score. Check out the music during the end credits. The LFE also enhances the various scenes of violence peppered throughout the film.

Surround Sound Presentation: Reasonable Doubt is not your typical action film, so some of the surround sound “action” per se is ambience, which the Blu-ray handles well. Scenes in the courtroom and at the police station, etc., carry the chatter through the rear channels just fine.

Dialogue Reproduction: A more dialogue driven film – Reasonable Doubt really shines as everyone sounds like they’re putting on a private show at the theater for the viewer. Dialogue levels shine in every instance on this Blu-ray.

 

Reasonable Doubt - www.whysoblu.com

Extras

Reasonable Doubt has a few extras included on the Blu-ray that include extensive interviews, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and some deleted scenes. An Ultra Violet digital copy is also included.

  • Behind the Scenes with Cast and Crew Interviews  (HD, 11:52) – Here’s the standard behind the scenes featurette that intercuts footage from the film, interviews, and fly on the wall footage. The producers and directors talk about the project and why they wanted these stars in particular. It’s standard fluff.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 9:59) – Nearly ten minutes of deleted scenes are included, which could have helped beef up the film’s paltry running time. Then again, I’m usually of the more is better ilk, so I’ll let you decide if they deserved to be left on the cutting room floor.
  • Extended Interviews with Samuel L. Jackson, Dominic Cooper, and Gloria Rueben (HD, 35:54) – Here’s the full and uncut interview segments with the principal cast and boy does Samuel L. Jackson not want to be there participating. You know you he doesn’t care when the first words out of his disinterested mouth are: “I don’t really know what the film is about, honestly.” C’mon Sam, try to sell it just a little, will ya. Dominic Cooper and Gloria Rueben fare much better.
  • Trailer (HD, 2:33

Reasonable Doubt - www.whysoblu.com

Summary 

 Reasonable Doubt isn’t a great film any means but its also not completely un-watchable It’s an afternoon time waster and the Blu-ray hits all the right notes in terms of video, audio, and extras. Sure, the extras could have been beefed up a tad, but it is what it is. The film has an ultra short running time, so there should not be any complaints about it being a long and drawn out film. It isn’t. Give it a go if you must.

 

Order Reasonable Doubt on Blu-ray!
Reasonable Doubt - www.whysoblu.com

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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