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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » True Believer
True Believer
Columbia/Tri-Star
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Chuck Arrington | posted April 16, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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TRUE BELEIVER

Synopsis:

James Woods plays Eddie Dodd, once a great political dissenter and attorney, only now a jaded barrister who sees the constitutional rights of his clients as being abridged by an over zealous judicial system. Did I mention that his clients are all Drug selling scumbags? Just thought I'd drop that in. Anyway, Dodd has been making a living defending the guilty. His pockets may have gotten full but his conscience has waned in the sight of his abuse of the law and it's tenets. When an idealistic young attorney (Robert Downey, Jr.) clerks for him, his conscience is pricked and they begin the process of personal and professional reclamation. Eight years prior a young Chinese man-Jimmy Chin, was killed in what appeared to be a gangland murder in downtown Chinatown. The accused and sentenced killer's mother implores Dodd to take on her son's case. He does and finds a web of deceit, cover-up and corruption that looks to exonerate his client. However, the people who put his client behind bars are still about and have very long influence. Dodd has to fight through a sea of injustice in order to free his client and in so doing, free himself from years of embittered cynicism. True Believer is an 80's courtroom drama that still has a bit if the punch it came out of the gate with.

Audio/Video:

The audio is presented in a DD2.0 platform that does a credible job for the film at hand. Dialogue driven, the film benefits from the clarity of the audio and there were no surround effects that would have enhanced the film's presentation. The video is presented in both a widescreen and full-frame platform. For the review I selected the widescreen. The imagers were clean however; there was a fair amount of color bleeding with the great use of reds in two scenes. There were a few flecks as well but other than that I noticed no transfer errors.

Extras:

The only extras on the disc are trailers for A Few Good Men and Absence of Malice. Surprisingly enough, there were no trailers for True Believer.

Overall:

True Believer is a mixed bag of tricks. On the one hand it's engaging but on the other hand it tends to plod on a bit more than I would have preferred. Given that it was done in the 80's there are definitely some older elements that don't work well in current cinema, namely, the blaring sax in the film's recurrent Jazz-esque theme. The courtroom scenes work well but the rest of the film doesn't really grab you. There are better legal dramas with better storylines. Rent it

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