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Written in Blood

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // R // September 6, 2005
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted November 12, 2005 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

A veteran cop is accused of murdering his wife and her lover, and it's up to his old partner to discover the truth behind the killings, stopping only to have sex with the accused's hot young daughter and stumble across a few really obvious clues.

You'd expect a direct-to-video cop procedural potboiler to earn a lot of raving disdain from a crabby jerk like me, and I surely didn't expect any fantastic surprises when I sat down to spin Written in Blood. Starring longtime character actor Peter Coyote and Michael T. Weiss (a TV actor I'm not at all familiar with), Written in Blood looks to be a piece of junk before you even hit Play.

But, hey, guess what? Instead of being painfully bad and outlandishly stupid, Written in Blood is merely generic and entirely predictable. It's directed in unflashy yet professional style, the performances are pretty decent, and the screenplay's not all that bad. But it'll take only 15 minutes of Written in Blood before you realize that A) you've heard this story about 1,000 times before, and B) you're not all that excited to hear it told again.

Despite what the back of the DVD case says, Written in Blood is not really a "nail-biter," nor is it "throbbing with passion and thrills." (Who writes this stuff anyway?) Written in Blood is a very standard cop & killer whodunnit that just might strike your fancy should you catch it on HBO4 late one night, and you might actually watch the whole thing thinking "This isn't awful!" But it's certainly no more than that.

The DVD

Video: Anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1).

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Optional subtitles are available in English, Spanish, and French.

Extras: A Mindhunters trailer.

Final Thoughts

The flick feels like a 2-hour pilot for a proposed TV series that got ashcanned, not for technical ineptitude or outright stupiness, but simply because it's just that formulaic and familiar. Rent It if Cop Flicks are your thing, if you adore Peter Coyote, or if you know who Michael T. Weiss is. (Someone told me that he's "currently on Bones," but I have no idea what that means.)

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