Reasonable Doubt Blu-ray Review
There is a theory that there aren’t any original ideas left in Hollywood. That everything that is made is simply a retelling of about 3, or 5, or more stories that we all go to the theater to see over and over and over. I don’t know if I believe in the theory but the base is true, movies are certainly harkening back to earlier works more and more. With sequels, comic book movies (and their sequels), reboots, reimaginings, or even just spiritual predecessors, movies that try to take an old story and tell it in a slightly new way. That is how I would describe REASONABLE DOUBT, though its actual ability to turn this into an enjoyable film leaves something to be desired.
A young district attorney who always wins goes out to celebrate with his friends after a verdict. He gets drunk but unfortunately, instead of taking a taxi, he decides to drive home. Here’s the first cutesy moment of REASONABLE DOUBT, instead of having him make his choice and live with it, he chooses to drive home because he sees some guys hanging around his car. Was this movie intended for the incredibly rich, or are there people out there who would excuse this behavior? I don’t get it but it was the first time in a long line of palm-to-forehead misses.
Naturally, once behind the wheel Mitch freaks out – is that cop following me? – which ultimately leads to his veering off the main road into an alley where he hits someone. This could be the crucial moment of the film… it could have been the lynchpin that released the floodgates of his own psychological break. REASONABLE DOUBT’s tagline and cover description show this was the intention of this moment, but it isn’t content with anything to pedestrian. The movie could have been about the choices we make and the consequences with which we are left. Does Mitch turn himself in, drunk driving, and help to save this man’s life or does he call 911 and leave the scene as quickly as possible? What would you do in this situation?
But instead of considering this lets instead suddenly turn the movie into an unbelievable cat and mouse that makes a masquerade of every legal drama in the history of cinema. How about this, the man wrongly accused also happens to be the man a woman detective believes is behind a string of serial murders? Do you like that? And sadly I don’t think it is a spoiler to say we quickly find out he IS indeed a serial killer, one who watched our DA friend drive away because REASONABLE DOUBT just needs to be a more convoluted mess than it starts out to be.
The only thing surprising about this movie is just how bad it us from the opening frames to the final moments. I expected more from star Dominic Cooper who exudes none of the smarmy charm he ramped up for his stint at the young Howard Stark in Captain America. That would have been perfect here (minus just a hair of caricature) but alas it is nowhere to be seen. It probably couldn’t have saved this movie from itself, though. It makes you wonder, since even the director (Peter Howitt, LAWS OF ATTRACTION) appears to want to distance himself from the film having used a different last name. I would avoid this one if at all possible.
REASONABLE DOUBT BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.40:1) Technically REASONABLE DOUBT looks nice with a solid presentation that is immersive bringing the audience into the chilly Chicago landscape.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio is a mixed bag with decent range but a terrible mix that requires constant adjustment of the nob to find the right volume to, ahem, enjoy REASONABLE DOUBT.
Behind the Scenes with Cast and Crew Interviews (11:52) Interesting interview segments mix with scenes and dialogue from REASONABLE DOUBT to give us a little more story and insight into the process. I wonder if something happened in editing that made this thing fall apart because they are pretty believable when they talk about their love of the story.
Deleted Scenes (09:59) Three scenes cut from REASONABLE DOUBT are presented here, though they are more extensions of scenes than actual new scenes from the movie. Not much good here. The scenes are Reunion, Diner, Approach the Bench
Interviews with Actors Samuel L. Jackson, Dominic Cooper, and Gloria Reuben (35:54) The longer form interviews featured in the above Behind the Scenes feature are presented here in without much cutting. Each actor speaks about his/her love of their work and why they were interested in working on REASONABLE DOUBT.
The REASONABLE DOUBT Blu-ray also features the Theatrical Trailer (02:33) for the film.