Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

Featured In Issue 148, May/June 2010

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Anchor Bay Entertainment
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Sexy scene, violence, and some strong language
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Not Indicated
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Peter Hyams
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Dolby Digital 5.1, PCM 24/48 5.1
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In "Beyond A Reasonable Doubt", high-profile District Attorney Mark Hunter (Douglas) has an impeccable record of putting criminals behind bars and is a shoo-in for governor in the upcoming election. But when ambitious rookie journalist, C.J. Nicholas (Metcalfe) begins investigating Hunter for tampering with evidence to secure his convictions, the district attorney's perfect record is up for scrutiny. Commencing a risky game of cat and mouse with Hunter, C.J. frames himself as a murder suspect to catch the corrupt D.A. in the act. Romantically involved with C.J. but unaware of his assignment, Assistant D.A. Ella Crystal (Tamblyn) becomes caught between her boss's political ambitions and C.J.'s dangerous exposé. As mounting evidence stacks up against both men, Ella's own life becomes threatened when she discovers incriminating proof that put the faith of both Nicholas' innocence and Hunter's reputation in her hands. Based upon the RKO film "Beyond A Reasonable Doubt" and screenplay by Douglas Morow. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Writer/Director/Cinematographer Peter Hyams and Actor Jesse Metcalfe, a making-of featurette (HD 03:12), Criminal Forensics—The Burden Of Truth (HD 03:39), the trailer, and up-front previews.

The 1080p 1.85:1 VC-1 picture is poorly photographed digitally, with a softening filter throughout, which limits resolution and creates a flat image without depth. Contrast appears crushed, with undefined shadows and poorly rendered blacks. The court scenes look best, but facial features and objects lack detail. Fleshtones appear inconsistent, often looking unnatural. Colors appear, at times, desaturated, lacking punch and clarity. The imagery is simply inconsistent and compressed throughout, for an undistinguished visual experience. (Gary Reber)

The uncompressed LPCM 5.1-channel soundtrack and the Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack are both poorly produced, except for David Shire's orchestral music score, which is nicely recorded, and the significant surround element. Occasionally, sound effects will appear in the surround channels, then disappear, even though the scene remains. The dialogue is terribly out-of-sync and disconnected from the scenes. Dialogue often sounds as though it is ADR produced, with absolutely no spatial integration. Dialogue is recorded three-channel monaural, with slightly greater sound level in the center channel. The sound is muffled. The sound is frontal-soundstage-focused throughout. The sound is the best in the jail scene, but only briefly, with effective surround and bass foundation, and in a car chase scene, with an energized soundfield. Had the sound been recorded at the quality of the music, then this would have been a decent soundtrack. None of the sound elements integrate well. Unfortunately, this is an undistinguished and disengaging soundtrack. (Gary Reber)