Under Suspicion (2000)

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Released 26-Oct-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-The Statement, Hellboy, Shattered Glass
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 106:14 (Case: 112)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Stephen Hopkins
Studio
Distributor
Revelations Ent
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Gene Hackman
Morgan Freeman
Thomas Jane
Monica Bellucci
Nydia Caro
Miguel Ángel Suárez
Pablo Cunqueiro
Isabel Algaze
Jackeline Duprey
Luis Caballero
Patricia Beato
Sahyly Yamile
Hector Travieso
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music George Acogny
BT


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    According to the IMDB, there have been 12 releases with this title. Of those, four are recent, a French film from 1981, a movie starring Liam Neeson from 1991, a television series from the mid-nineties and this film from 2000. This film is based upon the French film which was called Garde e Vue or in English Under Suspicion. There is no relationship to the Liam Neeson film or the television series or any of the 8 earlier films as far as I am aware. The French film was a critically acclaimed film in France and won quite a few French Academy Awards. I was not aware of this film until it appeared on the review list which, considering the excellent cast and good quality of the film, surprised me.

    This film is an interesting thriller/drama which focuses on the interrogation of a prominent lawyer in Puerto Rico, Henry Hearst (Gene Hackman), by the local Captain of Police, Victor Benezet (Morgan Freeman) in regards to the recent death of two young girls in their early teens. The film takes place in one evening starting with Hearst receiving a phone call from Benezet as he is preparing to attend a charity dinner which he is speaking at. Benezet asks Hearst to come to the police station on his way to the dinner to answer a few questions. There are only two other important characters, those being Detective Felix Owens (Thomas Jane) and Hearst's much younger wife, Chantal (Monica Belluci). To tell you any more of the plot would spoil the story. Suffice it to say that the tension builds and you are questioning your belief in the characters throughout.

    This film could be fairly considered an actor's film from the perspective that it is focussed on the interaction between the main characters and therefore requires top quality acting to carry it off. Luckily, with Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman involved, the quality of the acting was fairly certain, and they both do a good job. The ending of this film could be taken two ways; either a) it is not clear, which causes the audience frustration or b) it is that rarity of a film which does not dumb the material down and tie everything up in a bow for the audience (and should be congratulated accordingly). I tend towards the second option, although I do think the ending could have been handled a little better without making it cut and dried. Hackman & Freeman both obviously wanted this film to be made as they are credited as Executive Producers which usually means they helped get the project a green light.

    Basically, if you are interested in a more challenging night's viewing than the next noisy action film and can cope with an ending which does not spell everything out for you, this film is definitely worth a rental. It certainly made me interested in seeing the original French film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is good but not as good as most films of this vintage.

    The feature is presented in a 1.75:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    The picture was generally clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise, although it did not approach what I would refer to as crisp. The shadow detail was reasonable but nothing spectacular.

    The colour was fine although I felt that the whole transfer was a little overbright which resulted in colours being less saturated than you might expect and some bleeding of white onto other colours. Gene Hackman's bright white dress shirt was one of the culprits in this. Skin tones were also a little pale.

    From an artefacts perspective there were only some occasional white specks and a little bit of mild edge enhancement.

    There are no subtitles.

    There is no layer change as this is a single layered disc.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is surprisingly good considering it is only 2 channel, especially when played using Dolby ProLogic II.

    This DVD contains one audio option, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand, although it was drowned out by the score from time to time.

    The score of this film by BT is excellent and really adds to the atmosphere of the film. I was very impressed by this score and the way it came across on the DVD.

    The surround speakers did add a surprising amount of atmosphere, especially for the music, when played with Dolby ProLogic II.

     The subwoofer was used to add bass to the score, but this is probably more a function of my amplifier's bass management than of the soundtrack itself.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu included a still from the film and a scene selection function.

Trailers

    The only extras here are trailers for other films. The ones included are The Statement, Hellboy & Shattered Glass.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

   Based upon the above, the Region 1 wins.

Summary

    This disc contains an interesting and thought provoking thriller/drama.

    The video quality is good but not great.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has only other films' trailers as extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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