True Believer (1988)
|Category||Drama||Filmographies-Cast & Crew|
|Year Of Production||1988|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Joseph Ruben|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Robert Downey, Jr.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
There is a touch of irony in a character being played by bad-boy Robert Downey, Jr. going to work for a defence lawyer who specialises in getting drug dealers and pot possessors off the hook! The lawyer doesn't even mind the odd joint himself, much to Downey's chagrin. This was in the good old days, when Robert Downey, Jr. was a bright-eyed young man playing bright-eyed young characters. How times change.
A very cheaply dressed and pony-tailed James Woods plays Eddie Dodd, a one-time high-flying civil rights lawyer in the 60s who now spends most of his time defending drug dealers, pushers, and general low-lifes. An eager young associate played by Robert Downey, Jr. joins Dodd's firm and urges him to reopen an eight year old murder case. The case saw a young man convicted of a murder that he did not appear to commit, and who is now spending time in prison for it. Dodd does some digging and uncovers a maze of corrupt coppers, gang violence, Nazi hate-groups, drug dealers, and a District Attorney (Kurtwood Smith) who seems to have something to hide.
True Believer is essentially a courtroom drama with a touch of investigative thriller thrown in as well. Apparently, it has been released previously as Fighting Justice. I'm not too sure why it warranted a name change.
I wasn't expecting too much from a late eighties film in terms of video quality but I was mostly surprised.
The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
This is pretty much standard fare from a Columbia Tristar title in terms of sharpness. These guys really know how to produce top quality transfers and this is no exception, being consistently sharp throughout, with only a small trace of edge enhancement that is in no way disruptive to the viewer. There are many darker scenes and these are handled well. Grain is probably the biggest problem area throughout the film with some really glaring examples at 6:15-6:20, 11:40-12:10, and 20:38. The grain at its worst is quite noticeable and disruptive to the viewer. There is no low level noise.
Colours are pretty drab. Much like the jacket cover, there are plenty of browns and tans. They are certainly not vibrant but there is also no hint of oversaturation or bleeding.
There are no apparent MPEG artefacts. Making a pleasant change is the lack of aliasing in any form. There are plenty of occasions when this is likely to raise its ugly head on several car grilles and street grates, but it does not. The usual smattering of film artefacts in the form of white and black spots and flecks appear throughout. These are not overly disruptive.
There are a staggering 21 subtitle options present. I verified the presence of them all and extensively sampled the English flavour. No apparent problems were noticed and the subtitles were extremely accurate.
This is a single sided, single layer disc so there is no layer change to contend with.
|Surround Channel Use|
The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;
Full Screen version on flip side of disc.
2 bonus trailers for 'Absence of Malice' and 'A Few Good Men'.
The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;
There is nothing compelling in the Region 1 offering that makes it preferable to the Region 4. The local disc is the better choice here for PAL formatting and cheaper price.
|DVD||Toshiba 1200, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|