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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2012

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“The Firm" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-september-2012-firm

Synopsis

Hotshot Harvard Law School graduate Mitch McDeere is being courted by all the top law firms in the country but when a small Memphis firm offers him nearly $100,000 a year, he bites.  After moving in, he quickly discovers something is not quite right when two of his associates die under mysterious circumstances.  After being approached by the FBI, he learns the firm represents the Morolto crime family and is being investigated.  Mitch is recruited to steal files in order to take down the firm.  To avoid violating attorney-client privilege, he comes up with a charge of mail fraud.  With the help of his brother, an unlikely secretary, and his wife, he brings his plan to fruition and manages to escape with his life and reputation intact.

Specifications

  • Paramount
  • 1993, Color, Rated R, 2 Hrs 34 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Gene Hackman
  • Directed by Sydney Pollack
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Brief
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

This has always been one of my favorite law and crime dramas and I looked forward to its Blu-ray release for nearly two years.  Perhaps it was triggered by a recently cancelled TV show of the same name.  The story is quite engaging and will have you on the edge of your seat pretty much all the way through.  Tom Cruise and Jeanne Tripplehorn look amazingly young until you realize this film is almost 20 years old.  My favorite character is lawyer Avery Tolar played brilliantly by Gene Hackman.  His portrayal of a thoroughly corrupt, skirt-chasing, worn-out counselor is fascinating to watch.  Tom Cruise is intense as usual but Hackman steals the show.  I also enjoy Ed Harris as the frustrated temperamental FBI agent.  He has one of the best male screams in Hollywood!  If you’re a fan of crime drama, The Firm is a must-own.

Technical

This is one of the better catalog releases I’ve seen of late.  The image is crisp and detailed despite obvious film grain.  Color is rich and natural; a great representation of the more realistic color palettes common to older movies.  Contrast is very good but a few scenes showed elevated black levels; thus the reason for docking a star.  And thankfully, there is no added edge enhancement.

The Dolby TrueHD encode is clean and clear with a nice wide front sound stage and excellent dynamic range.  Surrounds are used very little but given the content, I didn’t miss them.  Dialog sounds natural and unforced with clear position cues in the front three speakers.

Extras

The only bonus features are two trailers.