NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt DVD Review

By     get stories by email

A revisiting of Fritz Lang's 1956 heralded courtroom thriller by Peter Hyams (End Of Days, The Relic, Timecop), Beyond A Reasonable Doubt also gets a fresh coat of cinematic paint when it comes to social context and current cultural concerns. And while Lang's moody noir dabbled subliminally in the deeply embedded paranoia that marked the 20th century's festering Red Scare, Hyams' take on dubious criminal justice practices focuses instead on an often economically self-serving US culture of revenge, in a nation detaining in the millions the largest prison population in the world.

Jesse Metcalfe switches it up from his buffed for booty shirtless gardener in Desperate Housewives, as C.J. Nicholas. He's a cub reporter on the case of Shreveport DA Hunter (Michael Douglas), a ruthlessly ambitious chief prosecutor with a perfect score of convictions, whom Nicholas suspects of rigging evidence and framing defendants as stepping stones to the governor's mansion.

So Nicolas concocts a convoluted premeditated scheme to frame Hunter for real, by setting himself up as a prime suspect in the slaying of a prostitute, and then hopefully exposing Hunter and a detective cohort as having planted evidence against him. Meanwhile, Nicholas is shacking up with Hunter's hottie assistant DA (Amber Tamblyn), a genius move which may just come in handy later on. Or maybe not.

Actually not adding much to legendary filmmaking legend Lang's vintage classic, beyond the prop potentials with criminal intent of photoshopping, Hyams' Beyond A Reasonable Doubt is somewhat conscientiously creepy while teasing with plot twists galore. But the finale is just too rushed and tied up a bit too neatly, to correlate in measured pace and mood with whatever preceded before. Though Metcalfe isn't bad, in handling viewer baiting and seduction as well as he does his tool, in a random horny houswife's garden.

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated PG-13
2 1/2 stars

DVD features: Audio Commentary With Writer, Director and Cinematographer Peter Hyams and Actor Jesse Metcalfe; Featurettes: The Whole Truth: The Making Of Beyond A Reasonable Doubt; Criminal Foprensics: The Burden Of Proof; Theatrical Trailers.

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

When Hollywood releases a violent action film, 'loosely-based' on truth, it's certain that Hollywood is about to play fast and loose with the historical record.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Will Smith, David Morse and Concussion director, Peter Landesman, plus news of the Zomba Prison project and Star Wars.
The Women Film Critics Circle is a gathering of national and international women's voices presenting a fresh and differently experienced viewpoint from the primarily white male dominated film criticism world.
Surreal sequences instead of theme, and pretentious vinaigrettes replace what should be a slice-of-life experience. It is art house, without the art, tedious to watch.
This true story about a transgender man suffers badly from overkill. At two hours, it's too long; the music is too dramatic; the actors try too hard and there's much too much crying.
Prairie Miller talks to Elizabeth Hurley about The Royals, and to Nina Paley, artist, filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and free culture copyright activist.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2016 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site