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Evenhand

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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(Jan 20, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Two very different cops,, the recently reassigned Officer Francis and the volatile Officer Morning spend their days breaking up domestic disputes and attempt to make sense of a parade of lowlifes, firebugs and junkies. Together they struggle to survive in a world where, without warning, numbing routine can give way to primal fear. Stars Bill Dawes, Bill Sage. Special DVD features include director's audio commentary, deleted scenes, Mike's music, more.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Sage, Bill Dawes, Lawrence Stringer, Lee Stringer, Io Tillett Wright
  • Directors: Joseph Pierson
  • Writers: Mike Jones
  • Producers: Joseph Pierson, Fernando Cano, Jon Glascoe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Virgil Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00011V8BS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,557 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Evenhand" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Evenhand tells the story of a newly joined partnership of two patrol car police officers in the rural (fictional) town of San Lovelis, Texas. One of the officers, Ted Morning, is a long-standing, hard core member of the force. He is paired up with a transfer, Bob Francis, who makes it a point to mention straight away that he is not a rookie, just a new addition to the San Lovelis staff. But as we get to know this duo as they go about their daily routine of dealing with domestic violence, car wrecks, armed robbery, and drug violations, it quickly becomes clear that next to Officer Morning Bob Francis seems the less experienced if for no other reason than he possesses a conscience. Although Morning's effectiveness as a cop is portrayed by director Joseph Pierson as an epiphenomenon of his 'primitive' relation to the citizens on his beat, it is the internal struggle Francis faces as he responsibly attempts to discharge his obligation as a police officer while contending with the moral conflicts inherent to wielding authority through force that sustains the narrative tension of this engrossing film. The relationship between the two men (played to perfection by actors Bill Sage and Bill Dawes) is also explored in depth, with particular emphasis on the way in which opposing personalities equilibrate as a function of time. This aspect of the film was handled by Pierson with exceptional care, precision and skill. The impact, in fact, is almost documentarian in its capacity to represent realistically the way in which conflict between people inevitably transforms each participant; subtly at first, then increasingly dramatically as the individuals involved interact within the singular emotional field produced by virtue of their entirely unique confrontation.Read more ›
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By A Customer on December 24, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw Evenhand at the 2003 Florida Film Festival in Orlando, and I was impressed on so many levels. The scenes pulse with the conflict two street cops face moment by moment each shift, twenty-four hours a day. Director Joseph Pierson uses a poor section of San Antonio Texas to create the fictional San Lovisa as the backdrop for a storyline that reflects the good and the bad as artfully as a street mural can from a stuccoed city wall.
On the surface, Officer Ted Morning (Bill Sage) is a bad cop. He arrests without question. His "psychic" instinct, not some judge, decides who is guilty. His newly assigned partner, Rob Francis (Bill Dawes), the good cop, winces and questions Morning's rashness. Unaffected, Morning advises him, "You want to help people? You arrest them. That's what you do. You're a cop." On the surface, the lines between good cop and bad cop seem not so blurred.
But this film urges you to look past the obvious. Look past the badges of both characters and the story itself. Listen to the music (Joel Goodman, songs by Mike Doughty) that beats with strong bass, cowbells, or a poignant Latino rhythm. Watch carefully the mural that street kids paint throughout the film, which in the end finishes with its own final version of the story. Read the different signs people carry over their shoulders that you might easily mistake as product advertisements if you are just skimming the surface. Look beyond this conversion of diverse messages, and the subtext conveys a cop's greatest dilemma, "You can't be a friend to everyone."
Evenhand arrests and escalates you toward a unified theme when both cops meet juveniles pointing guns with deadly intent. There is no black and white, no clear right and wrong.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I happened to stumble upon this movie on the Sundance Channel one evening. It immediately made its way onto my list of favorite movies of all time. What is most surprising is the reason behind why it is so superb. Unlike many movies today, there are no special effects and few action scenes to speak of. The weight of the movie's plot is carried solely on the shoulders of the two lead actors, Bill Sage and Bill Dawes. Bill Sage turns in an over-the-top performance as Officer Morning...a wild cowboy/take-no-prisoners-type of cop. He arrests people first and asks questions later. In fact, I suspect Mr. Sage had a lot of fun playing this role. However Bill Dawes, who portrays Officer Francis, has the more challenging job of keeping pace with Bill Sage's performance without becoming overshadowed or upstaged by it. Mr. Dawes keeps pace beautifully and both actors play off each other to perfection. I really would have believed that they were true cops. Bill Dawes is absolutely phenomenal in his understated role as Officer Francis.....a sensitive, recently transferred cop struggling to find his way and adjust to the wild ways of his newly assigned partner.

Bill Dawes brings a certain vulnerability to a character unlike any contemporary actor I can think of. He has a special knack for being able to portray a wide range of emotions, but is particularly talented in expressing pensive, melancholy, and fear. This is especially evident in the second half of Chapter 12 (A Close Encounter) when Officer Francis comes face to face with a boy in a laundry room who has a gun pointed directly at him, immediately followed by a scene later that evening when Francis is seen alone in his apartment reflecting on his earlier near-death experience.
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