Primal Fear (Hard Evidence Edition) [Blu-ray]
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This is a great movie; I've seen it many times and it never gets old. Gere is perfectly cast as the handsome and confident charmer, and Edward Norton surely had one of his best roles ever as Aaron - and this was his first movie role. He is so charismatic that you will not be able to take your eyes off him. The search for the killer's motive is intense and surprising, with lots of opportunities for Gere to showcase his tremendous appeal. Highly recommended for those who like character-driven mysteries.
Of course, later, Marty says: "I believe in the notion that people are innocent until proven guilty. I believe in that notion because I choose to believe in the basic goodness of people. I choose to believe that not all crimes are committed by bad people. And I try to understand that some very, very good people do some very bad things."
So--which one is true? Nobody is quite what they seem in this legal procedural that will keep you in your seat and your finger away from the 'Pause' button for its entire 2 plus hours' duration.
First, you see the kindly Archbishop attended by a heavenly choir at a charity function. The city loves him. But, is his public face the same one he wears when he's all by himself with the altar boys?
Did bumbling, stuttering Aaron kill the Archbishop. Nobody really wants to believe it.
Does Janet (Laura Linney) truly tow the company line as the assistant prosecutor? Well, and is she truly no longer interested in Marty?
The plot's got more twists than a pretzel factory. I no sooner thought I knew what was going on or what someone was going to to when they changed it on me.
"Primal Fear" is one of the best written and acted courtroom dramas I've seen. My only question to myself is why the heck did I wait this long?
Making his first major debut, Edward Norton is nothing short if terrific in the role of Aaron. He was robbed of the Oscar for doing the great job that he did throughout. Richard Gere has never given a truly bad performance, but he does go a step above his usually sleepy-looking acting style by showing some good raw emotion. Andre Braugher has always been a great actor and will continue to be a great actor, and Laura Linney shows that she's always been a fine actress (nevermind the miserable CONGO). The direction by Gregory Hoblit is great and fast-paced and I recommend that you take a look at Hoblit's FALLEN if you liked this film.
I cannot rave enough about the acting here, so I'll just stop now, but first I have to end by saying that throughout this slick film, it never gets bogged down in pretentiousness, as many courtroom thrillers do. You'll love this film all the way up until the true shocker of an ending.
Certainly it doesn't help that Aaron was caught running from the crime scene, covered in blood, and with the archbishop's ring in his pocket. Besides, who is going to believe him anyway - a stuttering, uneducated boy from rural Kentucky who was found begging by the powerful clergyman, taken in as an altar boy and made to sing in his choir - that he was present when the murder was committed but can't remember a single thing because he blacked out? Nobody; surely not the police and ADA Janet Venable (Laura Linney), assigned by D.A./Rushman friend Shaughnessy (John Mahoney) personally to try the case, with the express mandate to obtain a death penalty conviction. Nobody, that is, except Aaron's defense attorney Martin Vail (Richard Gere). Vail, of all people: the flamboyant ADA-turned-private-practitioner, the star attorney not shying away from even the shadiest client, to whom TV and magazine cover interviews are as second nature as his courtroom appearances, and who cynically quotes as his mottos a professor's maxims on his first day in law school: "From this day forward, if your mother says she loves you, get a second opinion." And: "If you want justice, go to a whorehouse. If you want to get f**ked, go to court."
"Primal Fear" was adapted from William Diehl's like-named bestselling novel and, like in many literary adaptations, its screenplay is a hit-and-miss affair.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ed Norton's portrayal of a split personality youth is very well done. However I didn't like the twist at the end.Published 5 days ago by prasar
Loved it. So we're talking either dissociative disorder or psychopath...crazy is crazy.
but um, why would roy ever let himself get into a situation where's he's forced... Read more
Good movie. Suspenseful, with a good twist. Must watch if you have never seen it.Published 19 days ago by Shanna
This is probably the last movie Richard Gere has done that I can think of where he was great, on top of his game, and Edward Norton's first major role. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Mike S.
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|Worth the Upgrade?||
I was just wondering the same thing myself. I also have the DVD and was wondering if it would be worth upgrading. I found some reviews online that talk about the image quality. For the most part, they said that its a noticeable step up from the DVD, but it won't be anything that knocks your socks... Read More
May 21, 2010 by CompDude2 | See all 2 posts
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