A Few Good Men (SE)
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After the unprovoked murder of a marine by two of his fellow officers, a group of lawyers (Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Pollak) are assembled to mount their defense. While they all collectively believe that their situation is merely a simple open and shut case, they later uncover a trail of false documents and lies which seem to point toward their client's innocence.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This is a fantastic movie filled with powerful acting, which still ranks as one of my all-time favorite flicks. I love "A Few Good Men" because it exemplifies what a thinking man’s movie should be, that is a film which forces you to pay attention to details and play out all the possibilities in your head. It’s a suspenseful “whodunit”, filled with a great combination of extreme drama and unpredictable twists. The movie sticks to the basics and I give credit to the producers for avoiding the obvious romantic angle which seemed to be brewing between Moore and Cruise. The actual courtroom scenes are unbelievably well done as we’re continually presented with one on one intellectual battles which pit great legal minds against one another. The heated dialogue exchanges are something to see, as we viewers slowly assemble the pieces of the mystery. What I really dug even more was the fact that things were never really quite as they seemed, so be prepared for one rocky rollercoaster ride which will throw you for plenty of loops.
In terms of performances, Tom Cruise is absolutely at the top of his acting game here. He exudes a great blend of cockiness and charisma, wherein you just can’t help but root for his underdog character. The man is your prototypical “hotshot” lawyer and he comes through with flying colors. Moore delivers a strong showing too, with some very convincing dramatic speeches. It’s a shame she can’t find a gig in Hollywood nowadays, she’s actually a fine actress when given the opportunity and proper role. While most might overlook him, Kevin Pollak was also fantastic and provided just the right touches of humor throughout. As a supporting character, he was perfect. A special nod goes out to Mr. A-Hole Extraordinaire himself, Jack Nicholson, for one of the great performances of the 90’s. He crawls under your skin, with great lines and a sneering glare that had me quaking in my shoes. The bastard scared the crap out of me. With a superb ensemble cast, tremendous script and great story, this one is a must see.
While the DVD is labeled as a "special edition", the extras aren’t exactly as plentiful as you might expect. First up is a brand new 34-minute "making of" documentary called “Code of Conduct” which is for the most part, quite thorough and manages to cover almost all of the actors involved. We get extensive interview clips from cast and crew as well as some funny stories from the actual shooting of the movie. In a funny anecdote, we learn that Kiefer Sutherland had problems driving a military jeep and almost ran over several marines during one scene. As a fan of the movie, the whole featurette was a real treat. Next up is “From Stage to Screen ”, a 13-minute retrospective outlining the transition of the Aaron Sorkin play to the big screen. In it, you’ll learn about a key passage which had to be changed in order to make it easier for viewers to understand the movie’s underlying story of corruption. Lastly, trailers for the flick as well as those for JERRY MAGUIRE and THE JUROR are also included. The DVD does feature some pretty nice looking menus, complete with patriotic military music and full animation.
While I would’ve liked to have had just a little more substance in the added features department, this disc does feature some pretty damn decent audio and visuals. Forget that for a second and remember that this is probably one of the greatest courtroom dramas to come along in quite some time and that alone makes this one hell of a worthwhile release. I’d highly recommend this one without any reservations and easily qualify it as a sure fire “can’t miss” rental. Give it a look.