The film itself has a very familiar ring to it. It plays out much like a John Grisham novel without as many twists. The once great lawyer has to redeem himself against a conglomerate of a big, corporate law firm. That basic premise was the idea of THE RAINMAKER and several others. Although the story isnít going to blow your mind or gives you anything you havenít seen before, it rolls along pretty well and offers plenty to keep you interested.
Sidney Lumet was right in picking Paul Newman to star in this film. A lesser actor would have been lost with the amount of responsibility Newman was given. He was trusted to deliver every scene and carry every plot point. Of course, Newman is more than capable of that, but I would have liked a little bit more focus on the other characters. There were a few supporting roles that could have been explored more and that would have helped out the film.
However, my number one biggest complaint about this film was the background music. I donít think Iíve ever heard a score that was as out of place as this one. There would be scenes of characters just sitting around talking and the background music would be going as if we were watching a horror movie. Iím not sure what Johnny Mandel or Sidney Lumet were thinking when it came to scoring the film.
Paul Newman, The Craft of Acting (8:45): This looks like a new featurette with Paul Newman and he talks about his character and the different things he did with the character and the motivations behind hose actions. If youíre a Newman fan, youíll like this.
Milestones in Cinema History: The Verdict (23:14): Although there were way too many movie scenes, I liked how they got some of the lesser-known actors to take part in it. My biggest problem is that they didnít include David Mamet in the featurette. He did, after all, write the script.
Sidney Lumet, The Craft of Directing (10:46): This is very similar to the one with Newman, but this time with Lumet. This is also pretty good with a lot more information about the film. However, itís a little repetitive after watching the commentary track.
Making of Featurette (9:06): This is a dated featurette that features old interviews with Newman and some of the other actors. Itís ok, but itís not going to give you too much new information.
Hollywood Backstories (22:06): This actually had more information about the film than any of the other featurettes combined. Iíve never actually scene one of these before, but it was really good, with good insight.
There are also some Previews