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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
True Blue (2001)

"I feel like I am getting screwed and I am not even enjoying it."
- Rem Macy (Tom Berenger)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: March 13, 2002

Stars: Tom Berenger
Other Stars: Lori Heuring, Pamela Gidley, Barry Newman
Director: J.S. Cardone

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: R for violence, sexual content, and language
Run Time: 01h:40m:07s
Release Date: March 05, 2002
UPC: 043396077959
Genre: suspense thriller


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ CB+B D+

DVD Review

When a hand is found floating in New York's Central Park, Detective Rem Macy (Berenger) needs to figure out how it got there. Attached to a small boat and discovered by a group of children, the hand is found to be that of Melanie Haines, a beautiful woman with a seemingly perfect life. As Rem delves deeper into the case he finds that the victim was far from the angel many believed her to be and was involved in corruption and scandal in the Mayor's office. At the same time, Rem becomes a sort of guardian for a former roommate of the victim named Nikki (Heuring), after she begins to believe her life may well be in danger.

As Nikki and Rem grow closer, Rem becomes suspicious of shady land deals and payoffs directly related to City Hall and investors that may have had Melanie killed. Soon, as the packaging proclaims, "Rem is thrust into a world of murder, drama, corruption, greed, hookers, and kinky sex clubs," but hey, aren't we all.

True Blue has such a distorted plot that its double-crosses get double-crossed and so on until the dust clears and the viewer realizes just how little could be understood. In a time when motion pictures are sold on their dramatic plot twists and startling revelations, it is intriguing that in a made-for-TV film (it premiered on Starz in late 2001) takes this to the point of absurdity. There are at least three scenes in which we are treated to voiceover clues floating through the head of the main character, only to find that what he thought was the truth really isn't. Sound confusing? Well, try watching the movie.

True Blue also seems to suffer from the "let's tell everyone why we did it" speech that is often found in this sort of film. During the climactic scenes, each character gets a chance to explain their motives and how they got away with it just long enough for someone to come from the shadows and create yet another twist. With such confusing plot, it was helpful to rely on these grandstanding moments, just to get an idea of what exactly was going on.

The cast, led by Berenger, is adequate, though no one leaves a lasting impression. I enjoyed Berenger in the quieter moments when he was allowed to let his character expand, though there are several moments when his over-the-top style gets a bit irritating. Director J.S. Cardone does a nice job at the helm; several shots have a certain style and the climactic showdown is edited well enough to create a palpable tension.

In the end, it is a poor script that dooms True Blue to be nothing more than a standard cop thriller. In a condensed manner, without annoying subplots and a romance that goes nowhere, the film may have worked. Ultimately, there are moments when it feels as though the material may be better suited for NYPD Blue or Law and Order.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: Presented in both 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio as well as a slightly cropped, full-frame version, True Blue
Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
English and Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: A Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is provided and, while not bombastic, considering the material it still sounds nice. Ambient sounds dominate the rear speakers as the constant sounds of thunder and rainfall envelop the room. The score is also present at times in the rear speakers, as well as the nicely-separated left and right channels. Dialogue is crisp and clear without any noticeable problems.



Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portugeuse, Chinese, Korean, and Thai with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Someone To Watch Over Me, and Hangman
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Theatrical trailers for True Blue, Someone To Watch Over Me, and Hangman make up a scant list of extra features on this DVD. Twenty-eight chapters are also available via static, film-themed menu screens.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

True Blue is entertaining, but soon after the credits role you realize that there just wasn't much there to enjoy.

 


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