The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (Blu-ray)

September 18, 2015 4 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

My wife loves true crime. Loves it! I could do without it, but given that our home is the basis for our respective jobs, sometimes the true crime in the background is a bit hard to escape. I’d say that, by osmosis, I’ve succumbed to some of the things she watches and am always amazed at how many scary, sick people are out there and the things we humans do to one another. I’ve also deduced (and I’d like to think correctly) that all of these true crimes revolve around two things: sex and money.  So my advice to anyone out there is this: don’t cheat on your spouse and don’t let the almighty dollar tempt you to do the aforementioned thing. I just saved your life. You’re welcome. Kidding aside, I’d not heard of Robert Durst (I immediately thought of rocker Fred Durst – no relation) before watching The Jinx. As it turns out, he was quite the guy and if you’ve no knowledge of who he is or what he’d (supposedly) done, I won’t ruin that here. Suffice it to say that HBO’s six part mini-series does a bang up job telling us what we need to know.  Without further ado…

An edge-of-your-seat, addictive documentary series, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst examines the life of the reclusive millionaire at the heart of three killings spanning four decades. Robert Durst, the scion of a New York real estate empire, has long been a suspect in the notorious 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathie. Further suspicion was raised with the unsolved killing of his best friend, Susan Berman, thought to be a key witness in the investigation into Kathie’s disappearance in 2000, as well as the subsequent killing and dismemberment of a neighbor in Galveston, Texas. Durst has consistently maintained his innocence, but throughout the film, new evidence is uncovered that may link Durst to one of the murders.

Video: How’s it look?

The main feature is presented in a 1.78:1 AVC HD image that looks just as we’d expect it to – amazing. The detail is razor sharp, showcasing the lines and wrinkles in Dursts’ face. There’s not a whole lot of “action” to speak of as it’s mainly just an extended interview, though there are a few scenes that deter from this. As we might expect, there’s a lot of archived video and press footage that’s shown, so I can’t really grade that into the overall score for this presentation. I’m pretty sure the viewer will know what to expect when watching this and, by and large, what they see looks pretty darn good.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The included DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack won’t test the limits of your system, that’s for sure. The vocals take front and center here and sound the part. The deep voice of Durst makes for a very nice overall sound mix and though surrounds are used at times, this is as close to being a stereo mix without actually being on. Again, given the genre, I feel viewers won’t really be disappointed with the included sound mix.

Supplements: What are the extras?

    The Bottom Line

    I found it rather fascinating the things that people do and get away with and I’m not usually a fan of documentaries. However this one is essentially a must see and is top notch work by HBO. The lack of any supplement is disappointing, but it’s a top notch production that will leave the viewer speechless.

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