Plot: What’s it about?
Canaan (Armand Assante) is not your typical gunslinger by any means, but he is still alive and of course, that means he must pretty darn good. He is a pretty mysterious fellow to say the least, with a shadow covered past and an uncertain path ahead of him. Canaan was blinded in a Civil War battle, so now he wears these special goggles, that look odd to be sure. As he wanders across the lands, Canaan carries a baby with him, which he protects and plans to deliver to a good home. But when his trek is halted by an intense gunfight, he finds himself trapped in the middle of the conflict. It seems a band of U.S. Cavalry officers are under attack, as they attempt to deliver a shipment of silver. Some bandits want to make off with the silver however, which is why this holdup is going on and soon, Canaan will be forced to choose a side.
This was not a title I held high hopes for, but I was surprised by Blind Justice and I think it was well worth a look. I admit I am not usually that sold on westerns, but this is a decent enough one, though nowhere near the better genre examples. The usual western elements can be seen here, but this takes a darker approach and that is perhaps why it works so well for me. Some scenes are a little slow and the flashbacks don’t pan out that well, but Blind Justice flows at a nice pace, other than those little quibbles. Armand Assante leads a solid cast, that includes Elisabeth Shue, Jack Black, and Adam Baldwin. The performances are better than expected, but since the material isn’t that good, you can’t hope for too much, really. As I mentioned, I am not really a fan of this genre, but Blind Justice was worth taking at a look at. I think a rental is in order for those interested however, as HBO has done little to enhance the value of this disc.
The lead here is Armand Assante, who turns in a decent performance, given the nature of the picture. I’ve liked much of his body of work, so I knew he’d be solid here, but since the material isn’t great, his performance is a little limited. Even so, Assante does the best he can and in this case, that’s enough to carry his share of the load. He seems to be at home within this darker, mysterious role and as such, I wouldn’t mind seeing him tackle more like it in the future. You can also see Assante in such films as Striptease, The Mambo Kings, Judge Dredd, Gotti, and Trial By Jury. The cast here also includes Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas, Hollow Man), Adam Baldwin (Independence Day, Full Metal Jacket), Jack Black (The Cable Guy, Saving Silverman), Robert Davi (Showgirls, Licence To Kill), and Danny Nucci (The Rock, Crimson Tide).
Video: How does it look?
Blind Justice is presented in a full frame transfer. I would guess this was a direct to cable flick and this is the proper aspect ratio, but I can’t tell you for sure. I saw no pan & scan, so I suppose this could be open matte, which sometimes seems to be the case. I’d classify this transfer as decent, but not all that good and certainly flawed. The image looks soft most of the time, whether due to grain presence or just for no real reason. Thus, colors seem on the washed out side, while contrast is uneven. This is worst in the darker scenes, which look very grain riddled and that just isn’t what we’ve come to expect from this format.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included 2.0 surround track is quite good, much better than I planned on, to be sure. This film has plenty of chances for the rear channels to come to life, such as gunfights, tense scenes, and a solid musical score, so it is an active option. Now this is not as dynamic as a full 5.1 surround track, but it has some good range and more than gets the job done, which is what counts. The dialogue is clean and crisp also, no volume errors in the least to report. This disc also includes Spanish and French language options, as well as subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files, but no other bonus materials.