Conspiracy Theory

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Chad Estrella

Plot: What’s it about?

Conspiracy Theory was written by Brian Helgeland of L.A. Confidential fame and it was directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon movies) and produced by Joel Silver. (Lethal Weapon movies and The Matrix) Conspiracy Theory stars Mel Gibson, (Lethal Weapon movies and Braveheart) my favorite actor, as a deranged taxi driver named Jerry Fletcher who believes in conspiracy theories and even sends out a newsletter, to just five people mind you, with theories he comes up with from newspaper articles. Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride) works for the justice department and happens to be the lucky girl that Jerry is infatuated with. Patrick Stewart, (Star Trek Generations) Dr. Jonas, is the bad guy in this movie and we don’t learn his true identity until the closing of the movie. And even then I didn’t entirely understand it all until I watched it for the second time on DVD after seeing it in the theater a few months before.

Jerry Fletcher is a New York City taxi driver and he stumbles upon a theory that he thinks is true so he goes to his friend Alice Sutton in the justice department to let her know about it. He believes that there is a way to set off earthquakes from the space shuttle and he thinks that this is how the President will be killed. Alice doesn’t believe him and just goes along with him so that he will leave her office. Jerry is captured by a mysterious group of operatives and is taken in for questioning. Dr. Jonas wants to know whom he told about Jonas’ schemes. Jerry doesn’t know what he is talking about and can’t figure out whom Jonas is. Jerry escapes and he lets Alice know about the guy who kidnapped him. Jonas shows up later with the FBI and their job is to kidnap Jerry because they believe he is a threat to Alice. Or so that is what Jonas tells them. Jerry is captured and then escapes again and now he has Alice caught up in a mystery of how Alice’s dad was killed and why every one is after Jerry.

I remember when this movie came out in 1997 and I really looked forward to seeing it, just like every other Mel Gibson movie that comes out. I received the DVD as a Christmas present from a friend that year and really enjoyed it. I have always liked Mel Gibson and he does a great job of acting in this movie and just about every other movie that he is in. It took me a little while to get used to this character in the movie, but he pulls it off very well. This movie is actually quite funny in several scenes, but some are quick one-liners so you need to pay attention to them. Julia Roberts also did a very good job with her character and she cries in a couple of scenes and they seem believable. I would like to see these two stars in another movie together. Maybe even a romantic comedy? Hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later.

This movie has a small amount of extras and you should be able to pick it up for no more than twenty bucks or a little less over the internet. I liked the movie and the picture and sound of this DVD are excellent. You aren’t going to find many DVD’s that look or sound better than this one. The action sequences really bring out your speakers and the music sounds pretty good as well.

Video: How does it look?

This is a reference looking DVD. I didn’t find any negative artifacts or grain what so ever in watching this movie. The black level is right on and there are several dark scenes that look great. Even when the movie is pitch black when grain seems to be present in some movies it doesn’t show up on this one. A great job was done here by Warner Brothers.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio is pretty close to reference level as well. The action sequences when the operatives crash into Jerry’s apartment with tear gas and explosions sounds great. The closing sequences with gun shots also sounds very good as well. This is a very good sounding 5.1 soundtrack that brings in the rear speakers and subwoofer very nicely to add to your movie watching pleasure.

Supplements: What are the extras?

You get some pretty thorough production notes for the movie and a paragraph on how Richard Donner feels about conspiracy theories in general. It tells you the trouble they went through to film this movie on the streets of New York City and how they had to close one of the bridges down for 10 hours to film the chase scene on the bridge. You also get some cast and crew biographies that are interesting. On the snapper case it says that there is a theatrical trailer, but I looked everywhere on the DVD even after the credits where some of the companies will sneak in a trailer and still couldn’t find it. Let me know if I am looking in the wrong place and I would appreciate any help. Thanks

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