Eye for an Eye

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

While this movie came and went in theaters some five years ago, I wasn’t quite as “in tune” to films as I am now. Obviously, when DVD’s are watched and reviewed day in and day out, I have learned to pay some more attention to directors and possibly awards that they and their actors have won in the past. What’s this got to do with Eye for an Eye? Well, for one it was directed by John Schlesinger who is responsible for Midnight Cowboy (The only “X” Rated film to win Best Picture). Arguably one of the better movies made (the American Film Institute ranks it as #36 on their Top 100 films of all time), it was a film truly ahead of it’s time. The problem is that film (even at the time when this was released) was over 25 years old and no matter how good of a director you are, you need a hit here and there. So we have a talented director and a good ensemble cast which includes Keifer Sutherland, Two-Time Academy Award Winner Sally Field, Ed Harris, Beverly D’Angelo and Joe Mantegna. But no matter how good the cast is and no matter how good the director is, is the movie any good and is it worth your hard-earned money to buy this on DVD?

Karen McCann (Sally Field) and her second husband, Mack (Ed Harris) have a pretty good life. They live in luxury, and though not millionaires, do appreciate and experience the finer things in life. With her children, we just know something is going to go wrong. And it does. While caught in traffic, Karen calls home to her daughter (Oliva Burnette) to check on the preparations for a birthday party. Things are fine, but as there is a knock at the door, Karen is witness as her daughter is raped and killed while the phone is still on. For a brief period of time, we’re led to believe that it’s Mack who might have done such a thing, but it’s quickly dismissed and the finger is pointed at white trash yokel, Robert Doob (Keifer Sutherland). Through a technicality in the legal system, he gets off and is set free. The rest of the film is a simple theme on revenge as Karen takes the law into her own hands and attempts to right the wrong that the Judicial system has bestowed on her.

What the movie is essentially about is a glossed over tale of revenge, one of Hollywood’s greatest themes. Put Sally Field in the role and it’s still the same thing, just for cell phone-toting soccer mom’s. Sutherland manages to play a very good white trash, truly evil person here. Ed Harris is, as per usual, good in his role here. The two other stars don’t really have a chance to shine (D’Angelo and Mantegna), but their presence is more than welcome here. While nothing really stands out about this movie, it’s well acted and directed. It may not be a vital addition to every DVD library, and Paramount’s treatment of the disc (no extras) isn’t exactly an incentive to own the disc. But if you like this film and want to own it, it’s never looked and sounded better. The choice, as they say, is yours.

Video: How does it look?

The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is very good here. While the movie is not that old (it was released in 1996), there are still some areas in which some dirt and a bit of artifacting show up. The movie itself is also very dull and muted when it comes to color. I’m pleased to say that edge enhancement isn’t a problem and flesh tones appear very normal. The black levels appear to be on target and except for a few instances here and there, it’s a very solid representation of the film. Another testament to 16:9 enhancement as I saw this movie on DirecTV a few weeks ago and the image quality was far less superior.

Audio: How does it sound?

Though the cover features Sally Field wielding a gun, don’t expect a very active 5.1 track here. Though it does benefit from the Dolby Digital, the sound isn’t that great. But it’s not the fault of the processing, there just isn’t a lot of sound in the movie (it was made that way). No problems with dialogue to report and surround effects, when used, sound very real and have a good ambiance about them. For the most part, the action is limited to the front channels. A no frills presentation here, but audio isn’t what this movie is all about.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Nothin’, not even a trailer.

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