'True Believer: Retro VHS Style' [Blu-ray]
(James Woods, Robert Downey Jr., Margaret Colin, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1989) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.
Blu-ray Verdict: The last decade of the twentieth century is known for the millions of courtroom dramas produced. At the turn of that decade, 'True Believer' was released and countless numbers followed.
For the film itself, it was actually pretty good though it seems no one has seen the film. It has all what you would expect in a courtroom drama and it was done fairly well.
The film was tense and it has some stirring moments. However, the film needs editing work done as there are many continuity issues and it gives the overall story arch some unnecessary problems.
'True Believer' is about a lawyer named Eddie Dodd who used to be a Civil Rights lawyer and now he is a worn-down defender for drug users. With the help of a younger lawyer just out of grad school Roger Baron, Dodd decides to open an eight-year-old case involving an Asian guy who was wrongly convicted of a gang hit.
Now Dodd must fight against wormy prosecutors, corrupt cops, and racial Nazis just to even stay alive.
Roger Ebert had the perfect quote for James Woods performance as he called him "hypnotically watchable." I happen to agree that Woods deliver an excellent performance as he does not hold anything back.
Plus you have to give credit to his hairstyle making him look like a lawyer from the 1970's! On the other hand, I didn't quite buy Robert Downey Jr's performance. He is a fantastic actor, but his role here irritated me. He has some good moments, but not enough to prove his worth.
Overall, 'True Believer' is a fine courtroom film that is energized by the fiery James Woods performance. If he was not here, this movie would have been mediocre at best.
But the film itself is thrilling and there are even some chilling aspects to the film, almost horror-film like. But there are also some action scenes and chases that will keep normal filmgoers interested.
In closing, I thought the actual court case was interesting and it shows how racist Americans can be (sorry, but y'all know who you are), even all these decades after the Civil Rights Act. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
'True Believer: Retro VHS Style' [Blu-ray] is out August 13th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.