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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Roger Donaldson
Cast:
Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Carpenter, Harold Perrineau, Xander Berkeley
Writing Credits:
Todd Hickey (story), Robert Tannen (and story)

Tagline:
Vengeance always has a price.

Synopsis:
This action-packed thriller stars Nicolas Cage as Will Gerard, a happily married family man whose quiet life is turned upside-down when his wife, Laura (January Jones), is brutally attacked one night while leaving work ... At the hospital, waiting for news about his wife’s condition, Will is approached by Simon, (Guy Pearce) who proposes an intriguing offer: Simon will arrange to have a complete stranger exact vengeance on Laura’s attacker, in exchange for a favor from Will in the near future. Distraught and grief-stricken, Will consents to the deal, unwittingly pulling himself into a dangerous underground vigilante operation. While continuing to protect his wife from the truth, he quickly discovers that his quest for justice could lead to frightening and deadly consequences.

Box Office:
Budget
$17 million.
Opening Weekend
$249.465 thousand on 231 screens.
Domestic Gross
$390.571 thousand.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1/16X9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 105 min.
Price: $26.98
Release Date: 6/19/2012

Bonus:
• Behind the Scenes Featurette
• Trailer


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Seeking Justice (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 20, 2012)

As I’ve bemoaned in the past, the days in which Nicolas Cage receives attention as an “A”-list actor appear to be gone. Instead, he seems to latch onto any paycheck he can get, and that willingness has led to an awful lot of bad Cage movies over the years.

Nonetheless, I always hope for the best from Cage, and that brought 2011’s Seeking Justice to my DVD player. As she heads home from work one night, classical musician Laura Gerard (January Jones) gets viciously assaulted and raped by a stranger. This attack leaves her hospitalized – and her husband Will (Cage) irate and despondent.

In the hospital waiting room, Will meets a stranger named Simon (Guy Pearce) who claims he and his people can “take care” of the situation. This means vigilante justice; rather than leave the criminal to the vagaries of the courts, Simon promises a quicker and more impactful solution.

The cost? Ala The Godfather, Simon may someday ask Will for a favor. Will initially declines this offer, but haunted by his wife’s pain, he changes his mind and agrees to the street justice.

In the short-term, this accomplishes what Will wants, as the man who attacked his wife ends up dead. Months pass, and Will eventually finds out the price he must pay for this “favor”. It ain’t good.

Among other “modern day Cage flicks”, Justice stands as one of the better offerings. That doesn’t say much, and I wouldn’t regard it as a ringing endorsement since so many of Cage’s other works are so lousy. At this point in his career, those diminished expectations mean that “pretty decent” feels like high praise, though, so I see Justice as reasonably pleasant surprise.

Though I don’t think Cage has a lot to do with the movie’s relative success. Actually, he seems a bit miscast in the part, as he’s a little too intense and odd for a role that would better fit more of an “everyman” actor. Cage can play many parts, but “ordinary guy” doesn’t suit him well, and that creates a mild disconnect here.

Still, this never becomes a fatal flaw; while Cage comes across as a bit weird for the part, he doesn’t undermine the film, and a generally good supporting cast abets the flick. Sure, Jones is cold and wooden as usual, but Pearce creates a taut, chilling villain. He never tips his hand and goes into obvious “baddie” territory; that helps make the movie more interesting, as his understated menace adds threat to the film.

As for the story itself, it comes across as your basic Hitchcock-style thriller – with maybe a touch of Fincher thrown in for good measure. Nothing here reinvents any wheels, but it creates an intriguing setting, and the movie explores it reasonably well.

Granted, the tale unravels a bit as it nears its climax, but it still keeps us fairly involved. Justice takes on an interesting premise and develops it just well enough to succeed.


The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D

Seeking Justice appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Justice delivered a very good SD-DVD presentation.

Sharpness was strong for the format. Some inevitable softness materialized at times, but that related to the limitations of SD-DVD more than anything else. Overall definition seemed quite positive. I saw no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement was absent. Source flaws failed to mar the presentation; it always was clean and fresh.

Colors looked fine. The film opted for a stylized palette, with an emphasis on ambers and chilly blues. Within those parameters, the hues were well-reproduced. Blacks came across as dark and firm, while shadows were good. Some interiors seemed a little murky, but those shots weren’t too off-putting. Overall, this was a pleasing presentation.

As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Justice, it delivered the right kind of atmosphere for this sort of movie. Much of the flick aimed at atmosphere, so we heard good environmental material along with well-developed stereo music. Effects spread across the front in an appropriate manner and blended with the surrounds as necessary; there wasn’t a ton of action to flesh out the mix, but the track came together in a satisfying way.

The quality of the audio was fine. Music showed nice range and definition, as the movie’s score worked well. Effects appeared acceptably clear and natural. Speech came across as distinctive and natural. In the end, this turned into a “B” soundtrack.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a behind the scenes featurette. It goes for seven minutes, nine seconds and offers comments from director Roger Donaldson and actors Nicolas Cage, Harold Perrineau, and January Jones. The program looks at story and character elements as well as cast and performances. This offers basic promotional bits without any depth, so don’t expect to learn much from it.

A thriller in the Hitchcock vein, Seeking Justice delivers a pretty entertaining experience. While it never quite excels, it does enough right to keep the viewer with it. The DVD provides good picture and audio but lacks substantial supplements. This seems like a rental for those with a taste for thrillers.

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