Primal Fear [Blu-ray]

The part of me which reads William S. Burroughs and Albert Camus cringes a little bit when I admit this (and I know it’s pure literary snobbery – just look at the names I dropped above! Who reads those guys nowadays?), but I enjoy reading John Grisham.  His books have never changed my life and I’m sure they never will.  Yet they entertain and have some form of character development.  As far as check-out lane bestsellers go, he is on the top tier.  He got there through good writing and compelling stories.  There’s something about a legal thriller that draws us, no matter who writes it.  And now one of the most compelling and definitive courtroom dramas of all time is available in a whole new format.

Starting this March 10th, now available on Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Studios Home Entertainment comes one of the most chilling stories which come from our courtrooms.  Primal Fear – Hard Evidence Edition – Blu-ray Disc is ready to slide out of your television screen and show you a world of doubt, rage and guilt.  Bring home this groundbreaking film today!

Martin Vail is a famous and highly talented criminal defense attorney who likes the spotlight and will do whatever it takes to get there.  When word reaches him about the brutal slaying of a Catholic archbishop, Vail makes up his mind to defend the poor and frightened alter boy accused of the murder.  But things only get stranger and more twisted as the movie unravels and life seems to as well.  This movie stars Richard Gere, Laura Linney, John Mahoney, Alfe Woodard, Frances McDormand and Edward Norton in his breakthrough role.

The special features included in this Blu-ray disc are remarkable.  There is an optional audio commentary from director Gregory Hoblit, writer Ann Biderman, producer Gary Lucchesi, executive producer Hawk Koch and casting director Deborah Aquila, a look at the making of this film, a featurette about casting Edward Norton in his breakout role, a look at the psychology of guilt and the original theatrical trailer.

I think Edward Norton is one of the best actors in the profession right now.  Think of it – American History X, Fight Club – these are some of the greatest movies in recent history and all were catapulted to that level through the prowess of Ed Norton.  Admittedly he does suffer from the disease of not choosing all his scripts with great care, ala Nic Cage in Ghost Rider and almost every other movie in the last six years and Samuel L. Jackson in, my god, nearly everything.  Nonetheless, Edward Norton is a fantastic actor and I hope he pushes himself into better roles in the future.  One thing about this movie which blows my mind is how young everyone looks.  Norton looks like a child and Laura Linney is still genuinely attractive, instead of the strange way she is now.  Also, this is the only movie Richard Gere has been in which I have truly enjoyed other than The Jackal.  All in all, it’s a wonderful movie which has gotten even better with age.

Don’t Fear, this movie is even better than you remembered.

This Blu-ray disc is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet

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