Detective Tom Selleck investigates a triple-murder. The trail of evidence leads to a twitchy,obviously mentally incompetent small-time crook named Squirrel. Prosecuter Monica Porter putsSquirrel away, and he is sentenced to death. Years later, Squirrel’s final appeal lands on the deskof William H. Macy, who begins to find odd inconsistencies that point to the possibility that thewrong man is on death row.
Every frame screams “Network TV Mini-Series.” This is not a g…od thing. Thecinematography has some nice colour work going on, but the camera isn’t particularly mobile,and the visual storytelling is very meat-and-potatoes and rather dull. The same is true of thescript, whose dialogue is prosaic. What interest remains is due almost entirely to the plot twistsof Scott Turow’s source novel.
The sound is in 5.1 and 2.0, a rather unusual move for a TV release. The surround elementsare extremely active, but they are also very frequently wildly inappropriate. Every conceivablesound effect comes out of the rear speakers, whether it has any business being there or not. Theresult is very distracting.
The colours are good, and are blessed by strong contrasts and blacks. The night sequencesare thus very good. The image itself is a bit on the soft side, but there is no grain or visible edgeenhancement. The particular disc under review suffers from quality control problems, however,as the picture breaks up and freezes about an hour in.
Scott Turow and director Mike Robe handle commentary honours. They are very pleasedwith the film, and the a lot of the conversation is about how brilliant everyone involved with thefilm is. There is plenty of making-of information too, however. There are trailers for the verydire-looking 10.5 and King Solomon’s Mines. The menu’s main screen, intro andtransitions are animated and scored.
The adaptation treats its source material with respect, but is still a padded, dull exercise.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary