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The Verdict (1982) Blu-ray Review

verdict-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English, Italian, and Spanish (Castilian) DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (48kHz/24-bit), French, German, and Japanese DTS 5.1, Spanish (Latin American) Dolby Digital 1.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, English SDH Commentary, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch Commentary, French (Commentary), German (Commentary), Italian (Commentary), Spanish (Commentary)
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 129 Mins.
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 7, 2013
  • List Price: $19.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Verdict-BD_01

Sydney Lumet has made an incredible career out of directing gritty dramas such as Deathtrap, Running on Empty, and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. The Verdict is his 1982, gritty courtroom drama starring the veteran Paul Newman as Frank Galvin, a washed up, alcoholic Boston attorney who sees an opportunity to redeem himself and resuscitate his career with a difficult medical malpractice case against a large and influential Catholic hospital.

Presented with a case he thinks will be an easy pay out, Galvin takes the case, hoping for a big settlement, but when he visits the hospital and sees the victim, a woman now in a coma because of the hospital’s practices, he has an honest to goodness change of heart. Behind the back of the family, Galvin decides to take the case to trial rather than accept a settlement of over $200 thousand.

Helping him through the difficult case is Galvin’s new, enigmatic girlfriend Laura Fischer (Charlotte Rampling; Melancholia), who, as we find out, has a complex past, and also seems a rather bad influence on Galvin’s drinking habits. He also has his old friend and assistant Mickey (Jack Warden), a gruff and perpetually pessimistic conscience talking into Galvin’s ear.

Based on a novel from Barry Reed with a screenplay by David Mamet (who was nominated for “Best Adapted Screenplay”), The Verdict’s story is a basic legal drama that we’ve seen many times over – down and out lawyer finds redemption in a case that really makes a difference. What makes The Verdict stand apart from the crowd is Lumet’s atmospheric direction, the gritty realism he inserts into the drama, and the absolutely powerful performance by Newman, who puts on one of the crowning achievements of his later career.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Verdict-BD_02

Fox gives The Verdict a fine AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement on Blu-ray. While the grain does look rather sharp and textured, almost tipping over to the point of noise at times, it never quite crosses that line. Once one settles in to viewing, the textured imagery, especially on close-ups, looks very good and film-like, without much harshness. This is definitely a bit gritty in the darker scenes, which can show just a slight bit of unevenness in the black levels, but brighter scenes pop beautifully and can look quite clear.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Verdict-BD_03

The Verdict comes with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) mix and its original monaural mix in DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (48kHz/24-bit), in addition to several multilingual dubs in both 5.1 and 1.0 (see above). Truth be told. The 5.1 mix might offer slightly more dynamic range and a little bit fuller and clearer sound to the 1.0, but it is still very subtle and almost monaural in its breadth and width. The surround channels are so quiet and the panning across the front so subtle and narrow, this might as well be the original mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

Verdict-BD_04

There’s nothing new offered up here, but the audio commentary is very interesting to listen to, given it includes these two great icons of the cinema.

The supplements:

  • Commentary by Sidney Lumet and Paul Newman
  • The Making of The Verdict (1.33:1; SD; 00:09:06)
  • Paul Newman: The Craft of Acting (1.78:1; SD; 00:08:45)
  • Sydney Lumet: The Craft of Directing (1.78:1; SD; 00:10:47)
  • Milestones in Cinema History: The Verdict (1.78:1; SD; 00:23:14)
  • Hollywood Backstories: The Verdict (1.33:1; SD; 00:22:08)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.85:1; SD)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Verdict-BD_05

The Verdict garnered five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. It deserved all of those recognitions, undoubtedly. This is one of the great films of the early 80s, superbly acted, beautifully filmed, honest, and gritty. As legal dramas go, this one is toward the top of the list.

Additional Screen Captures

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Best Buy:
The Verdict - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase The Verdict on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Verdict-BD_06

Verdict-BD_07

Verdict-BD_08

Verdict-BD_09

Verdict-BD_10

Verdict-BD_11

Verdict-BD_12

[amazon-product]B00A8OHZOW[/amazon-product]

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Best Buy:
The Verdict - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase The Verdict on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

 

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