Three great films (Blood Work, U.S. Marshals and A Perfect World) have gotten the Blu-ray treatment from Warner Brothers and look great on the format – even if there isn’t much of a reason for the upgrade.New special features would have been nice, but if you don’t already own the films, the Blu-ray editions are the way to go.
Released in 1998, U.S Marshals sees Tommy Lee Jones returning to his role of US Marshal Samuel Gerard (which earned him an Academy Award in The Fugitive) to track down escaped fugitive Sheridan (Wesley Snipes), but there is more to this common criminal than first believed.
Gerard and his team are joined on the hunt by government spook Special Agent John Royce (Robert Downey Jr.) - who may not be one of the good guys. The movie does an excellent job of focusing on the entire team of Marshals and it is easy to see the studio was hoping for a franchise. Jones and his team have great chemistry together, but the film has several problems that drag it down.
U.S. Marshals, which was directed by Stuart Baird (Star Trek: Nemesis and Executive Decision), moves at a predictable pace and is never as good as The Fugitive. The action sequences make it entertaining and worth taking the time to watch. Jones is always dependable and owns this role. Baird keeps the story moving and the action front and center.
Visit the DVD database for more information on U.S. Marshals.
2002’s Blood Work sees Clint Eastwood playing former FBI profiler Terry McCaleb who is called out of retirement and on the hunt for a serial killer with a close connection to him. The film was directed by Eastwood and is based on the novel by Michael Connelly with a screenplay by Brian Helgeland (Robin Hood, Green Zone, Man on Fire and Mystic River).
The film, which isn’t as good as the novel it is based on, moves at a slower pace than most of Eastwood’s cop films and the Terry McCaleb character can be seen as an older Dirty Harry. The movie opens with Terry chasing down a killer – who manages to escape as Terry drops to his knees from a heart attack. Two years later, Terry has a new heart and is living a quiet retired life on a boat.
His only friends are boat bum Jasper 'Buddy' Noone (Jeff Daniels) and his heart surgeon Dr. Bonnie Fox (Anjelica Huston). Terry gets back on the job when Graciella Rivers (Wanda De Jesus) shows up and asks him to investigate the murder of her sister - who happens to be the donor who gave Terry his new heart.
The film moves at a slow pace, but Eastwood makes the most of the role and keeps you interested in the character. Daniels manages to be both annoying and brilliant in the film. Blood Works’ big reveal is easy to spot coming, and it is never quite as good as it could have been.
Visit the DVD database for more information for Blood Work.
1993’s A Perfect World is the best of the three Blu-rays and the one easiest to recommend if you don’t already have the film in your collection. Directed by and starring Eastwood from a screenplay by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), the film features a brilliant performance from Kevin Costner and an ensemble feel from the supporting actors including Laura Dern, Bradley Whitford, and T.J. Lowther.
The film follows Eastwood’s celebrated U.S. Marshal Red Garnett (Eastwood) as he tracks down escaped convict Robert 'Butch' Haynes (Costner). Haynes is on the run with another convict and kidnapped small boy Phillip 'Buzz' Perry (Lowther) as a hostage.
The character is clearly a bad man (as seen in the trick or treat scenes or his escape from prison), but Costner plays him with a charm that makes him easily likeable. His friendship and protection of Buzz makes the character seem noble and simply misunderstood. At times, the audience even starts to think the boy is better off with Costner than with his mother.
While it isn’t the most important film in Eastwood’s filmography, it is well-worth taking the time to watch, and a must have for any collection.
Visit the DVD database for more information on A Perfect World.