Synopsis: A high-profile slaying becomes the case of an ambitious attorney’s career in this legal thriller based on the novel by William Diehl. Richard Gere stars as Martin Vail, a famed defense lawyer who volunteers his services to Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton), a Kentucky teenager charged with the murder of a Chicago archbishop. Covered with blood, Aaron was captured after a foot chase broadcast live on TV, making a gleeful Vail certain that he could raise his profile by defending the obviously guilty suspect. Assigned to prosecute is Assistant District Attorney Janet Venable (Laura Linney), who is Vail’s ex-girlfriend. Vail’s case becomes more complicated than he expected when a psychologist, Dr. Molly Arrington (Frances McDormand) concludes that Stampler suffers from multiple personality disorder. Vail also uncovers evidence that the archbishop was involved in a corrupt land scheme and may have molested young parishioners. Now the cynical, opportunistic attorney is faced with a daunting prospect, a client who may actually deserve his best defense. Its shocking, twist ending made Primal Fear (1996) a big box office hit and earned Norton, in his screen debut, an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Paramount Home Entertainment has finally decided to release this 1996 hit on Blu-ray. It features an amazing performance by the young Edward Norton in his breakout debut. The story is about a media-seeking lawyer Martain Vail (Richard Gere) trying to represent the main suspect (Edward Norton) placed at the scene of a murdered Catholic archbishop. Laura Linney and Francis McDormand round out the fantastic cast.
The transfer print is as good as you can expect for a print that comes from 1996. Sound design does a great job immersing the audience in the world of the film. Bonus extras include some audio commentaries from director Gregory Hoblit, writer Ann Biderman, producer Gary Lucchest, executive producer Hawk Koch, and casting director Deborah Aquila. There is also a few featurettes on the legal aspect of the film, the casting of the film, and the psychology behind it. If you enjoy the series Law & Order, you’ll enjoy this film with its brilliant performances.
|Runtime: 2 Hr. 10 Min. Sec.|
|Languages: English SDH Subtitled, English Subtitled, French Dubbed & Subtitled, Portuguese Subtitled, Spanish D|
|Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital, 5.1 Dolby TrueHD|
|US Rating: R – For brief grisly violence, pervasive strong language and a sex scene.|