Accused, The/ B+, B+
Paramount/1988/110/ANA 1.85

     Sarah Tobias is a tough blue collar young woman who is gang raped in an ugly bar incident. When the incident is put in the hands of the police and district attorney's office, the tough Tobias faces the rapists bravely and only wants to see them put behind bars for their crime. Though Tobias is the victim, partially because of her working class style and demeanor, she given less respect and sympathy than she deserves.   

Not just another pick-up. ©Paramount

    The Accused is firstly a tour-de-force performance film. Jodie Foster is dynamite as Tobias. It's also a strong courtroom drama dealing with elements of moral corruption within the establishment. The solid script has but a few carping shortcomings, but this is a first rate production. The story unfolds with a harsh directness from the very opening moments.
     Foster has an amazingly expressive face. What composure she exhibits under the most difficult scenes. It's not surprising that Foster got the Academy Award as Best Actress for her searing, tough, powerful portrayal of Sarah Tobias. And Foster makes herself someone you care about. That's screen magic. The lady really has some acting chops. Kelly McGillis is a solid presence as Assistant District Attorney Kathryn Murphy. She and Foster have interesting chemistry.
    Kaplan's bright, sharp, revealing style of shooting marries well to the subject matter. The director keeps the story moving at an excellent pace. There's little dead time in The Accused.
      The DVD transfer delivers a good, clean even looking picture which never descends into edginess. Comfortable shadow detail and gray scale are comfortable with excellent black levels. Color saturation is fully realized with an accurate palette. Flesh tones are very natural with nice detail within the facial structure. The skin is truly lively. Plenty of light output delivers a very theatrical look with excellent contrast ratio in the bank. The glossy look is a picture you can't look away from.  A couple of slightly soft scenes in the court room are not representative of the DVD. The Brad Fidel score is delivered cleanly with an open soundstage on the Dolby Digital 5:1 soundtrack.  A strong bass beat emphasized the dramatics.


General, The /A,B+ 
Irish gang leader Martin Cahill through the lens of John Boorman makes fascinating viewing. Watch it in black and white,  Boorman's choice.

With the introduction of the Columbia Super Bit collection it looks like a new wave of repackaging marketing might be just around the corner.
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