Ralph Potts reviews this TV Limited Series and critically acclaimed account of the explosive and utterly captivating O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
20th Century Fox - 2016
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
English SDH, Spanish, French
John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson, David Schwimmer, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown, Nathan Lane, Connie Britton, Selma Blair, Bruce Greenwood, Kenneth Choi
Anthony Hemmingway, Ryan Murphy, John Singleton
Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, Jeffrey Tobin
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
September 6, 2016
"The Trial isn't the Whole Story. This is…"
Based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson
by Jeffrey Toobin, this 10 episode TV Series explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.
There are few truly unifying events in American life. When something happens that makes the entire country stop and take notice, we remember it forever. Everybody remembers where they were when O.J. Simpson, riding in a white Bronco, led the police on a low-speed chase all over Los Angeles. This marked the emergence of the 24-hour news cycle and the birth of reality television. I was of course one of those that watched this incredible tabloid story come to life, unfold, as we were taken on one of the most, if not THE most, prolific courtroom roller coaster rides in history.
I am not going to get into my thoughts on O.J. Simpson's guilt or innocence or how this case was handled by the prosecution, defense, or Los Angeles Police Department. I found this TV series to be both enlightening and superbly executed in its recounting of these historical and groundbreaking events that captivated and polarized the entire nation. I appreciated the candid inside view as seen from both the prosecution and defense equations which provided insights into the processes that accounted for what transpired. Some of these I knew while others I'd never heard of.
The cast, including Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, John Travolta, Sterling K. Brown, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kenneth Choi were simply marvelous in their portrayals of the real life key characters in this circus. As seen in this film, and in real life, the victims of this terrible crime were lost amidst the hailstorm of controversy, media frenzy and racial tensions that overshadowed the bottom line. When this series aired I honestly had little interest in reliving the Simpson trial so I didn't watch it. I am now glad that I had the opportunity as it proved well worth it.
Nominated for 22 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Limited Series, this groundbreaking television event is Executive Produced by Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, D.V. DeVincentis and Brad Falchuk.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson's
10 episodes are spread over three BD-50 Blu-ray discs with the bonus material found on disc 3.
The rating is for thematic material, language, sexual references, drug content, and disturbing images.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This is a solid video presentation that offers excellent refinement during close ups and discernibly crisp definition within objects during midlevel camera pans. The color range perfectly sets the series’ somber tone and has a reserved aesthetic that rarely offers bright, eye catching hues. Rendering is clean and depth is appropriate. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the show and appear natural. Spot on contrast yields crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable and relatively deep. I didn’t see this as a problem based upon the visual style of the film. This is a gratifying encoding that showed no obvious signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix features dialog that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices are rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for active surround activity and extended dynamics however there is frequent use of atmospheric sounds that stabilize the soundstage in support of the interior/exterior venues depicted onscreen. That coupled along with the eclectic music score gives the soundtrack an open sounding and balanced presence that helps drive the films thematic elements.
- (HD) Past Imperfect: The Trial of the Century – Filmmakers, cast, crew and consultants share their reflections of The Trial of the Century in never-before-seen interviews, including author Jeffrey Toobin, whose book served as the original source material for the landmark series.
- (HD) Facts of the Case: An Interactive Timeline – Incredible interactive experience that will allow viewers to follow the series of events in the case paired with clips from the series.
Based on the novel by Jeffrey Toobin American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
is a compelling and candid depiction of the human drama that upended America during the trial of O.J. Simpson. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio, crystal clear lossless sound and a middling supplemental set. American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
is an enlightening and well executed Limited TV Series that is recommended viewing and deserves a place near the top of your Blu-ray rental queue.
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