American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-08-2016, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews this TV Limited Series and critically acclaimed account of the explosive and utterly captivating O.J. Simpson murder trial.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87



Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2016
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 498 minutes
Genre: TV Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: 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
Directed by: Anthony Hemmingway, Ryan Murphy, John Singleton
Music by: Mac Quayle
Written by: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, Jeffrey Tobin
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 6, 2016


"The Trial isn't the Whole Story. This is…"


My Take:

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.


Parental Guide:

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.**



Audio: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



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.

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.


Bonus Features:
  • (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.





Final Thoughts:

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.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 09-09-2016 at 04:37 AM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-08-2016, 02:17 PM
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Thanks for the review, Ralph. I thought this was an outstanding production in every way, and I hope it wins a flock of Emmys. Among the fine actors in this show, I think Sterling K. Brown (as Christopher Darden) truly stood out.

I hesitated (briefly) about watching the lengthy CNN documentary about this trial that aired not longer after American Crime Story, but I'm glad I watched that series as well. It contained some interesting information that this account omitted. For example, OJ's manager claimed that he suggested to OJ that the infamous gloves would not fit if OJ were to stop taking his arthritis medicine for two weeks, thus causing his hands to swell.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-08-2016, 04:50 PM
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I'm a little confused by the technical specs. Isn't this a set of blu-rays, not just one?
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-08-2016, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke M View Post
I'm a little confused by the technical specs. Isn't this a set of blu-rays, not just one?
Greetings,

Yes, the 10 episodes are spread over three discs. What confused you?


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post #5 of 9 Old 09-08-2016, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

Yes, the 10 episodes are spread over three discs. What confused you?


Regards,
Well, it says "Disc Format: BD-50". Not "Disc Format: 3 BD-50" or whatever. If you don't give a number, 1 is sort of implied.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-09-2016, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke M View Post
Well, it says "Disc Format: BD-50". Not "Disc Format: 3 BD-50" or whatever. If you don't give a number, 1 is sort of implied.
Greetings,

Perhaps, but that information is intended to indicate the disc format utilized, not the number of discs. In cases where the release is a set, I generally indicate that, and how many, at the end of the "My Take" portion. That was an oversight on my part. Thanks for inquiring!


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post #7 of 9 Old 09-09-2016, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarach View Post
Thanks for the review, Ralph. I thought this was an outstanding production in every way, and I hope it wins a flock of Emmys. Among the fine actors in this show, I think Sterling K. Brown (as Christopher Darden) truly stood out.

I hesitated (briefly) about watching the lengthy CNN documentary about this trial that aired not longer after American Crime Story, but I'm glad I watched that series as well. It contained some interesting information that this account omitted. For example, OJ's manager claimed that he suggested to OJ that the infamous gloves would not fit if OJ were to stop taking his arthritis medicine for two weeks, thus causing his hands to swell.
The documentary you are referring to, did you mean the 5/6 part ESPN documentary? Or did CNN make one as well? I haven't seen the series reviewed here, but the ESPN doc was absolutely fascinating. I was too young to appreciate the magnitude of this trial at the time, but I do remember it always being on TV.

I am anxious to watch this at some point. Thanks for the review
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-11-2016, 02:39 PM
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Thank you for the review. I remember when the trial was originally on and everyone I knew was glued to their tv's. This looks like something interesting to pick up.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-11-2016, 03:38 PM
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My roommate shot for this but his scenes ended up not making the final edit... ^^;;

Overall though I really didnt care much for it but then again I really dont care about sports and those involved or formally involved.

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