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post #1 of 14 Old 03-29-2020, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Just Mercy Blu-ray Review



Based on Bryan Stevenson’s book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” Just Mercy is an inspiring drama that brings a poignant and true story to the big screen. Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.



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

Film:

Extras:

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

88



Details:

Studio and Year: Warner - 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 137 minutes
Genre: Drama/Biopic

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall
Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton
Music by: Joel P. West
Written by:Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham
Region Code: A

Release Date: April 14, 2020


"Based on a True Story of a Modern Hero"


Synopsis:

Based on Bryan Stevenson’s book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” Just Mercy is an inspiring drama that brings a poignant and true story to the big screen.

My Take:

Just Mercy is based on the powerful and thought-provoking true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the main testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings, as well as overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.

Just Mercy based on Bryan Stevenson’s book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.” I wasn’t familiar with this fact-based story and, the trailer didn’t leave an impression so, going into viewing I wasn’t expecting a whole lot in terms of story as it seems as though this type has been told before. While that may be true, I have to admit that I found Just Mercy to be compelling and quite good.

Given its subject, one might be expecting a sociopolitical melodrama told from upon a soapbox where its preachiness is squarely in your face. I didn’t find that to be the case. While there may be times where making a statement in filmmaking requires a more or less in your face delivery to emphasize its message this film presents its case via a tale of advocacy that speaks to its troublesome topic by making every attempt to render its facts through a conventionally digestible narrative that defines its primary characters in Bryan and Walter. It rarely ventures off in unnecessary territory, save for a minor subplot involving a second death row inmate whose case seemed like an addendum to highlight other potential flaws in the system.

I thought the film’s impact was serviced by its truths and the competent performances by Foxx, Jordan and Tim Blake Nelson. I think that Just Mercy tells a little known (or surprising) story that reminds of just how far we haven’t come in many ways. I found it to be well done and easily worth its 137-minute runtime.


Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic content including some racial epithets.


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: 82
(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: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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


Dolby Atmos Rating: 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform:
  • Entertainment factor:



Just Mercy comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

Colors are effectively used in this film to help set the tone/setting based upon the mood of the scene. The chroma range isn’t broad and hues can vary from being sullen and inanimate to warm and inviting. Skin tones are warm with natural highlights and descriptive variation. Images onscreen were exquisitely detailed and sharp with superb depth of field and visible texture during wide angle shots. Contrast is spot on and blacks are deep with revealing delineation that provides excellent perceptibility during scenes shot at night or in lower lighting. The video has a pristine quality that is free of video related artifacts.

The surround mix features dialogue 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 utilize the entire soundstage in support of the exterior/interior venues depicted in the film. The end result is an excellent audio presentation that renders the soundtrack’s elements with aplomb.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the less aggressive variety but, considering the source material that’s not a complete surprise. Its use of sounds placed above is minimal, limited predominantly to atmospheric extension. Sounds in the listening plane at ear level are busier, utilizing effects that are discrete and ambient in nature, creating an enriching level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The music score is subtly mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements without drawing attention away from the thematic details of what is transpiring onscreen. On the surface you might find a film of this type to be an odd choice for an immersive sound mix, however I found it to be quite effective and complimentary, given the nature of the film's production design.



Bonus Features:
  • Making Mercy
  • The Equal Justice Initiative
  • This Moment Deserves
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Digital Code




Final Thoughts:

Based on Bryan Stevenson’s book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” Just Mercy is an inspiring drama that brings a poignant and compelling true story to the big screen. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video, including a Dolby Atmos mix, and a worthwhile supplement package that includes insights from the filmmakers. Just Mercy is time well spent and is highly recommended for genre fans.







Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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post #2 of 14 Old 03-31-2020, 08:46 AM
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This one has been on my radar because it got an A+ Cinemascore rating, which is quite rare.
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-01-2020, 08:12 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. Your review makes the film sound interesting.
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-18-2020, 11:49 AM
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Watched this one last night..
Movie was very well put together.
Really tugged at you...
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-08-2020, 09:51 AM
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It has also been made free to rent on many streaming services for the month of June (e.g., Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, etc.).

I watched it this last weekend and agree with your review, Ralph. Very good film. (I had a particular interest in the film because J. Alphonse Nicholson, the actor who plays Henry Davis, the Georgia inmate in the first scene, is from North Carolina and I know several local actors who have worked with him on other projects.)
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-08-2020, 10:53 AM
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I watched this as a free broadcast the other night and totally enjoyed the film. It was not preachy in any way and simply told the story of this man's incarceration and death sentence which was made from invalid and racist ideologies. The acting was as you said Ralph, heartfelt and poignant. I am not sure of its re watchable quotient but every couple of years would probably do.
During this time of great turmoil in this country, I am very grateful to the producers who have allowed this to be shown free of charge to all. Much credit should be given to them.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-08-2020, 11:28 AM
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Always interesting reading your reviews. IMO one of the best of 2019, timely movie.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-08-2020, 11:30 AM
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I definitely had a lump in my throat at the end. Great performances all around.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-11-2020, 11:48 AM
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OK, I'm probably going to take some heat for this but please hear me out.


This is a very important movie. Important on its own for the powerful story that it tells about the systematic racism and injustice in our police forces, our courts, and our penal system. That alone makes it worth watching. So YES, please see this movie if you haven't. It is really important.


Now that I've said that, I would like to look at the film purely as film, including acting, directing, cinematography, etc. In this area, its pretty far from perfect. While Michael B. Jordan does a fine job of acting throughout most of the film, there are moments where gaps appear, and you see him as Jordan the actor, acting out the part of Bryan. It's not really a problem and it doesn't distract too much from the storytelling, it is there if one is being objective (which I grant is difficult to do given the subject matter). He should still be commended because overall he carries off the part generally very well. Fox is better, though obviously has much less screen time, and the rest of the supporting cast generally put in solid, if not great, performances. I think my biggest problem is the unevenness of the directing. For much of the film the directing is really very solid. However, at the end, with the court scenes nearing crescendo, I believe the director indulges just a little too much in grandstanding with the speeches. Mr Cretton isn't the first director guilty of this indulgence, but there are moments in the last 20 minutes or so, that feel like they are bordering on being 'cheesy', which is a shame because it ever so slightly takes away the power of the moment that he's worked so hard to build to. It just feels a little heavy-handed. Despite that, which if viewed objectively, does tend to bring one out of the 'suspension of disbelief', it is still satisfying for the story that it tells and the importance of that story being told, especially now. So I would HIGHLY recommend that anyone and everyone see this movie, it is not flawless, but is extremely worthy nonetheless.

Last edited by Ralph Potts; 06-11-2020 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Removed Political References that Are Against Posting Rules
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-11-2020, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrey View Post
OK, I'm probably going to take some heat for this but please hear me out.


This is a very important movie. Important on its own for the powerful story that it tells about the systematic racism and injustice in our police forces, our courts, and our penal system. That alone makes it worth watching. So YES, please see this movie if you haven't. It is really important.


Now that I've said that, I would like to look at the film purely as film, including acting, directing, cinematography, etc. In this area, its pretty far from perfect. While Michael B. Jordan does a fine job of acting throughout most of the film, there are moments where gaps appear, and you see him as Jordan the actor, acting out the part of Bryan. It's not really a problem and it doesn't distract too much from the storytelling, it is there if one is being objective (which I grant is difficult to do given the subject matter). He should still be commended because overall he carries off the part generally very well. Fox is better, though obviously has much less screen time, and the rest of the supporting cast generally put in solid, if not great, performances. I think my biggest problem is the unevenness of the directing. For much of the film the directing is really very solid. However, at the end, with the court scenes nearing crescendo, I believe the director indulges just a little too much in grandstanding with the speeches. Mr Cretton isn't the first director guilty of this indulgence, but there are moments in the last 20 minutes or so, that feel like they are bordering on being 'cheesy', which is a shame because it ever so slightly takes away the power of the moment that he's worked so hard to build to. It just feels a little heavy-handed. Despite that, which if viewed objectively, does tend to bring one out of the 'suspension of disbelief', it is still satisfying for the story that it tells and the importance of that story being told, especially now. So I would HIGHLY recommend that anyone and everyone see this movie, it is not flawless, but is extremely worthy nonetheless.
Greetings,

I edited your post rather than removing it as I think there are some good points made regarding the film. Please adhere to posting rules going forward.


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post #11 of 14 Old 06-14-2020, 08:21 AM
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Really good movie, well put together. Best acting job I recall by Jamie Fox since "Ray".

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post #12 of 14 Old 06-16-2020, 09:43 AM
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Just watched this via Fandango. The story needed to be told, and the movie needs to be seen. I'm telling both of my adult kids that they need to see it. What I found incredible is that the sheriff continued to get re-elected. It made my blood boil!
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-18-2020, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rockaway1836 View Post
Just watched this via Fandango. The story needed to be told, and the movie needs to be seen. I'm telling both of my adult kids that they need to see it. What I found incredible is that the sheriff continued to get re-elected. It made my blood boil!

and the part prison officer orders MBJordan's character to strip and spread, just because, he can, makes my pan sizzling hot.

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post #14 of 14 Old 06-22-2020, 05:52 AM
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i watched this for free on apple TV and did think it was well made. it was very upsetting to watch knowing that all this happened not too long ago. I don't want to get political on here but I feel this still happens to some extent today.

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