Oct 082016
 

Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil is a nice inclusion in Warner’s Archive Collection and while I didn’t particularly think very much of the movie, there’s at least some good elements headlined by another masterful performance from Kevin Spacey and even John Cusack contributes well.

 

 

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
— Warner Archive Collection —
(1997)

Genre(s): Drama, Crime
Warner Bros. | R – 155 min. – $21.99 | September 27, 2016

Date Published: 10/08/2016 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Clint Eastwood
Writer(s): John Berendt (book); John Lee Hancock (screenplay)
Cast: Kevin Spacey, John Cusack, Jack Thompson, Jude Law, Alison Eastwood
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurette, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English
Disc Size: 44.8 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 2.75/5


Plot Synopsis: The most important party of the Savannah Christmas season ends with a bang when affable host Jim Williams (KEVIN SPACEY) shoots a man (JUDE LAW) to death. The party is over, the investigation begins. In town on assignment to cover the party is writer John Kelso (JOHN CUSACK) who is drawn into Savannah’s decadence and eccentrics, the trial of the century and falls for a woman named Mandy Nicholls (ALISON EASTWOOD).

Quick Hit Review: Based on true events, which generally lends to eye-rolling on my part, but from what I’ve seen, outside of the voodoo stuff, there’s plenty that was real though truncated as the film was already pushing at a brisk two and a half hours. And that’s one of the downsides of what could’ve been an interesting story, some of the material could have been cut. At the very least, and what makes time pass a bit easier, is with the performances by John Cusack and, especially, Kevin Spacey and one has to think this was used as an audition tape a decade plus later for “House of Cards.”

Directed by Clint Eastwood and based on upon the book by John Berendt, adapted by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Snow White and the Huntsman), this is perhaps Eastwood’s weakest offering as a director. Technically speaking, it looks good and shows off Savannah quite nicely but with ultra-slow pacing and a muddled plot, albeit based on true events, it could’ve used trimming, a good 15-20 minutes could’ve been removed (mainly the voodoo aspects).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5


The Real People in the Garden (21:56; SD) is a tour led by author John Berendt in Savannah where we meet the people whom he based his characters on. It’s actually an interesting little featurette including interviews by those who knew the real Jim Williams and the murder trial (and in fact, 4 trials ending in his acquittal).

Theatrical Trailer (2:26; HD)

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5


Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Considering the movie is almost 20 years old and it’s doubtful much, if any, work was done by the studio, this is not a bad looking transfer. Colors are generally vibrant in keeping with the vivid Savannah social scene and detail was relatively sharp throughout. There were no major instances of dust marks, artifacts, aliasing or other flaws.

AUDIO – 3.75/5


The disc includes a basic but effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The bulk of this movie might be dialogue driven, for which it’s clean and clear throughout coming from the center channel primarily, but where the depth shows is with the music/score by Lennie Niehaus. It’s nothing exceptional but given previous releases (from 1998 and 2010) offered only a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, it’s probably a moderate upgrade.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil is a nice inclusion in Warner’s Archive Collection and while I didn’t particularly think very much of the movie, there’s at least some good elements headlined by another masterful performance from Kevin Spacey and even John Cusack contributes well. As far as the Blu-ray goes, the video and audio transfers are decent and the features, although limited, has at least one interesting featurette.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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