Genre(s): Suspense, Drama
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 121 min. – $19.98 | November 6, 2012
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Writer(s): John Grisham (novel); Akiva Goldsman and Robert Getchell (screenplay)
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony LaPaglia, J.T. Walsh, Anthony Edwards, Will Patton, Bradley Whitford, Kim Coates, William H. Macy, Ossie Davis
Theatrical Release Date: July 20, 1994
Features: Theatrical Trailer, 1995 TV Pilot
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 35.8 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
Plot Summary: 11-year-old Mark Sway (BRAD RENFRO) is torn between when he knows and what he can never tell. When the lawyer to a mobster attempts suicide, Mark intervenes but is caught and the lawyer, in a ranting confession, reveals the location of a murdered U.S. Senator killed by New Orleans mobster Barry Muldano (ANTHONY LAPAGLIA) who is under investigation by media-hogging state attorney Roy Foltrigg (TOMMY LEE JONES). After the lawyer commits suicide, in front of now traumatized little brother Ricky, Mark wants nothing to do with a police investigation and especially revealing the location of the body.
But try as he might, Mark grabs the suspicion of an asshole cop (WILL PATTON) who collects DNA evidence which eventually matches to DNA found inside the lawyer’s car. This not only draws the attention of Foltrigg, but of Muldano and his crew as well. They want to make sure Mark doesn’t talk, placing Ricky and mother Dianne (MARY-LOUISE PARKER) in danger.
Having been pressured by Foltrigg, Mark enlists the services of attorney Reggie Love (SUSAN SARANDON). The pair doesn’t immediately get along but she takes the case and early on, gains ground in protecting Mark but given he haven’t told Reggie everything, there’s only so much she can do. Once the truth comes out, the two races against time to find the body and escape from mob hit men.
Quick Hit Review: I’ve always found The Client, directed by Joel Schumacher when he was a semi-respectable filmmaker, to be an entertaining movie filled with fine performances — Susan Sarandon, a post-Oscar winning Tommy Lee Jones (won for 1993’s The Fugitive) and a young Brad Renfro (RIP) — but not much more. As a John Grisham-adapted legal thriller, it doesn’t hold a candle to The Firm, The Pelican Brief, A Time to Kill or even the more recently released The Street Lawyer. Even so, I suppose it’s a fine time-waster with the occasional thrills, but otherwise it’s fairly low-key, albeit entertaining, affair.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
Only items included is the Theatrical Trailer and the 1995 TV Pilot from the short-lived television series which, as far as I can tell, this is the first time it’s available on home video.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Warner Brothers releases The Client on Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and 1080p transfer. It might not be an awe-inspiring looking flick but it is well detailed throughout and I didn’t notice any major flaws. This is definitely an upgrade over its DVD predecessor.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track actually isn’t all that bad. Certainly it’s not as dynamic as one with the full 5.1 channels but even so, the dialogue levels are clear and even in the few action/suspense scenes, it comes through nicely enough.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, The Client is a fulfilling suspense-thriller propelled by three solid performances, adequate direction from Joel Schumacher (arguably his last ‘good’ movie) despite a predictable script. The Blu-ray is limited in features but the audio and video are a good upgrade over its DVD counterpart.