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A Few Good Men "A Few Good Men" on DVD

Are You Ready for the Truth?

by Johnny Bray

In 1992, the world was blessed/cursed with yet another eternally overusable line.

Jack Nicholson shouts the now famous "you can't handle the truth" in one of his three scenes in A Few Good Men. Nicholson, of course, branded as one of the greatest actors of all time, plays, as always, Jack Nicholson. He just happens to have a rank this time around.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

If Nicholson fits into a character, he can really make it work (example: Batman). In this case, it works.

However, even the great Mr. Nicholson is outdone in this movie by the greatly underrated Tom Cruise. Much more than just a pretty boy, Cruise is fantastic as the young navy lawyer who has successfully haggled 44 cases without even stepping into a courtroom.

But one day, he's given a case for which he just can't seem to bargain. Two navy recruits are charged with murder, but Daniel Kaffee (Cruise) believes they're innocent. He's then thrust into a Naval conspiracy of which he has to get to the bottom, or his clients could spend the rest of their lives in jail.

In all honesty, I had very low expectations about this movie. Usually, "critically acclaimed" means "PC piece of garbage." I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised.

The screenplay, written by Aaron Sorkin and based on his play, is very clever and witty; he uses lots of humour to keep the pace going. Though the movie is 138 minutes, it never seems that long.

Aside from the screenplay, the performances are very good (with the exception of Demi Moore's). As supporting characters, Kevin Pollak and Kevin Bacon are both excellent. Even Kiefer Sutherland shows up for a few scenes and does a good job.

Although movies like Rules of Engagement are better, this movie is still very good for what it is. If you can handle watching 138 minutes of a courtroom drama, you'll be very pleased.

The Special Edition DVD comes with digitally mastered anamorphic widescreen video (as it should in this day and age), with 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound (also as it should). Both picture and sound are excellent, though it's not really a movie for which you would need a lot of special sound effects. It has all the usual subtitles, interactive menus and scene selections, but it also comes with a bunch of other goodies.

For instance, there is a commentary track from director Rob Reiner, an "exclusive documentary," "From Stage to Screen with Aaron Sorkin and Rob Reiner", bonus trailers and filmographies.

A Few Good Men, from Columbia Tristar Home Video
138 minutes, widescreen (2.35:1), enhanced for widescreen TVs, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Kevin Pollak
Produced by David Brown, Rob Reiner and Andrew Scheinman
Written by Aaron Sorkin Directed by Rob Reiner


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Updated May 13, 2006