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Jennifer 8

"Jennifer 8" on DVD

Dark Mystery

Paramount's "Jennifer 8" is a dark tale of murder and suspense.

"Dark," because it's a movie in which nearly every scene - in fact, nearly every shot - is dimly lit. It's either set in dark interiors, driving rain, twilight or night.

This makes the film very difficult to watch in a home theater if there's even an average amount of ambient light.

The movie itself's a pretty good whodunit -right until the very end when the would-be victim discovers that, blind or not, she's far from defenseless.

"Jennifer 8" is a kind of "Jane Doe" designation given to the victim (okay, the eighth victim) of an unsolved murder. The case is actually closed until Homicide inspector John Berlin (Andy Garcia) thinks he's made a breakthrough in the old case.

The breakthrough is a new witness, Helena (Uma Thurman), a blind woman who may not have seen the killer, but who may have other ways of identifying him.

Naturally, over the course of the film, Berlin and Helena fall in love - but things go amok for Berlin when his brother and partner (Lance Henrickson) is killed and Berlin is accused of the crime - and not only doesn't have an alibi but isn't sure himself of what he was doing at the time.

As an entry in the whodunit sweepstakes, "Jennifer 8" is a pretty good one. You like the characters for the most part and when Garcia's character is wrongly accused (or is he?) you really feel his frustration. Garcia is very good in his role, as is Thurman, who plays the blind Helena with the right touches of vulnerability and spunk.

The DVD is in widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, though there isn't a lot of surround. Video and audio quality are very good, though as mentioned the film's very dark - but you can't blame the DVD medium for that.

Extras, in true Paramount tradition, are limited to subtitles, chapter stops, and the trailer.

Jennifer 8, from Paramount Home Video
125 minutes, Widescreen (1.85:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Andy Garcia, Uma Thurman, Lance Henrickson, Kathy Baker, Graham Beckel, Kevin Conway, and John Malkovich
Produced by Gary Lucchesi and David Wimbury,
Written and Directed by Bruce Robinson


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Updated May 13, 2006