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“Absolute Power” - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Taylor Carlson
Studio: Warner Brothers
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
6/1/10
Special Features:

None

Review:

Absolute Power is directed by Clint Eastwood. The film stars Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, EG Marshall, and Ed Harris. The musical score is composed by Lennie Niehaus. David Baldacci wrote the novel on which the film is based. ***

Luther Whitney is a master burglar who also happens to have a less-than-stellar relationship with his daughter, who is his only relative still alive. During a heist in a luxurious home, Whitney is witness to the President of the United States attempting to rape a woman married to his long-time mentor - and the secret service murdering said woman to prevent her from stabbing the President. It isn't long before a massive investigation is launched - and needless to say, Whitney initially wants to lay low and get out of the country. But his resolve gets the better of him, and he aims to make this crime known to the victim's husband. ***

This is one of those movies I walked away from with a mixed reaction. On one hand, it is a fairly unique thriller that explores some interesting ground. But on the other, the execution of this idea leaves a lot to be desired, and in the end it isn't one of Eastwood's better directorial efforts. ***

This is a difficult film to review for a number of reasons. The flaws really stack up and stand against the finished product, yet I can't outright blast the film because it has a lot of interesting themes other thrillers have never touched. ***

If I have one absolute biggest complaint about the film, it is the terrible musical score. It feels completely out of place for this type of material. If I had closed my eyes and just listened to the music, I sure as hell would not have envisioned it to be in a crime thriller such as this. Other issues that works against the film are the genetic father-daughter melodrama that feels like it could have been placed interchangeably in another film, and the fact that the movie builds up potentially interesting side-stories and subplots but never really does anything with them - a key example being police investigators trying to uncover what the President's cabinet is trying to keep a secret. However, I will give the actors credit - they do what they can with the material, and all of them give good-enough performances. An interesting piece of trivia: Gene Hackman and EG Marshall previously appeared together in Superman II. ***

In the end, Absolute Power isn't an absolute dud. The movie has its moments, and some decent performances in the mix. But the approach to the storyline and overlong run time leave a lot to be desired. ---

Image And Sound:

This transfer is an improvement over the DVD version, and I am glad to see it maintain a film-like appearance, free of any unwanted enhancements. Sadly though, the image is a bit soft throughout and the level of detail is not as impressive as this reviewer had hoped for. I won't deny that it is still a worthy upgrade from the DVD version though. ***

As a movie heavy on the dialogue and not so much the action, the lossless audio track tends to be a front-heavy affair. Fortunately, all dialogue comes across clean and clear. This track won't rock your speakers, but it was never the kind of movie that was meant to do that to begin with.

Special Features:

None

Final Words:

Absolute Power has a ton of flaws and I'm not going to be adding it to my list of favorite thrillers anytime soon. However, it definitely makes for solid rental material. Fans of the movie will be delighted to know this disc is a good-enough upgrade over the DVD to merit a purchase - though others should just rent.

 

 
 
 
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