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Beyond Suspicion

review by Zach B.


Rated R

Studio: Fox

Running Time: 109 minutes

Starring Jeff Goldblum, Anne Heche, Nancy Travis, Timothy Olyphant, Richard T. Jones

Written and Directed by Matthew Tabak

Retail Price: $34.98

Features: Audio Commentary with Director Matthew Tabak and Producer Daniel Stone, Audio Commentary with Director Matthew Tabak and Jeff Goldblum, Behind The Scenes Interviews, Cast and Crew Biographies, Alternate Ending, Trailer

Specs: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Stereo, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selectin (20 Scenes)

Released: July 10th, 2001

When I got "Beyond Suspicion" to review, I asked myself, "what the hell is this?". I have never heard of the film before, thinking it was some direct to video title despite well known names as Jeff Goldblum and Anne Heche. Of course, some big actors with stalling careers need to have income rolling in, but after going through this movie's supplements and doing a little of research, there's some interesting production stories about this movie, let alone it wasn't direct to video despite how it may seem. Read on.

The real name of "Beyond Suspicion" is "Auggie Rose" (coming from a character in the film). The movie was shot quickly a while back and was well, pretty much ignored. During the start of 2001, the movie got a small run in California in a few theaters. And that was it. I suppose it just died out and Fox didn't know what to do with it at the start. However, they have provided a good DVD release for the movie.

The movie is about an insurance salesman named John Nolan (Jeff Goldblum), who feels a sense of guilt when he is caught in a robbery and the man who has to get him a bottle of wine, an ex-con named Auggie Rose, is shot and killed. Nolan feels its his fault and he could have done something. That's when he starts to become obsessed with Mr. Rose by talking to people and slowly getting into his life and getting into his skin. As he learns the most personal details and invades what's his, Nolan will have a lot to deal with as Auggie, as he questions existance and soon learns the whole story about a man he didn't know, and what brings with it being him.

Why Fox didn't release this wide is beyond me, but this is a nice little movie. Matthew Tabak creates a nice movie that has great dialogue, a good sense of mystery, thrilling moments and eerie parts. The characters are well developed and pretty damn interesting. The editing is also very good and Tabak has a very clean, smooth directing style that goes really well with his script.

The acting in this movie is really good. Goldblum is fantastic as Nolan and really embodies the characters to the fullest. He's a little chilling. Heche, Richard T. Jones and Nancy Travis also do good work in this movie. The actors help bring the script to life and make it all the more believable. So, if you see "Beyond Suspicion" on your local video store shelf, don't leave it sit and dismiss it as some cheesy direct to video fare, because it's really not. Yes it drags at time but it's well-crafted and made. Check it out, it's great entertainment and a great story.

Sadly, "Beyond Suspicion" is presented in 1.85:1 non-anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is pretty decent, but does have it's fair share of problems. First off, the lack of extra resolution is pretty annoying. The movie looks sharp but with an anamorphic transfer it could have been sharper. Blemishes, gain and pieces of dirt plague this transfer but it isn't too bad. Still, the main annoyance is a ton of shimmering and a load of noise. Not to mention the halo effect appears often. There are some problems, but it could have been worse. Still, an anamorphic transfer would have made this a bit better.

Fox has included a English 5.1 Dolby Digital track with the movie, and it's a little above average. Dialogue is clear and not distorted or muffled, and nothing overpowers it. Mark Mancina and Don Harper's score sounds nice through the channels, but overall, surrounds are weak. Subtle sounds are decent but overall, this track won't excite much. .1 LFE extension and transparency effects are average. A bit disappointing, though it has its moments. English Dolby Surround track is also included, a French Stereo track, English subtitles and Spanish subtitles.

Despite the film's small release and how no one will probably really notice this movie on home video, I'm glad Fox has decided to give it some good treatment. The first Audio Commentary with Director Matthew Tabak and Producer Daniel Stone is pretty good. There are no real gaps of silence, as they are enthusiastic about the movie and give a lot of detailed tidbits. There is a lot of information to absorb here, as they recount the tight shooting schedule, details, a few interesting mixups, locations and a lot more. It's pretty damn insightful and I really enjoyed this track as they cover so many areas and so much throughout the course of this track.

The second Audio Commentary with Director Matthew Tabak and Jeff Goldblum is also good. Tabak talks about his script more and the themes and morals expressed within the movie, as well as some more information about making it. Goldblum is a bit quiet and usually answers Tabak's questions. I like Goldblum as an actor and I was glad he was on his track, though his comments have a dry sense of humor. Things aren't always screen specific and they do go off on a tangent a bit, but there's a lot of other information here that is very enjoyable. Not as specific as the first track, but here things are bit more broad and implied, but they cover a good amount of stuff that is good. Don't miss this one either.

There's some interesting Behind The Scenes Interviews with Goldblum, Dan Stone, Matthew Tabak and a few more. There is behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot, but the video and sound quality is poor. It is a little promoish but they are insightful talking about the plot and the film's issues. As I said, interesting. Check it out. It's kinda like a home movie sorta.

A cool and enjoyable Alternate Ending in pretty sharp detail is also on the disc, but is a little rough and the time stuff on the ending. Finally, there's Cast and Crew Biographies and the Trailer.

"Beyond Suspicion" is a pretty solid movie that is worth checking out. The presentation is a but underwhelming, but there are good features here. The retail price is a bit steep though. Still, it's worth a rental.

(4/5 - NOT included in final score)




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