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Just Mercy (Blu-ray) review

Just Mercy (Blu-ray) review
« on: March 24, 2020, 03:57:13 PM »

Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: April 14, 2020
Rating: PG-13
Film: 4/5

Just Mercy is based on the powerful and thought-provoking true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the main testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings, as well as overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.

My Thoughts
This is one of those films that’s either hit or miss with me. I always go in looking for a specific political agenda and expect to be preached to for two-plus hours. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case here. Bryan Stevenson is a passionate man, and while I don’t agree with his stance on the Death Penalty, I agree with him that people should get adequate representation before being put to death for their crimes.

While I expected the movie to focus squarely on the McMillian case, it actually shows the founding of the Equal Justice Initiative and the challenges it faced while setting up shop in Alabama. Sadly, racism does still exist in this country—and around the world—and it isn’t a one-way street. I grew up playing sports form the time I was five all the way through college, so I was fortunate enough to be immersed in the melting pot of different races and nationalities and learned to get along with my peers. Like Dr. King said, I judge people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

As a film, this tries to show more than one case, but one in particular I had little sympathy for the capital murderer. He admitted to committing the crime and whether he had some underlying psychological issues that led to his crime doesn’t matter to me. He did the deed and needed to pay the price. When it comes to McMillan, the evidence is so overpowering in his favor that it was hard not to root for his freedom. In fact, if we want to stop travesties like this happening in the future, laws should be passed that if fraud and deceit are used to gain a conviction, then the parties that acted in such a way get the exact same punishment as the accused. If a county sheriff or police detective gets somebody convicted of a capital crime by fraud and gets caught, then they go to death row and take the innocent man’s place in line. Let’s see if that has an impact on society.

Video 4.5/5

Audio 4/5 (Dolby Atmos)

Special Features:

  • Making ‘Mercy’
  • This Moment Deserves
  • The Equal Justice Initiative
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Blu-ray + Digital Code

This is a compelling drama that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. The performances are fantastic, and the story is compelling and tragic. While it didn’t change my mind on the Death Penalty, it does make you wonder how many more innocent people have been railroaded by the system. Recommended.

Reference Review System:
Reference Review System:
 JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
 (Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
 Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Fixed Screen
 Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor
 ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels

ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
 Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
 System Controller: URC MX-980

M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
 Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
 SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
 HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
 JL Audio Fathom F110 Subwoofers x 2 (stacked)

JL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (stacked)
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
 Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
 PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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