Sydney Pollack's 1993 legal thriller "The Firm" debuts on Blu-ray format via a single-disc package. This firmly crafted film based on John Grisham's best-selling novel "A Time to Kill" unravels a twisty tale involving an ambitious and hardworking Harvard Law School graduate whose dream turns into a nightmare. This up-and-coming lawyer's fresh-faced hotshot demeanor leads him to numerous offers from the top law firms around the country. Lured by the lucrative bid of a prestigious but relatively small outfit, he accepts the high-paying job until he realizes that he joined a shady company run by the mafia. In no time, he finds himself trapped between a life-threatening career and an FBI investigation.
This star-studded offering features Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, Terry Kinney, and Ed Harris in major roles. It became a huge box office success during its initial release. It also picked up the Oscar nominations for Best Original Score and Best Supporting Actress for Hunter.
This digitally restored version features a relatively healthy, high-quality transfer that overcomes the material's random visual flaws, which include some minimal blocking, banding, and edge enhancement issues. Many scenes provide edge-of-your seat moments for the audience to savor. Impressively bold for an almost two-decade-old film, its strong, film-like texture showcases a fine sheen of cinematic grain that matches its reserved color scheme and subtle tonal variations.
Whether in bright and dark segments, there is a remarkably discerning level of depth in this old-fashioned, plot-driven piece. In between its cold and bleak sets, the picture displays warm skin tones with pinkish highlights without looking unnatural. The balanced contrast delivers sufficient shadows and highlights without suffering from serious crushing and washed out concerns.
The film sports a refined five-channel surround mix, along with five-channel audio options in Spanish and French. For a dialogue-driven 1990s catalog title, the audio track exhibits above-average clarity and depth with speaking lines aptly dominating the front-center of the soundstage. There are a few whispering moments that somehow get lost in the mix, but for the most part, the vocals remain clear and intelligible.
This courtroom potboiler doesn't have plenty of aural muscles to flex its low-level ambience and its not so engaging surround components, but a few tense moments promote some discernible effects to add a little more activity to the speakers. The track efficiently copes up with its sizeable source material through its thematically and emotionally engaging musical score. The jazzy and piano-heavy music carries spacious and airy elements that successfully play around the emotional ups and downs of the story.
This Blu-ray edition only supplies the film's theatrical and teaser trailers in HD format, along with subtitle options in English, English SDH, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
The intricate storytelling approach of "The Firm" weaves a complex tale of corruption and greed without resorting to silly gimmicks. Things actually take time to develop in its over two hours of running time. With a premise that unfolds with precision and a wealth of intrigue, its edgy and timeless appeal rightfully holds the audience's interest in its slow-burning thrills.
This sprawling picture is as smart as it is entertaining. It is surrounded by a barrage of great character performances, which allow its densely plotted narrative to effectively draw out suspense through the various interactions of its characters. Even the smaller roles really add to the emotional depths of the presentation. This cinematic piece is a must-watch, especially for conspiracy thriller fans.