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Warner Home Video presents
Out for Justice HD-DVD (1991)

"Let me do it my way. You just give me an unmarked and a shotgun, all right?"
- Gino Felino (Steven Seagal)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: July 25, 2007

Stars: Steven Seagal, William Forsythe, Jerry Orbach, Jo Champa
Other Stars: Shareel Mitchell, Sal Richards, Gina Gershon, John Leguizamo, Julie Strain
Director: John Flynn

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and language, and sensuality and drug use
Run Time: 01h:31m:42s
Release Date: July 24, 2007
UPC: 085391156758
Genre: action

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

When you consider picking up a Steven Seagal movie, you're probably looking for brainless action and a major festival of butt-kicking. Out for Justice serves up all of that and a lot more, making it one of the better vehicles for Seagal and his brand of aikido mayhem.

Seagal plays Brooklyn detective Gino Felino, going through a painful divorce and taking it out on the bad guys. But when small-time hood Richie Madano (William Forsythe) guns down Gino's partner Bobby Lupo (Joe Spataro) on the street, in cold blood and in front of his wife and children, Gino isn't interested in following the rules in hunting down Richie, acting outside the law in his search for justice. But he needs to work fast, because the Mafia is after Richie too, for both posing as a wiseguy and bringing the attention of the cops down upon their operations. The action, language and violence flow freely, making it decently satisfying, with the mystery of why Richie killed Bobby adding a spark of interest to the proceedings.

No one ever accused Seagal of being a good actor, and his cheesy Italian Brooklynite is pretty laughable for the most part. But he's in good form for the action aspect of the picture, handing out the hurting with aplomb and smooth moves. The sequences in which he and the Mob in turn successively come into the poolhall owned by Richie's brother, pounding the inhabitants over and over for information give both all the violent fighting that you might want as well as a painfully dark comic aspect that makes it all the more enjoyable. There's also a grueling car chase sequence that works quite well.

One of the concepts that is ridden pretty hard here is the sense of the Neighborhood (emphasized by a quote from Arthur Miller over the opening credits). Even though Gino and the Mafia are on opposite sides, they're part of the same Neighborhood, and Gino can talk to them in ways that other cops can't. At times this is given a bit too much emphasis, such as when Gino mouths off unnecessarily to the local Mob boss, Don Vittorio (Ron MacCone), apparently for effect but it still seems more than a little unwise. But for a lot of us, we're left like Gino's wife Vicki (Jo Champa), on the outside looking in on the enclave and not really understanding how it works.

Forsythe is totally convincing (and equally loathsome) as the antagonist, the crack-addled, greasy sociopath Richie. A second viewing picks up details that might be missed the first time through that tip the viewer off as to the extent of Richie's death wish, and that he knows exactly what kind of a wildfire he's setting off even before he does it. The always reliable Jerry Orbach has a thankless and bland role as Gino's main contact with the police after he goes rogue after Richie. The final tag will be enjoyed by dog lovers and Michael Vick haters everywhere.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.40:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: One doesn't usually think of a Seagal movie as being a visual feast, but this one really pours on the vivid colors. Detail and texture are excellent, and there's no sign of edge enhancement or artifacting. Some of the darker sequences are a little plugged up and lacking in shadow detail, but the grainy film is well rendered and retains its grain structure well without becoming sparkly or obnoxious.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0French, Spanishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: While the DD+ 5.1 English audio has a nice wide soundstage and excellent presence, deep bass is a bit lacking on the music and during the action sequences. But it is very clean and crisp throughout. One scene in which Gino questions Richie's father features a very definitely placed ticking clock that feels like it's right in the room with the viewer. It's a solid soundtrack even if short a bit on oomph.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Animated menu
Scene Access with 25 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Elite
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: While most HD DVDs to date offer substantial extra content, the only extra here is the trailer, presented not only in standard definition but slightly squeezed.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

If you like Steven Seagal movies, this is one of his best and a must see. If you don't, well, this is a decently made offering in the genre. It looks great, but don't expect any extras.


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