Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The cover for Fracture has Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins looking intense and rough. It is a decent shot of the two men, but it doesn’t say too much about the movie. I would have preferred something with a little more about the legal aspect of the film. The menu is a high definition static shot of the two main characters as they sit across from a table in jail, apparently discussing legal issues. A nice shot, and I like the fact that it is a little new and different, but just decent in my opinion.
- 2 Alternate Endings – Included on the Blu-ray disc are two separate alternative endings that are very similar in style and theme. While they are neat to see, the film’s actual ending is far superior to either of these, if for no other reason than it does a better job of explaining the actual law behind the film’s dramatic ending. (and the reasoning behind the ending is better set up, and more believable.)
- Additional Scenes – There are several scenes that are included here that did not make the final cut. While shown finished, they again do not add much to the story and are therefore properly left out.
- Theatrical Trailer – Finally, there is a theatrical trailer included as an extra. I am more than disappointed that the extras are so sparse, especially considering that such a talent as Anthony Hopkins features in this film. I would have loved to hear his take on the movie, or how he prepped for this character, but we get basically nothing here at all. Quite sad for such a decent movie.
The Movie: 7/10
Fracture is a dramatic/mystery/legal type of film, which is a rare mix. It features Anthony Hopkins, who of course everyone remembers for Silence of the Lambs. Unfortunately for this movie, it seems as if he is playing that same type of character, with just a touch less of a psychotic demeanor, and a tad more law school knowledge. Fracture is a strange movie that focuses on Hopkin’s character Ted Crawford, who at the start of the film shoots his wife in the face with a gun after finding out that she is not being faithful to him. His much younger wife ends up on life support in the hospital, and from that point on we are given a movie where the meticulous, manipulating Crawford is pulling strings to get away with a murder that he carefully plotted, and carried out, with the intent of walking away from with no punishment.
Enter Willy Beachum, a prosecutor for the District Attorney’s office, played by Ryan Gosling. Willy is presented as a smart young attorney who has put in this time at the DA’s office, but is moving up to a large, powerful firm. Willy’s is good at what he does, and he is looking to hit the jackpot with the move, where he will be working for Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike) who is a top attorney who is making the kind of money and has the kind of power that Willy seeks.
As Willy is preparing for the move, he enters court and ends up being intrigued by the case involving Crawford. Kind of on a whim, Willy takes the case, which appears to be an easy one, as the police have the suspect and the murder weapon. It appears that the case against Crawford for attempted murder should be an easy one, and Willy ends up being manipulated and twisted as Crawford uses him to his own means. At times it is almosta bit too close to the Anthony Hopkins/Jody Foster relationship from Silence of the Lambs, but Hopkins is good at this type of role, so it again works.
Fractureis one of those rare movies that doesn’t leave you wondering who did the crime, but presents a different quandary of how he is going to get away with it. It is a fascinating movie, and gosling does a decent job of standing up to Hopkins in terms of acting. The presentation of the law is commendable, and I liked the way that the movie only halfway made out lawyers to be complete money hungry, emotionless robots (I am an attorney, and not all of us are like that; at least not all of the time.)
The twist and turns are nicely done, and the presentation and style of the movie is excellent. It is hard to talk about this kind of movie without giving too much away, but the basic legal ideas behind it are presented in a manner that people can grasp them without knowing too much about law. Overall Fracture is a good legal mystery with plenty of intelligent drama. Fracture is a thinking person’s movie and it it is well worth a watch, especially on Blu-ray, where it looks and sounds amazing.
Audio & Video: 9/10
I was impressed by the disc’s video presentation. While (of course) most Blu-rays look better than the regular DVD releases, this transfer is exceptional. Things were crisp and clear, while also looking natural. The colors were rich and beautiful, and for a movie without a lot of overly stylized settings, this one looked amazing. Presented in 2.40:1 widescreen, using the VC-1 codec, this movie is stunning. This may not be one of the first movie’s that you would reach for when showing off your Blu-ray home theater, but it should be. The presentation is subtle and amazing.
The audio was very good, but it did not blow me away like the video did. The 5.1 Surround Sound was well utilized and nicely mixed. Dialogue was nicely done, and I guess the most impressive part of the audio for me was the score, which was rich and noticeably added to the intensity of the movie.
Fracture is a good movie, and on Blu-ray its presentation is superb. The problem with a film like this is that once you have seen the movie, it is not something that most people will watch over and over again, as the twists and turns mean less the second and third time around. couple that with the fact that the extras included here are very basic and you have a Blu-ray that is not a “must have” in my opinion. Having said that, I highly recommend seeing Fracture, especially if you have not seen it before (or it has been a while). If you have the chance, see it on Blu-ray, as it looks and sounds great.
Overall Score 7/10