Lethal Justice comes to UK Region B Blu-ray complete with the same decent enough 1080p High Definition video presentation that the rest of the TV series’ releases have had, presented in the original aspect ratio of widescreen 1.78:1. Detail is generally pretty good indeed, like a reasonably good quality TV show or an average low-budget movie. Shot with Vancouver, Canada standing in for Seattle, it best moments generally come for the interior shots – the undercover cop headquarters offering up some pristine interiors which leave no room for softness, edge enhancement or digital defects. Exteriors generally also look pretty good, with a marginally over-saturated image (intentionally so) making the setting more ‘hot’. Even the Iraq flashback sequences stand up fairly well, and the grain/noise is basically non-existent on what looks like a pure digital HD production. Blacks are strong and deep and overall this is a very nice looking presentation. Again, it’s not quality by the standards of modern Hollywood releases, but it’s good enough to complete with most halfway decent TV procedurals, and of a much better standard than many of Seagal’s recent DTV output.
Both of the previous releases from this TV series have boasted aggressive audio tracks that practically deafen in terms of score and effects, but which drown out the dialogue to an almost incomprehensible level. Seagal’s muttering style makes it hard to discern his words even at the best of times, but it is made infinitely worse by this kind of presentation, and pretty-much fatal when there isn’t even the option to switch on some subtitles and guide you through the confusing quagmire. Thankfully, for the first time, this chapter actually appears to have better sound levelling and the dialogue is, for the most part, better presented. Perhaps Seagal’s marginally smaller participation in these episodes is also a factor, but I still think the sound design has been improved for Lethal Justice over its predecessors. Effects are fairly well done, from sniper shots to frequent gunfights, screeching car chases and even the occasional explosion (bang, there goes the budget!). Bass is often present and the score suitable enhances the limited proceedings. It’s all generic, basic presentation, but does well enough for this kind of release.
Just a Trailer, which is actually quite a good montage of the best bits from the two episodes, but which still avoids the fairly obvious fact that this release represents two episodes from a series, and instead tries to pretend it is advertising some kind of feature film.
Another year, another five Seagal movies to trawl through, in the desperate hope that I might find a hidden gem from the aging Buddhist fighting cupboard. Only this one isn’t actually a movie. Despite its title and misleading marketing, Lethal Justice actually represents episodes 7 and 8 in an ongoing TV series called True Justice. Great title for episodes, eh? Very original. Perhaps the next instalment could be called Truly Lethal. Still, aside from the terrible promotion that this show has received over the last year, these are actually the best episodes thus far in the series, presenting reasonably taut tales of a white supremacist gang and a sniper on the loose in the city, respectively, and allowing for some nice background development of the regular cast members, as well as a few nice trademark fighting moves from the Big Man Seagal himself. If you’ve followed the series so far (and a shocking amount have, considering it’s been renewed for a second season), then you might be pleasantly surprised by these latest episodes. It’s not great TV viewing, but it’s a considerably better than anything reality TV can offer (even Seagal’s own Lawman series) and could easily be viewed as CSI: Miami-lite, only with more hand-to-hand combat.
On Region B-locked UK Blu-ray we get decent video and audio, just a trailer, and terrible packaging that makes no mention of the TV series to which this instalment belongs to. I can’t help but mark it down for poor promotion – this show has received arguably the worst marketing that I have ever come across – but fans shouldn’t be put off: pick up all the separate releases (or wait for the box set) and watch it in the correct order, and there’s a fair amount of lightweight fun to be had.
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