HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  True Believer See You In Court
Year: 1989
Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: James Woods, Robert Downey Jr, Margaret Colin, Yuji Okumoto, Kurtwood Smith, Tom Bower, Miguel Fernandez, Charles Hallahan, Sully Diaz, Misan Kim, John Snyder, Luis Guzmán, Graham Beckel, Tony Haney, Joel Polis, Kurt Fuller, Woody Harrelson
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nine years ago in 1979 a crime was committed in New York's Chinatown which saw one man shot to death in the street, and another, American-Korean man, Shu Kai Kim (Yuji Okumoto) arrested and convicted in spite of his protestations of innocence. Now he has hit another problem when in prison as a gang of white supremacists have decided to murder him to set an example, and the altercation in the chapel leaves him alive, but with blood on his hands for in self-defence he stabbed his assailant. This means any hope of parole is dwindling, so his mother goes for help to the one lawyer who would take that kind of no-hope case, Eddie Dodd (James Woods)...

Or at least that's the way he used to be, before he found himself crusading for a relaxation of the drugs laws and subsequently seeing to it that rich cocaine addicts get away scot free after a spot of persuasive haranguing from Dodd. Not the best way for a brilliant legal mind to be squandering his talents, but True Believer took the form of that old Hollywood favourite, the redemption yarn as Woods' character rediscovered that sixties radical spirit he possessed for years before the eighties turned him into what Wesley Strick's script evidently regarded as a sell-out (complete with ill-advised "rebellious" ponytail). Naturally, this sort of role was ideal for an actor like Woods, and he grabbed this opportunity with such aplomb you could not envisage anyone else starring.

Thus the film became one of those movies which are personal discoveries for a small but substantial number of viewers as they stumbled upon this with no expectations and found it to be surprisingly worthwhile and worth recommending whenever Woods came up in conversation. There was another star in the cast who by the twenty-first century was one of the biggest names in Hollywood, having seen his esteem rise as Woods' dropped, and he was Robert Downey Jr, in this instance playing the sidekick as in quite a few movies of this era where an established actor would be paired with a younger, up and coming performer in the hope the box office tills would be set a-ringing by fans of both.

And that some of that movie star magic would rub off on the younger actor, naturally, as their fanbase grew. For Downey, this was not one of his most auspicious roles not because he was bad in it - he's actually fine as the fresh-faced optimist - but because the film fell through the cracks at the point where he was sabotaging his career with his well-publicised drugs problems, making Dodd's pro-narcotics stance more than a little apt. But it was largely a miscarriage of justice True Believer concerned itself with, drawn from a real life case just as Woods was actually essaying a fictionalised version of a real life lawyer, Tony Serra, though you doubted any cases he worked on were quite as melodramatically contrived as the one Dodd is embroiled with for entertainment purposes.

Imagine a pothead Perry Mason and you had some concept of what we were dealing with as the legal eagle is won over to Downey's Roger Baron and his point of view that Dodd should be fighting for civil and human rights as much now, in the eighties, as he did back then in the sixties. It was pretty corny, but managed to be very diverting thanks to Woods and his more than adept manner, adding a touch of cocky abrasiveness to what could have been one step up from a TV movie effort in other, less ambitious hands. The director here was Joseph Ruben, an able craftsman who had up to this point been helming cult successes at best: his work here made him briefly higher profile in such slick endeavours as the Julia Roberts vehicle Sleeping with the Enemy, but if you've heard of him, it would likely be for this and The Stepfather, maybe Dreamscape too, his cult eighties trilogy. With Kurtwood Smith fresh off Robocop as the hissable D.A. who amusingly butts heads with Woods in the courtroom, this may have been farfetched but the acting helped considerably. Very synth-y music by Brad Fiedel.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1478 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: