Benefit of the Doubt (Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt) (Blu-ray) (2012)
|Year Of Production||2012|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Robert Harmon|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
When the new Police Chief of the town of Paradise, Massachusetts, is assassinated by a car bomb and $100,000 in cash and a large quantity of drugs found in the boot of his car, it is generally assumed that he was a dirty cop. The previous Police Chief Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck) still has his demons. He is drinking heavily, is still in love with his ex-wife and still seeing a psychiatrist but when the investigation into the murder of the new Chief is led by Jesse’s old friend Boston Police Captain Healey (Stephen McHattie), Carter Hanson (Jeremy Akerman), the head of the Paradise Town Council and the deceased Police Chief’s father-in-law, asks Jesse to investigate. Jesse agrees on condition that he is reappointed Police Chief. Jesse believes that, although he did not like the previous Police Chief, a cop deserves the benefit of the doubt.
He has to undertake the investigation, however, without his two old police friends Rose (Kathy Baker) and Luther (Kohl Sudduth) who have both left the force. On the positive side, his relationship with Thelma (Gloria Reuben), secretary at a used car saleyard and part time lounge singer, is going strong. And as Jesse investigates, the clues seem to be steering him towards one of Paradise’s prominent businessman.
Benefit of the Doubt (also known as Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt) is a TV movie based on the characters created by best-selling author Robert B Parker; he wrote twelve books in which Jesse Stone features and there have been nine TV movies made with Tom Selleck in the role, the first Stone Cold in 2005. Benefit of the Doubt is the eighth TV movie in the set, and the second in this Jesse Stone: Triple Film Collection One box set, but it is a more straightforward film than Innocents Lost, the first in the box set, and so is easier to get into for people new to the character and the series.
Like all the better crime and police shows, Benefit of the Doubt is as much about the characters and their relationships as the crimes. Thus in the course of the investigation Jesse has scenes with continuing characters including his psychiatrist Dr Dix (William Devane), used car salesman “Hasty” Hathaway (Saul Rubinek), boxing promoter and underworld figure Gino Fish (William Sadler) and Fish’s PA Amanda (Christine Tizzard) while there is poignancy in his more personal relationships, such as that with Rose who has been divorced and moved away, while the developing relationship with Thelma is nicely played. The film also has a wry sense of humour, such as when Jesse has to break into his own Police Station as the access codes had been changed.
Benefit of the Doubt is excellent television. Tom Selleck, in the role of a grizzled and gruff older man of many issues but few words, is excellent bringing strength and vulnerability in equal measure. He effortlessly carries the programme. The film looks good, with nice seaside locations while Jeff Beal’s score continues to be impressive and atmospheric.
Benefit of the Doubt is in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, MPEG 4 AVC encoded.
This is a good looking print. Widescreen shots of Paradise Bay and the waterfront are strong as are close ups of Selleck’s grizzled face. Colours are natural. Blacks are solid and shadow detail good, skin tones natural, brightness and contrast consistent. Marks and artefacts were absent.
No subtitles are provided.
The audio is lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640 Kbps.
This is not an action film so the audio is fine. Dialogue is easy to understand and ambient effects, including thunder and rain, occurred in the rears. Effects, such as the explosion, flames and gunshots, are clear and loud. The subwoofer mostly supported the thunder, rain and music.
The wonderful score by Jeff Beal is atmospheric and adds to the enjoyment of the film.
Lip synchronisation was fine.
|Surround Channel Use|
No extras. The silent menu has “Play Film” as the only option.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This release of Benefit of the Doubt is part of the 3 disc Jesse Stone: Triple Film Collection One (see details in the summary section below). Benefit of the Doubt has been released as a stand-alone DVD previously in various regions as well as being included in various Jesse Stone Collections. This Australian release is, however, the only Blu-ray listed on Amazon.com.
Benefit of the Doubt is excellent television. Tom Selleck is worth watching, the series looks good, with nice the seaside locations and Jeff Beal’s score continues to be impressive. Fans will not be disappointed.
The video and audio are good, no extras.
Benefit of the Doubt is included in the three disc Jesse Stone: Triple Film Collection One from ViaVision together with Innocents Lost (2011) and Lost in Paradise (2015). Although this is called “Film Collection One”, the three TV movies included are in fact the last three films in the series.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|