Mighty Chroma Logo
Mighty Chroma Logo

I, the Jury

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 1 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Thrilled with the 3D Blu-ray release, favoring its quality & extras over 2D 4K. Solid technical merits. Recommended.

    I, the Jury 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The 1080 (2D/3D) and 2160 versions of 'I, the Jury' show superb quality but the 4K lacks HDR, offering minimal detail improvement and exposes minor flaws.

  • Audio
  • 'I, the Jury' boasts a vibrant DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track, originally in three-track stereo, with energetic but sometimes sharp high notes, especially Waxman's score. Dialogue and sound effects are clear, with optional English subtitles.

  • Extra
  • 4K and 1080 discs feature insightful commentaries by Max Allan Collins and archival materials. Includes a look into 3D technology, unreleased TV pilots, and episodes, highlighting the depth of classic film and TV craftsmanship.

  • Movie
  • Viewing 'I, the Jury' blends nostalgia with 3D tech appreciation, celebrating cinema history despite its flaws and budget limits.

    Video: 64

    I, the Jury" graces the 4K UHD format in a package that includes both 1080p (in both 3D and 2D) and 2160p versions, framed in the original 1.37:1 aspect ratio. This release, recognized for its collaborative restoration efforts involving entities such as the UCLA Film & Television Archive and PKL Pictures Ltd., alongside a tribute to Biff Elliot's widow Connie, aims to present a restored vision that honors the film's vintage charm. While the dual 1080p presentations shine—particularly the 3D version, showcasing an almost flawless rendition with excellent depth of field and immersive 3D effects—the leap to 4K UHD reveals a mixed bag of outcomes. Despite originating from a 4K master, the absence of HDR support leaves a noticeable void in what could have been an enhanced visual experience. The uptick in resolution, rather than unveiling finer details, tends to highlight minor imperfections in the film stock, such as nicks and speckles, inadvertently showcasing the limitations of its source material.

    The video quality across the three formats showcases varying degrees of clarity and texture fidelity. The 1080p versions, especially in 3D, boast commendable contrast and depth, aided by cinematographer John Alton and director Harry Essex's creative framing techniques that naturally amplify the perception of depth. However, transitioning to the 2160p version does not substantially elevate the viewing experience in terms of detail enhancement. This is particularly evident in scenes plagued by occasional softness or loss of focus, which become more pronounced at higher resolutions. Moreover, the use of optical effects such as dissolves appear to contribute to transient dips in image clarity across all versions. While contrast levels remain high in the 1080p presentations, they do not see a significant improvement in the transition to 4K UHD, likely impacted by the lack of High Dynamic Range (HDR) implementation. This release, despite its ambitious endeavor to cater to both traditional and modern viewing preferences, illustrates the challenges inherent in preserving and enhancing older films for contemporary formats.

    Audio: 74

    The audio presentation of "I, the Jury" on 4K UHD Blu Ray is anchored by a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track. This choice is noteworthy considering the film's original release in three-track stereo, suggesting a deliberate move towards preserving the cinematic integrity of its era, while simultaneously optimizing it for modern home theaters. The track exudes a vibrant energy that breathes life into the noir atmosphere of the film. However, it's not without its flaws; there's a noticeable harshness in the upper registers that becomes evident during Franz Waxman's dynamic score. Waxman's use of a nearly screeching clarinet to underscore the introduction of the victim's drug-addled girlfriend is a case in point - striking, yet at times jarringly strident.

    Dialogue clarity is commendable throughout, including the iconic first-person narration by Hammer, which is a vital element of the film's storytelling. Sound effects, from ambient noises to the visceral impact of fists on flesh, are crisply rendered, creating an immersive experience that complements the visual restoration of the 4K release. This crispness in sound effects adds a layer of realism that is essential for the film noir genre, drawing viewers deeper into its gritty world.

    Optional English subtitles are provided, enhancing accessibility and ensuring that none of the film's snappy dialogue or nuanced audio cues are lost on the audience. This addition is particularly valuable in scenes where the mono track's limitations might otherwise obscure some details. Overall, while the audio presentation shows a few signs of its age and original production constraints, it remains a robust and engaging component of "I, the Jury's" 4K UHD Blu Ray release, offering audiences an authentic yet polished auditory experience that complements its visual counterpart effectively.

    Extra: 74

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray edition of "I, the Jury" stands out for its comprehensive selection of extras, catering to both fans and film historians alike. Key highlights include dual commentary tracks by Max Allan Collins on both the 4K and 1080p discs, providing in-depth perspectives across formats. Additionally, an archival commentary with Biff Elliot offers a nostalgic glimpse into the film's legacy. The 1080p disc is enriched with a brief but insightful archival interview with Biff Elliot, shedding light on his experiences. "Deep in the Shadows - The 3D World of I, the Jury" is a standout feature, presenting a fascinating look at the film's 3D technology. The inclusion of television episodes, including an unaired "Mike Hammer" TV show pilot and episodes from the "O. Henry Playhouse," alongside a "Public Defender" episode featuring Biff Elliot, adds unique value. Trailers, including those for "Michael Shayne Mysteries" and an "O. Henry Playhouse" clip, round off this robust package, making it an essential acquisition for collectors.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Commentary by Max Allan Collins: Dual commentary tracks on both 4K and 1080p discs.
    • Archival Commentary with Biff Elliot: A look back with the star of the film.
    • Archival Interview with Biff Elliot: A brief discussion about his role and the making of the film.
    • Deep in the Shadows - The 3D World of I, the Jury: Exploration of the film's 3D technology.
    • Unaired Mike Hammer TV Show Pilot: Featuring Brian Keith with intros by Max Allan Collins.
    • O. Henry Playhouse TV Episode (Between Rounds): Starring Preston Foster.
    • O. Henry Playhouse TV Episode (After Twenty Years): Starring Peggie Castle.
    • Public Defender TV Episode: Featuring Biff Elliot.
    • Trailers: Includes "Michael Shayne Mysteries" and an "O. Henry Playhouse Clip," among others.

    Movie: 64

    I, the Jury" presents itself as a cinematic voyage into the film noir realm of the early 1950s, capturing attention with its 3D imagery and offering a nostalgic yet technologically updated viewing experience through its recent 4K UHD Blu-ray release. The film, starring Biff Elliot as the iconic Mike Hammer, combines a hard-boiled detective narrative with the peculiar charm of its era, including an engaging, albeit slightly stiff, ensemble cast and a storyline rife with intrigue and shadowy suspects. Despite limitations stemming from a modest budget—most notably the inability to use actual New York City locations, leading instead to the employment of quasi-Christmas card-style interstitial illustrations—the film manages skillfully to immerse viewers in its distinctively styled atmosphere, thanks to the adept cinematography of John Alton.

    The movie's dive into the darker corners of human nature, complete with a varied cast of characters from drug addicts to therapists, reflects a seminal work of film noir. It intriguingly intertwines themes of friendship, betrayal, and the pursuit of truth, all while maintaining a gripping pace. Notably, it taps into the zeitgeist of the 1950s' 3D craze without feeling outdated, largely due to a meticulous 4K scan by StudioCanal which revitalizes its visual appeal for contemporary audiences. This effort at preservation and modern presentation underscores the importance of historical films remaining accessible in an age where digital restoration offers both challenges and opportunities.

    However, it’s worth noting that while Biff Elliot’s portrayal of Mike Hammer is serviceable, it lacks the raw intensity that the character demands, an issue somewhat mitigated by the film's clever dialogues and provocative vignettes. Additionally, the inclusion of an array of eccentric suspects and a focus on less openly discussed social themes of the time adds layers to its narrative. Despite these nuances, "I, the Jury" stands as a testament to the genre's enduring allure, its ability to captivate through shadowy exploits and moral ambiguities, all while being enhanced by modern technological advancements that make classics like these shine anew.

    Total: 64

    The release of "I, the Jury" on 4K UHD Blu-ray presents a showcase that underlines the persistence and love for physical media in an era increasingly dominated by streaming. This edition, in particular, stands out for delivering not just a visually upgraded 4K experience but also for catering to the enthusiasts of 3D technology, a format that remains dear to many. It's an acknowledgement to those who have invested in the high-end equipment necessary to enjoy such formats to their fullest potential. The inclusion of both 2D 4K UHD and 3D 1080 versions caters to a broader audience, offering them the choice to experience the film's visual splendor in their preferred format.

    On a technical level, this release shows a keen attention to detail, ensuring that both versions present the film with the utmost clarity and richness. The 2D 4K UHD version pushes the boundaries of visual detail and color depth, offering an immersive viewing experience that is markedly superior to standard definitions. However, it's the 3D 1080 version that might surprise many. Despite the lower resolution, its depth and immersion offer a unique viewing experience that some may indeed prefer over its 4K counterpart. This balance between cutting-edge sharpness and immersive depth adds a versatile flavor to the overall package, supplemented by appealing additional content that enhances the viewing experience.

    In conclusion, "I, the Jury" on 4K UHD Blu-ray is a commendable release that respects the diverse preferences of its audience by including both 2D 4K and 3D 1080 versions. It excels not only in providing exceptional visual quality across both formats but also enriches the viewing experience with valuable supplementary materials. This release is recommended for those passionate about film and technology, as it bridges the gap between past and present viewing technologies, making it a noteworthy addition to any collection.