Historic … sort of

Here’s a film that had me going for a large chunk of its running time, but lost me in the end. John Cusack plays a man on jury duty who has some bad intentions. Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman, former roommates during their stage acting days, show up in a film together for the first time. Hoffman plays a prosecuting attorney putting a gun manufacturer on trial, while Hackman plays a sleazy jury advisor. Hoffman and Hackman only share one scene together, but its dynamite. Cusack is his usual great self, but the script (based on the John Grisham novel) makes a leap in the final act that sabotages the movie. Still, there are some great ones in this film, and it’s worth watching for the opportunity to see them together. Just turn the movie off for the final 15 minutes.

Special Features: Now, the special features are another story. While Hoffman and Hackman only spend a few minutes on screen together in the film, the DVD contains some awesome footage of the two men rehearsing, and dissecting, their scene together. It’s fun to watch them reminisce about their acting school days, and to hear Hoffman scoff at the notion of their big, first-time screen meeting (“It’s just two old guys talking in a bathroom!”). Deleted scenes, a director’s commentary and a making-of featurette are also included.

Movie: C+

Special Features: B+

Geek Factor: 5