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  • Runaway Jury
    • Runaway Jury
    • Runtime:127 min
    • Release Date:2014-10-25 00:50:27
    • Director: Gary Fleder
    • Genres: Drama, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Runaway Jury
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

John Grisham is a pretty pungent thriller writer but in this case he
wrote a beautiful fairy tale. At least the ending is a fairy tale.

But the object is not the ending. The object is to expose the gun
business as what it is a death-monger. Second amendment or no second
amendment, that's not the real stake of the gun industry. Their stake
is to use the constitution to make as much money as possible without
considering the number of collateral or non-collateral victims the use
of the guns they sell may cause. And what's more they cannot be
attacked the way the tobacco industry was because no one can pretend
the gun industry is lying about the real effect of guns. Their real
effect is to kill other people than those who use them and there is no
lying on the merchandise either: it does just what they promise.

So they are untouchable, except through justice, and eventually a
popular jury: for once the justice of the people for the people by the
people. But it takes a lot of effort and force to manage that against
all those who believe in the sacred right for every American citizen to
shoot someone who is offending them and of course then to regret the
pain these deaths may cause to the survivors.

But here the film is not giving any kind of argument against the gun
industry. It is just showing how that industry and their lawyers manage
to make justice lean their way by harassing the members of the jury, by
buying the witnesses of the defense, by intimidating anyone who is
against them, or even by trying to buy an insider in the jury to
deliver them the proper verdict. But it may all fail if… And that's
just the rub in that situation. There is so far no "if" about it. The
gun industry will win any trial of the sort. Macdonald may lose a trial
in the accusation of making people obese, just like the tobacco
industry lost their trials one after the other, about lung cancer and
other tobacco induced cancers. But it is impossible to imagine a jury
bringing back a guilty verdict as long as the decision will have to be
unanimous. There will always be a die-hard constitutionalist who will
hang the jury to a non-decision.

But the film is well done and interesting and New Orleans is a
beautiful city, especially before hurricane Katrina. You will recognize
some squares, buildings and streets and you will even have some soft
Cajun or Creole voodoo, and of course the streetcars, named desire or
not. And that's why this film is slightly more than just one more plain
court film or trial film or whatever having to deal with the blind
lady, that is so blind that she does not see crimes and certainly not
criminals. Apparently the second amendment is an obligation for her and
it has to be the total freedom for anyone to carry guns and use them
for self defense, or at least what they call self defense, or to kill a
caribou like Ms. Palin.

Apparently she is not that keen on reading the first amendment too much
that protects the freedom of expression, speech and the press, and any
Wikileaks becomes a public enemy number 1 as soon as it touches the
family jewels of the federal crown of the United States. It is true it
is a lot easier than during the Vietnam war to get secret documents
with the Internet today. No more photocopies, man, actually no more
hard copies, man.

Try to understand what's wrong with this world. This film answers a
little bit. What is wrong with this world is that people are afraid of
the end of the world, of the snow that is falling like hell in Europe
right now, of the possible loss of what they have not earned since it
was the product of financial speculations, like the thirteenth and
fourteenth months of salary in Greece. We will lose a lot of things if
we do not work hard to produce more, because we will have to share
every single cent we make with those we have exploited for millennia
and who want to have a good share of the cake today: China, India,
Brazil, Latin America, Africa, Central America and many others.

So maybe we should start thinking that in a dangerous world the second
amendment is not the solution, but the first amendment might very well
be. And the countries that are emerging in this world today do not need
American weapons to succeed. They just need good economic management,
good economic lawyers and the steady patience of working like hell to
achieve their aim, and God knows they are close to it.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University
Paris 8 Saint Denis, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember seeing this movie in the theaters and the whole time i was
very into the movie. The acting is top notch, and everyone plays their
parts very good. Hackman is @ his best, and like in other roles IE
crimson tide, quick & the dead, for roles in which he is a real a-hole
but its all good. Weisz & Cusack are at their best and its hard to find
a role that they've played better.

Maybe the only let down in Hoffman's role which is on the smaller part.
But he still plays it very well, and the scene between himself and
Hackman in the bathroom is very well played.

I will say the whole plot for the movie caught me by surprise till the
very end.. Only because your not sure of the intent Cusacks' and
Weisz's character's have on getting the jury to vote for the plaintiff.

Also the whole behind the scene dealings of how the defendants try to
sway the jury their way honestly makes you think if it actually happens
like this, in Major court cases, like this IE tobacco or automotive
lawsuits and such.

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This novel deals with rigging a jury & the Tobacco Industry. John
Greshams novel is an excellent read. Hollywood for it's part brought a
great cast together with Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weitz &
John Cusack. The elements are here for a great film.

Then writers Brian Koppleman & David Levien have to bring their
politics into the plot & change the novel from the Tobacco Industry to
the Gun Industry to make a political statement. That wasn't necessary
as we had Dick Chaney shooting people on hunting trips, & because of
the change, the movie doesn't pack the punch of the novel. It's too bad
as this is a good effort by the cast, & these writers worked hard too.

Gary Fleder has his best Directing effort to date here. Hackman is
excellent & Rachel Weitz is fine. Dustin Hoffman is solid in a role
that is not conventional for him.

The film is exciting, though the opening sequence with all the shooting
is a but choppy but that could be because I was watching this on TNT &
they had to get another commercial in. Despite all the commercials I
got a pretty good idea how good the movie is along with being able to
keep up on the FEDEX cup race.

This movie could have been great, but it does turn out to be good. A
near miss which is better than nothing.

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