Review: True Believer (1989)
1989's True Believer has arrived on Blu-ray from Mill Creek Entertainment as part of their growing "Retro VHS" title library, which we love for combining high definition transfers with an old school aesthetic. Prior to screening this title for the purposes of this review, I had never seen the movie, which is a legal drama starring James Woods as Eddie Dodd, a down-on-his-luck civil liberties lawyer and Robert Downey Jr. as his young, idealistic protege. Someone has been murdered, and the person who has sat behind bars for the crime claims he didn't do it. When Woods begins to investigate the case, he discovers a cover-up that goes higher than he could have possibly imagined.
James Woods gives a very volatile, scene-chewing performance that often seem larger than the movie that he's in, and at times comes across as both humorless and overly-intense. He plays a pot-smoking former hippie who is jaded and bitter at the direction his career has taken. Gone are his glory days of defending innocent clients in search of justice, replaced instead by drug dealers that he knows are guilty but represents anyway to pay the bills.