As Jacked Up June continues, I thought I'd bring up a title that doesn't seem to get talked about much anymore. Although Jack is a bit more of a side character, with nominations for Best "Supporting" Actor here, it's one of his scarier portrayals of a character since playing Jack Torrence in 'The Shining'. He actually kinda steals the show when he is on screen, and that's saying a lot considering the other performances in the film.
When a Private is attacked by two other marines and eventually declared dead while in hospital, an investigation is conducted by Lt. Commander Jo Galloway (Demi Moore). She believes the attack ensued on account of the Private potentially going over the head of Base Commander, Col. Jessup (Jack Nicholson), threatening to reveal something terrible, and requesting a transfer She believes it to be a possible "Code Red"; a type of illegal hazing brought at the request of Jessup.
Galloway's superiors deny her the case, but soon recruit Naval lawyer Lt. Dan Kaffee (Tom Cruise), who would sooner plea his cases out than defend the two Marines involved. This leads Galloway to warn him that if he plea bargains, it will ultimately lead to Jessup getting away with murder. He decide against his usual approach, but he's missing one crucial piece of evidence - undeniable proof that Jessup gave the order.
This is one of those intense court room dramas, with great performances all around. It may be one of few movies where Jack can almost be matched by the comedic, but serious Tom Cruise, or the by-the-book character of Galloway, portrayed by Demi Moore. I'm not usually one for court room dramas, often finding them a little complex for my taste, but this one has great balance to it, allowing you to breath between takes of Jack, who excels here at making the audience uncomfortable - in a good way. 'Batman' fans know he makes a great villain, but this is when his portrayal of a villain is serious, and it even gets a bit scary at points.
Nominated for four Oscars that year, it unfortunately lost all; three of them to 'Unforgiven'. It suffered a similar all-out loss at the Golden Globes, with five nominations. With that, I would definitely consider this a somewhat underrated classic. It doesn't even make IMDb's Top 250. Of course, it's not without a few bumps. While I maintain that there are great performances all around, there are bits and pieces that could be considered scenes of overacting. But to me, that's about where it ends, and even that's a very minor detail.
My final opinion is simple. I think it's a solid and suspenseful story all the way though, and it really doesn't take much to get into it, especially when you see some of the somewhat surprising roles these players take on. If you haven't seen it yet, just know that it's a prime example of a classic, early 90's title, back when not everything needed effects to reel in an audience, and the art lied much more in the acting.