John Q. DVD: Review By bcloutier

  • Feature
  • Extras
To what length would you go in order to save the life of someone you loved. In the face of frustration after frustration what would you be willing to give up? For John Q. Archibald (Denzel Washinton) the answer was simple, there is no length he wouldn’t go to or thing he wouldn’t give up to save his son’s life. His son, Michael, suddenly falls ill and the doctors tell them that he must have an operation in order to live. It’s not as simple as saying “go ahead” though, the Archibald's are poor, and their insurence won’t help. The system is keeping them from getting help at every turn. The only option is to go around the system no matter what the cost. This is an absolutely riveting movie that really shakes you to the core and make you think. What if that was me? What would I do?

The acting here is superb. Denzel Washington was good in Training Day but this is the film he should have won the Academy award for. His turn in John Q is one of his finest roles to date in an already stellar career. Director, Nick Cassavetes, has surrounded Washington with an incredibly talented cast.

Robert Duval, Ray Liota, James Woods, and even Ann Heche thrown in for good measure. Hands down one of the best ensembles of the year last year.

Technically the DVD is fantastic. This is the first release for the film on disk but the producers were smart enough to go ahead and release it as a special edition under the Infinifilm label. I’ve said it before folks and it rings true still, unless it’s a special case each film should get one all out release and be done with it! Visually the film has been transferred in anamorphic wide screen. And the picture is crisp and clean. Sound wise you are given all the standard Dolby choices.
Honestly, as far as special features go they could have released this disk with just the movie and I would have been happy. But the didn’t and that makes me even happier.


Director Nick Cassavetes provides an excellent feature length running commentary on one of the alternate audio channels. Very informative, very entertaining, and even a bit surprising that this was included on a first release DVD. Bravo Mr. Cassavetes!

Special Doc*mentaries

There are a couple of great featurette type doc*mentaries included on the disc. The first is all about the healthcare system in America and how the HMOs and corporations from the medical industry are screwing over the little man. The other is a making of featurette that is fairly standard but quite interesting.

There are various other features such as trailers and such, but the above are the real meat and potatoes of what makes this DVD great.
If you have a family watch this movie, if you are thinking about having a family watch this movie, If you are breathing watch this movie. I guarantee you will walk away think to yourself, “what if that was me? What would I do?” Any movie that makes you think is worth watching and even adding to your collection!

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