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Jack Irish Set 1 Blu-ray Review

Jack Irish Set 1 Blu-ray

“Jack Irish” is beneath Guy Pearce’s acting talent.

Based on Peter Temple’s novels, “Jack Irish” is an Australian TV series about a criminal lawyer (the title character) whose life takes a dark turn after his wife is murdered by an unstable client. Instead of continuing his line of work, Jack becomes an enforcer, a gambler, and a boozer. In the two telefilms presented on this set (“Bad Debts” and “Black Tide”) we find Jack taking on two investigation cases. In “Bad Debts,” Jack investigates the death of a former client (Danny) who is allegedly killed by the police. Of course, Jack discovers that something is not right about his death and seeks to uncover the truth.  “Black Tide” finds Jack taking on a case from Des (a friend of his father). Des’s criminal son (Gary) has apparently gone missing and Jack is assigned to find out where he is (or if he is still alive). Throughout both telefilms, we also saw Jack becoming attached to a reporter named Linda which is definitely an essential subplot from a character standpoint.

 After quietly giving great performances in films (and shows) for over 2 decades now, Guy Pearce has returned to his Australian television roots. Unfortunately, “Jack Irish” is possibly one of the least interesting projects he could have chosen. The two telefilms are absolutely bland crime dramas/murder mysteries. Not only are they virtually devoid of humor (aside from a few chuckle worthy scenes like the first debt collection bit in “Bad Debts”), but there’s very little in the way of action. In fact, Pearce has very little to do overall here as he walks around and mumbles robotically for a majority of both films. He looks positively bored and who can blame him? This material isn’t remotely challenging and it’s beneath his acting abilities.

Another glaring issue with “Jack Irish” is the fact that everything feels so rushed. For instance, in the opening of “Bad Debts,” we get a very brief glimpse of Jack’s work and his relationship with his wife before she is abruptly killed. After that, the show jumps forward in time to Jack’s new “life.” It would have been nice to spend more time with Jack and his wife as well as see Jack’s character transition after the horrific event.  


Presentation: 16:9 1080i. How does it look? In comparing the DVD and Blu-ray versions, it’s clear that the Blu-ray picture quality is noticeably sharper. The exteriors look particularly stunning here.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The track is a bit soft for the majority of both telefilm’s running times, but when the episodes do become lively, the tracks do not disappoint.

The only extras are Acorn trailers, a DVD copy, and a featurette titled “Jack Irish: Behind The Scenes” which features set footage, cast and crew interviews, telefilm clips, discussions about the books and telefilms, etc.

Overall Thoughts: Not even Guy Pearce can save the dull “Jack Irish.”

October 1, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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