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Blu-ray Review: The Good Doctor

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Earlier this week, we got a look at “VHS”, and contained on that impressive slice of Blu-ray gold was a trailer for “The Good Doctor”. You can just about guess what we got this week: that’s right, our friends at Magnolia sent out a copy of “The Good Doctor” to review, and this one has some very big things going for it. This one hits stores December 18, so you’re getting this very up to the minute.

“The Good Doctor” follows Martin Blake, a young doctor with a lot to prove. He’s out to impress colleagues and superiors alike with his skill and medical acumen, not to mention his patients. When one patient in particular, 18 year old Diane, comes into his hospital with a kidney infection, Dr. Blake wants to impress her as well. Suddenly, he wants to impress her most of all, thanks to the incredible shot of validation that he got from her, as well as her grateful parents. But Dr. Blake soon forgets the basis of his practice, the Hippocratic Oath, by sabotaging Diane’s recovery so that he can treat her again. And again. Soon, Dr. Blake is taking steadily more drastic measures, and is in danger of being found out. Can Dr. Blake hold it all together, or will his commitment to “first do no harm” fall to his craving for validation?

While this isn’t exactly a horror movie as some might think–it’s really more of a suspense-thriller with a good dollop of medical drama thrown in for variety–what’s really impressive about this one is that Dr. Martin Blake comes our way from none other than Orlando Bloom. Additionally, Rob Morrow shows up in this one, which is a shot of irony as Morrow played a doctor on television for five years as Dr. Joel Fleischman in the popular CBS series “Northern Exposure”. Both do surprisingly well here, in fact, there isn’t much to complain about cast-wise.

Granted, the plot isn’t exactly original. They were making fun of this on Comedy Central’s animated series “Drawn Together”–specifically the episode “Unrestrainable Trainable” for anyone interested–so you know it’s not exactly fresh material. In fact, it’s probably a pretty bad sign when a cartoon so completely dedicated to shock humor is running away with parts of the plot. That doesn’t mean that “The Good Doctor” is a bad movie–far from it!–it’s just not particularly original. In fact, it will pick up very nicely the closer it gets to the end, though the actual ending itself will likely prove less than satisfying.

Special features are fairly abundant with “The Good Doctor”, with your choice of English or Spanish subtitles, a making-of featurette, an AXS TV featurette on “The Good Doctor”, trailers for “The Good Doctor”, “VHS”, “Compliance”, “Nature Calls”, and “Nobody Walks”. Plus, there are a set of BD-Live features for those users with Internet-capable Blu-ray players.

“The Good Doctor” may not be the most original thing to roll out–especially unnerving for Magnolia, who commonly puts out some top-shelf indie fare–but it’s still going to be reasonably sound and quite worth watching.

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