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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Broadcast News
Broadcast News
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 4, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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James L. Brooks's 1987 drama does a fine job at accurately portraying the sort of hustle and bustle of a TV newsroom, and the lives of the reporters involved outside the workplace. Holly Hunter stars as a producer for a Washington TV news network.

The real star though, as far am I'm concerned, is Albert Brooks, who plays a reporter at the network. His performance is top-notch, with quite a few very memorable lines. What this film is at the base of it is a romantic comedy and when the film has to be fast and sharp and funny, having characters run around in a frenzy, it's Brooks who fares best. He seems the most natural at comedy, while the others seem slightly cartoonish. But that's the best thing about the casting of this film. William Hurt may not play comedy terribly well, but he's a solid dramatic actor. Hunter provides a smart, strong leading woman.
The romantic elements work because these are fully realized characters that we can care about. Even though the characters do become a bit whiny at times, I think that the writing carries the film through. "Broadcast News" is a honest portrait of these people and the writing is top notch, providing the viewer with a film full of wonderful performances.

The DVD VIDEO: This is a fair non-anamorphic transfer that's certainly watchable, but it certainly isn't great. Images are consistently clear but not terribly sharp. Colors are respectable, but not vibrant. There are some instances of shimmering (enough to begin to annoy me while watching the movie), and a scratch or two on the print used. The image seems to be occasionally slightly grainy in spots, as well.

Still, for a movie that's 12 years old now, this does look alright. Still, one would expect better treatment for not only a film that is part of Fox's Millenium Collection( and by the way, they'd better do a nice job with "The Abyss", if they ever put it out! ) but won many awards. Looking at two other discs that Fox has released to this collection during this week, Big and Mrs. Doubtfire, they exhibit similar, average video quality, but "Big" is the only one that I thought looked slightly above average. Apparently, this is the first time that "Broadcast News" has been available on home video in a widescreen edition. The film is letterboxed at 1.85:1.

SOUND: This is a very basic soundtrack, almost completely dialogue-driven. The dialogue sounds alright, a little thin at times and fine at others. Gets the job done fairly well, but not very impressive.

MENUS: Very basic main menus based around the cover art.

EXTRAS: The trailer.

Final Thoughts: Not a very great DVD from Fox, who could have done more for a film that did this well.

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