Criterion’s recent confirmation that they’ll release a Bluray/DVD of James L. Brooks‘ Broadcast News in January 2011 suddenly reminded that I haven’t felt any How Do You Know intrigue in a while. I mean, the trailer is okay (although it does make the film seem a little thin and sitcommy) and it’s coming out on 12.17 but it’s just kinda lying there. I’m not hearing a drumbeat that says “hey, we’ve got something really awards-season special here.”
Will the Broadcast News Bluray, arriving with a motive right in the midst of Oscar balloting, remind people what a masterful director-writer and emotional button-pusher Brooks still is, or what he used to be in the ’80s and early ’90s before his game went soft? Will How Do You Know earn a place alongside Broadcast News, Terms of Endearment and As Good As It Gets, or will it be another Spanglish?
An HE reader named “Webster” wrote the following this morning: “I saw How Do You Know at a screening in Orange County last week. (No end credits at the screening — still being massaged.) What I saw started a little slow, but really picks up steam midway through and ends strong. In a five-slot race, I wouldn’t give it a chance for a Best Picture nomination, but with 10 slots…who knows?
“The guy who delivers the good is Paul Rudd. This will raise his profile to the A-list. This is a guaranteed Best Supporting Actor nomination.
“ Reese Witherspoon is a little hard to warm to at first, but is fine; and Owen Wilson plays to his strengths, although I never really bought him as a $14 million-a-year pitcher — we never see him on the mound. And Jack Nicholson is Jack — with one huge laugh-out-loud Jack moment in the movie’s ‘money’ scene inside a hospital room.”
Brooks never shows Wilson throwing a few from the mound? Why?
“All in all, if I’m grading on a curve, I’d give it an A-minus. I liked it much more than As Good As It Gets, but not as much as Terms of Endearment or (my favorite Brooks film) Broadcast News.”
The Broadcast News Bluray will feature (a) a restored high-definition digital transfer, (b) audio commentary rom Brooks and editor Richard Marks, (c) deleted scenes and an alternate ending, (d) a “new documentary” on Brooks’s career, (e) a “new video interview with veteran CBS news producer Susan Zirinsky, one of the models for actress Holly Hunter’s character and an associate producer on the film, and (f) a booklet featuring an essay by Philadelphia Inquirer film critic Carrie Rickey.