Henry Hackett (Michael Keaton) is an editor at the New York Sun, a tabloid paper facing financial cuts. His pregnant wife, Martha (Marisa Tomei), pleads with him to get a more respectable job so he can spend more time with his family. Hackett is considering an offer from another paper, with fewer hours and higher pay, when he gets his hottest story in years. When this scoop leads to a burst of violence and a conflict with his new boss, Alicia (Glenn Close), he faces a startling moment of truth.
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The Paper comes to Blu-Ray with a 1080p transfer that is a bit of improvement compared to some Mill Creek releases. The transfer seems to be sourced from a reasonably solid older master provided by Universal Pictures that was used for the preexisting Universal Blu-Ray release. The master has moments that are rough around the edges with some age-related wear and tear, but on the whole the transfer looks clean and relatively detailed. There is a bit of a softness to the picture that could likely be alleviated with a fresh master. The transfer maintains its filmic roots with no major signs of DNR as you get some nice detail in the production design and clothing.
Colors are well saturated with certain hues within pieces of clothing popping against the more industrial nature of the office. Black levels could provide a bit more depth and detail in shadows, and you will find some amount of crush. As is typical of the label, the prevalent knock against this transfer is the poor handling of the encode which displays artifacts that could be alleviated with more care. This is another film that could shine with a fresh master, but for the time being it gets the job done.
Mill Creek Entertainment brings us this new Blu-Ray with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix that brings the film to life well. The environmental elements are a standout aspect of this experience as you have all manner of hustle and bustle around the newsroom. Every element is delineated favorably and given an accurate placement in the mix. The sounds of colleagues talking over one another work in tandem with electronic and mechanical noises to bring texture to the world. Dialogue holds up firmly as the focus of the film, coming though clearly without being stepped on by the music or sound effects. The music in the film comes through well with admirable fidelity. The only errant spot in this presentation is a 90-second spot around the 31:00 timestamp where the audio seems a bit muffled. There are reports this was an issue on the previous release, so this may be a deficiency with the source itself. There are optional English SDH subtitles provided.
- Between The Lines – Inside The Paper: A really great new 26-minute featurette with director Ron Howard in which he reflects on the production of this film including where he was at this point in his career, how this story strove for accuracy, the casting of the film, why Paul Newman passed on the film, his approach to capturing this footage and more.
- Shines For All – Stephen Koepp On The Paper: An eight-minute audio interview with co-writer Stephen Koepp in which he discusses his early career in journalism, the themes of the film, how they handled certain storylines, the inspiration for certain characters and more.
- Stop The Press – David Koepp On The Paper: A ten-minute audio interview with co-writer David Koepp in which he discusses why he wanted to tell this story, what he wanted to touch on thematically and more.
The Paper is a really entertaining, old school ensemble drama which makes the relatively mundane seem as high stakes as anything. There are relevant issues regarding the trustworthiness of news sources and the balance between being first and being accurate. Director Ron Howard balances all of these distinct personalities in a way that flows really well throughout with considered pacing. The ensemble itself is the highlight of the experience with no weak link in the bunch. Mill Creek Entertainment has released a Blu-Ray featuring a pretty decent A/V presentation and some great new special features. If you are a fan of this film, this release is the best you will find on the market. Recommended
The Paper is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Mill Creek Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.