Although almost no one saw it, James L. Brooks released a film in December. Its name was 'How Do You Know,' and it disappeared after just a week or two without a trace, save for the news that came out about its spiraling production costs in relation to its (currently) $30 million gross in almost as many days. Brooks, meanwhile, was largely dismissed critically, and a lot of the coverage of the film focused on how out-of-date or faded his talents have become in the last decade. (Never mind the fact that audiences prefer much more simplistic, fantasy-filled depictions of romance now than they did in his supposed "heyday.")

As such, there couldn't be a better time for Criterion Collection to release their special-edition Blu-ray of one of his biggest successes, 'Broadcast News,' almost concurrently with 'How Do You Know.' Criterion's Blu-ray not only looks terrific, restoring and enhancing its no-frills cinematography (by future 'Goodfellas' director of photography Michael Ballhaus), but including a spectacular wealth of extra material, including an alternate ending, a series of deleted scenes, and an interview with Susan Zirinsky, an associate producer who served as a model for Holly Hunter's character. But of course the question remains, is it as good now as it was then? Or was it ever good? Inspired by both my pre-existing love for that film, and my continuing appreciation for 'How Do You Know,' 'Broadcast News' is the subject of this week's "Shelf Life."
Broadcast News
Based on 16 critics

Reporter (Albert Brooks), producer (Holly Hunter) and anchorman (William Hurt) form TV triangle. Read More