Erin Brockovich

WSR Score4.5
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Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (HD-30)
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Steven Soderbergh
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Reminiscent of Silkwood, Erin Brockovich tells the true story of an unlikely crusader in the battle against corporate greed and the misuse of public trust. Out-of-work divorced mom Erin (Roberts) finagles a clerk's position in a small law firm after they lost her winnable auto collision claim. While dealing with the office gossips who disapprove of her short skirts and casual manner, she discovers evidence in a file for a real estate case that she suspects indicates improprieties on the part of the PG&E utilities company in regard to their handling of the deadly illnesses that have been developing among the residents of a small California town. Erin sets out to prove the accountability of the multi-billion-dollar company that knowingly allowed deadly chemicals to seep into the town's water. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include deleted scenes with optional commentary by Director Steven Soderbergh (SD 30:07), the featurettes Erin Brockovich: A Look At A Real Life Experience (SD 03:58) and Spotlight On Location: The Making Of Erin Brockovich (SD 15:12), the theatrical trailer, 100 Years Of Universal: Academy Award® Winners (HD 09:35), 100 Years Of Universal: The Lot (HD 09:25), BD-Live, up-front ads, and the DVD.

First reviewed in Issue 41 as an anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD, the picture exhibited a picture that could be exquisitely sharp. This new Blu-ray Disc™ release features a new transfer encoded in 1.85:1 1080p VC-1 and approved by Director Steven Soderbergh. Cinematographer Ed Lachman photographed the film with the intent of portraying the "true story" character. Much of the picture is stylized with warm, golden overtones, but colors are otherwise nicely balanced. Fleshtones are perfectly natural and healthy. Contrast and shadow delineation are nicely rendered. Resolution is excellent, with fine details exhibited, especially in close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. The imagery is impressively pristine and combined with the stylized picture will absolutely please. (Gary Reber)

The repurposed DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue-driven and features fine fidelity. The soundstage is generally balanced toward the screen, with very subtle surround activity that is dominated by music ambiance. Dialogue is presented at a comfortable listening level, and voices sound generally natural, though, spatial integration is sometimes compromised through overemphasis in the mid-bass. The low end is significantly limited, with very little .1 LFE, though, it is technically active in the soundtrack. The nicely recorded music projects a wide stereophonic image across the screen. This soundtrack is clearly of a quiescent nature and is oriented around the dialogue. (Gary Reber)