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PHOTOGRAPHY

MR. BROOKS
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 120 minutes, audio commentary, deleted scenes, original theatrical trailer, featurettes

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, English 5.1 DTS, Spanish DS
Subtitles: English, Spanish

STUDIO: MGM/ Eden Rock Media/ Element Films/ Relativity Media/ Tig Productions/ 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: 10-23-2007

MR. BROOKS has many things going for it, but it suffers from too many things happening.  It is like MR. BROOKS was better suited for a television series with all the differesnt story elements thrown at the viewer.   I know the writers intend this as the first of a trilogy, but the material within this one film is enough for a full season of a TV series.
 
Kevin Costner plays against type and is Mr. Brooks, a businessman who fights against the addiction of murder.  He doesn't wnat to continue killing as the infamous serial killer known as the Thumbprint Killer.  His latest killing after two years of silence comes too close to come as Mr. Smith (Dane Cook) photogarphs teh latest killing and blackmails Mr. Brooks into killing someone else.
 
Meanwhile, a rich police detective, Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore), is on the trail of Mr. Brooks while going through a nasty divorce and seeking dady's approval and on the trail of the escaped Hangman killer (who along with his girlfriend want to kill Atwood).  Then you have Jane (Danielle Panabaker), the duaghter of Mr. Brooks, suddenly home from college.  She is pregnant witha baby she might not keep and just killed a guy.  It provides another moral crisis for Mr. Brooks.  Should he help cover it up knowing she might kill him someday or let her go to jail?  Mr. Brooks would love to spare telling his wife (Marg Helgenberger from CSI and SPECIES) that he is a serial killer and just eb a normal guy.  So you have a reluctant serial killer who enjoys the act of killing and has an imaginary id named Marshall (William Hurt) that wants Mr. Brooks to go on killing.
 
MR. BROOKS could have been so much better if writer-director Evans and co-writer Gideon have just learned to focus on a couple of plotlines inside of trying to cram so much into one film.  The perfomances from most of the actors are great while Moore and Helgenberger are just phoning in their performances.  
 
SPECIAL FEATURES:  Evans and Gideon do an audio commentary fgor the film (which I didn't have time to listen to).  The deleted scenes feature some intersting material like one scne that would have made a scene late in the film feel more grounded instead of coming out of nowhere while two scenes between Atwood and a male gigolo are just wasted space.  The original theatrical trailer is also included in addition to previews for DAY WATCH  and a couple of others
 
The featurettes briefly touch on the film while mostly providing prmotional fluff:
THE BIRTH OF A SERIAL KILLER: THE WRITING OF MR. BROOKS is about how Evans and Gideon wnat to write a moral story about a serial killer and get away from kiddie/family fare.
ON THE SET OF MR. BROOKS- promo fluff piece looking at the making of the film.
MURDER ON THEIR MINDS:  MR. BROOKS, MARSHALL, AND MR. SMITH- The actors talk about what make their respective characters tick.
 
FINAL ANALYSIS:  MR. BROOKS is an average serial killer flick suffering from too much plot and not enough focus.  If they do a sequel, they need to focus on what needs to be done to make a great film and not just a Cliff Notes version of a TV series.   Just rent the DVD.
 


this DVD review is (c)10-26-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com look for additional content at http://enterline-media.tripod.com andhttp://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com