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A view from the Blu (-ray) on DVDBeaver by Leonard Norwitz


A Little Background     Openers     


    Modus Operandi     The Scorecard:     

Emotive Connection      Audio     Operations    Extras     The Movie     Equipment





Mr Brooks - BRD

(Bruce A. Evans - 2001)








Studio: MGM (USA) / Fox Home Entertainment (USA)



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Feature film: 1080p / AVC @ 35 MBPS

120 minutes

Supplements: SD/HD



English DTS HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio

Spanish DD 5.1 Surround



English & Spanish



• Commentary by the directors, co-writer Evans and co-writer Raynold Gideon


The Birth of a Serial Killer: The Writing of Mr. Brooks

On the Set of Mr. Brooks

Murder on Their Minds: Mr. Brooks, Marshall & Mr. Smith

Deleted Scenes

Cat & Mouse Trivia Track

• Theatrical Trailer in HD


32 chapters

Standard Blu-ray case:

1 disc: 50GB dual layer

Release Date: October 23, 2007



Mr. Brooks ~ Comment

Beginning with an engaging premise, co-writers Bruce Evans and Raynold Gideon heap on, rather than weave in, plot strands from what could have been separate movies altogether.



Ordinarily I am less than fond of Kevin Costner, but here his default monotone personality is used to advantage as a prosperous, high profile businessman and family man who is also an effective serial killer.  What's interesting about our Mr. Brooks is that he sees his murderous ways as an addiction that requires the help of a 12-step program to keep in check.  Of course, he doesn't admit to his addiction, so he never gets past Step 1, a point that the filmmakers never seem to grasp.  What they do understand is that there is an attraction to his killing  that trumps all efforts to overcome it.  Brooks has frequent dialogues with his alter-ego, Marshall, which examines this question unapologetically.  It is here that the filmmakers might have invested their efforts if they knew where to take it, but, alas, they did not.  Instead they were content to enlarge the scope of the drama rather than to delve more deeply into it.




Mr. Brooks ~ The Score Card


The Movie : 5

Plot #1: After two years off the wagon, Mr. Brooks, relentlessly encouraged by Marshall (insidiously played by William Hurt) to come out and play, once again kills.  Vowing to never kill again – a promise, we imagine, like any proper addict, he has made countless times before – he is sidetracked by Plot #2: Brooks's last killing was witnessed by an amateur peeping tom (an easily rattled Dane Cook) who, instead of going to the police (the man obviously has addiction tendencies of his own), he inveigles Brooks to take him along on his next murder.  Plot #3: Another murder by the "Thumbprint Killer" – a designation which is neglected almost from the moment it is mentioned – brings our resident homicide expert, Detective Atwood, played at by Demi Moore (in half a performance, at best) who interviews possible witnesses across the way as if no one has ever thought of it before.  Her character has problems of her own in Plot #4: her estranged husband is suing for a divorce settlement that would make Liggett & Meyers squirm.  In Plot #5, Atwood's boss takes her off the case because her personal life is getting in the way.  Meanwhile, back home in Plot #6: Mrs Brooks (played by Marge Helbenberger, in what I can only assume must have been an attempt at irony, since our once CSI hasn't a clue as to what her husband is really doing in his studio or on his late nights out) welcomes home her daughter (Danielle Panabaker) who has dropped out of college in her first year (think: Turn of the Screw).


Image : 8.5 (8.5~9/9.5)

The score of 9 indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray DVDs.  The score in parentheses represents: first, a value for the image in absolute terms; and, second, how that image compares to what I believe is the current best we can expect in the theatre.


There's really nothing to complain about here.  The image is merely unremarkable, but entirely proper.  It has a fine grain that never gets in the way.














Audio & Music : 8/7

The audio mix is about at the same level of quality as the image.  There are a couple of effective startling noises, neatly arranged to make us jump.  Ambience is good, but unremarkable. Dialogue is always clear, which is especially important as all the good stuff between Costner and Hurt is nearly whispered.




Operations : 8

As is usual for Fox Blu-rays, the menu is straightforward and easy to use.


Extras : 4

The commentary by the director and co-writers discusses how they arrived at a cinematic solution to Brooks' inner dialogue but, like the movie itself, quickly devolves into not a whole lot more than self-congratulations.  The other extras are less good.




Recommendation: 4

Despite what I had heard about this movie, most of it less than favorable, I was hopeful when Costner and Hurt began their dialogues on the necessity of killing.  Except for their discussions, this movie never remotely lives up to that expectation.

Leonard Norwitz
November 3rd, 2007








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