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(aka "Goryachie novosti" or "Newsmakers")


directed by Anders Banke
Russia/Sweden 2009


A shootout between cops and a violent gang of robbers spills out onto the street resulting in multiple casualties including cops and innocent bystanders. When a news crew covering a minor accident involving a pop singer catch some of the action (including a crying cop), the "Breaking News" team use it as an example of police incompetence and for an editorial advocating citizens carrying small arms to defend themselves. When the robbers hold up in an apartment complex with hostages, the police PR department (lead by progressive Katya [Mariya Mashkova] who is more concerned with police image than justice) decides to broadcast the subsequent capture as a live reality show to re-instill public confidence in the police by having them storm the building with cameras attached to their helmets. The gang, however, are onto the plan and have violent countermeasures in place. Meanwhile, detective Smirnov (Andre Merzlikin), who lead the botched sting, is going after the gang on his own. Shot through with recent generic action flick style, NEWSMAKERS feels like an American remake (it is indeed a Russian remake of Johnny To's BREAKING NEWS which I haven't seen) and comes across like a bid for the Swedish director to be picked up by Hollywood to make more colorless action flicks. The cops are bland (scowling Merzlikin is one-note) and the villains suitably hateful but no more distinct. Both sides take some Peckinpah-esque bullet hits (although the innocent bystanders fall like cutout at a firing range). Mashkova's very female media manipulator is set up from the get-go as "the real villain" viewing the massacre footage impassively from her laptop in a coffee shop, using bottled water given to the troops as product placement, and strutting about in a short skirt and heels (she's so cocky, you know that the film is going to have her walk into danger at the last moment and have to be rescued by our hero; and she does). The big opening shootout which fills about 10 minutes of the opening 15 is monotonous with the usual villains blowing away cops and bystanders with ease while the cops seem completely unable to hit any of them in return (except for one towards the end of the sequence who is finished off by one of his own). As undistinguished as NEWSMAKERS is, it is unlikely that it has obviated the "need" for an American remake.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 7 May 2009 (Kazakhstan)

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DVD Review: Showbox Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Showbox Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:42:18 (4% PAL speedup)

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.97 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Showbox Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:31)

DVD Release Date: 3 May 2010

Chapters 23



Showbox Home Entertainment presents NEWSMAKERS in a dual-layer, anamorphic transfer with Russian 5.1 and 2.0 stereo audio options and English subtitles. The image is contrasty but that appears to have been intentional with aggressive color correction for that "edgy" look.

The English subtitles are full of Britishisms like "sod off" and referring to a couple of traffic cops as "plods." The film has English credits but the film's title is still in Russian without translation (even in the subtitles). There are no extras. A BluRay is also due out from Showbox on the same date.

 - Eric Cotenas


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Showbox Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL


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