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Page One: Inside the New York Times Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1:78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish
  • Region: A (locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 88 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Magnolia Pictures
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 18th, 2011
  • List Price: $29.98

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BestBuy.com:
Page One: Inside the New York Times - Widescreen Subtitle AC3

Purchase Page One: Inside the New York Times on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Page One: Inside the New York Times is a 2011 documentary film that  follows the story of the New York Times newspaper though its most recent struggle: how to best report on the continuing fundamental restructuring of the newspaper industry. Taking place mostly up to 2010, the film follows David Carr (media columnist), Bruce Headlam (media editor) and other prominent Times reporters as they write, digest, and simultaneously lament on the irony of a highly respected journalistic entity being forced to report on its own seemingly imminent demise. The viewer becomes what is essentially a “fly on the wall” as we observe these reporters go about their daily routine; everything from mundane meetings to phone interviews to lawsuit threats over controversial stories soon-to-be published are viewed.

Inside the New York Times makes no attempt to be objective: we see everything from the point of view of the newspaper, pure and unfiltered, especially when it comes to the occasionally off color swear or salacious description. It’s safe to state that this movie’s R rating exists solely to fulfill a quota. It works to the movie’s strength however, as the pressure that these individuals feel each and every day as deadlines loom certainly takes a toll. For a film to pretend otherwise and recklessly sanitize content for the sake of a few potential objections would be disingenuous.

Highlights include: the 2010 launch of Apple’s iPad, the Times’ complete lack of coverage of the 2008 troop withdrawal from Iraq, and the many speaking and convention appearances that Brian Stelter (blogger turned Times reporter) and other company representatives appear at to discuss aspects of the industry. These stories, when combined with unique interviews throughout the film, create a documentary that is oddly compelling, especially when you step back and realize just how mundane and routine the subject is. Like the best of its kind, Page One involves the viewer and makes them care. This is accomplished to the point that the scandals involving the Times (Judith Miller and Jayson Blair) are presented as more cases of unscrupulous people trying to get ahead, rather than an indictment of the New York Times as a whole.

On a personal level, the best part of the movie is the subsequent reactions of David and Bruce to the debut of the iPad. Their stunning clarity into the benefits as well as realities of the tablet’s effect on their business is insightful stuff indeed. I try not to think of Apple in this way, but any thoughtful person should at least consider the possibility of it happening in the not too distant future. Overall, this is a solid documentary that is designed to be enjoyable to anyone; whether or not you’ll appreciate it is up to you.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Featuring a rather low budget, Page One arrives on Blu-ray with a transfer that is certainly clear it was shot using lesser quality cameras. The film is bright and colorful, as is typical of the format. Colors are mostly accurate although the image does take a somewhat unrealistic feel to it at times. Detail is mixed as well, as some closeups tend to result in accurate contrast levels while textures feel out of place. For example, some of the suits worn by staff members almost had a buzz to them. Perhaps this is a fault of the manner in which the film was shot or the BD-25, I’m not too sure.  Noise is apparent in certain moments, but nothing that’s overly annoying. In reality, this image will look fine to the non discerning viewer. Of note, the film takes up 14.89GB of the BD-25 the film is featured on.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The film features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio mix. Being a documentary, this film’s audio consists of little more than different people engaging in conversation about a variety of subjects. Different types of sound effects are few and far between, with occasional sounds of action punctuating the Times’ coverage of the Iraq War or suchlike. What audio is present is clear and full of clarity. All discussions are easily discernible regardless of whether the viewer makes use of the language subtitles.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The supplements provided compliment the film well:

  • Deleted Scenes (20 minutes) Most of these scenes are a curiosity, and were deleted from the feature mostly to streamline the running time. The film’s biggest fans will surely want to check it out too see every scene that is able to be seen from the shooting of this documentary.
  • Carl Bernstein on the Real Threat to Newspapers (3:26)
  • Emily Bell on Keeping Journalism Relevant (1:52)
  • Sarah Ellison on the Mind of Murdoch (4:06)
  • Journalists React to Page One (3:03)
  • Q&A Highlights with the Cast and Filmmakers (16:52) – Various Interviews with the above
  • Mini-feature – Tim Arango with Joao Silva in Iraq (5:03)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Page One is a solid documentary, both for  fans of the  genre or just those looking to learn more about the institution of newspapers and reporters. It’s a well made film, full of interesting dialogue, and dominated by characters with magnetic personalities.

Additional Screen Captures

 

[amazon-product]B005D0RDOS[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Page One: Inside the New York Times - Widescreen Subtitle AC3

Purchase Page One: Inside the New York Times on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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