DVD Review: Mr. Brooks

Movie ••• Picture •••• Sound •••½ Extras ••½

America's fascination with serial killers continues unabated in Mr. Brooks, a silly, almost campy film with a self-seriousness that not everyone in the cast shares - particularly William Hurt, who's hilarious as star Kevin Costner's petulant inner demon.

Image quality is outstanding: A sharp, grain-free, warm-hued 1.85:1 transfer spotlights the aura of extreme privilege that surrounds this wealthy psychotic. Even his AA meetings take place in a church that's stunningly drenched with sunlight through stained glass. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is fairly subdued but detailed and atmospheric when it needs to be, sometimes creating more tension and suspense than all the movie's other elements combined.

In the truly lackluster extras, there are 6 minutes of lukewarm deleted scenes and less than 30 minutes of standard-issue documentary footage. The only pleasure is a no-nonsense commentary by writer/director Bruce Evans and co-writer/producer Raynold Gideon, in which they display nary a clue as to what makes their movie entertaining. They even admit to ensuring that the ending allowed for sequels. (Plural!)

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