Paper Giants: Magazine Wars (2011)

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Released 12-Jun-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Docudrama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 179
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Daina Reid
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Rachel Griffiths
Mandy McElhinney
Rob Carlton
Angus Sampson
Case ?
RPI ? Music Stephen Rae

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     The original Paper Giants mini-series, The Birth of Cleo was a critical and ratings success, paving the way for this next instalment in the history of publishing in Australia. This show's time span runs from 1987 to 1997 and dramatises the war between New Idea and Women's Day to be the top selling magazine in Australia.

     The story opens with New Idea being the biggest magazine for women, run with an iron hand by Dulcie Boling (Rachel Griffiths) for News Limited. Her assistant editor, Nene King (Mandy McElhinney) is driven and sometimes more than a little wild. Nene wants to progress in her career and is pushing Dulcie to make her the editor of TV Week, a subsidiary magazine to New Idea. When Dulcie turns her down and appoints someone else, Nene flies into a rage and resigns, orchestrated by Dulcie. Soon, the unemployed Nene is being wooed by Kerry Packer (Rob Carlton) who has just bought a number of magazines from Fairfax including Women's Day, a rival magazine of New Idea. She is appointed as the editor of Women's Day and she sets out to destroy Dulcie and New Idea, looking for the most sensational stories to publish and willing to pay big bucks to get them. She moves to Sydney with her boyfriend/partner/later husband Patrick Bowring (Angus Sampson) who has some problems with alcohol and life motivation. The show follows the battle between the two rivals as they fight for supremacy in readership over the years, also covering personal challenges and tragedies along the way.

     This is high quality television drama based on what really happened, but not as a documentary. The acting is very high quality with Mandy McElhinney the standout as the slightly unhinged Nene King. This is an interesting story which is made more poignant by the fact that in 2013 magazines are in significant decline as a publishing medium due to the rise of digital. The story is well written and keeps the viewer engaged throughout the two movie length episodes. The two episodes combined run for just a tick under three hours and are presented here on one DVD.


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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout.

     The colour was very good without being stunning.

     There were no major artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio quality is good.

    This disc contains a English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue was generally clear and easy to hear and understand.

     The music was incidental mostly.

     The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    No Extras.


    The menu was a one page affair which just listed the episodes and allowed you to choose from them.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This series is not available in other regions.


    A high quality docudrama about the war over women's magazines in the 1980s.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras were killed by friendly fire.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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