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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Erin Brockovich (2000)

Erin Brockovich (2000)

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Released 15-Nov-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Theatrical Trailer
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-The Real Erin Brockovich
Deleted Scenes-+/- Director's commentary
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 125:54
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (80:55) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Steven Soderbergh

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Julia Roberts
Albert Finney
Aaron Eckhart
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music Thomas Newman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) is a struggling out-of-work single mom with three children. After being involved in a car accident which is not her fault, she goes to court to seek compensation from the guy who hit her, but the trial does not go well and she loses. Erin gets really peeved with her lawyer, Ed Masry (Albert Finney), eventually demanding that he give her a job.

    So, Erin starts working for Ed Masry. She doesn't exactly fit in, but she is hard-working. When she is given a house settlement case to work on, she realizes that there is more to the case, so she starts to investigate. The rest of the film is basically about gathering evidence, the relationships Erin has with the plaintiffs and what is involved in taking a giant company to trial.

    Julia Roberts is perfect for this part, and I doubt that anyone else could have played the part as convincingly. As an added bonus, the real Erin Brockovich makes a guest appearance near the start of the film as a waitress.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture is very clear and sharp at all times, with an excellent level of foreground detail. The background detail, however, gets a little disrupted by some minor grain that is present for most of the film. It never distracts you, but it does reduce the clarity of the background slightly. There is one exception to this - at 60:20 - where the grain does become rather noticeable. Thankfully, this scene is short, so it does not last for very long. No low level noise, edge bleeding or excessive edge enhancement were noted.

    The colour was always well-saturated, and never appears washed out, with skin tones looking natural and well-balanced throughout.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Only three instances of trivial aliasing and/or moiré effects were seen (at 53:47, 86:35 - 86:39 and 118:24 - 118:35). There are also two scenes that have some kind of framing error (at 73:54 and 86:00 - 86:02). Both of these created off-putting effects. The first is a vertical height problem, where Julia Robert's face appears slightly stretched for one frame and then returns to its normal shape. The second is a horizontal jitter effect, where the picture seems to move side-to-side slightly for approximately two seconds. Whether this is a film or a transfer fault is unknown, but my guess would be that it is a transfer fault. These framing problems will be much less noticeable on an typically-sized TV set.

    There were more than a few film artefacts noted, but overall they were almost always small and isolated. There is one very light and small film scratch at 25:50.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 80:55 in Chapter 20 on a scene change. There is a definite pause, but it is well-placed and does not really disrupt the flow of the movie.

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


    There are three 448kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks on this DVD; English and German soundtracks and an Isolated Musical Score. I listened to the default English soundtrack.

    The dialogue was extremely clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie and no audio sync problems were noticed with this transfer.

    Thomas Newman's score music is simple but effective.

    Really noticeable surround channel use is very limited, with most of it being for ambience and music. There is, however, very subtle surround channel activity throughout the entire film. Most of the time you are totally unaware of this, which makes the soundfield front-heavy, but this is only to be expected from this type of dialogue-driven film. The front soundstage has a couple of nice split sound effects.

    The .1 LFE channel gets a light work-out, and adds an excellent depth to the theme music. Otherwise, there isn't much for the sub to do.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There is a very good selection of extras present.


    The main menu is excellent. It is presented in 1.33:1 and features a video clip made up of highlights from the movie set to the wonderful theme music. Also present are the new Columbia Tristar DVD intro logo which appears before the main menu and the Dolby Digital City trailer which appears after you press Play. The menu selections are; Languages/Audio Set Up, Subtitles, Scene Selections (28), Extra Features and Play Movie.

U.S. Theatrical Trailer (2:24 minutes)

    This is of very good quality, and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a 448kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The sound has great bass, but the picture is a little soft.

Featurette - Making of Erin Brockovich (14:55 minutes)

    This featurette is of excellent quality, but is basically an extended promotional piece for the movie with some behind-the-scenes details. The interviews with Erin Brockovich, Steven Soderbergh, Julia Roberts, Carla Santos Shamberg and Albert Finney are presented at 1.33:1 and the film footage is presented at 1.85:1, with a 192kb/sec Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Featurette - Personal Profile "The Real Erin Brockovich" (3:58 minutes)

    This is of excellent quality, and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with a 192kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Deleted Scenes (with or without Director's commentary - 30:06 minutes)

    There are 22 deleted scenes which you can view with or without the excellent Director's commentary. The picture quality varies but most of the time it is excellent, presented in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect  ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced. The soundtracks are all 192kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0.

Isolated Musical Score

    The isolated musical score is sparse, with minutes of total silence.

Talent Profiles

    This section contains Biographies & Filmographies for Steven Soderbergh, Julia Roberts and Albert Finney.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     I don't feel either of these discs hold an edge extras-wise, so I am going to recommend the R4 title here purely because of PAL's innate superiority over NTSC.


    Erin Brockovich is a good movie, presented on a very respectable DVD.

    The picture quality is very good, with only a couple of minor flaws.

    The audio has been flawlessly transferred from the original theatrical soundtrack, so we really can't complain. It's weakness lies in its lack of surround channel use, but this should be expected from a heavily dialogue-driven film such as this.

    There is a very good selection of extras present.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Sunday, October 22, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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