The Paper (1994)

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Released 2-Jan-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Production Notes
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 106:49
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Ron Howard

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Michael Keaton
Robert Duvall
Glenn Close
Marisa Tomei
Randy Quaid
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Randy Newman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Coke Cola features prominently
Action In or After Credits Yes, action during opening credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Paper is a very good solid comedy/drama. It has a very talented cast including Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Randy Quaid and Robert Duvall, who all bring home excellent performances. This is made somewhat easier for the actors by the good script and the solid direction of Ron Howard.

    I found the characters easy to empathise with, and you are drawn into the various intertwined threads that make up this story. The comedy is injected at just the right moments, giving a very well-balanced film.

    The story revolves around an independent paper in New York, staffed by a wonderful array of characters. Michael Keaton plays Henry Hackett, the Metro editor who is married to Martha Hackett (Marisa Tomei). Martha used to be a reporter on the paper and is now pregnant. Very pregnant. She is concerned about the hours that Henry is putting in at the paper, leaving her alone at home. She wonders about what her future will hold now that she has had to leave work. This particular piece of satire is interesting as it shows the prevailing attitude to women that left work to start a family in 1994 and is an interesting contrast to the recent publicity surrounding the problems with starting a family later in life. Henry is under pressure to find a 'normal job' but does not really want to leave the paper he loves. This is thrown into deep relief by the character of Bernie White (Robert Duvall) who did sacrifice his family for the paper and is now regretting it. Another wonderful character is played by Glenn Close; her character is caught up in the lifestyle of the people that they write about, but as is painfully pointed out in the film, this is impossible on the salary offered by an independent newspaper. There are more wonderful characters in the rich tapestry that makes up this film, giving a very good night's entertainment.

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Transfer Quality


     Overall this transfer is a little disappointing, particularly its lack of 16x9 enhancement.

    The transfer is presented at its correct aspect ratio of 1.85:1 but unfortunately is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The overall picture is quite soft and lacks any real fine detail. The shadow detail is good and there is no low level noise.

    The colours are not particularly bright and the skin tones are a little cool. Overall, the saturation is somewhat lacking.

    There are no MPEG artefacts present but there is a fair amount of aliasing. This can clearly be seen on the Venetian blinds at 6:36 or on the heater grilles at 32:03. Considering the age of the master, it is not in bad condition with only a sprinkling of film artefacts. The image, when examined closely, has an unusual look to it, almost as if there is some grain present but it is partially hidden by the lack of sharpness.

     The English subtitles are generally accurate and easy to read.

     This is a single layered disc.

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



    There are a number of Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks in various languages that are surround encoded. The English track is Dolby Digital 5.1 and was the one that I listened to.

    There were no problems with the dialogue quality. Everything that was said was easy to understand. The audio sync was without fault throughout the film.

    The musical backing was sparse compared to some modern films, but it worked very well, particularly one piece based around the sound of typewriters.

    Despite being a 5.1 track, the surrounds were mono and fairly soft in level. They expand the soundstage for the music and there were some surround effects, particularly in the print press room, but overall, this is a fairly front-heavy presentation.

    The subwoofer was surprisingly good. Despite not being an action adventure film, it was used to good effect in several spots.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu is presented at 1.33:1 and is static. There is no soundtrack accompaniment.

Production Notes

    Two static pages of notes about the production on a plain background with a small picture in the upper right corner.

Biographies: Cast and Filmmakers

    The usual text-based information for Keaton, Close, Tomei, Quaid, Duvall and Howard.

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 DVD misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;

    There can be no doubt that we have a Region 4 winner here due to our version being in the correct aspect ratio.


   The Paper is an enjoyable film with good depth of story and some great laughs, even if it does stretch the bounds of credibility by portraying someone writing for a tabloid paper as having a conscience... All joking aside, this is a good night's entertainment on a slightly disappointing DVD.

    The video has two strikes against it; a lack of sharpness and a lack of 16x9 enhancement.

    The audio is about right for a film this age.

    The extras are of little consequence.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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