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ERIN BROCKOVICH: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Twice divorced mother of three, Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) is trying to find a job, while juggling the responsibilities of her children. A car accident, in which she is not at fault, leads her to Ed Masry (Albert Finney), an attorney of a small law firm, whose defence leaves her with no settlement. She bullies Masry into employing her, and then stumbles on some medical reports, filed in real estate files. On investigation, she discovers a cover-up involving contaminated water in a local community which is causing devastating and fatal illnesses among its residents. Her children, meantime, are being looked after by her lover, bikie neighbour George (Aaron Eckhart), who is becoming increasingly resentful of the time Erin is spending on her job. The cover-up and resulting court case leads to the largest settlement ever paid in a direct action lawsuit in US history and brings Erin new self-respect and upgrades her life.

"Succumb to the charms of Erin Brockovich, an inspiring true story about an individual who defies the odds, beats the establishment and redefines her life. Julia Roberts is sensational she looks fabulous and all her considerable talents (dramatic & comedic) are put to very good use.

It all began when Carla Santos Shamberg's chiropractor started talking about this 'amazing woman'. Carla was face down having an adjustment at the time. She related the story to her producer husband, Michael Shamberg - who, along with Danny DeVito, soon got involved. By the time director Steven Soderberg joined the project, Julia Roberts was already cast. 'Julia was the only one for the part,' Soderberg states, 'she and Erin have very similar energies.' He admits that films based on fact are tricky; the film needs to be tilted as much as possible to how it actually happened. In the behind-the-scenes featurette, we get a taste for the background and making of the film. Roberts talks about the character, and there's a lovely scene when the crew breaks up as Robert sneezes before delivering a single line. We hear from the real Erin Brockovich and Ed Masry, as well as Albert Finney, who recalls that in some scenes, the extras were actually plaintiffs in the case.

There's a lengthy sequence of deleted scenes that runs about 30 minutes. Some of these are good to see, especially with the optional commentary from director Soderberg. Soderberg explains that the original film which ran for three hours 15 minutes had to be cut to just over two hours, so many good scenes had to go. It's interesting to watch the scenes both with and without the commentary, although I must say I found it frustrating that the navigation doesn't allow you to go from one scene to the next. You either watch all the deleted scenes or none. There's a fun scene when Mike Malone (Schizopolis) makes a brief appearance, and there are some cute moments when office staff display their disapproval of the long legged, colourful Erin. And of course there's plenty more colourful wardrobe (short skirts and scooped necks) to ogle at.

If you're interested in music, there's an isolated music track of songs and Thomas Newman's superb score. Pop it in your DVD rom while you work! There's more about the real Erin in a special featurette called The real Erin Brockovich, as well as the trailer, talent profiles and a host of sub-title options."
Louise Keller

Readers will have a chance to WIN one of 15 Erin Brockovich DVD prize packs on November 29, 2000!

Published: November 16, 2000

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ERIN BROCKOVICH (M15+)
(US)

CAST: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart

DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh

RUNNING TIME: 126 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: November 15, 2000

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Original widescreen

30 minutes of never-before-seen deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Steven Soderbergh

Behind the scenes featurette
'The real Erin Brockovich' featurette

Isolated music track

Animated menus
Original movie trailer
Talent profiles







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