Real political figures and fictional characters rub shoulders in this tale of a Washington-based political consulting office. James Carville and Mary Matalin play themselves (as doHoward Dean and others). The consulting firm runs into a crisis when some Saudi clients turnout to (perhaps) have terrorist links.
The concept is pretty much the last word in torn-from-the-headlines fiction. This is a seriesthat is almost concurrent with the headlines. The illusion of real…ty is almost complete, thanks toSoderbergh’s fly-on-the-wall hand-held camera approach. The series does, however, assume alarge degree of political knowledge on the part of viewers, which can mean a very confusingexperience for the uninitiated.
The track is 2.0 surround, but is effectively mono. Surround effects are slim to none. Thedialogue is clear, however, and that’s what counts here. There is no music, which would disruptthe pseudo-documentary feel of the show.
The cinema vérité approach holds here as well, particularly when it comes to the colours,which have some of the bleached, blue look Soderbergh used in the Washington scenes ofTraffic. The shot-on-video, grainy look is thus deliberate. Where the transfer isdisappointing is at the level of aspect ratio. Though the case claims a fullscreen aspect, it is infact widescreen (1.78:1, at a guess). It is, unfortunately, not anamorphic, which leads todefinition loss when expanded.
Nothing beyond a trailer for Iron Jawed Angels. Some kind of explanatory materialwould have been very helpful. The menu is basic.
One of those features that comes along every once in a while that really uses the televisionmedium to its full potential. Bare-bones disc, but very sharp work creatively.
Special Features List