Written by Evan Braun
I am something of a news junky. For lack of anything better to do, I’ll routinely flip my television over to CNN for countless hours of 24/7 up-to-the-minute coverage. Of all the talk shows on the airwaves today, there is no match for the great Larry King. Oprah only wishes she were this good. The ladies on The View should bow down to Mr. King, who is so good at what he does that even his most famous guests seem to open up to him in ways they would normally know better than to do in front of a camera. Whether you’re looking for something light and funny, the hardest news story, or the insights into the most intriguing public figures in the world today, this DVD set is your one-stop shop.
The set impeccably edits together hundreds, if not thousands, of interviews into bite-sized, eminently watchable, clips. Together you’re left with compelling segments that weave together the stories and experiences of Hollywood film stars, legends, politicians and presidents, newsmakers, television stars, comedians, and broadcast icons. There’s something in here for everyone.
As Larry King states himself, “I have the best job around — talking to extraordinary people about interesting subjects.” This set shows him at his very, very best … and that’s saying quite a lot.
We’re essentially talking about live television here, so it’s understandable that the video quality falls short of most feature films. Since the real attraction here are talking heads, I don’t mind so much the occasional frame jump or digital artefact. It’s easy to ignore a little grain when Larry is engaging Frank Sinatra on his start in show business or watching as Paul McCartney shares his heart about John Lennon’s sudden death.
As glowing as I’d like this review to be, I can’t ignore the low audio levels throughout the presentation. While the mix is quite good, you’ll have to bring up the volume on your television about 30% to hear everything that’s going on.
While most of the action occurs as Larry interfaces with his guests, the host has dozens and dozens of incredible stories of his off-screen hijinks with the rich and famous. A night on the town with Marlon Brando? A dinner date with Martha Stewart? Larry King richly details his most personal stories in a series of bonus segments, one for each of the three discs. In another feature, Larry showcases some of interviews with the world’s most powerful foreign leaders.
For anyone who keeps track of the news and is interested in what makes public figures tick, this DVD set is for you. Frank, funny, and fascinating — all these words describe what you’ll find stored here.