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Morning Glory - Blu-ray Movie Review

 

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Morning Glory Movie Review

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4 stars

There’s no hiding the fact that Morning Glory holds its fair share of debt to the scripted highs of James Brooks’ Broadcast News from 1987. In fact, one can suggest that the characters that make up the journalistically-minded ensemble are entirely too similar to claim as wholly original material.  For example, Rachel McAdams is pretty much cast as Holly Hunter. Yet, the direction provided by Roger Michell certainly brings forth an effervescent energy that compensates for its formulaic shortcomings as just another thinly-veiled remake of far-better material. Certainly, Morning Glory doesn’t have the edginess that made Broadcast News so darkly memorable, but, its skin doesn’t become too death-like pale when the two narratives are placed side-by-side on the autopsy table of film criticism.

In a screenplay written by Aline Brosh McKenna (who also penned The Devil Wears Prada), one wouldn’t be surprised to find an absolutely adorable female workaholic “boxing” her way through its pages. This time, though, the role is played by Rachel McAdams who – let’s face it – doesn’t have to work too hard to earn that esteemed “cute” factor.  She can basically smile and achieve it. But her driven character, Becky Fuller, finds herself ass-deep in a mess of egos when she takes on a job at a low-rated morning show.  Full of general disinterest, its cast and behind-the-scenes crew could generally care less about the perky and general niceties of their new “manager”, that is until she flexes her muscles; she has to make this job work.  She cannot fail again.

Forced to find a replacement for a co-anchor, Fuller sets her sights on the distinguishably stern brow of former news anchor Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), who once – ever so long ago - got drop-kicked from his hard-drinking network duties.  Little does she know that her job, by hiring Pomeroy as co-anchor, just became a lot more difficult than it already was.  He’s an ornery cuss and, combined and compounded with the diva-like needs of co-anchor Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), an overbearing network CEO ( Jeff Goldblum), and her newfound interest in co-worker Adam Bennett (Patrick Wilson), the morning news just got a hell of a lot more interesting…behind-the-scenes.

The folks at ‘Daybreak’ don’t really like each other – or so it seems – but chances are strong that the average filmgoer will like them – if solely for their antics and Fuller’s charismatic energy. It could be argued that the film is driven by personality and not by its overall message and I would agree with that statement.  Pomeroy, Peck, and Fuller are constantly at each other’s throats. They argue; they compete; they also make the picture - which is begrudgingly composed of two too many weepy musical montages - something better than it could have been with lesser actors in their roles.  It is their chemistry - specifically those of McAdams and Ford – working together that sells this picture and gives it its forward momentum. It’s a genuine tug-of-war between these two opposites; childlike and hysterical in the depths they’ll go at besting the other or snagging the last remaining doughnut.  Let’s face it, outside of Indiana Jones, Han Solo, and Jack Ryan, this might be the best latter-day Ford audiences get to see and, based on his performance, I think Ford knows it.  He certainly appears to be enjoying the gruff to this role.

There’s a malfunction in the operating gears that describe Morning Glory as a simple romantic comedy, though.  It isn’t.  It doesn’t sell-out Fuller’s dreams in the news business; it doesn’t even placate to the throngs of couples who will flock to see it in its opening weekend with its ending. Morning Glory exists to serve only one person’s needs: its main character.  Huzzah!  Imagine that, folks, a rom com with a true-to-life ending.  There’s a natural rhythm to the unfolding of the narrative which the director listens to. Good thing, too, because Morning Glory could have easily been a cheesy nightmare, comparable only to the ill-fitting 27 Dresses (which, ironically enough, was also penned by McKenna) or some other Heigl-helmed vehicle.

Morning Glory might not be Oscar-winning material. It might not be memorable enough to survive the winter season. It might not even be super original either, but, full of some great performances including a witty lead actress, Morning Glory isn’t going to entirely wilt away before you’ve enjoyed its faint fragrance.

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Morning Glory Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, language and brief drug references.
Director: Roger Mitchell
Writer
: Aline Brosh McKenna
Cast: Harrison Ford; Rachel McAdams; Jeff Goldblum
Genre: Comedy
Tagline: What's the story?
Memorable Movie Quote: "You happen to be a pretentious, fatuous idiot"
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: November 10, 2010
Blu-ray Release Date:
March 8, 2011.

Synopsis: When hard–working TV producer Becky Fuller (McAdams) is fired from a local news program, her career begins to look as bleak as her hapless love life. Stumbling into a job at "Daybreak" (the last–place national morning news show), Becky decides to revitalize the show by bringing on legendary TV anchor Mike Pomeroy (Ford). Unfortunately, Pomeroy refuses to cover morning show staples like celebrity gossip, weather, fashion and crafts – let alone work with his new co–host, Colleen Peck (Keaton), a former beauty queen and longtime morning show personality who is more than happy covering morning "news." As Mike and Colleen clash, first behind the scenes and then on the air, Becky's blossoming love affair with fellow producer, Adam Bennett (Wilson) begins to unravel – and soon Becky is struggling to save her relationship, her reputation, her job and ultimately, the show itself.

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Morning Glory Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

3 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
3.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 8, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)

As bright and flawless in execution as the film itself – this is reference quality product. Audio, while not a summer blockbuster fiesta, is up to the challenge of any scene: dialogue is crisp, and everything from the ambience of a busy set to a gentle breeze in a park is realistic and well represented. Special features aren’t so special. You get a commentary and one solitary deleted scene. Shame the Blu-ray wasn’t as well thought out as the movie.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length audio commentary track with Director Roger Michell and Writer Aline Brosh McKenna.

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes - Shampoo Bottles: 1080p, 0:46

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