DVD REVIEW: 'State of Play'

DVDs and MoviesState of Play (movie)TelevisionEntertainmentLife on Mars (tv program)BBCPaul Abbott

The British thriller "State of Play" debuted in the United States in 2004, and it's been a long four years waiting for the miniseries, which aired on BBC America, to appear on DVD in this country. That wait is finally over.

"State of Play" centers on reporter Cal McCaffrey (John Simm, "Life on Mars"), whose investigation of a pair of seemingly unrelated murders leads him to a golden-boy member of Parliament (David Morrissey, "Viva Blackpool") -- who also happens to be a friend and former colleague. (A feature-film adaptation starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck is in the works for 2009.) Though the story takes a number of twists and turns, writer Paul Abbott ("Touching Evil") and director David Yates ("Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix") keep things tightly focused and rooted firmly in reality. The miniseries also showcases a ridiculously deep cast that also includes Polly Walker ("Rome"), Kelly Macdonald ("No Country for Old Men"), James McAvoy ("Atonement"), Philip Glenister ("Life on Mars") and Bill Nighy ("Pirates of the Caribbean," "Love Actually").

DVD Bonus Features

The Good: Just having "State of Play" on DVD is reason to applaud. Delving into the extras, though, brings forth a fairly interesting commentary track with Yates and Abbott on the first episode. They discuss the influence that "All the President's Men" had on the show's newsroom scenes and how Yates adopted different shooting styles to fit the mood of particular scenes.

The Bad: That commentary, and a less insightful one on the final episode with Yates, producer Hilary Bevan Jones and editor Mark Day, is all there is in the way of extras.

The Price: $34.98

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