How's Your News?

Overview

A group of developmentally disabled reporters board an RV and embark on a cross-country trip that finds them interviewing everyone from Arkansas alligator wranglers to the colorful denizens of Venice beach in Shout! Factory's release of the endearingly unguarded and at times hilarious documentary How's Your News. Presented in 1.33:1 full-frame, the image is as solid as one could likely expect for a feature that was shot on digital-video and 16mm film, with bright, solid colors and little evidence of digital ...
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Overview

A group of developmentally disabled reporters board an RV and embark on a cross-country trip that finds them interviewing everyone from Arkansas alligator wranglers to the colorful denizens of Venice beach in Shout! Factory's release of the endearingly unguarded and at times hilarious documentary How's Your News. Presented in 1.33:1 full-frame, the image is as solid as one could likely expect for a feature that was shot on digital-video and 16mm film, with bright, solid colors and little evidence of digital artifacting. Certainly minor issues with white-balancing are evident during a few moments within the feature, but these are technical issues related to the malfunctioning of the camera used and not a problem with the DVD authoring itself. Though the Dolby Digital Stereo audio mix is likewise a bit rough at times due to technical issues, it is more than passable for a documentary of this sort and comes through with no notable distortion or hiss. (During the commentary, the filmmakers admit to their frustration at initially not being able to adjust the sound levels on the spycam.) Though longtime fans of How's Your News will certainly be happy to see the film finally get an official DVD release, they will be absolutely elated when they discover the slew of bonus materials included here. The whole cast returns for an audio commentary track that finds them fondly recalling their cross-country trek, and upon listening, it's obvious that even the less vocal members of the team truly enjoyed the experience of traveling and meeting new people. Documenting a brief road trip from Maine to New York City, the original pilot version of the series is nearly as entertaining as the feature itself, with festival and concert footage offering an entertaining look at the cast enjoying their newfound fame. A segment shot for the Independent Film Channel's Split Screen series finds Camp Jabberwocky counselor/documentary director Arthur Bradford discussing the positive effects of taking the camp philosophy to the streets and talking with the cast members about the show. A segment from the popular radio program "This American Life" explores the How's Your News phenomenon by speaking with Bradford and cast members Ron Simonsen and Sue Harrington; this makes for truly compelling listen, while interviews with executive producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone reveal how the South Park duo came to discover the project and supply the funds needed to expand it into something larger than a simple camp project. The true gem of the bunch, however, is no doubt cast member Simonsen's enthusiastic interview with Medical Center star and longtime idol Chad Everett. It's obvious throughout the main feature that Simonsen's lifelong dream is to meet the longtime actor, and when he finally does so on camera, his unguarded enthusiasm is both infectious and endearing. Though some may question the morality of popping this disc into their DVD player and getting a chuckle from the sometimes humorous antics of the How's Your News team, as the liner notes for the DVD release read, "We believe that confusion, awkward moments, and humor are important parts of living with disability." With this release, the How's Your News team has created an important film that looks beyond the disability to truly see the personality that lies beneath, and any way you look at it, that is a valuable lesson that can certainly benefit all viewers.
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Special Features

Audio commentary with the entire cast; The original pilot, rarely seen; Footage of festival appearances and Q&A's with the cast after sold-out screenings in Toronto, New York, L.A., and Amsterdam; The Independent Film Channel's vanguard show, Split Screen, goes behind the scenes at HYN?; NPR's This American Life talks to HYN? director Arthur Bradford and to reporters Ron Simonsen and Sue Harrington; HYN? reporter Ron Simonsen interviews his lifelong idol, actor Chad Everett; An interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker conducted by the HYN? reporters; Live music concert footage
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Editorial Reviews

Village Voice
An improbably enjoyable travelogue. Ed Park
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/20/2004
  • UPC: 826663477290
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: Shout Factory
  • Time: 1:22:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Technical Credits
Arthur Bradford Director, Co-producer
Trey Parker Executive Producer
John Pierson Executive Producer
Matt Stone Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Journey Begins [8:42]
2. New Haven to NYC [9:56]
3. Washington, DC to Roanoake, VI [7:21]
4. Prayers At the Lakeview Motel [7:17]
5. Thank You, Tennessee & Alligator [5:41]
6. A Successful Transaction [5:34]
7. We're Going to Texas [5:49]
8. A Mysterious Encounter [3:49]
9. How Grand Is This Canyon [2:36]
10. Unexpected Setback in Arizona [2:54]
11. Vegas! [7:26]
12. Hollywood and Venice Beach [13:53]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play All
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary
      The Pilot Episode
         Play
      Festival and Concert Footage
         Festival Footage
         Concerts
      Behind the Scenes at HYN [Split-Screen "Making-Of"]
         Play
      "This American Life" Radio Story
         Play
      Ron Meets Chad
         Play
      Interview With Matt and Trey
         Play
         ? Icon
      Photo Gallery
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