L e n s V i e w s
A view on Blu-ray and DVD video by Leonard Norwitz
Introduction: I first noticed that some movies were actually "films" back around
1960 when I saw Seven Samurai (in the then popular truncated version),
La Strada and
The Third Man for the first time. American classics were a later and
(Alexander Payne, 1999)
Review by Leonard Norwitz
Theatrical: MTV Films & Bona Fide Productions
Disc Size: 27,667,906 kb
Feature Size: 26,979,276 kb
Average Bitrate: 36.21 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 20th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3672 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3672
kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, none
• Commentary with Director Alexander Payne
Description: A high school election goes awry when Jim McAllister, a popular teacher and student government advisor, determines to sabotage the campaign of Tracy Flick, the over-achieving student who ruined the life of his best friend, a fellow teacher, by getting him fired after they had an affair. McAllister encourages Paul Metzler, a sweet but dumb jock sidelined by a broken leg, to run for class president against Tracy. After Jim unwittingly steals his kid sister Tammy's girlfriend away from her, she also enters enters the race on the "I don't care" platform.
Election is scheduled for release on the very day our new
president takes his oath of office. In Alexander Payne's
deliciously cruel satire of high school life, Jim McAllister
(Matthew Broderick) is a teacher who meets his match in the
person of his student, Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon.)
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:8/8
Now here's a curiosity I've not seen before: The DVD indicates "5.1" both on the box and in the metadata that my player brings up. However, the Blu-ray indicates "5.0" on the box, but "5.1" as read by my PS3. Which would you believe! Election is a dialogue-driven movie so we don't really expect much in the surrounds except a little ambiance. What we really hope for – and get – in the upgrade to uncompressed audio is snappier, crisper dialogue. The music is a bit fresher and more transparent as well. I should also mention that the story is told by Broderick and Witherspoon in alternating voiceovers. In a welcome change to the rule, both speak English in character. Here's how it's done, boys and girls, and any would be actors, too.
There's very little to the unanimated menu page, though what's there is a piece of cake to navigate.
I've always been a big fan of this sharp, witty satire on dearly held middle-American values. Witherspoon and Broderick are ideally cast. The high definition image is better than acceptable, but not demonstration quality. The audio is clear, if not remarkably worthy of upgrade. If you don't already own the DVD, I'd give the Blu-ray a Thumbs Up. Otherwise, I'd rent first to sort out a purchase. One final observation about the rating, which is "R" "for strong sexuality, sex-related dialogue and language, and a scene of drug use." I don't get it. Never did. The rating seems politically and religiously motivated more than anything else. I'd give it PG-13 at most.