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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


directed by Davis Guggenheim
USA 2006


After he failed to become President of the United States of America in the 2000 elections due to a variety of reasons, Al Gore seemed to disappear. When he began teaching classes at Columbia University, a few pictures of him surfaced, revealing that the man had become bearded and...well, corpulent. Clearly, Gore was searching for a sense of direction in his life.

He found purpose again when he renewed his efforts to educate the public about global warming. Because the issue is so politicized for the wrong reasons, Gore has had to refer to the situation as “climate crisis” in order to avoid partisan heckling. Gore travels around the world with a slideshow presentation that he created several years ago and updates constantly with new information about how global warming is accelerating destructive trends.

Several moviemakers approached Gore about turning his slideshow presentation into a documentary. The participants built a small arena with a huge backdrop screen and several plasma monitors for a series of Gore lectures to ordinary folk. These recorded lectures became the framework for An Inconvenient Truth. The movie also incorporates TV news footage, a clip from an episode of Futurama (one of Gore’s daughters was on the animated show’s writing staff), documentary footage of scientists collecting data in the field, and images taken directly from the slideshow.

While An Inconvenient Truth features biographical moments from Gore’s life that paints him as a moral crusader (at one point, he is shown unveiling a cover-up that took place at NASA), the movie isn’t really about AL GORE THE ENVIRONMENTALIST. The Al Gore in the movie could’ve been anyone who cares about humanity’s relationship to Earth, though because of who he is, Gore attracts additional attention to an issue that may determine the viability of life on our planet.

I am a bit reluctant to use the term “thriller” to describe An Inconvenient Truth since “thriller” is often used to describe exciting or fun/exhilarating movies, but in this case, I felt like I was watching a “thriller” because of the urgency of Gore’s message. Earth itself is not dying, but human activity is destroying life at alarming rates. The facts speak for themselves, but for me, one of the most heart-breaking moments was learning that polar bears are drowning because it is difficult for them to find ice on which to rest while swimming in oceans. If feeling like crying about animals makes me a “bleeding heart liberal”, then I have to wonder why not everyone is a “bleeding heart liberal”.

David McCoy


Theatrical Release: 24 January 2006 (Sundance Film Festival)

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DVD Review: Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to David McCoy for the Review!

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Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 96 mins

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.82 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 surround English
Subtitles Optional English, French, and Spanish
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• audio commentary by director Davis Guggenheim
• audio commentary by producers Laurie David, Lawrence Bender, Scott Z. Burns, and Lesley Chilcott
• An Update With Former Vice-President Al Gore
• The Making of An Inconvenient Truth
• I Need to Wake Up music video

DVD Release Date: 21 November 2006
custom paper/cardboard sleeve

Chapters 32





The movie is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen on DVD. This is a progressive-scan transfer that offers sharp, clear images despite the problems associated with using mixed media.

I don’t know why a Dolby Digital 5.1 English track was created for An Inconvenient Truth since the movie is not a fancy affair designed to delight and distract viewers. As such, the surrounds and the subwoofer have little activity save for some music cues and ambient effects. Although voices are intelligible, you have to raise the volume in order to hear the audio at a “normal” decibel rating.

You can also watch the movie with a DD 2.0 surround English track, which seems to have a higher volume setting than the DD 5.1 track does.

Optional English, French, and Spanish subtitles as well as optional English closed captions support the audio.

The main feature is accompanied by two audio commentaries. The first audio commentary is by director Davis Guggenheim flying solo, and the second is by producers Laurie David, Lawrence Bender, Scott Z. Burns, and Lesley Chilcott. Both commentaries offer a lot of background information about the project’s origins, the participants’ general admiration of Al Gore’s devotion to championing environmental causes, and the participants’ joy regarding responses to the movie.

“An Update With Former Vice-President Al Gore” is a half-hour addendum to the main feature. Gore discusses new data that has been collected since the movie’s completion, and there are some extended scenes that add to the context of Gore’s lecture.

“The Making of An Inconvenient Truth” is a brief look at the construction of the custom arena that was designed for the presentations that were used as the structural basis for the movie. Although it lasts for only around eleven minutes, this featurette is a brisk glimpse at behind-the-scenes moments that gives viewers a sufficient understanding of a key aspect of the production without getting bogged down in boring details.

Finally, you also get the “I Need to Wake Up” music video featuring Melissa Etheridge.

Instead of using plastic keepcases or DigiPaks, Paramount is using a custom paper/cardboard sleeve made from recycled materials to house the DVD.

 - David McCoy

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Region 1 - NTSC


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