The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Paramount - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
Directed by: Davis Guggenheim
Music by: Christophe Beck
Written by: Davis Guggenheim & Billy Kimball
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 15, 2011
"The future is in our classrooms"
From the Academy Award-winning Director of An Inconvenient Truth comes the groundbreaking feature film that provides an engaging and inspiring look at public education in the United States. Waiting for Superman has helped launch a movement to achieve a real and lasting change through the compelling stories of five unforgettable students such as Emily, a Silicon Valley eighth-grader who is afraid of being labeled as unfit for college and Francisco, a Bronx first-grader whose mom will do anything to give him a shot at a better life. Waiting for Superman will leave a lasting and powerful impression that you will want to share with your friends and family.
Waiting for Superman analyzes the failures of American public education by following several students through the educational system. It features interviews from education professionals who expound upon the statistics, people, and shortcomings our once pioneering public school system. The film closely follows Daisy, an L.A. fifth-grader; Francisco, a Bronx, first-grader; Anthony, a Washington D.C. fifth-grader; Emily, an eighth-grader in Silicon Valley; and Bianca, a Harlem kindergartner. We see their families, living conditions and hear from them directly about their dreams, fears and what they hope to get from a good education. Listening to the perspectives of education innovator Geoffrey Canada, proactive Washington DC school chancellor Michelle Rhee, and AFT president Randi Weingarten was very telling. I felt for the parents of these children who struggled in their attempts to find a means to access/afford better educational opportunities. Watching them suffer through the lottery process hoping for a slim chance at getting into a charter school was sad.
Those of us who haven't been through it can't imagine how frustrating and ultimately disappointing it must be to feel as though you can't provide your child with every opportunity in life, especially if they are willing and able. Raising my children in a rural environment we were able to choose the location of our home based upon what we knew to be a good school district. Looking at today's fiscal crisis and the cuts we are seeing to local education I am not so sure about the continuing quality of learning in our own classrooms. In the case of this documentary's representative group the shocking reality is that most of these children will be barred from a chance at what was once taken for granted, a great American education. I watched this with my wife and we were both moved by it and found the statistical data to be eye opening. Waiting for Superman is both relevant and poignant especially for young families but we all need to be aware of its significance as it directly pertains to our future.
The rating is for some thematic material, mild language, and incidental smoking.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Waiting for Superman comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8 Mbps.
This is a great looking high definition presentation that boasts lifelike detail, vivid colors and natural looking fleshtones. Resolution can be rewarding as images are resolved cleanly and exhibit excellent depth and dimension. Blacks aren't inky but appear a deep shade of black when onscreen with mixed light/dark elements. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack won't test the limits of your surround sound system but sounds fine. The narrated segments and recorded dialogue during the various interviews is crystal clear and definitively rendered. Other than the music score's light ambient bleed to the rear channels the mix remains front oriented. Being a documentary style film there is little call for an active surround mix and to that end I didn't find the presentation lacking in any way.
- Commentary by director Davis Guggenheim & producer Lesley Chilcott
- (HD) Changing the odds - A five minute look at the challenges students and educators have faced and the implementation of programs designed to change the course of public school education.
- (HD) Updates - A glimpse at what has changed since the film was shot
- (HD) A conversation with Davis Guggenheim - 1 minute
- (HD) The future is in our classrooms - 2 minute message
- (HD) The making of Shine - 7 minutes
- (HD) 4 deleted segments:
- Keith and Tiffany
- Locke High and Steve Barr
- Bill Strickland
- The Green Family
Waiting for Superman is an eye opening documentary film that presents a compelling analysis of our public school education system. Granted it is told only from the filmmaker's perspective however many of the facts speak for themselves. I found this film to be both relevant and poignant especially for young families however we all need to be aware of its significance as it directly pertains to our future. It is captured and related well by director/co-writer Davis Guggenheim and comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring audio/video quality that justly conveys the essence and spirit of this undertaking quite naturally. The bonus supplements are limited but play well within the scope of this film and are worth checking out. Highly Recommended.
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