PictureWhatever criticisms I had against the movie, I can't complain about the picture here. Presented in a theatrically correct 2.35:1 ratio and anamorphically enhanced for widescreen, this is a superb transfer. Colours and flesh tones are vivid and accurate appropriately with deep dark blacks, while detail levels are good but not exceptional. The print used is clean, with only minor dust marks occurring occasionally (and I really mean occasionally). The transfer doesn't suffer from gain either, so overall there's not much to complain about here.
SoundContaining a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, the soundtrack is fine, but not exceptional. Keeping in mind, this isn't an action movie and is a drama, the soundtrack engages when it's at its most busy, usually during a basketball game or when music is being played, which is tragically rap music, but I guess it's apt for the individuals concerned. However, for the most part it is very front heavy for music, with the rears not being overly worked, neither is the LFE either. Dialogue, which is the most important thing here, is however very clear and crisp and at no point is drowned out by the music during the movie. Again, adequate says it all, although I will say it was nice to hear Nikka Costa on the soundtrack.
ExtrasFirst up we have “Coach Carter - The Man Behind the Movie”, which is a 20 minute featurette about the real Coach Carter, his son and other individuals (from Carter's family to the students he assisted). It's certainly a very worthwhile view to gain an insight into the man's passion and motivation as to why he took the measures he did, to ensure his teams success as students first and foremost.
Fast Break at Richmond High lasts for about 12 minutes and is a behind the scenes look at the choreography of the basketball games. It's semi interesting but is only worth watching once, due to the nature of the featurette - once you know how they trained/prepared for the games, you don't really need to see it again.
6 Deleted scenes are up next, which last for a total of 12 minutes and you can view them either all together or you can choose them individually. What was unusual here, was all the scenes were anamorphic and only slightly worse quality than the main feature, so why not offer seamless branching? Anyway, the scenes are obviously cut for running time issues, but I think 2 of them should have made it to the final cut, even if it was for a moment more of schmaltz.
Next to last, we have a music video by “Twista” featuring Faith Evans - sorry I didn't even look as the last time I heard the name Faith Evans, it was a massacre of a good Police song. Finally the Previews and we have trailers for “Bad News Bears” with Billy Bob Thornton (think Bad Santa with Baseball) - with a superb line “Baseball's hard. You can love it, but believe me it don't always love you back. It's kinda like dating a German chick, y'know.” Oh that made me laugh (as did the reference to how “good” their bat swinging is), “The Longest Yard” DVD, a terrible looking show called “Laguna Beach” and “Sahara”. You can easily spot my favourite.
VerdictIf it wasn't for the lead performance, this would have been a very much a by-the-numbers-seen-it-all-before movie, but Jackson is always watchable and this is no exception. However it does have a good transfer, an adequate soundtrack and some nice extras (plus the Bad News Bears trailer). Jackson fans should get this and it's definitely worth a rent at the very least.
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