The Screening Room
THE STUDIO GATE
"Election" is funny ha ha, and I mean that as a compliment.
"Election" is now available on Blu-ray disc.
Alexandar Payne's film surprises you with its quiet wit. This isn't a movie
where I found my sides hurting from laughing too much. This is a film where
I chuckled and grinned at the absurd happenings.
The script, by Payne, is rich with detail and devious humor. It's based on
the novel by Tom Perrotta. Matthew Broderick is a popular teacher at a high
school in Omaha, Nebraska. His world is seemingly perfect until Resse
Witherspoon, a perky girl who knows the answers to everything and always has
a smile, starts to ruin it. Broderick suddenly finds himself getting into
messes he never imagined.
Matthew Broderick, to my generation, has almost always been youthful. We've
grown up with him as "Ferris Bueller" (1986) and the computer hacker in "War
Game" (1983). In "Election," he's grown up and supposedly responsible, but
turns an ugly corner in the course of ruining his life. He is subdued in his
comedy and seeing him try to resist temptation and lead a mundane life is
Reese Witherspoon has always been hit and miss with me. On one hand, I think
she's a pretty good actress and cute. On another, she can come off as being
cold. In this film, she's perfect for the role of Tracy Flick. We've
probably all gone to high school with this type of person. Always smiling,
always raising their hand in class, always just living a perfect existence
while many of us toil, etc. She's the kind of girl you love to hate, and yet
you admire her for her tenacity. Witherspoon nails this role.
The Blu-ray is solid in picture and sound quality. There are times when the
image is bright and sharp, while others suffer from the original weaknesses
of Super 35mm cinematography. There is occasional film grain and digital
noise in the picture, but it's nothing bad. The Blu-ray is superior to the
DVD of the same movie in picture and sound quality. I prefer this disc over
The Blu-ray is presented in Dolby TrueHD, which seems to be Paramount's
choice format. The sound is good, but it's based on a simple soundtrack to
begin with. The film is mostly driven by dialogue with occasional music
cues. This isn't a movie that requires a dynamic soundtrack, anyway.
The film is solid and a kick to enjoy. It takes some of its cues from old
1960s romps, but plays everything with a sharp undertone of a Cheshire Cat
grin and a wink its eye. I bought the film years ago on DVD and had a good
time watching it. After 10 years, "Election" still wins my vote.
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Paramount Pictures. All
Blu-ray Quick Glimpse
Funny and dark comedy
Director: Alexander Payne
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon,
Picture: Very Good
No real geek out on this Blu-ray to speak of
Aspect Ratio (2.39:1)
BLU-RAY RELEASE DATE
January 20, 2009