Coach Carter (2005) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Sports
Paramount || PG13 - 136 minutes - $29.99 || December 16, 2008
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-01-15


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Thomas Carter
Writer(s): Mark Schwahn & John Gatins (written by)
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Rob Brown, Robert Richard, Rick Gonzalez, Ashanti


Theatrical Release Date: January 14, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Music Video
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

Apparently documentaries based on real people are exciting. I donít find them to be in the least bit. If someone did one on me, it would literally be two hours of me sitting in front of a computer typing this review up of Coach Carter. While Iím not a sports or documentary fan, itís a decent tale of a manís struggles with the game of basketball and the players with hearts of stone.

Richmond High is going through tough times, as are its students. The school has a horrible rate of graduating kids, and the basketball team is one of the worst in the United States. That however, changes one day, when Coach Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) enters the school to mentor them. But Carter doesnít just teach them about the sport of basketball, he lets them know their attitudes need to change.

The students, including Timo (Rick Gonzalez), Worm (Antwon Tanner), Jason (Channing Tatum), Maddux (Texas Battle), among others, however are hesitant and continue to fight Carter at every turn. The coach forces the students to do suicides, tons of exercise maneuvers, and call him by ďsirĒ whenever they address him. Despite their reluctance, the kids eventually agree to the training, and as such, they begin to win game after game.

After each game the team comes closer and closer together, learning lessons such as not to taunt people when they win, basically good sportsmanship. But there are more problems off the court that trouble the group. For instance, Timo is dealing drugs on the side along with his brother, and Junior (Nana Gbewonyo) has knocked up his girlfriend Kyra (Ashanti) and doesnít know what to do about a prospective future being a father.

However, the biggest problem comes not from the teamís winning streak, but from the fact that they are failing academically. Because of this, Carter shuts down the gym amidst their undefeated season until their grades change. This sparks world-wide news coverage and outrage from the families of the basketball team. Will the gym get reopened and the team head on to the championship?

The acting in this flick is solid, thereís no denying that. This is by far one of Jacksonís best films to date, but thatís also a problem. Fans arenít used to seeing him in this serious of a role, and while there are a few jokes here and there, itís hard to take him seriously after a few of the movies heís been in (Iím looking at you, Snakes On A Plane). The rest of the cast is solid though, and since it is based on a true story it does flow decent throughout the rather long running time of over two hours.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Coach Carter: The Man Behind The Movie (20 minutes): A look back at Ken Carter, who the movie was based on. Itís a biography, basically, of him as well as a look at the movie and how much it was influenced by his life. Fast Break at Richmond High (12 minutes): A brief documentary about the hardships of basketball and what the cast went through to train.

Writing Coach Carter: The Two Man Game (8 minutes): The crew talks about Carter and how they were influenced by him for the movie.

Coach Carter: Making The Cut (18 minutes): Another nearly identical feature compared to the others that once again deals with the Coach and his story. Most of these could have been combined into one, and unless you want to know everything possible about him, odds are these can be skipped.

Deleted Scenes (12 minutes): The usual collection of scenes that didnít make it into the film. I wouldnít recommend watching them, as they donít really amount to much value.

ďHopeĒ Music Video by Twista w/ Faith Evans (4 minutes): Twista and Faith Evans team up for the lead single for the soundtrack to the film. Itís actually a great song and the video is decent.

Blu-Ray Exclusives:

Writing Coach Carter: The Two Man Game (8 minutes): The crew talks about Carter and how they were influenced by him for the movie.

Coach Carter: Making The Cut (18 minutes): Another nearly identical feature compared to the others that once again deals with the Coach and his story. Most of these could have been combined into one, and unless you want to know everything possible about him, odds are these can be skipped.

Finally, the filmís theatrical trailer is presented in HD.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Coach Carter isnít a visually striking movie, at all. Colors appear drowned out and flesh tones are slightly off as well. Contrast also has a few issues, as some scenes appear darker and others lighter than they should be. After popping in the DVD, it is somewhat of an improvement, but donít make that a reason to buy it right away. The video is slightly upgraded, but not by a significant amount.

On the audio side, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is a little bit of overkill for a dialogue-driven movie. Even though it has some scenes that feature music and partying, along with basketball matches, there isnít a lot of surround use besides that. Itís disappointing, as the dialogue is clear but at times too low. Granted this is an upgrade from the standards Dolby Digital, itís not a huge upgrade and probably wouldnít be noticeable to the untrained ear.



.::OVERALL::.

While I wasnít a huge fan of Coach Carter, Iím positive that this will appeal to others. The story is a heart-warming tale, but a little too predictable and lengthy. The video and audio are rather average, and the supplements donít really amount to that much for fans. Unless this is one of your favorite movies, I canít really recommend more than a rental. Sorry Coach, youíve been fouled for having a less than stellar Blu-Ray release.