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Election Criterion Blu-ray Review

Election.jpg

“Election” is an Alexander Payne winner.

Based on the novel of the same name, the Omaha set “Election” revolves around 4 individuals amidst the high school Student Council President election. There’s the overachieving, obsessive, competitive, and ambitious Tracy Flick, a sexually frustrated high school teacher (Mr. McAllister) who is annoyed by Tracy, an injured, dopey, kind hearted jock (Paul) who is convinced by Mr. McAllister to run for President, and Paul’s rebellious lesbian sister Tammy who runs for President out of revenge against her former lover and her brother. Over the course of the election, each of these four people’s lives become impacted by the election in and out of school.

While primarily known as a dark political satire (one that is more timely than ever if you think about it), there’s so much more going on than just the biting political comedy. At its heart, “Election” is a story about dreams, desires, choices, high school and life at various ages. It’s essentially a character piece that deals with bigger themes. Now, the movie could have had a typical Hollywood feel, but writers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor never go that route. These people are flawed individuals and they are treated as such. There’s no real happy ending and there’s no sappy moments. That’s really quite rare and rewarding.

The cast here is excellent. Up until this movie, Matthew Broderick was in a bit of a rut career wise, but he finally had a role to sink his teeth into. I’m not the world’s biggest Reese Witherspoon fan, but this is easily one of her best performances alongside “Walk The Line.” You really can’t imagine anyone else in this role. If you go all the way back to 1999, it’s really quite amazing to look at the year Chris Klein had. His first 2 feature film roles were that year with “American Pie” and “Election.” Both entirely different high school movies with entirely different characters. To this day, I think these two films are his best work. Finally, there’s Jessica Campbell as Tammy. The actress only appeared in a handful of movies but she really makes an impression here. She kind of steals the show at certain points.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? I wish I could say the 4K digital transfer was mindblowing, but sadly, it’s only just average. If you didn’t know it was given a 4K digital transfer you couldn’t tell by the grain and muted colors.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The 5.1 track is a bit on the soft side, but it’s solid enough.

Extras: “Election” trailer, a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Dana Stevens, a real Omaha news report from 1997 about the making of “Election,” a newly recorded 10 minute interview with Reese Witherspoon in which she talks about the character of Tracy, auditioning for the part, Alexander Payne, and more, an episode of the truTV series “truinside” about “Election,” Alexander Payne’s student film “The Passion of Martin” (which also includes an intro and director’s statement) which is about a photographer obsessed with a woman, and a informative 1999 solo commentary by Alexander Payne.

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November 29, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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