Waiting for “Superman”—Paramount Vantage

Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 3/5
Extras: 3/5

"Waiting for 'Superman'", a deeply personal exploration of the current state of public education in the U.S. and how it is affecting our children. Fueled by his conscience and electrified by the possibilities for change, Guggenheim sets off on a probing journey into the lives of five unforgettable kids whose dreams, hopes and untapped potential reveal all that is at stake at this critical moment. In addressing questions through dynamic storytelling, Guggenheim sparks a vital national conversation and introduces us to a group of education reformers currently defying the odds. But when the credits roll, the story hasn't ended. It has only just begun - because what Guggenheim reveals is that the superheroes we've been waiting for to save our schools are all around us. In fact, they might just be me and you.

The majority of this documentary was shot with HD video cameras and has a very crisp and detailed look. Contrast levels are spectacular, and dimensionality is strong. There are plenty of cut sequences that were filmed with SD cameras, mostly historical footage, but this never interferes with the overall video presentation. The audio is presented in lossless form but considering this is essentially a narrated documentary, there isn’t much to judge here. The balance of dialogue is perfect and timbre is very natural.

Extras include a feature commentary with the director plus more insight into the school system. You also get a couple more features that delve into the lives of other students plus a look at the title track of the documentary.

Like most documentaries of this sort, the subject matter can be quite alarming and depressing. I wish it would have covered a bit more of the general school population and not lingered as much on the worse case offenders, but it was still moving and disturbing at the same time.