Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 2nd, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2012
Director: Tom Morris
Writers: Elliot Feld, Jaz Kalkat, Tom Morris
Cast: Chris Sheffield, Maiara Walsh, Sam Ayers, Skylan Brooks, Bobby Campo, Seth Cassell, Federico Dordei, Janeane Garofalo, Larry Miller
BluRay released: October 2nd, 2012
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A tennis prodigy’s, who has just been offered a full scholarship to a university that generations of his family members have attended. He is forced to change his summer plans of going on a trip to Mexico with his friends. When he is told that he is one credit short of graduating. Along the way he gets the his High School to let him attend gradation, in hope that his parents will not discover that he has not meet all of his academic requirements to graduate. And to keep up his charade, he enrolls in summer school to complete the one class he needs to graduate. Trying to keep his secrets under wraps proves to be too much, when his overbearing father’s dream of him becoming a tennis superstar puts his chances of completing summer school in jeopardy.
The heart and soul of all ‘coming of age’ film are its characters, especially its protagonist. Needless to say that the more likable the characters are, the deeper the story at hand resonates.
Unfortunately for General Education its protagonist is not an easy character to identify with. In fact with each new obstacle that gets in his way, I found myself feeling indifferent to whether he could overcome these aforementioned obstacles. To put it simply, this is not the lovable loser that has become synonymous with these type of ‘coming of age’ comedies.
Fortunately for this film the secondary characters which make up this film colorful cast of characters fare so much better. And while the majority of these characters run the gamut of the stereotypical that populate teen comedies of this ilk. There are a handful of characters that standout in a film that at times feels to content to stay within the safe confines of the teen comedy genre. Most notably this film’s protagonist thirteen year old black sidekick, who doesn’t wear shoes because ‘he can run faster without them’, the protagonist sister who spends most of the film dressed up as a mime and his neurotic mother, who is superbly portrayed by Janeane Garofalo (Reality Bites).
Flaws with the characters which populate this film aside. Outside of a few memorable moments. Another area in which film often comes up short is its fairly routine and predictable story
General Education comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, contrast and black levels look consistent good, details look crisp and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. Being that this is a dialog driven movie you really can’t go wrong with either audio mix. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear and balanced throughout. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 44 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), outtakes (5 minutes 39 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a ‘Making of’ featurette (10 minutes 15 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a audio commentary with director Tom Morris, producers Jaz Kalkat, Kevin Liang and Elliot Feld and sound editor Tim Hoogenakker. The insightful audio commentary is easily the best extra included with this release. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall General Education gets a strong release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.