Plot: What’s it about?
Things are starting to heat up.
For those that don’t really keep up with politics, Al Gore was the former two term Vice-President of the United States. I’m assuming everyone knows this. He was also involved in perhaps one of the most controversial political decisions in the election of 2000. He was declared the President of the United States, only to have it taken away and the state of Florida actually decided who that was. Naturally when President George W. Bush’s brother was the Governor of the state of Florida, we had a winner. Anyway, that’s in the past and judging by some scenes in “An Inconvenient Truth” he’s still a bit bitter about the whole thing and I would be too. But that’s not the point of this documentary – rather it’s to educate the masses about global warming and try to do something about it. Gore is passionate about the subject and evidently has been for some time now. Like many others, I figured that global warming was something that only scientists talked about and that in my lifetime it really wouldn’t matter too much one way or another. So it gets hotter in the summer a few degrees. Big deal?
Yes, a very big deal.
Gore is going around the world to deliver his slide show on global warming, its effects on the earth now as well as what could happen in the future if we don’t do something about it. He uses the analogy of a frog jumping in a hot bowl of water and then jumping out realizing that he could get burned. Rather we’re the frog in a luke warm bowl of water and we don’t realize what’s really happening around us. Global warming will affect all of us and the change isn’t just related to temperature rise. This is affecting wildlife, forestry and most importantly the weather patterns around the world. Cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes (all the same thing depending in which area of the world they’re located in) are all on the rise and are likely to get worse if nothing is done about the problem.
Al Gore’s mission is simple, he wants to educate as many people as he can about the problem and truly open their eyes to what’s going on in the world. We, as Americans, are the worst offenders as we’re putting out the most emissions on a daily basis. The politicians in the past have dismissed the problem and I can only imagine that if Gore were in the White House, how much different the problem would be. Granted, he has access to things many of us don’t and it’s a good thing because he’s a man with the power, the respect and the resources to do something about this problem.
This documentary isn’t something that will scare you right out of your seat, but when we’re presented with the cold (no pun intended), hard facts they’re pretty hard to argue with. In many cases the facts are undeniable even by Gore’s dissidents. The melting of Greenland and Antarctica might not seem like such a big deal for us, but when it could feasibly destroy the majority of the coastal cities around the world, it does make one think. As mentioned before, the point of this DVD is to educate as many people as possible and I think it can have nothing but a positive impact. The future is ours and I think it’s time we did something about it.
Video: How does it look?
“An Inconvenient Truth” is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer that looks good for the most part, but it understandably has stock footage and a mixed bag of other shots that are “classic documentary”. Most of the “movie” as they call it, takes place in a built lecture hall with a huge screen behind Gore. Colors seem to be well-balanced and there’s not a lot of edge enhancement to speak of. Truthfully, the content here is what matters most and though this isn’t the best-looking transfer out there, it’s certainly quite watchable.
Audio: How does it sound?
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is rarely used to the extent that some other soundtracks are and I can probably count the number of times on one hand that I heard anything but the center channel activate. If ever a movie was dialogue-driven, it’s this one. The vocals are strong and though the surrounds do kick in a couple of times, the center channel will be doing the brunt of the work here. Again, the content is important here and not how it sounds but that’s not a problem either.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The DVD comes with a few choice extras, most notably with a fairly recent (August 2006) update from Al Gore. It seems things have gotten worse since they filmed this in 2005 and Gore gives another 30 minutes of facts, figures and very little hope. Of course, he’s hoping that this DVD will change all of that. We have “The Making of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’” which shows the building of the stage, some behind the scenes footage with Al Gore and director Davis Guggenheim. It’s not your typical making of…featurette and shows the passions of nearly everyone involved. A pair of commentary tracks are included, the first with director David Guggenheim as he comments on the facts and the significance of the documentary. I’d have liked to have Al Gore on this track, but the entire movie is essentially a commentary track with Gore to begin with. The second track features producers Lawrence Bender, Laurie David, Scott Burns and Lesley Chilcott. Additionally, there’s a music video by Melissa Ethridge “I Need to Wake Up” included as well.
Now one of the more clever additions to a DVD is one I found with this set. First of all, the keepcase is printed on 100% recycled material as we might expect. But there’s a small piece of paper included (at least in my copy) that’s actually made of seeds. You tear the paper up, soak it in water and in a few weeks an Italian flat leaf basil plant will start to grow. This is, truly, the first DVD that you can put on your salad or pizza!
For more information on global warming and to get more facts, please visit Climatecrisis.net.