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MPAA Rating: PG (For Some Language and Brief Violent Material)
Running Time: 111 Minutes
Starring: Gregory Canada
Written by: Davis Guggenheim & Billy Kimball
Directed by: Davis Guggenheim
Retail Price: $39.99
Features: Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Davis Guggenheim and Producer Lesley Chilcott, Changing the Odds, Updates, A Conversation with Davis Guggenheim, The Future Is In Our Classrooms, The Making of "Shine", Deleted Scenes
Specs: 1.78:1 Widescreen 1080p High Definition, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Brazilian Portuguese 5.1, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Brazilian Portuguese Subtitles, Scenes (16 scenes), 2-Disc Set
Released: February 15th, 2011
Changing the Odds (5:34)
plays out like a PSA, but that's not a bad thing. Basically, some
education honchos (and Newark mayor Cory Booker) give a few thoughts,
highlight some top-notch schools and innovations that are being used to
help teachers and students. Playing even more like a PSA is The Future Is In Our Classrooms, which runs about 2 minutes and offers some sad statistics. Both are worth watching.
Updates is just two slides of text that are an epilogue of sorts, highlighting new developments of people and places featured in the movie (more can be found on the film's official website). A Conversation With Davis Guggenheim (1:44) is an animated short where Guggenheim admits he wasn't the best student in school, but was lucky to have an inspiring teacher who helped him.
The Making of "Shine" is a 7 minute piece that chronicles John Legend's journey to write the film's theme song. Perhaps it is a tiny bit pretentious (just look at those brooding shots by his piano!), but still interesting: Legend returns to Springfield, Ohio (where he grew up) seeking inspiration for the lyrics. He narrates his luck in getting a good education, returns to the record store where he worked, his old school and we meet his family. Plenty of photos from his past imbue this with a personal touch. Not your typical making-of puff promo, which makes it a good watch.
Rounding out the extras are four Deleted Scenes, which run a whopping 31 minutes in total. Each scene is essentially another story, which highlight other teachers, students and their families.