The Good

A must see film that presents an important issue that is relevent to every single human being on the planet.

The Bad

The packaging may have reduced some waste, but it will scuff up your DVD.

An Inconvenient Truth made a huge impact when it came out in theaters. You couldn't watch TV without hearing about it. Al Gore did some serious publicity work for the film and was on about every talk show there is. The film itself is an important and well made presentation of an issue that needs to be addressed. I'm not going to make you sit in your seat right now and read a complete lecture about global warming and the ripple effect it has on our society. Everyone knows what global warming is whether you want to accept that it exists or not. The film is a compilation of information presented on stage with graphs as well as stock footage. The flow of the film is perfect, and the topics lead to the next very smoothly. The film also takes the next step and discusses how the global warming problem extends outward into different areas of society and it also addresses ways to help.

Many people think global warming only consists of temperature change and the polar ice caps melting. What this film does is that it shows that the ice caps are only 1 of the many problems that arrise from global warming. Disease, droughts, rainfall, storm severity, sea level, economics and politics are all affected by the crisis. Al Gore presents all this information in front of a giant screen with very well organized graphs. He speaks in a language that is easy for all to understand and his passion in the subject makes it easy to watch. While Al Gore inspired the film you do have to give credit to director Davis Guggenhiem who presented the information in such a logical and easy to follow manner. The documentary is important to see and presents a crisis that people need to know about. Unfortunately, since the problem is progressing so quickly it probably means that the statistics presented in this film will be outdated within a short period of time. However, it is the central idea of the film that is important. Do yourself a favor and rent the movie, it's not something you need to own but you do need to see it.

Features

An Update With Al Gore:

This is the main featurette of the DVD, and it is really good. Al Gore is interviewed here and he presents how things have changed in the year since the movie was made. He acknowledges that some of the information in the film has been outdated with new and scarier statistics. He goes into great depth and discusses a bit more in-depth with certain issues and updates the current situation.

The Making Of An Inconvenient Truth:

This is a great featurette that takes the focus off of Al Gore for awhile and puts the focus on director Davis Guggenheim. We see how they built the stage and planned the filming of the presentation. We also see some footage with producers Laurie David and Lawrence Bender. Lawrence Bender is actually a famous producer best known for his collaboration with Quentin Tarantino. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the World Premiere of The Great Raid and he is a great guy. The featurette is brief, but it's nice to see the work and effort from the filmmaking standpoint.

"I Need To Wake Up" Music Video by Melissa Etheridge:

The music video of the song that is played during the end credits.

Commentary Track 1: David Guggenheim

Commentary Track 2: Laurie David, Lawrence Bender, Scott Z. Burns and Lesley Chilcott

These commentary tracks provide great insight into how the concept of the film came to be and the process of getting the film made. The commentary track with the producers talks a lot about how the film came to be and the director's commentary is really focused on the actual making of the documentary.

Video

The film is shot mostly digital. I would think all digital, but I saw some film cameras in the behind the scenes footage. Overall the picture is close to perfect. There is lots of stock footage used and some of that footage has poor quality, but that's not the fault of the transfer. The transfer is an anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer and it's very clean. The stage that Al Gore presents on is lit very darkly with heavy concentration on the graphs, and they all come through crystal clear.

Audio

We get a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is hardly required, but it's nice to have nonetheless. There isn't really any use for the surround speakers except for the few audience reactions when Al Gore cracks a joke or at the end when he gets a standing ovation.

Package

Well, the casing may make a few people mad. The case is a paper sleeve printed on 100% post-consumer recycled material. You open the flap and the DVD sits in the sleeve. The only reason why I hate these sleeves is because it seriously scuffs the DVD's when you take them in and out. Usually promo DVD's or samplers are given out in sleeves, and they always get scratched from sliding in and out. So, that's a problem.

Final Word

The documentary is must see for everyone. It's very well made and it takes a strong and important stand on the issue. Al Gore presents the information in an open and informative manner and the filmmakers present it in a way that is easy to process. The DVD has some good features, but I'd much rather have a plastic case to hold it in.

An Inconvenient Truth was released May 24, 2006.