Genre(s): Romance, Drama, Comedy
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 113 min. – $19.98 | September 18, 2012
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Writer(s): Aaron Sorkin (written by)
Cast: Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, David Paymer, Samantha Mathis, Michael J. Fox, Richard Dreyfuss, David Paymer
Theatrical Release Date: November 17, 1995
Features: Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 20.3 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
Plot Outline: Boy meets girl – and the press tracks their every move, rivals fire broadsides and a President with a 63% popularity rating plunges to 41% in seven weeks. When you’re the President, everyone knows where you live. President Andrew Shepherd (MICHAEL DOUGLAS) falls for lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (ANNETTE BENING), then free-falls in the polls. Bustling staff members (including MARTIN SHEEN and MICHAEL J. FOX), a sneering opponent (RICHARD DREYFUSS), state dinners, formal protocol, informal moments, global crises – all come into focus as the balance between private romance and public Presidency is explored.
Quick Hit Review: The American President, directed by Rob Reiner from a script from Aaron Sorkin, is a great movie that hinges on the performances to go along with a unique story. Michael Douglas and Annette Bening share wonderful chemistry and the supporting cast, a few number of whom would move on to starring on Sorkin’s “The West Wing”, are phenomenal, especially Martin Sheen and Michael J. Fox.
Politically speaking, like “TWW”, it’s a bit idealistic and romanticized at how these characters are portrayed on one side of the aisle, but after 17 years, the film is still well made headlined by the performances and music by Marc Shaiman.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0.5/5
The only feature on the disc is the Theatrical Trailer (2:58; SD).
VIDEO – 4.25/5
The American President arrives on Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition transfer. This is, for the most part, an impressive transfer with a fine amount of natural film grain and/or noise which doesn’t distract from the detail levels. Often times with these catalogue titles, you ever know what you’re going to get but this is a case where the upgrade is worth it.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track might not have the action or thrills to make a marked difference over the DVD’s standard Dolby Digital 5.1 version, but the track comes to life thanks to Marc Shaiman’s politically whimsical score which is similar to theme on “The West Wing”.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, The American President is a fun romantic comedy/drama headlined by a great cast but especially Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. The Blu-ray itself presents nice audio/video transfers and while the features (feature) are limited, it’s a nominal upgrade over its DVD counterpart and worth picking up when it eventually goes on sale down the line.