Sep 022020

Bad Education tells an interesting story in one of the more uninteresting ways, as it’s not terribly engaging. That being said, Hugh Jackman gives yet another amazing performance.



Bad Education

Genre(s): Drama, Crime
Warner Archives | NR – 109 min. – $21.99 | September 8, 2020

Date Published: 09/02/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Cory Finley
Writer(s): Robert Kolker (article); Mike Makowsky
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Ray Romano, Geraldine Viswanathan, Alex Wolff

Features: Featurettes
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 34.70 GB
Total Bitrate: 39.08 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.25/5

Plot Synopsis: A Long Island school superintendent, Frank Tassone (HUGH JACKMAN), and his assistant Pam Gluckin (ALLISON JANNEY) are credited with bringing the district unprecedented prestige. Frank is a master of positive messaging, whether before an audience of community leaders or in an office with a concerned student or parent. That changes when a student reporter (GERALDINE VISWANATHAN) uncovers an embezzlement scheme of epic proportions, prompting Frank to devise an elaborate cover-up.


Quick Hit Review: Bad Education tells a story that not many in America probably knows about or, if you’re in New York, remembers. On the surface, it’s a fascinating time in history with the swindling of taxpayers, taking from education to pay for home renovations, lavish trips to Vegas and even plastic surgery. It’s all very intriguing but in film form, not always engaging.

However, it is still well worth the time if only for Hugh Jackman’s electric performance, showcasing the charisma on how the real Frank Tassone was able to steal millions without being caught. Allison Janney meanwhile has her moments both on her own and opposite Jackman and while she doesn’t quite steal the show, can’t think of many others who could pull that role off.


The film was directed by Cory Finley who received acclaim for his dark satire, Thoroughbred, another film that excelled with the performances rather than the plot. But here, Finley is in his element, nothing especially noteworthy in terms of his direction, though he lets his actors take over the screen. Personally, Bad Education is a fine drama, and a bit shocking how much of it really is based on the real story, even more appalling, the real Frank Tassone, due to a loophole, receives $174k per year in pension. Who says crime doesn’t pay?



This comes with three featurettes: Based on a True Story (3:56) on the real life scandal and adapting it to a feature film; The Perception of Perfection (3:13) is about Frank Tassone as portrayed by Jackman; and Hugh Jackman & Allison Janney: A Virtual Conversation (3:51) is a fun interview with the stars chatting about the movie. Obviously due to COVID, all interviews had to be done online and all things considered, still nice to hear from the talent involved.


VIDEO – 4.25/5

Bad Education arrives on Blu-ray through the Warner Archive MOD program, presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Initially I thought this was a great looking picture, bright and colorful, with sharp detail and the fine grain or noise still showing. However, and it was just a fluke while doing some screen grabs, one scene showed some sort of hair or scratch for a frame which is a bit surprising for a new movie like this. Other than that, I didn’t notice any other obvious flaws.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track provides for clear dialogue which pertains to 90%+ of the film. There is some so-so depth for scenes with crowds, such as one with Jackman at a club, but otherwise everything is mostly constrained to the center speaker.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Bad Education tells an interesting story in one of the more uninteresting ways, as it’s not terribly engaging. That being said, Hugh Jackman gives yet another amazing performance alongside Allison Janney, both making this worth checking out even only as a rental.

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