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Higher Learning [DVD] [1995]

Release Date:06/04/2002
Higher Learning includes an excellent 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that presents the movie in nearly pristine colors. In the opening shot the bright red, white, and blue of the American flag shines and presents one of numerous impressive examples on this picture. Although it lacks the near perfection of reference transfers, it falls only slightly from this perch. Similar to the image transfer, this 5.1-channel Dolby Digital audio track features remarkable levels of clarity. The numerous soul, alternative rock, and metal songs blaze across the sound field and add considerable power. The dialogue is easily understandable, even in the heated moments, and the surrounds are utilized nicely throughout the running time. This disc also contains an effective Dolby Surround track, which only drops slightly below its companion in terms of depth and force. Higher Learning features an enjoyable commentary from writer/director John Singleton that contains plenty of intriguing thoughts about the story. Much of the material in this script stems from his own experiences while attending college at U.S.C. Singleton openly explains how numerous scenes originated and shows a refreshing willingness to describe his own life and its connection to the film. It's also impressive to see a filmmaker willing to admit that he's still growing and there are flaws in his creations. Singleton utilizes a conversational tone that makes the track entertaining and insightful without the highbrow tone of some directors. This release also includes selected filmographies for Singleton, Omar Epps, and the other major actors. Full-frame theatrical trailers also exist for this film, including Poetic Justice and Boyz 'N the Hood.
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (6 out of 6)

    Special Features

    • Digitally Mastered Audio & Anamorphic Video
    • Widescreen Presentation
    • Audio: English 5.1 (Dolby Digital) and 2-Channel (Dolby Surround), French, Spanish
    • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai
    • Director's Commentary
    • Theatrical Trailers
    • Filmographies
    • Interactive Menus
    • Scene Selections


    Higher Learning
    This drama examines the personal, political, and racial dilemmas facing a group of college freshmen as they begin their first semester at Columbus University. Malik (Omar Epps) is an African-American student attending on a track scholarship; academics are not his strong suit, and he goes in thinking that his athletic abilities will earn him a free ride through college. Fudge (Ice Cube), a "professional student" who has been at Columbus for six years so far, becomes friendly with Malik and challenges his views about race and politics in America, while Professor Phipps (Laurence Fishburne), a black man who teaches political science, firmly tells Malik that he will not be graded on a different standard either because of his race or his ability to run quickly. With Deja (Tyra Banks), Malik finds a girlfriend, a tutor, and a training partner all rolled into one. Meanwhile, Kristen (Kristy Swanson), a somewhat naive young woman from California, meets a boy named Billy (Jay R. Ferguson) after both have had too much to drink at a beer blast; Kristen soon becomes a victim of date rape and becomes involved with a campus feminist group to deal with the painful experience. While working with the women's group, Kristen gets to know Taryn (Jennifer Connelly), a strong but understanding woman who is also a lesbian, and she finds herself becoming attracted to her. And Remy (Michael Rappaport) is a confused young man from the Midwest who feels lost in the multi-cultural atmosphere of Columbus. He is approached by Scott (Cole Hauser), a member of a group of racist skinheads, who believe that Remy is a perfect candidate to help carry out his group's violent goals. Keep an eye peeled for Gwyneth Paltrow, who has a bit part as a student; rap stars Busta Rhymes, D-Knowledge and Mista Grimm also appear in supporting roles. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Omar Epps
      Omar Epps - Malik Williams
    • Kristy Swanson
      Kristy Swanson - Kristen Connor
    • Michael Rapaport
      Michael Rapaport - Remy
    • Jennifer Connelly
      Jennifer Connelly - Taryn
    • Ice Cube
      Ice Cube - Fudge

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.