The Emperor's Club [WS] [DVD] [2002]

Universal Studios took the talent-studded and heart-warming film The Emperor's Club and created an enjoyable DVD with a handful of extras. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the transfer looks beautiful. The picture glows with bright colors and rich blacks, while keeping details crisp and sharp. The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround is an ideal medium for James Newton Howard's score, and the dialogue comes across without static or haze. The in-depth commentary with director Michael Hoffman provides amazing insight into the film, the nuts-and-bolts of the production, and the film's cast, which includes Kevin Kline and Patrick Dempsey. The deleted scenes (also with director's commentary) are enjoyable,as well, and Hoffman often gives the reasons behind his editing decisions. The lengthy making-of featurette, "The Making of the Emperor's Club," is standard, gushing studio fare offering nothing particularly enlightening. There are also theatrical trailers, Web links, and bios.
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Special Features

  • The Making of The Emperor's Club: a look behind-the-scenes featuring director Michael Hoffman and cast
  • In-depth feature commentary with director Michael Hoffman
  • Deleted scenes featuring director's commentary
  • DVD-ROM features and more
  • Closed Captioned


The Emperor's Club
A dedicated teacher learns some important lessons about himself years after he retired from the classroom in this drama. William Hundert (Kevin Kline) is an instructor at St. Benedict's School for Boys, an exclusive private academy on the East Coast where Hundert drills his charges on the moral lessons to be learned through the study of Greek and Roman philosophers. Hundert is fond of telling his students, "A man's character is his fate," and he strives to impress upon them the importance of the ordered and examined life. In 1976, however, Hundert finds himself with an especially challenging group of students -- party-minded Fred Masoudi (Jesse Eisenberg) , introverted Martin Blythe (Paul Dano), bright but mischievous Deepak Mehta (Rishi Mehta), and most notably, openly rebellious Sedgewick Bell (Emile Hirsch). The son of a powerful politician, Bell pointedly runs against the current of Hundert's example, questioning the importance of the material, flouting the school's rules, talking out of turn in class, and devoting as much time to his interest in girls as in his studies. However, Hundert sees the possibility of great things in Bell, and encourages him to take part in the school's annual academic competition for the title of Mr. Julius Caesar. Hundert even goes so far as to bend the rules in scoring to favor Bell in the early stages of the contest, but his faith is betrayed when Bell is discovered cheating during the contest finals. Years later, Hundert is reunited with his students, where they learn the years have taught them all a great deal about their virtues and weaknesses. The Emperor's Club also features Harris Yulin, Rob Morrow, and Edward Herrmann. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Kevin Kline
    Kevin Kline - Professor William Hundert
  • Emile Hirsch
    Emile Hirsch - Sedgewick Bell
  • Jesse Eisenberg
    Jesse Eisenberg - Fred Masoudi
  • Paul Dano
    Paul Dano - Martin Blythe
  • Rishi Mehta
    Rishi Mehta - Deepak Mehta
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