coachcarterbluInspirational sports films have been around for many years with one of the greatest in the genre being ‘Hoosiers’ with Gene Hackman. In 2005 Paramount would release the film ‘Coach Carter’ based on a true story of a coach that would cause controversy when he made national news for a gymnasium lockout. The purpose behind the lockout had to do with his undefeated basketball team doing poorly with their school grades.

The story of the film revolves around kids in high school that have different issues which each has to contend with by film’s end. Ken Carter (Samuel Jackson) will make each and every one of his players become better at the game, but also better people in general. During practice the guys are talking with each other using profane language and he turns around telling them that it is disrespectful. The students challenge him a few times throughout the film. Carter’s favorite form of punishment, five hundred pushups, suicides and talk back to him which he will then nail you with another five hundred pushups.

Ken Carter’s ultimate goal is more than just winning basketball games. He wants to teach these boys the respect that they will need to be successful in their future. Carter also wanted his students to get excellent grades in school so they could go to college. Some of the students and even faculty are apprehensive to his values. Even worse is the faculty since all they want is a winning team, and not even worried if these kids receive the proper education.

I am a huge fan of inspirational sports films and ‘Coach Carter’ is fantastic. We have seen all this before, but the performance from Samuel Jackson and the students is very good. There are a bunch of sub plots too with the kids that never get in the way of the overall premise of the story. These sub plots tie into how they perform on the basketball court and in the classroom. Samuel Jackson was perfect for the role as Coach Carter. He has that perfect acting ability to play multiple types of roles and make them succeed.

The film also touches on Coach Carter locking the gym and canceling a basketball game. This caught national attention, upset the parents of the ball players, but in the end it taught the students respect.
Movie Content: 4/5

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Print/Audio Quality

The film is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This print looks pretty good for the most part from start to finish. Colors are strong throughout the print but don’t carry pop. Black levels are deep carrying a nice depth. Details are also good, but at times can lack. There is film grain, but it actually sits in the background throughout the entire film. Grain is never a distraction. My biggest disappointment with the print has to do with the little white specs that appear throughout the entire print. I really wish the white specs were cleaned up; it would have made for an excellent print. I will say that I was rather surprised that this print turned out to be this strong.
Video Quality: 4/5

The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. This is an atmospheric mix when on the basketball court with the ball dribbling, shoes squeaking, the crowd cheering on, and various sound effects during the game pull you in as if you are sitting at the game. Dialogue is clear and crisp. The volume had to be turned up a b it higher than normal with this mix as opposed to other films with TrueHD. There was never a balance issue between the sound and dialogue, it is that the overall mix was a tad bit on the low side.
Audio Quality: 3.5/5

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Special Features

  • Coach Carter: The Man Behind the Movie (19:41)
  • Fast Break at Richmond High (11:40)
  • Six deleted scenes
  • Music video by Twista & Faith Evans
  • Writing Coach Carter: The Two-Man Game (8:25)
  • Coach Carter: Making the Cut (18:22)
  • Trailers (2:32) [HD]

All of the special features are presented in standard definition, except for the theatrical trailer which is in high definition.
Special Features: 3.5/5

Final Thoughts:

‘Coach Carter’ is the type of film that doesn’t present anything new in the inspirational sports film genre, but it presents its story and message very well. With some strong acting from Samuel Jackson and the rest of his student ballplayers this makes for a good film. The film has a nice presentation on Blu-ray.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 (Purchase)