Higher Learning

( 7 )

Overview

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...
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Overview

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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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
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Though it's overwrought and unrealistic, this ensemble drama from John Singleton was the first, and perhaps only, film to treat the identity politics of fin-de-siècle American universities as a subject for exploration rather than critique (Oleanna) or sophomoric parody (P.C.U.). Despite the heavy-handedness of Singleton's script, Higher Learning actually presents a pretty good cross section of the average state school, which often serves as the first taste for isolated teens of the melting pot they've been hearing about since the start of kindergarten. Omar Epps and Michael Rappaport turn in typically strong work as the track-star protagonist and his budding neo-Nazi foil; both characters come under the influence of ideological older men, setting the stage for both thoughtful character development and overwrought dramatics. Along the way we also get a typically fine supporting turn from Singleton regular Regina King and plenty of cool-cat attitude from a perfectly cast Ice Cube. The weakest of the three main plot strands is the one involving Kristy Swanson's date-rape survivor and tentative lesbian. Swanson actually acquits herself admirably, but the part is clumsily written; it's galling to see yet another film that thinks all lesbians are merely women who hate men, however justified. Throw in the inevitable Tori Amos track during the rape sequence and Jennifer Connelly's serene sapphic sister (named, of course, Taryn) and you've got so many lesbian clichés strung together that the film practically becomes a feminist camp classic. Still, Singleton's sympathetic look at the struggles of a variety of incoming freshmen gives the film breadth (and wider marketing opportunities than his previous efforts); the script also deftly intertwines the paths of its characters, resulting in a film that feels like a unified whole. Laurence Fishburne's regal, concerned professor may be a far cry from the clueless TAs who teach most freshmen courses at big schools, but his performance gives a much-needed grown-up perspective to a film that sometimes mirrors the callowness of its younger characters.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/4/2002
  • UPC: 043396067684
  • Original Release: 1995
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Français, Español
  • Time: 2:07:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 24,667

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Omar Epps Malik Williams
Kristy Swanson Kristen Connor
Michael Rapaport Remy
Jennifer Connelly Taryn
Ice Cube Fudge
Busta Rhymes Dreads
Tyra Banks Deja
Laurence Fishburne Professor Maurice Phipps
Jason Wiles Wayne
Gwyneth Paltrow
Cole Hauser Scott Moss
Bradford English Officer Bradley
Regina King Monet
Jay R. Ferguson Billy
Andrew Bryniarski Knocko
Adam Goldberg David Isaacs
J. Trevor Edmond Eddie
Bridgette Wilson Nicole
Randall Batinkoff Chad Shadowhill
Malcolm Norrington Cory
Warren Olney T.V. Reporter
Skip O'Brien Security Guard
Bill Evans Security Guard
Graham Galloway Frat Member
Alicia Stevenson Monet's Friend
Colleen Fitzpatrick Festival Singer
Rick Avery Guard Beats Malik
Kari Wuhrer Claudia
Chad Dowdell Disgruntled Yet Eager Student
Technical Credits
John Singleton Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Danny Bramson Musical Direction/Supervision
Jaki Brown-Karman Casting
Keith Brian Burns Production Designer
Veda Campbell Sound/Sound Designer
Bruce Cannon Editor
Stanley Clarke Score Composer
Michael C. Claypool Set Decoration/Design
Peter Lyons Collister Cinematographer
Charles Daboub Jr. Set Decoration/Design
Bruce Franklin Asst. Director
Paul Hall Producer
Kimberly Hardin Casting
Richard Holland Art Director
Carol Oditz Costumes/Costume Designer
Dwight Alonzo Williams Co-producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [2:40]
2. Incoming Freshman class [4:56]
3. Roomates [6:14]
4. Taryn meets Kristen [3:55]
5. Political Science 101 [6:23]
6. Moving out [3:36]
7. Fun & games [3:08]
8. Kristen & Billy [8:59]
9. Fudge's library [1:34]
10. Remy meets Scott [2:31]
11. Semester assignment [10:44]
12. Miss Deja [1:44]
13. Remy's new family [10:13]
14. "No means no." [:51]
15. Skinhead attack [6:01]
16. Guns [1:15]
17. Two lovers [8:12]
18. Pulling a gun [6:46]
19. "Information is power." [5:16]
20. Fighting Supremacists [4:46]
21. Remy enters the race war [2:57]
22. The Peace Fest [3:50]
23. "Shoot Remy, shoot!" [3:49]
24. On the stairwell [1:37]
25. Standoff [4:58]
26. Malik's future [2:22]
27. "This is all my fault." [3:21]
28. Unlearn [4:55]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Audio Set-Up
   Subtitles
   Special Features
      Director's Commentary: ON
      Director's Commentary: OFF
      Filmographies
         John Singleton (Director/Writer)
         Omar Epps
         Kristy Swanson
         Michael Rapaport
         Jennifer Connelly
         Ice Cube
         Tyra Banks
         Laurence Fishburne
      Theatrical Trailers
         Higher Learning
         Boyz N the Hood
         Poetic Justice
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    wow this is a great movie

    i got the dvd and this movie is great as seeing Kristy Swason i enjoyed the movie and Tyra Banks im happy i got to see this movie its nice to watch and enjoy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not John Singleton Work

    I like reading the reviews of an edgy film like this. You will get your racists from all quarters, whether white, black, Hispanic, or whatever race. I didn't think this was nearly the type of work you saw in Boyz in the Hood or earlier John Singleton work. More shoddy and the campus life I found not that profound. What was Laurence Fishburne's role anyway? The multicultural aspects were more accurate but skinheads, give me a break. Maybe in certain areas of the country like California but I don't know about anywhere else.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    higher learning was just that

    I loved this movie. I watched it wirh my 12 year old daughter. It made me cry. more movies like this need to be told

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    watch it for the director's commentary

    The movie on first viewing appears to sit on several sides of various fences, but when you watch it with the director's commentary turned on, you get a very different perspective. For example, the director laughs at the Black professor who advises his students to study, etc., calling him 'conservative.' The director also laughs when a Black student threatens to assault his white roommate who politely asks him to turn down his stereo. And so on it goes. This film and commentary reveals racism on campus all right, but it may not be the racism the director intended. There are no good, thorough and accurate films about what is happening on college campuses nowadays, but you could check out the novel The Rape of Alma Mater, for a fictionalize account. Incidentally, you also learn that the director was hired right out of college by Columbia Pictures studio and given a job as director with no apprenticeship, no working his way up, etc. Is this too an example of racism in America?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great and Powerful Film!!!!! A Must See!!!!!!

    This film focuses on the racial aspect of going to a mixed college. Even in this day and age racism still goes on right in our backyards whether we like it or not. This movie by John Singleton gives its viewers a look into what it's like to be a college student and still have to deal with racism and does a superb job of doing that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sacntmonious and Hevey handed

    This moive is an preachy heey handed sanctmounous waste of time i wanted my money back aftter renting this the only charcter that made any sense was the professer this movie painted collage as nothing more then an race war waiting to happen and it was overall one of the worst movies i ever saw.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Extremely Powerful

    Watching Higher Learning left me feeling a little sad, but the point of the movie was so strong it left me speechless. It dissapoints me that I havent seen any reviews about it. I strongly recommend this movie to anyone who hasn't seen it.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews