Assassination of a High School President appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The DVD offered a consistently problematic transfer.
Sharpness was one of the concerns. Close-ups looked fine, but wider shots tended to suffer from a definite lack of precision and detail. Moderate edge haloes made matters worse, and mosquito noise also created a messier look than expected. Some jagged edges and shimmering also appeared, but source flaws were absent.
The film went with a fairly stylized palette. Most scenes used a brownish tint, though other featured more of a garish blue-green impression. Like the rest of the image, the colors tended to be mediocre, as they never provided very good clarity. Blacks were acceptably tight, but shadows tended to be somewhat murky. I thought this was a “C-“ presentation.
Though it lacked overt flaws, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Assassination didn’t do much to impress. Granted, I wouldn’t expect – or want – anything super-active from a film such as this. Music featured good stereo presence, but otherwise the track did little more than provide general ambience. If anything notable occurred in terms of side or surround usage, I didn’t notice it; this was a decidedly low-key presentation.
Audio quality was fine, at least. Music showed good clarity and range, while speech sounded clear and natural. Effects played a small role, but they came across as reasonably accurate. I didn’t have any real problems with this mix, but it was too subdued for anything above a “C+”.
A few extras fill out the package. First comes an audio commentary with director Brett Simon and screenwriters Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots and development, story, characters and editing, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, cinematography and visual design.
Overall, we get a good commentary here. The participants cover a nice array of subjects and do so in an entertaining manner. The three guys mesh together well and offer a little humor along the way in this informative chat.
A bunch of unused footage also shows up here. We get two Alternate Opening Sequences (5:40), 11 Extended and Alternate Scenes (20:42) and six Deleted Scenes (6:45). That’s a lot of cut material; does any of it provide lost gold? No, not really, though the underused Michael Rapaport gets a little more screentime here. Most of the scenes feel pretty redundant, so don’t expect anything especially interesting from the clips.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Simon, Calpin and Jakubowski. They tell us about the sequences and let us know why the clips got cut. Once again, they give us useful and interesting notes.
The DVD opens with a few ads. We get promos for The Informers, Black Dynamite, and The Accidental Husband. These also appear under Previews along with clips for Blood: The Last Vampire, Year One, The Maiden Heist, Hardwired, Fireflies in the Garden, Dark Country, Fragments, The Ugly Truth, Adoration, Rescue Me Season 5 and Blu-ray Disc. No trailer for Assassination appears here.
The Assassination of a High School President looks entertaining on paper, but the actual product proves much less engrossing. Although it boasts a surprisingly intriguing mystery story, it wants to be a comedy spoof, and it flops in that regard. Neither funny nor clever, it usually bores. The DVD offers erratic picture and mediocre audio along with a decent collection of extras. I didn’t think much of the DVD or the movie it offered.