An Inconvenient Truth Davis Guggenheim

This hit film was shocking to many North Americans, and buried deep in the movie is a funny little statistic that explains why. Al Gore describes how even though every peer-reviewed science journal unequivocally believes in global warming, mainstream media coverage continuously treats it like a questionable theory, usually by soliciting opinions of scientists on the payroll of oil companies. Gore briefly compares them to the doctors trotted out in the ’60s to defend cigarettes but doesn’t push the issue. And nor should he, lest the potential converts to his cause think he’s one of those wacko conspiracy theorists that actually believes that Florida 2000 was an unfair fight. But the film’s producers are happy to expand on that thought — and others — during their informative commentary, which acts as an excellent supplement to the information in the film itself. Director Guggenheim is less enlightening on the issues but provides a textbook example of someone who doesn’t consider himself an environmentalist yet was totally swayed by the strength of Gore’s presentation on global warming. He also explains how hard it was to convince Gore to include glimpses into the former vice-president’s own life struggles, which explains Gore’s passion for delivering this message while also breaking up the density of information and drawing the audience closer to its subject. Guggenheim laments about how hard it was to trim down Gore’s two-hour lecture into less than 90 minutes to make an effective film. If that’s true, why not include more extended scenes as DVD extras? Gore does appear in a featurette with a bare minimum of this material, as well as an update on some facts and case studies cited in the original film. Rest assured, there’s no wasteful plastic packaging on this DVD: not only is it made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled material but apparently it was powered by Native Energy. After hearing him talk the talk, it’s good to know he’s walking the walk. Also: short "making of” featurette, Melissa Etheridge music video. (Paramount)