Quick question, do you know the name of first African American to win the Heisman trophy? If you don’t, and you’re curious, then this film’s for you. If you’re a fan of sports movies or inspirational tales than this one’s for you. If you are neither of the above than you might want to look elsewhere.
The Express focuses on the collegite career of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African American to win the Heisman. It’s a good, though not great, sports film that lovers of the genre should enjoy. For more on the film itself read the original review
The DVD includes short featurettes on the making of the film, the life and legacy of Ernie Davis, and the work done in recreating and shooting the football games. None of these are all that exceptional but they do add something to the collection.
My favorite extra is the audio commentary by director Gary Fleder (along with optional commentary for the deleted scenes). There are basically two types of commentary, those from the creators of the project discussing the process and group commentaries focused more on shared remembrances from making the film. Fleder’s commentary is the first, and I was impressed by how brutally honest he was with scenes that still bothered him or which were necessary for the plot but might not have worked on their own.
One of the issues you run into on extras is too much self-congratulation over a job well done. Fleder is proud of his work, and he has a right to be, but also freely admits some limitations of the genre and small issues with the film that still trouble him.
The Blu-ray edition also features the basic BD Live interactivity allowing you to download and share favorite moments and it also includes the “50th Anniversary of the 1959 Syracuse National Championship” complete with archival footage and interviews from players, coaches, and fans.
Unless you collect sports film this one’s probably just a rent, but a worthwhile one with some okay extras and some insightful commentary. You may not want to permanently add it to your collection, but it’s worth a look.