Waterboy Blu-ray Review
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 4, 2009
Run time: 130 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD25
Adam Sandler vaulted into the $20-million-salary stratosphere with this, his second $100-million hit in 1998–a movie that further shows just how deeply embedded he is in the Jerry Lewis tradition of idiot comedy. He plays Bobby Boucher, a backwoods Cajun and a mentally challenged individual with a fixation on water: specifically, on serving the coolest, most refreshing H2O available to the college football team he has served since he was an adolescent. But when he’s fired from his position, he takes up a similar job with a lowlier college team coached by neurotic Henry Winkler. One day at practice, Bobby loses his temper and delivers a bone-shaking tackle to the starting quarterback; before he can say, “blackened crawdads,” he’s the star of the team and leading it to a bowl game. But it’s all against the wishes of his overprotective mother (Kathy Bates), who wants to keep her Bobby to herself–and that includes keeping him away from the floozy girlfriend (Fairuza Balk) who’s sweet on him. There are two kinds of people in this world: People who find Sandler funny and people who view him as a neon-lit symbol of the decline of popular taste. You know who you are and, based on that, you can decide whether this is a movie for you.
This movie reminded me a lot of a comedic ‘Forrest Gump’. There is so much in this film that felt were taken from ‘Forrest Gump’ and made into a comedy that it is not even funny. The funny thing is that Tom Hanks took the same material and impressed critics and audiences with his acting skills while Adam Sandler just amused a few people who watched this film. The other joke in the film is Adam Sandler’s voice. He kept changing it. First, he had a mild southern accent, then he just began talking slower and faking a stutter. Regardless, I got a slight chuckle from the idea of him trying to fake a voice to sound stupid. His real voice would have fit all too perfectly.
The fun of the movie is the inspired performances of the supporting cast. There’s Kathy Bates (in a comedic tour de force) as the over-protective Mama Boucher whose Cajun cuisine runs to crocs, snakes and squirrels. There’s Henry Winkler, as the loser coach, who never recovered from losing his gridiron playbook to a rival. There’s the lovely Fairuza Balk who plays Boucher’s stir-crazy, gator chompin’ girlfriend Vicki Vallencourt. The movie is filled in with smaller roles that help the movie add up to more than a pack of clichés: an arrogant college professor who looks like Colonel Sanders; gay state cops, a Cajun’spewing assistant coach, swamp rat fans, and others.
Movie Quality: 8/10
The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1.85 aspect ratio. Disney does another great job with this catalog title which is ten years in age. Colors are bright and colorful throughout the entire film and most noticeable when on the field. Fleshtones are a bit on the darker orange side. This is how the colors were also on the DVD. Whenever the actors are on screen, you think they have a crazy tan. Details hold up very well. Blacks are deep, except with a few night scenes that had that hazy look to them. The excellent thing about this film coming to Blu-ray is that now you can retire that not so great looking DVD.
Video Quality: 9/10
The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA Lossless 5.1 mix. I felt very underwhelmed with the audio mix here, and a lot of it had to do with bass management and the lack usage of the rears. ‘Waterboy’ is more of a front heavy experience and this could have benefited some from the atmosphere and settings with giving an aural experience to fit the film’s content. I felt like there could have been a bit more done to bring out the surrounds of the film. Dialogue is crisp and clear through the center channel with no issues.
Audio Quality: 8.5/10
There are no special features.
Special Features: 0/10
‘Waterboy’ is a one of a kind film that I tend to compare it to ‘Forrest Gump’ but with a comedic spin. On Blu-ray the film has really good video presentation while the audio portion falls behind. There are no special features available which is a shame. If you are a fan of the film, trade-in that old DVD and pick this one up.
Overall Rating: 8/10