The Game Plan appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. I found a lot to like about this transfer.
Only a few issues affected sharpness. Some wide shots could come across as a little soft, but those instances occurred infrequently. The majority of the flick showed nice delineation and definition. I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge enhancement appeared to be absent. Source flaws also failed to show up in this clean presentation.
Plan went with a lively palette and boasted excellent colors. The hues were always bright and dynamic, so they looked very good. Blacks were dark and firm, and shadows seemed clear and smooth. This was a consistently attractive image.
Nothing extraordinary came from the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, but the audio seemed satisfying. The football scenes opened up the mix the best, as they used the sides and surrounds in a reasonably satisfying way. Environmental elements also broadened matters fairly well, and music offered nice stereo spread. No part of the track really impressed, but it added some life to the material.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech was concise and natural, with only a smidgen of edginess on a few occasions. Music seemed lively and full, and effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. I thought this was a more than acceptable track for a comedy.
As we shift to the extras, we begin with nine Deleted Scenes. Including intros from director Andy Fickman, these fill a total of 21 minutes and 12 seconds. (They go for 16:11 without the intros.) We find “Joe Actually Loses One” (1:36), “Joe’s Party” (1:12), “Joe’s Special Friends” (0:46), “Practice with Peyton” (0:55), “Peyton’s Sharing Lesson” (2:49), “Can You Catch?” (0:29), “Like Father, Like Daughter” (1:13), “Rebels’ Owner” (0:36) and “Ballet Extended” (6:54).
I don’t think anything worthwhile hit the cutting room floor. Fickman tells us he loves “Sharing Lesson”, but I think it’s even more trite and illogical than most of what we find in the final film. Most of the scenes are redundant and not remotely interesting. Fickman’s intros manage to give us some good notes, though he doesn’t always tell us why he cut the sequences.
For some silliness, we head to Bloopers with Marv Albert. The three-minute and one-second reel offers the standard goofs and giggles. Narration from Albert makes the format a little different but it’s not enough to entertain.
A few featurettes round out the set. Drafting The Game Plan lasts 20 minutes, 17 seconds as it mixes movie clips, shots from the set and interviews. We hear from Fickman, producers Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray, writers Kathryn Price and Nichole Mallard, production designer David Bomba, 2nd unit director/football coordinator Mark Ellis, assistant football coordinator Pat O’Hara, composer Nathan Wang, and actors Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Madison Pettis, Morris Chestnut, Paige Turco, Gordon Clapp, Hayes MacArthur, Roselyn Sanchez, Brian White and Kyra Sedgwick.
We learn a little about the project’s origins, cast and performances, Fickman’s work on the set, and shooting the football and ballet segments. Much of “Drafting” falls into the realm of the fluffy promotional featurette, but the football section actually works pretty well. We get a good look at the creation of that side of things. It’s not enough to sustain an otherwise forgettable 20-minute featurette, however.
The Rock Learns to Play QB goes for three minutes, 33 seconds and features ESPN’s Sean Salisbury as he talks with Johnson and Ellis about the football segments and Johnson’s training to play a quarterback. It’s too short to provide much substance.
Finally, The King In Search of a Ring offers something unusual. The five-minute and three-second piece lets us see all of the ESPN “special” briefly observed in the movie. We hear from a few of the flick’s characters in this appraisal of “Joe Kingman”. It’s a fun extra.
As usual, the disc opens with some ads. We get promos for Blu-Ray discs, 101 Dalmatians, WALL-E, Disney Movie Rewards and Enchanted. These also appear in the Sneak Peeks area along with clips for Tinkerbell, SnowBuddies, The Aristocats, Twitches Too and ESPN’s SportsCenter. No trailer for The Game Plan appears here.
The Game Plan may entertain its young target audience, though its rather long 110-minute running time will probably test their attention spans. Adults will likely be bored with its relentless string of tired jokes and predictable situations. The DVD provides very good picture, perfectly adequate audio, and some minor supplements. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gives us a pretty nice lead performance, but it’s not enough to make this clunker watchable.