The Longshots 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. The movie came with a mediocre transfer.
Some of the problems connected to sharpness. Though a lot of the flick seemed accurate and concise, a few shots looked soft and ill-defined. Edge enhancement affected a few of these concerns, as I noticed haloes during much of the film. I witnessed no jagged edges or shimmering, and source flaws were absent. However, the movie often seemed rather grainy, and compression artifacts gave some scenes
Don’t expect vivid hues from Longshots. The flick used an earthy, somewhat sepia look that seemed logical for the depressed town of Minden, though I thought the film poured on the dinginess too heavily. Even when the flick moved to Miami, everything remained brown. The colors were fine within the parameters, I guess, but they seemed pretty uninspiring.
Blacks appeared dark and tight, but shadows were a bit dense. Some low-light shots seemed a little more opaque than I’d like. With the softness, compression issues and flat colors, this was a lackluster presentation.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of The Longshots remained low-key. Speech dominated, and not much else cropped up along the way. Music did show nice stereo imaging, and environmental material added a little life to the proceedings. Though the football games should’ve brought out some pizzazz, they didn’t. Sure, they opened things up a bit, but the track stayed pretty restrained and bland.
Audio quality satisfied to a reasonable degree. A few lines showed light edginess, but most of the dialogue was natural and concise. Music sounded full and warm, while effects seemed acceptably accurate. I thought that this was good enough for a “C+“.
A few extras fill out the set. 13 Deleted Scenes run a total of 19 minutes, 23 seconds. Most of these provide fairly redundant bits of exposition; they reinforce character and story elements we essentially already know. We do get a new subplot between Curtis and the town hustler, and we also see some parental pressure to bench Jasmine. A coda shows Jasmine’s impact on the team as well. Those are the most interesting tidbits, though none of them prove particularly memorable.
Four featurettes follow. For some info on the facts behind the film, we go to Jasmine Plummer: The Real Longshot. In this six-minute and 45-second piece, we hear from direcir Fred Durst, actors Ice Cube and Keke Palmer, and real-life character inspirations Fred Johnson and Jasmine Plummer. We get some basics about Plummer’s story in this quick piece. It’s too short to provide real depth, unfortunately, and it’s too bad we don’t see any footage of Jasmine on the field. Still, it’s cool to meet the real-life personalities behind the flick’s two main characters.
For the eight-minute and six-second Making The Longshots, we hear from Palmer, Cube, and actors Tasha Smith, Dash Mihok, Matt Craven, and Miles Chandler. The show looks at cast and performances, and the work of director Durst. This is a fairly generic piece that doesn’t bring much to the table.
The lead actor comes to the fore in A Conversation with Ice Cube. It runs five minutes, 30 seconds and features Cube’s comments about his involvement in the project, his football background, working with cast and crew, and locations. A few decent notes emerge, but the piece doesn’t shed a whole lot of light on anything.
Finally, we get A Conversation with Fred Durst. The piece lasts seven minutes, 26 seconds, as the director discusses the story and characters, working with Cube and other actors, his approach to the real-life subject of the tale, the football elements and various challenges. Once again, we find a fairly bland chat here. I’d have liked a little more insight into Durst’s efforts as a new director, but he keeps things unmemorable.
The DVD opens with a few ads. We get Previews for the Hole in the Wall Camps, The Great Debaters, and The Nanny Diaries. The disc also includes the film’s theatrical trailer.
On paper, The Longshots looks like it’ll be cloying and predictable – and that’s how it plays out on the screen, as well. Its actors do their best to elevate the material, but pedestrian directing, inconsistent storytelling and a sappy score make this movie mediocre at best. The DVD also seems unexceptional; it provides average picture and sound along with a few minor extras. There are better inspirational sports films out there, so I’d recommend you skip The Longshots.