The Longshots appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a generally good but unexceptional transfer.
Though a lot of the flick seemed accurate and concise, a few shots looked a bit soft and ill-defined. Edge enhancement affected a few of these concerns, as I noticed light haloes during much of the film.
I witnessed no jagged edges or shimmering, and source flaws were absent. Grain felt natural.
Don’t expect vivid hues from Longshots. The flick used an earthy mix of amber and gold 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 with these tints. The colors were fine within the parameters, but they seemed pretty uninspiring.
Blacks appeared dark and tight, and shadows demonstrated reasonably good clarity. Though a more than watchable presentation, the movie never looked great.
The Dolby TrueHD 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+“.
Gow did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio showed a bit more range and punch, though the low-key nature of the soundscape limited room for improvement.
As for visuals, the Blu-ray looked better defined and more natural than the DVD. However, the image came with its own restrictions, so while it became an upgrade, it could’ve been better.
The Blu-ray repeats the DVD’s extras, and 13 Deleted Scenes run a total of 19 minutes, 24 seconds. Most of these provide fairly redundant bits of exposition, as 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, and for some info on the facts behind the film, we go to Jasmine Plummer: The Real Longshot. In this six-minute, 45-second piece, we hear from director 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, 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.
In addition to the film’s Trailer, we finish with 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.
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 Blu-ray brings decent picture and audio along with mediocre bonus materials. There are better inspirational sports films out there, so I’d recommend you skip The Longshots.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of LONGSHOTS