Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Fairuza Balk, Henry Winkler, Jerry Reed, Larry Gilliard Jr., Blake Clark, Peter Dante, Jonathan Loughran
Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler
Just an oddball mama's boy from the back bayous of Louisiana, Bobby Boucher (Sandler) never wanted anything more than to quench the thirst of the dehyrdrated athletes who treat him like dirt. But when Coach Klein (Winker) makes the call that allows Bobby to finally stand up for himself, it unleashes a torrent of bottled up frustration and exposes a talent for tackling that tansforms him from a meek water distribution engineer to the hardest hitter ever to roam the gridiron.
$39.414 million on 2664 screens.
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Surround 2.0
Portuguese Dolby Surround 2.0
French DTS 5.1
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
Runtime: 90 min.
Release Date: 8/4/2009
PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM
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The Waterboy [Blu-Ray] (1998)
Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 30, 2009)
Although earlier flicks like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer did fine, 1998ís The Waterboy was the one that established Adam Sandler as a legit box office attraction. It made $161 million and remains the actorís second-highest-grossing flick, just a hair behind 1999ís Big Daddy.
Introverted Bobby Boucher (Sandler) still lives with his overbearing mama (Kathy Bates) and works as waterboy for the University of Louisiana football team. Due to his oddness, the players pick on him, and this distraction causes Coach Beaulieu (Jerry Reed) to fire him.
Bobby loves his work as waterboy, so he pursues employment with the sad-sack team at South Central Louisiana State University. Coach Klein (Henry Winkler) hires him but he experience the same abuse from the players. Bobby finally hits his boiling point and tackles the teamís quarterback (Peter Dante).
Impressed by Bobbyís vicious power, Klein convinces Bobby to become a college student and play linebacker for the team. His mama refuses to allow this so Bobby does it behind her back. We follow his play on the field and how this affects the team and his personal life.
Sandler was Ė and is Ė a polarizing actor, and Waterboy demonstrates a lot of the reason for that. He specializes in this sort of semi-moronic man-child, and I can see why characters like Bobby can annoy many. Sandler doesnít really attempt to make him a real-life personality; sure, Bobby shows growth through the film, but heís still goofy and potentially off-putting.
If you like Sandler, though, you can better see the charm of a character such as Bobby. Yeah, he can be irritating, but Sandler manages to transmit his inherent sweetness, and that helps allow him to prosper. Sandler fares best when he handles kind-hearted personalities, and he delivers decent comedy with Bobby.
Some fun supporting performances come along for the ride as well. Balk combines sex appeal and lawlessness in an amusing way, and Bates is a hoot as Bobbyís overbearing mama. Sheís even more absurd a character than Bobby, but Bates seems to enjoy herself in the part and she allows the role to become consistently funny.
Like most Sandler flicks, Waterboy lacks consistency, especially during its first act. The movie takes a while to get into gear, and even as it progresses, it occasionally sputters. Nonetheless, the film boasts a good combination of easy-going charm and comedic absurdity. For instance, I love the tiny subplot in which Bobby convinces his mama that his football injuries stem from a runaway gorilla.
At no point does Waterboy threaten to become Sandlerís best movie, and I never could quite understand why it became such a box office sensation. Nonetheless, it takes a minimal story and makes it reasonably charming and entertaining. While I doubt itíll win over new fans, the flick works for Sandler aficionados.
The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C/ Audio B-/ Bonus F
The Waterboy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a decidedly lackluster transfer.
Sharpness was an issue much of the time. Close-ups looked fine, but wider shots tended to be somewhat soft and ill-defined. The flick didnít look super-fuzzy, but it lacked the fine detail I expect from Blu-ray. No signs of jagged edges or shimmering appeared, at least, and the movie lacked edge enhancement. Source flaws remained essentially absent, though I thought grain was heavier than usual. Otherwise only a couple of small specks appeared.
Colors were also erratic. The movie went with a natural palette, and the hues occasionally looked pretty bright and distinctive. However, exceptions occurred, and the tones came across as somewhat bland and muddy at times. Blacks were acceptable, while shadows seemed decent. Nothing here became an embarrassment, but the transfer was awfully ordinary.
Donít expect much from the Plain Jane DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of The Waterboy. I thought the football scenes might give the audio pizzazz, but the soundfield remained pretty restrained. Yeah, the games had decent breadth and added some punch, but the track was generally average. At least music demonstrated nice stereo imaging, and the whole thing seemed satisfactory for a film of this sort.
Audio quality was pretty good. The football scenes showed nice oomph, especially given Bobbyís violent tackles. Other effects had less power, but they were perfectly adequate. Music offered nice range and breadth, while dialogue seemed fine. The lines were concise and distinctive. Nothing here excelled, but the audio worked fine for a comedy like this.
Waterboy comes completely devoid of extras. We donít even get the usual previews to open the disc! Given the movieís popularity and Sandlerís willingness to do extras for his flicks, it seems odd that we get nothing here.
One of Adam Sandlerís biggest hits, The Waterboy doesnít stand among his best. Nonetheless, the flick has enough entertainment value to make it enjoyable. The Blu-ray provides mediocre picture, acceptable audio, and no supplements whatsoever. I like Waterboy but this isnít a particularly good Blu-ray, especially with a high list price of almost $40.
Viewer Film Ratings: 4.125 Stars
| Number of Votes: 8