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Go Balls Deep

DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY ($35) is a laugh you’re a** off, feel good comedy about the little guy taking the corporation that wants to bulldoze right over him. DODGEBALL stars Vince Vaughn as Peter LaFleur, the owner of Average Joe's Gym, a failing gymnasium, that caters to a small, dedicated but decidedly eccentric clientele. Unfortunately, Peter is a poor businessman and inevitably bank attorney Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor) shows up at Average Joe's doorstep to advise Peter that his gym is about to be foreclosed upon. It seems that Peter’s rival, Globo-Gym owner White Goodman (Ben Stiller), has purchased Average Joe's defaulted mortgage, which leave Peter with thirty days to raise $50,000.00 to save his business.

The solution to Peter & Average Joe's problems…The Las Vegas International Dodge Ball Open, which offers a $50,000.00 Cash Prize to the winner. Sure the guys from Average Joe's have no experience playing dodge ball, but why should they let a little thing like that stop them. After winning a qualifying round, due to their opponents (a girl scout troop) being disqualified for steroid use, the guys from Average Joe's find themselves on their way to Las Vegas. Average Joe's win also attracts the attention of legendary former dodge ball player Patches O’Houlihan (Rip Torn), who offers to coach the team. However, even with a seasoned coach by their side, the guys from Average Joe's find themselves also facing the Globo-Gym team, The Purple Cobras, lead by White Goodman himself. The very funny cast of DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY also features Justin Long, Stephen Root, Joel Moore, Chris Williams, Alan Tudyk, Missi Pyle, Jamal Duff, Gary Cole, Jason Bateman, Hank Azaria, Curtis Armstrong, Lance Armstrong, Chuck Norris, William Shatner and David Hasselhoff.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY sports a truly sweet 1080p presentation that is certain to please fans, as well as anyone else with a Blu-ray player. Image sharpness, depth and fine detail are really quite impressive for a comedy. Colors are pretty vibrant, even the dull hues of Average Joe's Gym come across rather nicely. Flesh tones are always appealing. Blacks are inky, whites are crisp and contrast is smooth. Shadow detail is remarkably good, but I attribute it to the way the dark sequences were shot. The elements from which DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY have been transferred appear relatively free from blemishes. There is a mild veneer of grain throughout the course of the presentation, which helps maintain a very film-like quality.

DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This is a somewhat better than average comedy mix, where the outlying channels engaging nicely during key dodge ball competition moments. However, much of DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY plays in talky comedy mode, so the majority of sonic activity is localized to the front. During the talky passages, the surrounds do supply the usual complement of ambient sounds and musical fill. The musical component has strong fidelity and the sound effects are convincing. The bass channel keeps the effects fully grounded and enhances the beat of the music. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice supplements. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber, plus actors Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn are on hand to provide a running Audio Commentary. Featurettes include: Dodgeball Boot Camp: Training For Dodgeball (three minutes), The Anatomy Of A Hit (three minutes), Justin Long: A Study In Ham & Cheese (four minutes) and Dodgeball: Go For The Gold (one minute plus). Deleted Scenes, Bloopers/Gag Reel and More With The Dodgeball Dancers close out the supplements.

DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY is the best time one is likely to have with the sport. I laughed until it hurt. The Blu-ray presentation definitely impresses for a comedy. Recommended.



Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story [Blu-ray] (2004)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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