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BLACK SHEEP ($30) is a rather predictable comedy that is made enjoyable by the presence of Chris Farley and David Spade. As expected, BLACK SHEEP highlights Farley’s prowess for physical comedy, while Spade plays the thankless role of the toady assigned to hold Farley’s character’s leash. In BLACK SHEEP, Farley portrays another in the series of likable idiots that represented his all too brief film career. This time out, he is Mike Donnelly, brother to Washington State gubernatorial candidate Al Donnelly (Tim Matheson). For all of his good-natured support while trying to help his brother get elected, Mike continually makes the kind of moronic mistakes that prove a huge liability to Al’s political aspirations. However, to keep Mike under the radar and away from the press, Steve Dodds (David Spade) volunteers to be Mike’s babysitter in return for the promise of a staff job with the Donnelly administration. Of course, keeping Mike from screwing up is more easily said than done, and this is something that incumbent Governor Evelyn Tracy (Christine Ebersole) isn’t beyond exploiting… The cast of BLACK SHEEP also includes Gary Busey, Grant Heslov, Timothy Carhart, Bruce McGill, Michael Patrick Carter, Boyd Banks and David St. James.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made BLACK SHEEP available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Considering this is a modestly budgeted comedy from the mid-nineties, I have to say BLACK SHEEP comes with a generally pleasing 1080p presentation. Image sharpness, detail and dimensionality are all relatively strong performers in high definition. Bright daylight scenes do come across in a highly favorable fashion. Sure, this isn’t a demo disc, but fans of this movie should be pleased. Colors have good saturation and natural looking flesh tones. Black, whites, contrast and shadow detail are all a bit beyond what one might expect from this type film. The elements from which BLACK SHEEP has been mastered do show some minor imperfections. Grain is ever present, but is never excessive.

BLACK SHEEP is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.0 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. This is a better than expected; talky comedy mix that utilizes the outlying channels to incorporate a nice amount of directional effects. Of course, the directional effects never attain the intensity of an action movie, but they usually serve as an enhancement to the central character’s repeated comic screw-ups. Additionally, the track delivers the expected complement of ambience and musical fill. The musical component has respectable fidelity, thanks to the lossless encode. Dialogue is crisply rendered and remains totally understandable. A Spanish Dolby Digital 5.0 channel track is also encoded onto the disc, as is a French 2.0 track. English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles are also present.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features. No supplemental content has been provided.

BLACK SHEEP is a serviceable little comedy that has been given a very nice presentation on Blu-ray.



Black Sheep [Blu-ray] (1996)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 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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