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So that's what opening up a can of whoop-ass feels like.

THE WATERBOY ($40) is about as unsophisticated and stupid as any comedy could possibly be; yet the lowbrow humor has me rolling on the floor laughing every time I see it. Heck, I’ll even go so far to say that my appreciation and love for this wonderfully crude comedy has grown by leaps and bounds in the years since it was originally released. In THE WATERBOY, Adam Sandler portrays Bobby Boucher, a backwater mama's boy from the Louisiana bayous who, just isn't quite right in the head. Bobby may be 31 years old, but he has naivete of a child. Bobby is also a "professional" waterboy for the local college football team- a position he has held for about twenty years. In addition to providing water, Bobby has also become an object of ridicule for the team. Not wanting to let Bobby distract the team from the game, Coach Beaulieu (Jerry Reed) fires Bobby from his longtime position.

Distraught, Bobby applies for a job as waterboy with the only other local football team- a team that just happens to have the worst record in collegiate sports. Coach Klein (Henry Winkler) gives Bobby a job as "water distribution engineer" and encourages him to stand up for himself when the team members begin tormenting him. The emotionally retarded Bobby takes the coach’s advice to heart, and by focusing all of his pent-up rage… he turns into a one man wrecking crew. Amazed by the hard-hitting force he has unleashed; Coach Klein transforms Bobby from timid waterboy into the weapon that finally gets his team out of the toilet. Academy Award winner Kathy Bates may be slumming for a paycheck, but she is hilarious as Bobby's ultra-protective Bayou Mama, who sees "The Devil" in everything that could conceivably take her boy away from her. Fairuza Balk brings the right combination of sex appeal and humor to the role of Vicki Vallencourt, the "Bad Girl" who takes an interest in the simple waterboy who becomes a college football phenomenon. Blake Clark gives an incompressible performance as Farmer Fran and he gets plenty of cheap laughs for his trouble. The cast of THE WATERBOY also features Larry Gilliard Jr., Peter Dante, Jonathan Loughran, Al Whiting, Clint Howard, Allen Covert and Rob Schneider.

Touchstone Home Entertainment has made THE WATERBOY available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. While not the greatest thing since barbequed gator, I have to admit that the 1080p presentation of THE WATERBOY is very sweet and tasty. The picture appears sharp, well defined and pretty darn dimensional. Sure, some moments appear a little softer than others, but for the most part, the visual quality is very pleasing. Colors are fairly bright and nicely saturated, with the interiors demonstrating the best looking hues. Both the blacks and the whites appear accurate. The picture has smooth contrast and more than respectable shadow detail. The elements used for the transfer are quite clean. Grain is fairly mild and the presentation comes across in an organic fashion.

THE WATERBOY is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. For the most part, THE WATERBOY plays in a dialogue heavy, talky comedy mode, but I still found this to be a somewhat better than average soundtrack, thanks to strong musical content, as well as a few "foosball" related moments that engage the outlying channels. As I alluded, the lossless encoding enhances certainly enhances the pop song rich musical component. The bass channel adds reinforcement, but never calls attention to itself. Dialogue is crisply rendered and remains understandable, except where the exaggerated Creole accents are concerned. A French Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track, as well a Spanish 2.0 channel track have also been encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the interactive menus. No supplemental content has been provided.

THE WATERBOY may not be classy, sophisticated, politically correct or even reasonably intelligent, but it is sure funny. The Blu-ray presentation gets high marks. Definitely recommended to fans.



The Waterboy [Blu-ray] (1998)


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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