The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 93 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean
Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, Justin Long, Alan Tudyk, Chris Williams
Music by: Theodore Shapiro
Written & Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 9, 2008
"a TRUE underdog story…"
Dodge, duck, dip, dive…and laugh out loud as Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller settle their differences in a winner-takes-all dodgeball competition. Under the painful tutelage of legendary ADAA champ Patches O’Houlihan (Rip Torn), Peter LaFleur (Vaughn) and his Average Joes take on the Purple Cobras, led by egomaniacal fitness guru White Goodman (Stiller). It’s an over-the-top underdog tale filled with hilarious sight gags and balls-out fun.
There are so many comedies out there today that try to elicit audience reaction by using visual shock tactics, over the top/vulgar language and what some refer to as politically incorrect references. Some are more successful than others but the feel is the same nonetheless. Seeing the trailer for Dodgeball when it was released it looked like another typical film that could possibly fall into the same category as so many other comedies of late. The first time I saw it was on cable TV and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked it. While it does use some of the aforementioned aspects to garner laughs it also harkens back to a time when physical humor was the tact used to get the audience going. Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn are the stars of this film, however I felt that the supporting cast were the ones who really sold it for me. I am a Stephen Root fan and he was perfectly cast as Gordon. I couldn’t help but chuckle every time Justin Long got hit with either a wrench or a dodge ball. His approach to physical comedy fit very well and I really liked his performance in general. Rip Torn, Chris Williams, Christine Taylor and the very funny Alan Tudyk round out the supporting players. The boatload of notable cameo roles added to the fun and featured Hank Azaria, William Shatner, Jason Bateman, Missy Pyle, Gary Cole, Chuck Norris, Lance Armstrong and David Hasselhoff. The writing and premise are nothing new or particularly special but I appreciated its light hearted tone. When combined with the solid casting, and old school approach to physical humor it just seemed to work. This unrated version adds a total of 1 minute to the original run time and in watching it it’s easy to figure out which scenes were added. Even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of the style of Ben Stiller or Vince Vaughn comedies I think that this is worth checking out as it may surprise you.
Parental Guide:This film is unrated but contains language, sexual references, and thematic material.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
DodgeBall comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 mbps.
My first viewing experience with this film was on high definition cable TV and I remember thinking that it looked pretty good. Seeing it on Blu-ray disc brought back that same feeling. This is a very nice looking transfer that boats bright, vivid colors and razor sharp high definition image quality. Detail is enriching and offers plenty of subtle texture and defining structure. There might have been one or two instances where perspective was less than definitive but even in those cases it never impacted fidelity. Fleshtones were lifelike with excellent tonality and complexional diversity among the cast. White and black levels looked great and never drew unwanted attention to themselves one way or the other. Bright sequences had plenty of dynamic energy and eye popping colors while dark segments had good visual depth with discernible gradational highlights. I noticed some low level noise in a few backgrounds but couldn’t say with certainty that it was related to the encoding. I didn’t find it to be intrusive or distracting but it’s worth mentioning.
**The disc case inaccurately indicates that this is an MPEG-2 video encoding.**
The sound quality on this disc is on par with what we have come to expect from high quality lossless audio encodings. Detail and clarity are first rate which renders dialogue, music and sound effects with succulent texture and defining description that is appreciable. I would describe this sound mix as front heavy with most of its sound deriving from the front three channels. Panning sequences are spread across all three speakers with tight focus and appropriate directional spacing. Dialogue is placed firmly in the center and a bit forward in the soundstage which aligns in perfectly in the room. Surround and subwoofer activity is limited but effectively used to drive the onscreen action especially during the tournament sequences. This isn’t an aggressive surround track but when the entire system kicks in it creates a stable sound field that offers a fairly immersive atmosphere.
- Feature length commentary with Writer/Director Rawson Marshall Thurber, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn
- 10 Deleted scenes with optional Director/Writer commentary
- Dodge ball boot camp: Training for Dodgeball
- The anatomy of a hit - short feature
- Justin Long: A study in ham & cheese - short video montage
- Dodgeball: Go for the gold
- Bloopers/gag reel
- More with the Dodgeball dancers - featured in pink, blue or black - with optional Director introduction
- Easter eggs
DodgeBall isn’t an award winning comedy or even a stand out in the genre. It is a middle of the road film that is entertaining and easily worth the 93 minutes it takes to watch. I wouldn’t call it a must have but if your in the mood for a light hearted comedy I would give it due consideration as a rental. Its presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Fox is excellent. Fans may be disappointed that the bonus features are not in high definition however all of them from the previous DVD release are present which makes this an easy sell for an upgrade.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
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JVC DLA-RS1x 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
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Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
Look again. Those numbers reflect ONLY the technical aspects (audio/video quality). Most who read my reviews don't have a problem with the layout as it is fairly straight forward.
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AVS Forum Blu-ray Disc Reviews: Introduction