The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: The Weinstein Company - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 95 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Ice Cube, Keke Palmer, Dash Mihok, Tasha Smith, Jill Marie Jones, Matt Craven
Directed by: Fred Durst
Music by: Teddy Castellucci
Written by: Nick Santora
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 2, 2008
"The new coach has a secret weapon"
A rag-tag group of misfit kids were all the tiny town of Minden had for a Pop Warner Football team. That is, until Curtis Plummer (Ice Cube) came along. With a secret weapon in tow - his pigtail wearing niece Jasmine who is a natural quarterback - he will take the team from a group of clumsy goofballs to a football powerhouse.
This film is based upon a true story inspired by real life long shot Jasmine Plummer. As portrayed in the film Jasmine was a social outcast who loved to read books and had no interest in sports. She lived alone with her mother after her father walked out on both of them when she was five years old. Her uncle Curtis (her father's brother) lives nearby and is a former high school football star that injured his knee and hasn't played since. He is now unemployed, a bit of a drunk, and does nothing but hang out near the local Pop Warner Football field. He really has nothing to do with his niece and sister in law until there is a change in her hours at work and she needs someone to watch Jasmine until she gets home in the evening. The pairing isn't an amicable one until Curtis asks Jasmine to toss him an overthrown football one day. He notices that she seems to have quite an arm but no technique/experience. He talks her into tossing the ball with him and finds out that she has an aptitude for it. He gets the idea one day, while watching the town's struggling Pop Warner team, that they could use a better quarterback. He knows both coaches from his playing days and approaches them with the Jasmine and the concept. The band plays on from there...
I tend to like movies that are based on or inspired by true events/people. That was the case here as well. I have to admit that this story played out like almost every other of its kind but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. The screenplay changed the story some for dramatic effect but again that is common. The real Jasmine Plummer was an athlete who excelled in several sports before trying her hand at football. I thought that Keke Palmer did a fine job and is maturing as an actress. I first saw her in Akeelah and the bee a few years back and really liked her. Ice Cube is Ice Cube and he played the part in his typically angry and one dimensional style. I think it worked just fine though. The football sequences weren't the most dramatic or well shot that I have seen but they were okay. I liked the remainder of the cast which included character actor Matt Craven and SNL alum Garrett Morris. I think that this is an inspirational story that translated well to film and it can be enjoyed by the whole family.
The rating is for some thematic elements, mild language and brief rude humor. The thematic elements have to do with some minor middle school teasing/hazing. Other than a remark by one of the players who was concerned about hiking the ball to Jasmine I don't recall any rude humor.
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:
The Longshots comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 2.5 mbps.
This was a somewhat different looking video presentation in that is uses a noticeably de-saturated color aesthetic. Contrast and brightness levels are elevated which when combined with the pale color scheme gives the video a washed out appearance. It looks to be intentional although quite frankly I don't see why. Furthermore, when I watched the bonus features the high definition trailer didn't look like this and colors were well saturated and vibrant with good tonal delineation. I wouldn't say that the video looked bad as a result but it left color balance looking dull and flat. Resolution and detail revealed plenty of subtle textures within the image and sharpness was fairly consistent over the course of the movie. It fluctuated occasionally but never to the point where it infringed upon fidelity. Complexions and skin tones didn't appear to be adversely affected and looked great. I saw good shadow delineation and above average black level depth. Other than some minor noise visible here and there in backgrounds I didn't see any other video related anomalies. The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack capably rendered the elements in this essentially dialogue driven film. Voices were clearly articulated with discernible intonation and excellent room penetration. Front channel separation was very good so that sounds emanating across the soundfield were directionally distinguishable and realistic in depiction. Dynamics and low frequency detail were appropriate for the source material and conveyed the effects within the mix/soundtrack just fine. The surrounds were primarily used for ambient enhancement with occasional discrete sounds mixed in. I found the soundtrack to mate perfectly with the film and it sounded fine.
- 7 Deleted scenes
- Making The Longshots - Featurette
- A conversation with Ice Cube - Interview
- A conversation with Director Fred Durst - Interview
- Jasmine Plummer: The real Longshot - Documentary
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
The Longshots is an inspirational film that is based upon real life long shot Jasmine Plummer. She became Pop Warner Football's first female quarterback and her story is an interesting one. The film takes a few liberties but delivers the essence of her achievements. This high definition package on Blu-ray Disc from The Weinstein Company features good audio/video quality and an average set of bonus supplements. This one is easily worth a rental and I would reserve purchasing it for fans only.
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