The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Magnolia - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring:Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Marc-Andre Grondin, Liev Schrieber, Kim Coates, Eugene Levy
Directed by: Michael Dowse
Music by: Ramachandra Borcar
Written by: Jay Baruchel & Evan Goldberg
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 29, 2012
"Meet Doug, the nicest guy you'll ever fight."
Not content with his job as a bouncer at a local Beantown bar and a bit of an embarrassment to his accomplished family, Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) dreams of the kind of success enjoyed by minor league hockey goon Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber). When a chance encounter with an on-ice thug leads to a bloody fist fight that Doug easily wins, the coach of the Halifax Highlanders sees potential in this mammoth sized man who is only hampered by his lack of any hockey playing ability and his brother's old figure skates. Standing up to the taunts of the other players, Doug manages to join the team, and with the encouragement of his hockey obsessed best friend (Jay Baruchel) quickly becomes a rising star. Soon he'll have the opportunity to face off against Ross "The Boss" Rhea and perhaps finally land a girlfriend. Now - all he needs is to learn how to skate.
GOON is inspired by the book, Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey Into a Minor Hockey League, about Doug Smith, a late bloomer, who didn't start playing hockey until age 19 and came equipped with the unlikely skill of an amateur boxer. A casual glance at Goon would easily lead one to pass it over as over simplified drivel that revolves around the violence associated with hockey spun to a comedic overtone that stars that Stifler guy from the American Pie movies. I have to admit that going in thoughts like did go through my mind however I requested Goon for review because I thought that it had diamond in the rough potential. Goon is one of those films that like its central character Doug, grows on you. Early on the jury was out as introductions were made and the script seemed like it was headed for a run of the mill comedy containing a series of nonsensical over the top situations blended with one line attempts at humor and an overtly violent context. Doug is painted as socially awkward dullard whose lot in life is to be a sidekick to best buddy Ryan, bounce at a local club and go to hockey games. However as the story progresses we see a bit more depth to his character which begins with understanding his rather difficult relationship with his parents and the realization that he isn't a dullard but is a guy searching for something meaningful in his life. By pure happenstance he discovers that the meaning he is looking for comes to be found in his innate ability to fight. A chance encounter sees Doug put his skills to work with a local minor league hockey team where he eventually discovers that he can make a difference. Something he has been looking to do his whole life. Doug isn't complicated in fact he is quite the opposite. He is unassuming, simple and expects little of others but believes in respect which is something he quickly earns among his peers. Doug has hopes for romance when he meets Eva, a local hockey groupie, who likes him but is complicated. For the first time in his life Doug feels a sense of belonging. Veteran Ross Rhea who has been the epitome of the hands of stone throughout the league for years, stands as the lone obstacle Doug has yet to face. As his team climbs the ladder a showdown with Rhea is inevitable. For Doug that encounter won't prove to be his toughest challenge. For a guy with a simple perspective and a big heart it will be the hope of love and the bond of friendship that motivate him.
This film turned out to be better than expected. The narrative has a semi-serious thematic tone which mates perfectly with its offshoots of dark humor and quirky characterizations. The laughs aren't the rolling on the floor variety but had me chuckling out loud on more than one occasion. There is a visceral edge to the violence on the ice but the film isn't defined by it. The story is driven by this character that is completely one dimensional but who draws you with his affable charm, unpretentiousness and refreshing approach to life. If you like hockey there are some pretty decent moments that take place on the ice. I like Seann William Scott but have really never looked at him as anything other than Steve Stifler (or of that ilk). That is until now. I really enjoyed his performance here and felt that he truly made this character his own which lent an essential air of credibility to the film. Don't get me wrong Goon probably won't find its way into the top on most peoples' favorite movies lists but it's certainly much more than it would otherwise appear to be and for me is an entertaining film that I like to refer to as a diamond in the rough.
The rating is for brutal violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use.
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:
Goon comes to Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.
This high definition presentation was on par with other new release films of its type and generally looked great. Colors were natural looking with a pleasing and reserved quality that capably handled the somewhat limited palette used to represent the period settings and clothing featured in the film. Flesh tones varied a bit with some appearing warm and lifelike while others were sullen with pallid characteristics. Contrast was tamped down but stable and images were well detailed and crisp, with sharp lines and appreciable dimension. Blacks weren't inky but had good dynamic range and detail in shadowy backgrounds and low level sequences had estimable visibility which enhanced depth. This high bitrate encoding was rendered with pristine quality that didn't exhibit any overt signs of compression related anomalies or deleterious artifacts.
This DTS-HD MA audio mix does a nice job with this film's soundtrack. Dialogue has tangible weight, distinction, and prominence within the front soundstage. Channel separation is distinguishing as the various sounds, music and dialogue are definitively resolvable within the open and dimensional sound field. The system springs to life during the hockey segments as the listening position is transported down onto the ice. Low frequency effects aren't intense but the subwoofer is kept busy as it works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the low level bass impact as dictated by the film's elements. Dynamic range is very good which lends subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. The sounds of the game like the biting of sharpened blades into rock hard ice, the clank of a wide slap shot striking the goal post or the visceral impact of fists finding their mark have defining presence. The end result is an excellent and appropriate surround sound presentation that compliments the film quite well.
- Power Play Mode - Interactive Behind the scenes Movie Experience
- (HD) 6 deleted scenes
- (HD) Outtakes/Blooper reel - 5 minutes
- (HD) Interview with Seann William Scott and Jay Baruchel - 29 minutes
- (HD) HDNET: A look at Goon - 5 minutes
- Goaile Audition - 5 minutes
- (HD) Fighting 101 - 3 minute Faux Promo
- (HD) Goon Hockey Cards (gallery)
- (HD) 2 Theatrical Traliers
Goon is an offbeat sports dramedy that not only packs a punch but has enough depth to make for a rewarding film experience that might just make you want to watch it again. It makes its way onto Blu-rya Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless surround sound and a decent supplemental offering. I enjoyed this one and look forward to giving it another spin. Give it a rent and see for yourself.
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Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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