Blu-ray Disc Review
Release Date: December 9, 2008.
Starring: Vince Vaughn (Peter La Fleur), Christine Taylor (Kate Veatch), Ben Stiller 9White Goodman), Rip Torn (Patches O’Houlihan), Justin Long (Justin), Stephen Root (Gordon), Joel Moore (Owen), Chris Williams (Dwight), Alan Tudyk (Steve the Pirate)
Written & Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Grab life by the ball.
Dodgeball is about the little guys taking out the big guys. Two rival gyms, GloboGym and Average Joe’s, are competing for memberships. GloboGym is a fad gym; it’s big, it has money, new equipment and a large membership. They’ve got a superiority complex and it’s a place where flab is bad and “we’re better than you!” is their slogan. It’s run by White Goodman (Ben Stiller); he’s high on himself, an egomaniac and he thinks he can get anything he wants.
Opposite to them is Average Joe’s gym. The facilities are old, membership is low, and its run by a financially delinquent Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn) who’s probably spent much of his time with a drink in his hand. Peter’s gym will be closed down if he doesn’t pay the bank $50 000. Down and depressed because he can’t cough up that kind of coin, his looser gym buddies gym believe they can get the money by winning a dodge ball tournament in Los Vegas. The prize?? $50 000! If Peter wins the money, he no longer has to worry about his gym going under or White Goodman buying it out.
Goodman picks up on La Fleur’s plan and also enters the dodge ball championships. With a little training from ADAA champ Patches O’Houlihan, the Average Joes just may beat the physically superior Purple Cobras and win back their average gym.
VIDEO QUALITY: 4.5/5
Nice! Good contrast, saturated colours, and good depth define Dodgeball. Inside GloboGym it’s always bright, white, detailed, and purple. The image inside Average Joe’s is dim, grimy, and rusty brown. Skin tones look correct and the hue changes depending on lighting conditions. Colours are nicely saturated, if not just a bit more pumped than usual (must be the gym effect), and the scenes for the dodge ball tournaments look vivid. The details are satisfying. Film grain gives the image a nice analogue feel and no edge enhancement appears as distracting. This title was slated as one of Fox’s earlier releases when the Blu-ray format became available. It was taken off the release schedule since then (about 2 years ago) so it’s no surprise that the film is MPEG-2 encoded.
AUDIO QUALITY: 3.5/5
This is your Average Joe soundtrack, dialogue is clear in the front, not sounding too boxy or confined, effects are pleasantly spread out around the soundstage and aren’t too aggressive. The games closer to the end of the film are the moments that can really give a good “slam” …ha hah…wow…there is nothing more funny than watching someone get hit with a dodge ball even if it is acted out. No wonder it is still a gym class favourite for those teachers who aren’t so ultra-paranoid about safety and resort to elephant balls (it’s a foamy ball…and not what you are thinking). The music soundtrack is fun and keeps the balls bouncing during the fight scenes. So bring it on. The encoding is DTS-HDMA.
TACTILE FUN!!: 1/5
TRANSDUCER ON/OFF?: OFF
There isn’t much to highlight regarding dedicated LFE. Most of the film’s bass is located in the front three channels.
SPECIAL FEATURES: 2/5
The first feature is an audio commentary with Director Rawson Marshall Thurber and actors Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. This is the same “joke” commentary that was released on the previous DVD, although this time I wasn’t fooled by it. I blame myself for not reading the fine details years back and I actually thought the commentary was real…so I walked away from it with a bad taste in my mouth, completely thinking that Stiller and Vaughn were jerks…ha hah…but that was the point of it…and I was totally fooled with their acting for the full 45 minutes. When I listen to it now, it’s hilariously entertaining and much more fun than any old boring commentary. Now I can finally say “good job, guys.” Phew…
There are also three selections available to see the Dodgeball Dancers (4:3 SD, 2:29) uncensored…if you can call it that. These show three sexy dances that were cut from the film. Yummy…
IN THE END...
Hilarious movie…it’s still one of my favourite Stiller comedies. I think it’s worth the high def upgrade to replace the DVD since no features are lost (except for the DVD-ROM content) or just add it to your collection for the first time.
December 09, 2008.