The Waterboy (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Considering all of the talent that’s come out of SNL over the years, it’s hard to really say who’s been the most successful. Names like Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Dana Carvey, Chris Rock, Mike Myers and Will Ferrell come to mind. Not that it’s important, mind you, as each and every one of those alumni have gone onto great careers as entertainers. I have to say, though, that one of my favorites is Adam Sandler and he’s also been one of the most disappointing to me a swell. Here’s why. Sandler made a trio of my favorite films back in the mid 90’s: “Billy Madison”, “Happy Gilmore” and to a lesser extend “Bulletproof.” Then he got all commercial and started making some rather less than stellar movies and it all started with “The Waterboy.” I like “The Waterboy”, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to the aforementioned movies. Nevertheless, Sandler remains a very consistent draw at the box office and still finds himself near the top of the Hollywood “A” list. But I digress, let’s talk about that high-quality H2O!

Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler) is somewhat of a dimwit who lives with his overprotective mother (Kathy Bates). Bobby’s passion is…water. Yes, water. He’s a waterboy for the local college team and is constantly scrutinized and made fun of by the players, but Bobby keeps his rage internalized and goes about his fairly non-eventful life. However, Bobby takes a page out of Howard Beale’s book and unleashes a fury that gets the attention of Coach Klein (The “Fonz” himself, Henry Winkler). Bobby is given a spot on the football team when it’s discovered that he can tackle guys twice his size – he’s gone from lowly waterboy to town hero. Now the tricky part of all this is to keep this information hidden from his mother. Will he be able to do it and will he get the attention of sexy Vicki Vallencourt (Fairuza Balk)?

“The Waterboy” certainly isn’t a bad movie; in fact it was somewhat of a success a decade ago raking in over $150 million at the box office (at the time, a record for Sandler and thereby cementing his status as a bona fide moviestar). Those familiar with Sandler and his movies will no doubt see a few familiar faces, notably Rob Schneider who utters perhaps the film’s most memorable line “You can do eet!” As for Schneider, well I think his career peaked with “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo”, now where’s that on Blu-ray? No doubt Disney’s marketing department had something to do with this film as Sandler has a new movie on the horizon. Nevertheless “The Waterboy” is on Blu-ray, so grab a bee, er, some water and enjoy.

Video: How does it look?

If memory serves, “The Waterboy” was one of the initial releases by Disney on standard DVD which was released before they supported anamorphic widescreen. Essentially, this movie has never really been given a fair shake on any home video format – until now. “The Waterboy” looks pretty darn good in its 1.85:1 AVC HD transfer. Colors are bold and bright and the orangish football jerseys seem to leap off the screen. Flesh tones are warm and natural and detail is improved over the somewhat dull and lifeless transfer of the DVD. I caught a few specs here and there, but by and large this is what we’ve been looking for in regards to a stellar transfer. This movie has never looked better and this Blu-ray is a testament to that.

Audio: How does it sound?

Any movie involving football will most likely have a few instances in which a “thud” or “crunch” will occur just after a tackle. Seeing as how that’s the entire premise behind this film, the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack gets somewhat of a workout. Dialogue is as expected here, very natural with no hint of distortion. Bobby’s Cajun accent sounds good and you can hear his lisp with the utmost precision. Outside the actual games, this is just like any other track with surrounds kicking in occasionally to make their presence known. All in all it’s a good track and certainly an improvement over the Dolby Digital 5.1 track found on the standard DVD.

Supplements: What are the extras?

If there are supplements on this disc, I couldn’t find them. Not even a trailer.

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