Plot: What’s it about?
The Texas State “Fightin'” Armadillo’s have won the National Championship five times. Most recently in the last school year. But, they have been caught taking money, drugs, cars and every other “booster” perk in the book. As a result, the entire team was expelled and the Armadillo’s have to recruit their new team from the student body. What are the Fightin’ Armadillo’s of Texas State to do? Having open tryouts shows that there is interest in having a football team. Sure, no scholarships are awarded and no one has a care in the world about a team that can’t possibly compete in an already tough league, but they try nevertheless. Carver Purcell (Fred Dalton Thompson) is the President of the University and recruits a highly regarded coach who embodies the ideals that the new team is to live by. Coach Gennero (Hector Elizondo) doesn’t believe in college athletes taking money or any other perks for playing football, and that’s exactly what he and his assisant, Coach Rig (Robert Loggia) plan to do…build a team no matter what.
This scenario is all too similar these days…take a rag tag bunch of guys (and in some cases, a girl) and they all come together as a team to win the big game. This takes a not too familar turn on that plot, though it is right on target in some ways. Gone are the superstar players of the previous year and the coaches recuruit a once great quarterback by the name of Paul Blake (Scott Bakula). Once a high school superstar, he could have gone all the way, but his father died and he decided to take over his farm instead of attend college and try and make the pros. Since he hasn’t attended college, he still technically has eligibility to play at the college level. The team has it all, from military men to Austrialian “football” players to a woman kicker (Kathy Ireland). Though the movie is formulatic and predictable, it’s just fun to watch. In the background, there is a love interest between Blake and his Journalism teacher, Suzanne (Harley Jane Kozak), though she has a policy of not dating students and has a commitment that her class will not be a “blow off” class. All the while the kniving dean is thinking of ways to get rid of the team once and for all though most every means possible.
Necessary Roughness doesn’t take itself too seriously. This movie has been made for most all sports, most comparably to “Major League” a personal favorite of mine. Though “Major League” was more commercially successful that this, Necessary Roughness definately has it’s audience…most likely the same audience as movies like “Major League” and “Remember the Titans”. Bakula plays his role “matter of factly” like he did on Quantam Leap, which was in it’s peak at the time that this movie was relelased. The cast is surprisingly good, considereing the genre of the movie. Look closely and you’ll see some NFL superstars dressed as convicts that give the team a good whooping. Necessary Roughness is the movie that we’ve seen a few times and odds are that we’ll see it again (and movies like it). It’s fun, and I can honestly say that any movie with a bar fight gets added to my collection. Well…almost any.
Video: How does it look?
One of the best features about the movie itself is the fact that in true Paramount fashion, it’s enhanced for widescreen TV’s. That’s the only benefit, but we’ll get into that later. The 1.85:1 image looks good overall, but this movie is now nearly ten years old and it suffers a bit from some scratches and artifacting errors here and there. While the colors and bright, some scenes appear to be washed out, though not all that often. The edge enhancement is kept to a minimum and the black levels appear to be on target as well. On the whole, it’s another good transfer from Paramount, but then again this is the type of movie that you’d own no matter what the transfer looked like!
Audio: How does it sound?
The soundtrack has been remastered with a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that actually sounds quite good. The original Dolby Surround mix would have been suitable, but Paramount is good at making 5.1 soundtracks. During some of the football plays, the LFE kicks in and literally shakes the room. Now it’s not anything reference quality, but the dialogue is very clear and free of distortion. Some scenes tend to sound a bit “dry and brittle”, but not many. Overall, it’s nice to have this movie in 5.1 sound, though as mentioned above…it’s the kind of movie that you would watch in mono.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I’ve preached on this before, so I won’t gripe. I received an email earlier this week which kind of sums it up… “at least it’s on DVD”. I tend to agree, there are no features, but all things considered it looks and sounds decent and it’s a part of my library, so I’m not complaining.