Division III: Football’s Finest (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Ray Disc Review)
January 19, 2012 by Dennis Amith
While it’s hard to fathom Andy Dick playing a football coach, he does play one of the most unusual, crazy and moronic coach ever seen in a film. If you love moronic comedy and are not in the mood for anything too deep but something that is all-out crazy, then give “Division III: Football’s Finest” a chance!
TITLE: Division III: Football’s Finest
FILM RELEASE: 2011
DURATION: 98 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:78:1), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
COMPANY: Image Entertainment
RATED: R (Crude and Sexual Content Throughout, Pervasive Language and Some Graphic Nudity)
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Directed by Marshall Cook
Written by Marshall Cook, Andy Dick, Paul Henderson
Produced by Tyler A. Hawes
Co-Producer: Noor Ahmed
Executive Producer: Marshall Cook, Andy Dick, Aina Dumlao, Chris Johns
Co-Executive Producer: Eric Flesche, Stefan Hormann
Line Producer: Bernie Gewissler
Associate Producer: Maisha Cole Perri
Andy Dick as Rick Vice
Marshall Cook as Mitch DePrima
Bryan Callen as Denny Dawson
Michael Jace as Roy Goodwyn
Mo Collins as Georgia Anne
Paul Henderson as Bob Delgirt
Kevin Covais as Allen Schwartz
Alison Haislip as Jennier
Wil Sasso as Terry Lockwood
Adam Carolla as Chet Ryback
Debra Wilson as Mandy
Sally Kirkland as Crystal Vice
Bru Muller as Joe Jansen
Comedy mad man Andy Dick (Old School) leads a winning ensemble cast in this outrageous comedy in the no holds barred tradition of Bad Santa and Bad Teacher. Meet bad coach Rick Vice, a redneck psycho with a suspect record (the attempted murder of a Pee Wee football team). When the Pulham Blue Cocks coach drops dead on the sidelines, Vice is the last resort to turn around the worst team in college football’s worst division (it’s one step up from Nerf). Marshall Cook costars as Mitch, the slacker second-string quarterback who butts helmets with Vice, his worst nightmare, but maybe Vice’s demented methods will be just the spark to turn Mitch and the Blue Cocks into winners. Adam Corolla (The Man Show) and MadTV veterans Will Sasso, Debra Wilson, Mo Collins and Bryan Callen go the extra yard in this comedy that will blindside you.
Comedian Andy Dick (“News Radio”, “Less than Perfect”) is back with a new film titled “Division III: Football’s Finest”.
A film which combines a little “Bad Santa”, “Bad Teacher” and “Friday Night Lights”, the comedian along with director and starring actor Marshall Cook is based on Cool’s real life experience of playing quarterback at a Division III college (Occidental College) where he graduated with a degree in film and New Media Production. “Division III: Football’s Finest” is written, produced, edited and stars Marshall Cook as the backup quarterback named Mitch DePrima who gets his chance to become starting quarterback.
For those not familiar of what “Division III” is, the division consists of colleges and universities that do not offer athletically related financial aid to their student-athletes and the schools range in size of 500 to 20,000 students. Athletic competition is non-revenue making and considered as “extracurricular activity” for students and thus have no funds to benefit their athletic programs.
In the film “Division III: Football’s Finest”, Division III is parodied and also categorized as a football program that doesn’t produce any stars athletes and the news coverage of these football programs are often seen as a joke.
The film revolves around the Pullham University Bluecocks and what transpires after the head coach dies of a heart attack after their players throw cold Gatorade on him.
Seeing this as an opportunity to bring attention to Division III Football, the President of Pullham University hires a 45-year-old lunatic and former redneck felon named Rick Vice (played by Andy Dick) who has a short temper and also has a bad reputation for nearly killing all his football players at his previous coaching job by putting a bad concoction in their drink. He’s also an oddball that is homeless, wears a brace and gets off on bullying his players and is often backed by his obese assistant coach Bob Delgirt (played by co-writer Paul Henderson), a man who also serves as the team’s nutritionist.
But for the players of the Pullham University Bluecocks which feature a variety of players that no one cares about including players who are in their near 40’s and cheerleaders who are tattooed all over or are pregnant, needless to say, the Pullham University Bluecocks need some synergy and because of Vice’s criminal record, it gives the local sports reporters something to cover.
And due to Vice’s in-your-face style of coaching, more players start to quit and thus increasing the losses for the Bluecocks, but Vice hopes by making the back-up quarterback Mitch DePrima (played by Marshall Cook) as the head quarterback, perhaps he can help bring a win to the Bluecocks.
As for Mitch, he finds himself falling for a smart (but can’t afford college) sports therapist named Jennifer (played by Alison Haislip, “Attack of the Show”, “The Voice”) but doesn’t know how he can win her affection.
Can Vice whip his team into shape and win a football match before the season is over?
“Division III: Football’s Finest” is presented in 1080p High-Definition (Widescreen 1:78:1). Because this is a low-budget film, the football action was OK but cinematographer Will Barratt focuses more on the character interaction and lighting for those scenes. But the good news is that Barratt’s digital cinematography produced a lot of detail, colors are definitely vibrant and well-lit, black levels are nice and deep and the film does look very good in HD, considering a Red One camera was used.
I didnt’ see any artifacting or any defects on the overall video. Picture quality for “Division III: Football’s Finest” looked very good!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Division III: Football’s Finest” is presetned in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The film is primarily a dialogue-driven film but there are a lot of moments where ambient noise such as crowds can be heard but aside from the football cheers, tackling of players and a single gunshot heard in the film, the soundtrack is OK.
Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.
“Division III: Football’s Finest” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by Andy Dick and Director/Producer/Actor/Writer/Editor Marshal Cook.
- Outtakes – (9:30) Featuring outtakes from the film (and more bloopers than what was shown in the ending credits).
- Deleted/Extended Scenes – (17:50) Featuring nine deleted scenes.
- Trailer – (2:20) The theatrical trailer for “Division III: Football’s Finest”.
“Division III: Football’s Finest” is a low-budget independent film which focuses on college football and having fun with what goes on in Division III football. And the fact that Andy Dick is laying a football coach (never saw that coming) is quite unusual.
But with the words that a famous actor once told me, “If you want to write…then write. If you want to direct…then direct. Who’s to stop you?” and this is where I have to at least give director/actor Marshall Cook some respect in the fact that he wrote, directed, produced, edited and starred in his own film and sure, he may not have a big pocketbook but he managed to craft a crazy comedy that some will either love or hate.
With that being, “Division III: Football’s Finest” is like watching a Happy Madison film, I wouldn’t be surprise if many film critics don’t like the film but there is a demographic of viewers that love these crazy and moronic films and for those who don’t want anything serious but something just unusually odd or crazy.
And so it’s no surprise to see Andy Dick in this film as he is a man full of surprises, on camera and off and so, to see him play a head coach was rather odd but at the same time, that’s what makes the film so unexpected because you just don’t know how crazy he will be on camera, nor can one fathom of what type of coach he would be. And with the addition of actors such as Adam Carolla, and “MADtv” stars Will Sasso, Mo Collins, Debra Wilson and Bryan Callen, with these comedians…you can only wonder what they are going to do on camera.
Carolla plays the blunt and sarcastic sports announcer Chet Ryback; Will Sasso plays Terry Lockwood, a theatrical major who came from a Division I school and now hired to be a co-announcer with Chet; Debra Wilson plays the tattooed cheerleader who has a thing about having the male cheerleaders face right in the front of her crotch or behind her butt; Mo Collins as the flirtatious University President; Bryan Callen as Denny Dawson, the sarcastic on-location sports reporter.
But I found the film to be OK, it had a few laughs and the improvisation by some of the talent was hilarious but if you are easily annoyed by Andy Dick….this film will annoy you even more. Andy Dick’s performance as Rick Vice, the head coach is so unusual, over-the-top but it does work for his crazy character.
But “Division III: Football’s Finest” is an awkward film that is about a unappreciated team, an unappreciated head coach, an unappreciated backup quarterback who all want their time to shine. And with the football team playing terribly, if they can muster one win, at least it will be something they will always remember positively in their lives.
As for the Blu-ray review, you do get audio commentary by Andy Dick and Marshal Cook, my favorite special feature was the outtakes as a lot of the film was improvised. Picture quality was good and as for the audio mix, aside from ambient noises and a gun shot made by Vice, the film is primarily a dialogue-driven film.
Overall, “Division III: Football’s Finest” is your typical popcorn dumb comedy type of film and the fact that it does poke fun on Division III football was quite intriguing. The film does have its moments that’ll make you laugh and if you are a person who enjoys moronic comedy, “Division III: Football’s Finest” is for you.
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