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THE WATERBOY (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 23, 2009 by  



“Hilarious and just all out crazy!  A classic Adam Sandler comedy film that looks awesome on Blu-ray!”

Images courtesy of © Disney. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: THE WATERBOY

DURATION: 90 minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

COMPANY:  Touchstone Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (For Language and Some Crude Sexual Humor)

Release Date: August 4, 2009

Directed by Franky Coraci

Written by Tim Herlihy and Adam Sandler

Executive Produced by Adam Sandler

Produced by Jack Giarraputo, Robert Simonds

Co-Produced by Ira Shuman

Associated Produced by Phyllis Alia, Rita Smith

Music by Alan Pasqua

Director of Photography: Steven Bernstein

Edited by Tom Lewis

Production Design by Perry Andelin Blake

Art Direction by Alan Au

Set Decoration by Barbara Peterson

Costume Design by Tom Bronson

Starring:

Adam Sandler as Robert “Bobby” Boucher Jr.

Kathy Bates as Helen “Mama” Boucher

Fairuza Balk as Vicki Vallencourt

Henry Winkler as Coach Klein

Jerry Reed as Coach Red Beaulieu

Larry Gilliard Jr. as Derek Wallace

Blake Clark as Farmer Fran

Peter Dante as Gee Grenouille

Jonathan Loughran as Lyle Robideaux

Al Whiting as Casey Bugge

Clint Howard as Paco

Allen Covert as Walter

Gulp it down and laugh it up as riotous Adam Sandler (50 First Dates, Punch-Drunk Love, The Wedding Singer) rushes to the end zone in the sidesplitting comedy The Waterboy – now surging onto Blu-ray Disc for the first time ever!

Oddball mama’s boy Bobby Boucher (Sandler) wants nothing more than to quench the thirst of the dehydrated athletes who treat him like dirt!  But when he suddenly unleashes a torrent of bottled-up frustration, a talent for tackling transforms Bobby from meek “water distribution engineer” to the gridiron’s most powerful weapon!  Dive into wacky, bust-a-gut hilarity as the razor-sharp visuals and spectacularly enhanced sound quality leave you laughing so hard, you’ll be gasping for breath!  Also featuring Henry Winkler (TV’s Happy Days, Scream), Academy Award winner Kathy Bates (Misery: Best Actress, 1990; About Schmidt; Titanic) and sexy Fairuza Balk (Almost Famous, Return to Oz, The Craft), the Waterboy will flood your senses and float your boat as never before in Blu-ray High Definition.

Back in 1998, comedian Adam Sandler was coming from a string of solid box office hits such as “Happy Gilmore” and “The Wedding Singer”.

Sandler would return with “THE WATERBOY”, a film that proved that despite how crude the humor a film may be, people just want to laugh and have a good time.  And sure enough, the film would rake in over $160 million dollars in the US and signified Adam Sandler as box office draw.

The film was directed by Frank Coraci (director of “The Wedding Singer”, “Around the World in 80 Days” and “Click) and a screenplay by Sandler and Tim Herlihy (“Bedtime Stories”, “Mr. Deeds”, “Little Nicky”, “Big Daddy” and “The Wedding Singer”).  Also, featuring music by Alan Pasqua and cinematography by Steven Bernstein (“Corky Romano”, “Scary Movie 2” and “Bulletproof”).

The film revolved around a “water distribution engineer” (aka the waterboy) named Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler) who is proud of his work but unfortunately, the players of the University of Louisiana Cougars football team is not too appreciative and literally look at him like a practice dummy to pounce on.  The team coach Red Beaulieiu (Jerry Reed) has had enough with Bobby (who has been waterboy for the team for 18 years) and fires him.

Dejected and unemployed, Bobby drives his tractor all the way home to his backwoods swamp where his mother (Kathy Bates) is happy that her son is back home and he can stay home.  Bobby is shown to be literally a mama’s boy and takes everything his mother says as golden.

For Bobby, he has been told by his mother of how his father died in the Sahara desert because of the lack of water and thus, Bobby has grown up to make sure people get adequate H2O and has been his passion from his childhood and now his adulthood as he enjoys his job as a waterboy.

But since he has lost his job, all Bobby wants is another chance as a waterboy and ends up visiting Coach Klein (Henry Winkler) of the South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs in hopes for getting a job.

The Mud Dogs have been a terrible, losing team and Coach Klein has been out of it for years.  Trying to think of ways his team could win but can’t escape is losing funk.

Seeing that the football team drinks from a filthy water fountain machine, Bobby feels its his duty to be their waterboy and offers his services for free and Coach Klein accepts.

The team practices in a rundown field with football uniforms that look as if they were made in the 70’s.   The cheerleaders and the mascot are shown as constantly inebriated and look like drunks.

As for Bobby, he wants to make sure these players get adequate water.  But similar to his experience at University of Louisiana, the football team for South Central Louisiana is no different and bully him.

They have him in his sights to pounce on him and make him look stupid.  Right after setting up a water table for the team, the football team runs a play in which they purposely tackle Bobby onto his table.  To make things worse, a player spits in his water.  Bobby is hurt, frustrated and dejected but Coach Klein tells him to stand up for himself or else they will treat him like this all the time.

He wants to resist in doing anything bad because his mama told him so but with the coach’s blessing, after harboring these pent-up frustrations for so long, Bobby takes Coach Klein’s advice.   Bobby runs and sacks the quarterback with such veracity that the quarterback gets the wind knocked out of him and the Coach is shocked.

Coach Klein believes that Bobby is the person that can help the Mud Dogs win a game.  That is, if he can harbor Bobby’s anger and have him focus that frustration in a football game and direct it towards the other team.  And sure enough…it works.

But before Bobby can play football, he needs to go through several obstacles such as becoming a college student, having his coach convince his mother for him to play football, having to deal with Vicki Vallencourt (Fairuza Balk) who has an interest in him and also trying to win the respect of his teammates.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“THE WATERBOY” receives its first 1080p High Definition transfer (1:85:1 aspect ratio) and for a film made eleven years ago, the film looks great on Blu-ray.  With a large part of the film shot outdoors, you can see the bright colors from the various football teams to natural skin tones for the characters.    Day time scenes in particular reveal plenty of the film’s fine details across the board. You can also pick up a lot of detail from the grass on the football field, to the griminess of the run down home that Bobby’s mother lives in and more.  Vivid contrast gives daytime exteriors and low-lit interiors a really good amount of depth. Blanks are are nice and deep.

As for the soundtrack, “THE WATERBOY” sports a lossless English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack (also French 5.1 and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital).  Although primarily a dialogue-driven film that uses the center channel and is heard clearly, there is occasional music that utilizes the front channel speakers.  It’s not until you start getting into the football games where the team gets more of an audience and scenes with crowds, where you hear the surrounds being utilized.  The film doesn’t have an immersive soundtrack compared to other sports-based films on Blu-ray but the audio is nice and clear and overall, satisfactory for this film.

As expected from a Disney release (via Touchstone Home Entertainment) on Blu-ray, the transfer is gorgeous.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

There are no special features included on this Blu-ray release of “The Waterboy”.

“THE WATERBOY” is one of those films that people will either love or hate it.  Since this is one of the earlier Adam Sandler films, he has a nack of playing parts that are just outrageously funny but at the same time, some people may find it too idiotic for their taste.  So, suffice to say, if you are the latter, more than likely this film is not going to appeal to you.

But for those who have enjoyed his films, “THE WATERBOY” is just hilarious and is a Sandler classic!

Adam Sandler’s “Bobby Boucher” is a stuttering mama’s boy that is definitely going to make you laugh.  Granted, he has a speech impediment but its not his way of talking but the way he was raised, the way he thinks and although innocent, it just comes off as idiotic.

The whole film just made me laugh and although people in Southern Louisiana may not like how they were characterized in this film (living in the swamp and eating dead animals, a hillbilly which no one knows what the heck he’s saying as the assistant head coach and cheerleaders inebriated, a man who looks like Colonel Sanders as a professor, etc.), I guess if you can take this comedy and not be so serious about it, you can easily be amused.  Especially if you are a sports fan.

The Blu-ray release of “THE WATERBOY” definitely has its positive marks for its HD transfer.  The picture quality and lossless audio are awesome but I was surprised there are no special features.  I would have loved to hear Coraci, Tim Herlihy or Adam Sandler come back and do an audio commentary or some sort of behind-the-scenes featurette.

So, for those who own the previous DVD and are wondering if its worth the double dip, it all comes down to whether or not you want to watch the film in High Definition.

Back then and even today, Adam Sandler films will be love or hate for many viewers but the sheer amount of outrageous comedy from this film is what made it so hilarious.  And for a film that came out in 1998, it manages to retain its humor and craziness eleven years later.

“THE WATERBOY” is just hilarious and crazy but overall, an enjoyable film on Blu-ray!

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