Footy Legends (2006)

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Released 10-Jan-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Making Of-The Making Of Footy Legends
Featurette-On The Set - The 7:30 Report
Featurette-Anh Do's First Stand Up Appearance On The Footy Show
Audio Commentary-Anh Do and Carl Barron
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 85:47 (Case: 89)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Khoa Do
Studio
Distributor

Icon Entertainment
Starring Claudia Karvan
Jason McGoldrick
Shane McDonald
Emma Lung
Peter Phelps
Anh Do
Angus Sampson
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Dale Cornelius


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Luc Vu (Anh Do, comedian and brother of the director) is doing it tough. Of Vietnamese heritage, Luc lives a meagre existence with his young sister, Anne (a delightful performance from the talented Lisa Saggers), in Sydney's far west - around the suburb of Yagoona. Like many of the young people in the area, Luc is unable to find meaningful employment and scrapes by on welfare while trying to provide all he can for his school age sister, who has been in Luc's care since their mother died.

    Having no job means having no money. No money means it is difficult for Luc to provide Anne with the proper care and so when a government child welfare officer (Claudia Karvan) comes visiting, investigating some complaints from Anne's school that she is not being properly provided for, Luc is devastated. He is threatened with the possibility of losing Anne to a foster home should he not manage to hold down a job and start earning some money. In an effort to pick himself up off the canvas, Luc convinces his former high school buddies and fellow unemployed to enter The Holden Cup, an amateur rugby league competition. The first prize is a new Holden ute, which Luc sees as the first step to finally getting himself into a meaningful career. As the group of downtrodden dreamers start training for the big match, we see them all battle their own problems in terms of relationships and their lack of self-esteem. Can they battle against the odds, overcome adversity and lift themselves up high enough to possibly win this competition? I think you already know the answer to this.

    This is the second feature film from 2006 Young Australian Of The Year Khoa Do, after The Finished People, his no-budget tale about the homeless of Sydney's west, and it's a much more polished effort. Where he relied on virtual non-actors for the main characters in that earlier film, here he is ably supported by a cast including the ever-graceful Claudia Karvan, the thoughtful Angus Sampson, the charismatic Peter Phelps and his comedian brother Anh Do, who was also a co-writer. A larger budget means much better lighting, more artfully composed shots and plenty of well choreographed sporting action. Somehow though, it seems the budget did not extend to the extras who make up the crowd scenes at the rugby games and the local pub. It would appear local people have been selected to play these roles and some of them look like they are acting - badly. They are often caught looking straight at the camera and generally appearing to be less than convincing - a small gripe, but a noticeable problem.

    Using the success and failure of sport as a metaphor for life is certainly nothing new in film and you know right away as the boys take to the field against their far more professional opponents what the outcome is going to be. But there's something a little different going on here. With the focus on rugby league for starters, a game that doesn't seem to get used as a backdrop too often in Aussie films and the team made up of a ragtag mix of racial backgrounds, who at first glance would be unlikely to play any sport at all, this is a refreshing take on an often repeated tale.

    Director Khoa Do obviously knows the struggles of those faced with poverty, low self esteem and limited opportunities and he has again mined this to tell a pretty decent story. I look forward to seeing his next feature.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Despite the budget feel to some of the production, this is a pretty decent video transfer with basically no problems to report at all.

    It is presented in the close to original theatrical ratio of 1.78:1 and is also 16x9 enhanced.

    This is a relatively sharp and detailed video transfer that exhibits no major problems with edge enhancement, shadow detail, grain or low level noise.

    The colours are quite solid, with even saturation. There are no problems with colour bleed or oversaturation.

    I saw no MPEG artefacts. There is a tiny bit of Aliasing.html" target="Aliasing">aliasing on a couple of the usual surfaces, but this is hardly distracting. Film artefacts are present, but are so miniscule that they are virtually not worth mentioning.

    There are no subtitles. Not a good thing.

    This is a single layered disc so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are three soundtracks on the disc, these being English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtracks, plus a Dolby Digital 2.0 commentary track. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was my preferred listening choice.

    This is a fairly good track that surprised me with its clean and effortless range. For a relatively low-budget Australian film I must admit I was taken aback by a soundtrack that packs a bit of a punch when needed. Thankfully dialogue is excellent with no audio sync issues to report.

    The score by Dale Cornelius is quite effective and pulls on the heartstrings when required.

    There isn't a whole lot of surround use, but when called into action, such as the half dozen or so rugby games, they do provide an engaging and enveloping experience.

    The subwoofer gets a little use during the rugby matches, but is nothing over-the-top.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Featurette-Making Of - The Making Of Footy Legends

   Called "Try Time", this is a fairly comprehensive look at the film featuring interviews with all the main players including director Khoa Do. Runs for 20:12.

Featurette - On The Set - The 7:30 Report (6:05)

    A typically serious story about the film taken from the ABC's 7:30 Report. Features interviews with key cast and crew.

Featurette - Anh Do's First Stand Up Appearance On The Footy Show

    Comedian and self-confessed Datsun lover Anh Do gives a pretty decent account of himself in this standup comedy routine, aired on the NRL Footy Show. This undated performance runs for 4:18.

Audio Commentary (Actor and writer Anh Do and comedian Carl Barron)

    Unfortunately this is not the greatest commentary of all time, with lots of instances of the pair merely describing what is occurring on screen.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This title has not been released in Region 1.

Summary

    While Footy Legends is your fairly stock standard "sport as a metaphor for life" style of film, its focus on rugby league - seldom seen in movies - plus drawing characters from mixed racial backgrounds of underprivileged western Sydney means it's a little different to most films of a similar ilk. There's a few solid laughs and a couple of touching moments and despite the relatively low budget of the production it makes for a heart-warming tale of family and never giving up in the face of adversity. Worth your time.

    The video quality on this DVD is more than acceptable, while the audio is also quite decent with a surprisingly solid Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack present.

    The inclusion of a few extras is a nice bonus.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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