The Heart of the Game (2005)

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Released 16-Aug-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Featurette-Making Of-Making of The Heart of the Game
Deleted Scenes
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary-Director - Ward Serrill
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 98:04 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ward Serrill

Madman Entertainment
Starring Ludacris
Devon Crosby Helms
Maude Lepley
Bill Resler
Darnellia Russell
Joyce Walker
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music The Angel

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Heart Of The Game is the documentary story of the Roosevelt Roughriders girls' basketball team. Bill Resler is a college tax professor who doubles as the girl's basketball coach. Resler takes over the team as a bit of a challenge to himself (surely it must beat teaching tax!) and his desire to lift the profile of the sport where most of the support had been sent in the usual direction of the boy's team. When Resler's tough training drills start paying off and the girls start winning, attendances at the games begins to increase. Pretty soon the girls' games are a hotter ticket item than the boys games.

    Resler's game plan soon shifts up a gear when a new girl arrives at the school. Darnellia Russell is a tough, inner-city girl who is also a pretty fine basketball player. The story then follows Darnellia's adjustment at her new school and with the team over several seasons. At first Darnellia looks to have a great future ahead in the game - she is clearly the best player in the team, but off court troubles could ruin it all for her. She finds herself having to constantly deal with bad grades and then the serious issue of a teen pregnancy threatens to end her career entirely. Threatened with a ban on playing from the ruling body, Darnellia doesn't give and enters a court battle against the league in order to play.

    This is a really uplifting story, genuinely inspiring without overdoing the sentiment. It comes highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality


    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, this is also 16x9 enhanced.

    From the outset this is obviously a  low-budget film with much of the image filmed on what appears to be digital tape-based equipment, so don't expect too much in terms of a visual treat here. But overall it's not that bad. Everything is clear and clean. There is some grain evident in many of the shots with poor lighting, but overall this is a reasonably clean image.

    Colours aren't exactly what I'd call vibrant, but they are still well rendered with no problems.

    There are no compression or film-to-video artefacts. Film artefacts are also absent, with much of the film shot on tape.

    There are no subtitles, which is a shame.

    This is a dual layered disc with the main feature on one layer and the extras on the other.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


   Only one soundtrack is present; an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo effort that is adequate for the role required of it. There is a little stereo separation, but nothing to get overly excited about.

    Dialogue is excellent, with no obvious audio sync problems.

    There is no surround or subwoofer use at all.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Featurette-Making Of

    This is a really good making of featurette that sees the director explain how he came to be attracted to the story of the Roosevelt girls basketball team. Runs for 26 minutes.

Deleted Scenes

    There is a total of 12 deleted scenes, with optional commentary by the director.

Interviews-Cast & Crew

    Interviews with narrator Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, plus coach Bill Resler and player Darnelia Russell.

Audio Commentary

    Director Ward Serrill provides an interesting commentary that underlines how much of a passionate project this was for him.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both Region 1 and Region 4 discs are essentially the same.


    The Heart Of The Game is an inspirational story, presented on a decent disc with solid video and audio and a swag of extras.

    Worth a look.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-42PX600A 42" Plasma. 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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