Necessary Roughness (1991)

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Released 12-Nov-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 103:48
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (54:54) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Stan Dragoti
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Scott Bakula
Hector Elizondo
Robert Loggia
Larry Miller
Rob Schneider
Case ?
RPI $22.95 Music Bill Conti


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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 Danish
German
English
Spanish
French
Italian
Dutch
Norwegian
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

"If you think you can build an offence around a guy that throws like Edward Scissorhands we are going to be playing a lot of defence"

   American's love their sports, especially their football. The pity is the rest of us know next to nothing about it except that the action lasts about 8 seconds then there is an ad break of another 2 minutes and so on. The game itself is extremely complex, so much so that only someone dedicated to the game can understand a fraction of it. To most of us mere mortals it just looks like a silly game where a bunch of guys run around wearing helmets and pads and trying to break every bone in their opponents' bodies, all within the rules of the game of course. As for this movie, as with most efforts in sport, it is either a fully fledged drama or a comedy. Necessary Roughness is the latter and does a half-decent job of keeping your interest for the nearly two hour running time. Similar in style to movies like The Replacements, the movie is helped by some good performances from its lead characters.

   Basically, the story is about the Texas State Armadillos, a college football team that has been found guilty of breaking almost every rule in the book, and its entire team, staff and players, are suspended or expelled. Desperately seeking to reverse this problem, the Texas State president (Fred Dalton Thompson) hires one of the most honest men who ever coached college ball, Coach Gennero (Hector Elizondo) who agrees, provided he is given total control to run the team his way. Accepting, Gennero then hires on an old friend Coach Rig (Robert Loggia) to run the defence. After their first try-outs with students from the general college population (who you could describe as 'no better than no players at all'), they are further decimated when the Dean of Texas State, Dean Elias (played by a snivelling Larry Miller in much the same sort of role he reprised in the Nutty Professor), announces that many of their potential players have failed their academic qualifications. They are left with only 17 eligible players.

   Deciding to play iron man football (all players playing offence/defence and special teams), Coach Rig enlists the aid of a former high school student who hasn't set foot on a football field in a long time, but who is eligible to play college ball, Paul Blake (Scott Bakula). Blake is now 34, and looks every inch an old man, but he still has a good throwing arm, and he knows how to win. In the course of events, Blake ends up recruiting one of the teachers who has a year left of eligibility (funny about that), Andre Krimm (Sinbad), and, of course, falls for another of the teachers, Suzanne Carter (Harley Jane Kozak). I think you can work out most of the rest of the movie for yourself. If not, then grab a copy, because it isn't that bad. This is definitely not The Longest Yard, but neither is it boring in any sense. If you have ever seen the movie Wildcats, then that's more its centre. You could do worse for a night in front of the TV. Watch out for Rob Schneider as Chuck Neidemeyer, the voice of Texas State football in what amounts to his first movie outing (almost, if you don't count some Z-grade effort made the year before).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    For a movie originally released in 1991, this doesn't scrub up too badly. It definitely wouldn't have been worthy of any restoration, so the quality of the source material must have been exceptionally good to begin with, and only minor problems are noted.

    The original theatrical aspect ratio of this movie was 1.85:1. We get a 1.78:1 transfer with 16x9 enhancement which is not a problem.

    Grain is fairly noticeable throughout the movie, but consistent with a movie of this age. It doesn't become a major issue, or cause any major drop-off in the quality of the movie or the transfer at any stage. The picture is not as sharp as it could be, possibly due to the source material, and the fact that edge enhancement was used in only a few minor instances.

    The colour is decent enough, but it does look a little 'tired' in parts. By that I mean slightly washed out, and not as deep and crisp as it was originally intended. Still there are no major problems with bleeding or chroma noise, and a decent ranging palette was used for plenty of variety. The skin tones were quite natural.

    Apart from the odd spot of aliasing (5:22 on some seats, 9:18 on the side of a barn and 71:53 on cars in shot), some moiré (30:24 on Venetians and again at 40:30), some minor pixelisation (86:22), and the odd spot here and there, there isn't that much in the way of MPEG of film-to-video artefacts. Most of the normal film blemishes and spots are of the black variety which makes them harder to see. There is a white line down the picture at 0:41 on the bottom left, and small blemishes, but this is fairly normal, where the first five minutes of the movie are the worst for problems.

    There's a reasonable font for the subtitles, with good accuracy, as you'd expect, although the odd sentence is shortened occasionally. The usual positioning doesn't interfere with the flow of the movie.

    The layer change occurs at 54:54, just after Baker is told off by Coach Gennaro. It's a bit obvious, with a second or so pause, but there are worse places it could have been put.

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

Audio

    There are six audio tracks on this disc. The default is the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at 448 kilobits per second. There are also German, Spanish, French and Italian tracks for those interested in a Dolby Digital 2.0 flavour at 192 kilobits per second. I listened to the English offering, although I did sample the odd moment in the other languages just for variety. There is an attempt at surround sound in this soundtrack, but it doesn't have either the scope or the presence to count for too much. Basically, the sound is dominated by the front speakers, and there is good separation across the fronts to compensate for any lack of rear activity.

    I found no problem with the dialogue or sync except for an execrable attempt at an Aussie accent. I am still not sure which is worse, an Aussie trying to sound like a Yank or a Yank trying to sound like an Aussie. I think in either case a catfight over the back fence after midnight has less stridency.

    Bill Conti is credited with the soundtrack and it's very noticeable from the start. His music has a tendency towards the overly dramatic, as evidenced by his Rocky efforts. High tempo during high drama with more sedate offerings during the rest of the movie. By no means an effort that will live long in the memory but equal to the task at hand and suits the movie well enough.

    The surround channels do make an attempt at adding to the atmosphere of the movie, and occasionally they are given something to do, but it was so rare that if you turn your head you will miss it. Still, the surround speakers adding some ambience to the music was noticeable although their role is strictly subservient.

    There simply didn't appear to be any decent bass sounds to activate the subwoofer, although if you put your hand directly on the cone from time to time there were some slight tremors. Since the movie is heavily dialogue centred, this wasn't such a big issue really.

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

Extras

There are no extras. The main menu consists of a static picture with menu options, no music and that's it.

R4 vs R1

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

From the looks of it, the Region1 and Region 4 releases are precisely the same. Therefore it becomes a matter of choice and cost.

Summary

    An enjoyable, light-hearted movie which entertains without becoming too overbearing. There is a typical Hollywood ending with the girl getting the boy (or vice versa), the coach winning over his players, the dean getting his comeuppance, and the team becoming winners, but hey, that's movies. The humour is light and airy, the football silly and unbelievable, and as a comedy I'd give it a 3 out of 5. This is no Longest Yard or The Replacements but you could do worse for a night's entertainment.

   The video isn't stellar but is serviceable. Minor problems only on this score, with some very decent vision for the most part, with only the odd moment showing up any problems.

   An average audio mix which isn't grating (except for Bill Conti's musical style, but only if you are not a fan of over-the-top pieces). but won't set the world on fire either.

   Forget the extras, there are none!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Thursday, October 24, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD5300, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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