|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||None|
(not 86 as listed on the packaging)
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
Hungarian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, but mostly amusing|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The WaterBoy attempts to straddle the middle ground. There is plenty of trademark low-brow humour, whilst at the same time there is a certain amount of more mainstream sentimentality. The balance is uneasy between the two paths that the movie takes, occasionally dipping into excessive saccharine sweetness, but redeeming this is the fact that a lot of the movie is actually quite funny, poking a lot of fun at American Southerners in particular. A number of the sight gags, whilst cheap and somewhat predictable, still had me in stitches of laughter.
Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler) is a man of limited intelligence. His one obsession in life is that of being the waterboy for a college football team. He does this job very well, but is the butt of many a joke from the rest of the team. He eventually gets fired, leaving him lost and with no purpose in life other than to spend more time with his domineering mama (Kathy Bates).
Bobby manages to find another job as a waterboy with a down-and-out college football team coached by Coach Klein (Henry Winkler), a team cursed with a 40 game losing streak. This team also abuses him until one day he is urged to fight back, which he does. Much to everyone's surprise, he turns out to be an excellent football player. Throw in Fairuza Balk as the vampish Vicki Vallencourt, a gaggle of other oddball characters, and series of very odd main meals and you have a rather funny movie that only sags a little in the middle with excessive sentimentality.
This transfer is very sharp and very clear, with only the slightest hint of edge enhancement to mar the image slightly. Shadow detail was excellent, and there was no low level noise.
The colours were vibrant and consistent throughout. Indeed, if anything, they were on the verge of oversaturation. In particular, some of the reds of the football uniforms bordered on the verge of bleeding, but they never quite got to that extreme stage.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. No film-to-video artefacts were seen. A very slight vertical skip in the image was a little bothersome at times. It occurred at scene transitions for a single frame and presumably is an artefact of the film editing process. The only other slightly negative aspect of this transfer was the occasional film-to-video artefact, none of which were particularly bad, but there were more of these than I would have expected given the recent vintage of this transfer.
The subtitles on the packaging omit mention of the German and Portuguese subtitle tracks and mention a non-existent French subtitle track. The subtitles defaulted to on in Dutch on the review DVD player.
Whilst we are on the topic of packaging errors, the run time of this movie is incorrectly stated on the packaging, which claims a run time of only 86 minutes, not the 96 minutes that it actually is.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change coming at 53:40. Only a slight pause is evidence of this transition. It is intriguing to note that this DVD has been placed on an RSDL-formatted DVD considering its running time is only 96 minutes. Certainly this shows up in the quality of the video transfer being exemplary.
Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand with a number of exceptions, both deliberate and inadvertent. A few of Adam Sandler's lines in particular were hard to make out, but this is frequently a characteristic of his movies.
There were no audio sync problems with this DVD.
The score by Alan Pasqua was totally unremarkable and not frequently present. The soundtrack is dominated by contemporary music and a number of Southern-esque standards such as The Devil Went Down To Georgia.
The surround channels had little use with only a slight spill into the surrounds from vocal effects and music. Fundamentally, this was a very front hemispheric mix. Plenty of use was made of the left and right front speakers for special effects, but these never carried into the rear channels.
The .1 channel had only limited use to support the music.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is unremarkable.
There are no extras.
© Michael Demtschyna
4th March 2000
|DVD||Start SD-2001VNK, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer|