|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||95:59 minutes
(not 86 as listed on the packaging)
Warner Home Video
Henry Winkler's stand-in butt
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||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|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler) is a man of limited intelligence and autonomy. The latter flaw is of critical importance to some of the sequences later in the film, but that's a minor detail. Bobby's main source of pride lies in his duties as the operator of the water dispenser for a college football team. He performs these duties extremely well, while he is the butt of many a joke from the team. After one particularly bad day, he is fired by the coach, leaving him with no purpose in life except to spend more time with his domineering mother (Kathy Bates). Bobby eventually finds work as a waterboy for another college football team with a forty game losing streak, coached by Coach Klein (Henry Winkler and Henry Winkler's Stand-In ButtTM). This team also subjects Bobby to a fair amount of abuse, until the day he is told to fight back, which he does so well that it gets him a spot on the football team. With a couple of subplots involving Klein's failed career as a sports coach, and a love interest named Vicki Vallencourt (Fairuza Balk acting much better than her usual self), this film is great as one-time entertainment, even if the replay value is somewhat limited.
No MPEG artefacts could be seen at any time in the feature, and film-to-video artefacts were also mostly absent from the presentation, although there were a lot more of these than there should be for a film of such recent vintage. There was a noticeable, but very slight video skip in the image from time to time, which was a little distracting. This artefact, which occurred at scene transitions for a single frame, is almost certainly caused by the editing process, and does not normally take place in video that has been edited digitally. It would not surprise me at all to learn that the film was cut together using a razor blade and a roll of splicing tape, given the appearance of these skips.
The list of subtitles on the packaging do not mention the German and Portuguese subtitle tracks, and mention a non-existent French subtitle track. Subtitles did not default to on in any language with either of my players. The playing time is also incorrectly stated on the packaging, with the playing time stated as being eighty-six minutes rather than the ninety-six that the film actually runs for.
This disc is presented in the RSDL format, with the layer change taking place at 53:40. There is very little indication of the transition, with the video and audio only pausing for about a quarter of a second. Given that there is only ninety-six minutes worth of video information on this disc, it is very good to see that Buena Vista have used a format that allows the video adequate space to breathe. It definitely shows in the quality of the video.
The score music by Alan Pasqua was totally unnoticeable, and not frequently used. It is quite easy to miss if you pay too much attention to such things as the dialogue and the sound effects. There is also a plethora of contemporary tunes, which make up the majority of the music in this film anyway, and most of them were equally unmemorable in any case. At times, the music in this film reminded me of that which accompanied From Dusk Till Dawn because of the number of songs used that you'd associate with the people of the so-called bible-belt in the USA. At times, the music of this film was an excellent accompaniment to the visuals, but there were enough times when it was more of a distraction.
The surround channels were not used much at all, with the occasional slight use of the surrounds to support certain vocal effects and the music. Essentially, this is a very frontal mix with some very limited use of the rear channels. There was plenty of use of the left and right channels for the special effects, but these were never supported by the rears. The centre channel got some use, but this was mainly to support the dialogue, which was often quite dominant in the overall mix of the channels anyway. The subwoofer was only used to support the music.
The video quality is quite respectable, and a real treat for the eyes.
The audio quality is unremarkable except for some minor comedic moments.
A note to Buena Vista: first you put Starship
Troopers on an extraless flipper, then you put From
Dusk Till Dawn on an extraless single-layer disc, and then
you put The WaterBoy on an extraless RSDL disc. Is good use
of the formatting really that hard to accomplish? It's called an extra,
or a special feature - make use of it once in a while!
© Dean McIntosh (my
bio sucks... read it anyway)
March 12, 2000.
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Panasonic TC-29R20 (68 cm), 4:3 mode, using composite input; Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Sharp CP-303A Back Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|