- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, Danish, French, Portuguese, Polish, Spanish
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Release Date: August 4, 2009
- List Price: $39.99
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After 1998’s The Wedding Singer, Adam Sandler’s annoying brand of puerile comedy actually seemed tolerable. He’d crafted a still goofy, but sentimental romantic comedy that was almost thoughtful and provided sincere laughter. Nine months later that same year, Sandler would birth The Waterboy, thus ruining that goodwill with all but the most ardent of his fans.
With The Waterboy, Adam Sandler trots out the character Bobby Boucher, a slow, swamp dwellin’ thirty-one-year-old bayou boy with a fervour for “high-quality H2O.” Bobby’s overprotective momma (Kathy Bates) keeps him sheltered from the world with his only outlet being his job as the waterboy for a local college football team. Well, Bobby loses his job, but he gains another one in the same position for a lowly team on a long-running losing streak where his talent for tackling is discovered.
The coach, “Mister Coach Klein” (Henry Winkler), fosters Bobby’s talent, helping him bring out the rage inside himself by remembering all the times he was insulted, beat up and teased for being a “retard.”
Bobby’s new spot on the team and enrollment in college also help him garner newfound attention from his longtime crush, the sexy bad girl Vicki Vallencourt (Fairuza Balk), whom Bobby’s momma has warned him to stay away from because “she’s got the devil in her.”
From there on, The Waterboy falls in line with completely predictable and mindless Hollywood comedy. Being somewhat of a sports film, it’s obvious that Bobby must now become a major part of his new team and help them break their losing streak with his newly discovered tackling skills. And Sandler’s terrible impersonation of a mentally challenged person is either a direct parody of Forest Gump, or it is terribly disgusting and insulting. Either way, it is the most irksome persona he has ever adopted on film. At least The Waterboy gives us a pleasantly humorous Henry Winkler as the befuddled football coach, an effortlessly sexy Fairuza Balk, and some occasional laughs.
The Waterboy arrives on Blu-ray with its AVC/MPEG-4 encoding offering surprisingly vibrant colors. The reds and blues in the uniforms really pop and grass shimmers green with fecundity. Flesh tones are spot on, and detail in the mostly sunny film is strong. The Waterboy’s transfer is not without its weak moments, however. There are several spots where background detail softens in distance shots and grain levels jump, making it a little inconsistent in overall quality.
For a “sports” film, The Waterboy’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is somewhat timid. The mix does offer plenty of lower-midrange punch, and each tackle and thud on the ground in the game sequences is helped along with a faint amount of low frequency “oomph” in the subwoofer. Activity in the surround channels is very limited during the crowd intensive game sequences. The sound is only given the opportunity to breathe with the classic rock tunes by the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Rush, and John Mellencamp that provide the musical backdrop for this Sandler yarn.
Forget the supplements for this release. There’s not a single deleted scene or blooper reel supplied here. The Waterboy is dry as a bone.
The Definitive Word
Unless one absolutely loves Adam Sandler’s brand of mindless humour, The Waterboy is one title that should probably be skipped, particularly given the bare bones nature of this Blu-ray Disc release. For some tolerable Sandler on film, I’d suggest giving The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates or his dramatic turn in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love a look.