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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Dodgeball - Unrated (Fox DVD)

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (Unrated Version)


Picture: B+     Sound: B     Extras: B     Film: B-



Smells like marketing ploy my friends.  Yes, this is the unrated DVD version of Dodgeball and I must say it’s a disappointing one at that.  It would seem to be another attempt to make people pay for a second copy just to have a few minor little dialogue changes to give the film an unrated cut, which would boil down to an “R” rating versus the films PG-13.  However, that is if you go by the U.S. standards of ratings and the film probably had those lines in non-U.S. releases. 


What would have been ideal is for the deleted scenes of the film to be put back into the film instead of leaving them for the extras section to go through one by one.  I think this would have made for a better DVD edition, but that is not the case.  Oddly enough the DVD does contain many of the extras for the first DVD issue with the exception of a new commentary track recorded, as if that was really necessary.  That would have been more necessary if the film actually had more scenes added to actually comment about, but it is doubtful that people will really want to watch this film and listen to two different commentary tracks, that is if you decide to obtain both DVD copies. 


I had very little hope going into Dodgeball for the first time and because my expectations were so low, I mean really low, the film actually made me laugh here and there.  What it boils down to is that there are some hilarious moments involving Ben Stiller, who I usually detest, and some really good ones with Vince Vaughn, who I typically enjoy.  Both are in good form, but the rest of the characters drive me completely insane and bring the film down many notches on the belt of stupidity.  For example, the wasteful use of Rip Torn, Stephen Root, and Alan Tudyk who thinks he is a pirate.  Rip Torn just says the most audacious things that have very little purpose or comical value whatsoever, and the rest of the players involved are either underused or overused for the worst.  Christine Taylor is charming, but does not add any weight to the story that someone like Jennifer Love Hewitt or Alicia Silverstone couldn’t have done. 


The film is working best when Stiller and Vaughn are on screen together bantering back and forth since they are both gym owners.  The only difference is that Vaughn is the owner of Average Joes, which is a little hole in the wall establishment that attracts just your normal losers off the street that go there to get rid of their problems.  Then you have Stiller who plays White Goodman, a man who used to be overweight and has now devoted his life to fitness and takes the word ‘workout’ to a whole new extreme as he has pumped up his Reebok’s a bit too much.  All the energy bars have gone to his head and he is out to shut down Average Joes for good, but that leads us to a dodgeball match where the members from Average Joe join together to try and win the grand prize from the tournament in order to save the gym from closure.  Christine Taylor plays the lawyer stuck in the middle, who ends up siding after all with one of the gyms. 


The DVD presentation seems to be identically quality-wise to the previous version as well with a good-looking scope 2.35 X 1 anamorphic transfer that is consistent and sharp.  It’s surprising how more and more comedies are being shot in scope to give a much wider perspective and while the film does not exuberate superb camera moves or shots, it does capture the footage in a nice solid way that gives emphasis to the desired look for the comedy.  Notice the brightness and good contrast in the dodgeball tournament scenes that make the film look more like what you would see on ESPN.  The Dolby 5.1 mix is sufficient if not lacking here and there in certain dynamics that DTS would have helped with.  There are more surrounds used than you might think though for the film and it does actually have some unique uses for the 5.1 mix. 


Extras are somewhat carried over from the previous edition with added and deleted scenes, bloopers, Easter Eggs, a new commentary track, and some other fun little goodies to keep you occupied, but the real bummer here is the misleading ‘unrated’ thing because most people will be expected a bit more.  I cannot emphasize enough just how detrimental it is to the format when companies decide to release and re-release titles like they are going out of style.  To the average consumer this seems like such a rip-off and way to get more money from them, and in most cases it is.  This also ways sloppiness on the companies part as if they couldn’t get things right the first time so they keep on doing it until they get it right.  I understand when a DVD is re-released because the earlier version was either too old and had weak picture or sound, or because they want to give the film some extras and such, but just don’t waste our time with false advertising and other gimmicks to make us pay twice for a film that was possibly only worth seeing once to begin with.



-   Nate Goss


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