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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Happy Gilmore (HD-DVD)

Happy Gilmore (HD-DVD)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: C     Film: C



Adam Sandler was truly funny and risk-taking in his glory days on Saturday Night Live, but when looking at his feature film career, it is a second leg that does not often resemble the energy or wit of his early days.  Despite this, the pre-calculations by himself and his collaborators produced a series of formulaic box office hits and Happy Gilmore is the relative peak of these films.  Too much of a dangerous wreck in other sports by throwing the ball to hard and not being able to stay in control, the “boring, subdued’ sport of Golf offers Gilmore (Sandler) a new lease on a sports life, unless he destroys that sport first.


Carl Weathers, Christopher McDonald, Kevin Nealon and Julie Bowen co-star, but the shining moment in the film is when Gilmore takes on avid golfer Bob Barker, the pro-animal advocate and longtime game show host whose early days of big hit success with Truth Or Consequences (a referential in-joke in the film only older audience members might think of) led to the insane mega-success of The Price Is Right that still remains the #1 daytime TV show a full decade after the release of this film.  Sadly, the film is still more miss than hit and the one-joke premise wears thin quickly, but Sandler was still trying here (unlike later disasters like Little Nicky or Click) and director Dennis Dugan is at least competent to some extent.  Still, this will only have so much rewatchability, so it is an HD curio at best unless you are some kind of rabid Sandler fan.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image as shot by cinematographer Arthur Albert actually looks like a feature film versus the over-digitized, color-drained garbage we get today, but nothing much shot here is very memorable.  However, this still looks better than all previous DVD editions.  The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 sounds decent but dated.  This was early, key Universal DTS theatrical release and was also issued in DTS in the 12” LaserDisc format.  A follow-up DTS DVD was not, so the sonics only go so far.  Though it can show its age in parts, the sound was utilized a little better than usual to make the jokes and physical humor work and the score by DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh was a plus.  Too bad DTS of some kind was not included.  It is not like the trailers, deleted scenes and featurettes were that plentiful.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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