Sandler hasn’t taken much of a break from the film industry for years now and back in the 90s, it seemed he had a new hit comedy coming out each summer. While his popularity has tapered off a bit since, the 90s were without a doubt the “highlight” of his career thus far, with film after film becoming a box office success. There were a few duds in there and there was rarely a universal reception to his films, with the critics often lambasting them for their simple minded humor. 1998’s The Waterboy is no different—slammed by critics from the start, the film eventually went on to gross a whopping $161 million dollars domestically. From US receipts alone, the film made back its budget seven times over, which just further proved the power Sandler had at the box office.
Bobby Boucher (Sandler) never wanted anything more than to quench the thirst of the dehydrated athletes who treat him like dirt! But when Coach Klein (Henry Winkler – Holes, TV’s “Happy Days”) makes the call that allows Bobby to finally stand up for himself, it unleashes a torrent of bottled-up frustration and exposes a talent for tackling that transforms him from a meek “water distribution engineer” to the hardest hitter ever to roam the gridiron! The Waterboy is a crowd pleasing favorite featuring an all-star supporting cast that includes acclaimed actress Kathy Bates (About Schmidt, Titanic, Misery), zany comic actor Rob Schneider (Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick) and the sexy Fairuza Balk (Almost Famous, Return To Oz). This July, quench your thirst for riotous comedy as The Waterboy makes a refreshing new splash on Blu-ray Hi-Def!
I’ve seen just about the whole gamut of Sandler films, yet The Waterboy slipped my grasp, simply because it wasn’t a film anyone in my family ever owned (an oddity, considering my brother had a pretty large collection of Sandler films). I’d heard from various people that the film was hilarious and from an equally large number who said it was stupid beyond belief. I reserved judgment, knew it was a Sandler flick after all and that there would be varying responses to such an effort and when the time (i.e., this Blu-ray) came, I jumped in with an open mind. I loved Sandler’s other flicks, so I had no problem at first walking into this film.
But after about fifteen movies I concluded that this may be one of the single worst “comedies” I’ve ever seen. I laughed a couple of times and I felt the same way about this one as I did about You Don’t Mess with the Zohan — incredibly stupid, boring and annoying characters, and a story that ultimately led nowhere. You knew where the plot was going after a couple minutes with the Bobby Boucher character and I just found absolutely no enjoyment from the film. Not because of the bullying, not because of the generic story…but just simply because, a few jokes aside, there just wasn’t anything remotely entertaining to be had.
Sure the story of the underdog leading a team to victory is a great story by itself, but the characters were just so damn irksome. Exaggerated stereotypes notwithstanding, the levels at which this film went to produce some of the most annoying characters I’ve ever seen is simply outstanding. I really wish I could’ve enjoyed the film but there just was nothing of substance here to take in that wasn’t incredibly nerve grating on multiple levels.
Overall if you aren’t a fan of Sandler then this film will probably have you running screaming from the room. Speaking as someone who is a fan of Sandler, however, you’ll wonder just who the hell found the film funny to begin with. I mean, I guess there is some band of people who would find this film hilarious (high school students come to mind), but I really just didn’t like this film in the least. And this is coming from someone who loves stupid comedies. Skip It.
The Waterboy arrives on Blu-ray in a standard Elite Blu-ray snap case with an insert for the Blu-ray format. Disc art mimics the cover art and the menu is nicely done. A pop-up is callable at any point during the film, although what you’ll select from there is limited (more on that in a minute). Overall a decent presentation from Disney, which is accompanied by quite a spectacular AVC encoded transfer. Granted I had to find something in this mess of a film to enjoy so I may be praising the transfer more than I should be; it does look a bit soft at times, but overall for a ten year old film this film looks pretty good. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix is similarly entertaining, although the surrounds never speak up and LFE output is limited to the soundtrack (not even the high-impact smashes that Boucher puts on the other players kicks up any dust).
Next up the extras and…we got nothin’. I don’t know if the previous DVD edition(s?) had any extras, but this one has absolutely jack all.
Overall…yeah, Skip It.
The Waterboy arrives on Blu-ray on August 4th.