Leatherheads (2008) [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama / Sports
Universal || PG13 - 114 minutes - $39.98 || September 23, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-09-15


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: George Clooney
Writer(s): Duncan Brantley & Rick Reilly (written by)
Cast: George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce


Theatrical Release Date: April 4, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • U-Control


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Leatherheads is the story before Football was the mainstream sport we all know and love - set in 1925, a time where a bunch of guys get together to play the sport with no rules and very little fanfare. For them, they can do anything on the field and as long as they have the most points at the end of the game, they won. Problem with this is that not enough people are going to the games and because of that other teams are folding over night leaving them with less and less opponents with no chance of keeping it as a paying job. Dodge Connelly (George Clooney) sees this happening and formulates a plan to get Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski), a college football star, to go "pro".

After negotiating, Dodge eventually gets Rutherford to go pro and all seems to be going well for the sport - that is, until Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger) steps into the picture to stir things up. Rutherford is not only known for being a great college football player but also an American war hero who got an entire German platoon to give-up. Lexie, who works for the Chicago Tribune, finds out the story is a lie and sets out to prove Rutherford is telling a tall tale.

If you are going into this thinking itís going to be a romantic comedy... don't. There is very little romance in the film as Zellweger goes back and forth between the two male leads and ultimately the conclusion of the triangle leaves us wanting more. The whole point of Zellwegerís character is to try and expose the clean-cut hero Carter Rutherford - but she does the job so poorly you got to wonder if she was only cast in the film to bring in the unsuspecting females to the Theater.

Speaking of Zellweger, her acting in the film is sub-par at best. While I was obviously not alive in the roaring 20's, I don't think women acted quite the way she did. Gone is the Zellweger from Jerry Maguire and in her place is just a loud-mouthed woman. Clooney, being the director and all, gives yet another amazing performance where it is very believable that he is in fact a rough football player one minute and a business executive the next. That leaves us with Krasinski... who, much like his past performance in License to Wed, plays a very dull Jim Halpert ("The Office").

I was not looking forward to watching this film at all since it left Theaters in mere weeks. After watching it... I still don't think itís that exciting of a film. It feels about twenty minutes too long and the middle part of the movie just drags all the way through. Towards the end the story picks up a bit buts leaves us with an ending that feels like a disappointment.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Audio Commentary with Star/Director George Clooney and Producer Grant Heslov - A pretty interesting (yet at times a bit dry) commentary where Clooney does most of the talking. After listening to the bulk of this, I gotta say, Clooney sounds like a great guy.

U-Control (Profile 1.1/2.0 Players only) - Universal has been packing these into every BD they release is this one is pretty much the same as all the other ones at there. For Leatherheads, we get mall snippets of a video commentary with George Clooney as well as some behind the scenes information on the making of the film. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

...and that's it! If you take a look at Leatherheads on DVD you will see you are missing deleted scenes, The Making of the Film (including interviews with all the stars), Creating the Rowdy Footballs feature and Visual Effects. Much like Baby Mama and several other titles before, it looks like this disc got downgraded from a BD50 to a BD25 and they had to cut all the special features just to fit on the disc. Sigh - getting really irritated with this. Even my press sheet sent to me with the Blu-ray clearly shows they had every interest of including these special features.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Leatherheads is presented in 1.85:1 (VC1) on a 25GB Disc. Surprisingly the picture was incredibly sharp; several scenes popped out including the numerous newspaper articles that flashed on the screen - small text was clear and readable. I didn't notice any Edge Enhancement (which is a good thing since Universal seems to love adding it in) and while there were a few specks here and there they are easily forgiven.

Universal has packed in an English 5.1 DTS MA Track for this release. Right from the start of the film we get an incredible score that came across loud and clear throughout my living room. Dialog at times was a bit muffled - but I only noticed this with Clooney. The film is heavily dialog centered so besides some yells from the crowd during a game and the occasional noise or two don't expect a whole lot from this track.



.::OVERALL::.

Leatherheads may not be one of Universal best films released in the past year, but its still somewhat enjoyable. It arrives on Blu-ray with an amazing transfer, decent sound and U-Control. Universals lack of special features makes this title go from a probable purchase simply down to a rental. Save your money and pick up the loaded Forgetting Sarah Marshall next week.