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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - January, 2013

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"Heavyweights" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-january-2013-heavyweights

Synopsis

Gerry Garner is an overweight 11 year old from New York.  One summer, his parents decide to send him to Camp Hope (a "Fat Camp").  Gerry is dreading this at first but, much to his delight, he finds that the returning boys simply love Camp Hope.  When they arrive at the camp, they find that things have changed dramatically this year.  Camp Hope has been sold to Tony Perkins (Ben Stiller), a crazy fitness zealot who aims to turn it into a sort of boot camp and will be filming an extended reality show style of weight loss infomercial starring himself (oh, and the boys too).  The campers soon decide they've had enough of all this and unite to take back their camp and save their summer.

Specifications

  • Disney
  • 1995, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 37 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master
  • Starring: Ben Stiller, Kenan Thompson, Paul Feig and Jeffrey Tambor
  • Directed by: Steven Brill
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

This movie surprised me by being much more entertaining than I was expecting.  There are some strong performances here by relatively unkown actors (at the time) who are now in the midst of very successful careers.  Ben Stiller is one of them.  In Heavyweights, he was cast as the overly zealous, narcissistic leader of the weight loss camp.  This is a role made for him.  Also showing up in the movie is Kenan Thompson of SNL fame.  He is one of the overweight campers and this too was a brilliant casting move.  Heavyweights was written and produced by Jud Apatow.  One other supporting role is played by Paul Feig who would go on to direct Bridesmaids.  I didn't give out a lot of stars here because much of the screenplay is pretty sophomoric and the plot is so predictabe, I was able to call out the ending way too early in the movie.  But this movie does have a cult following for a number of good reasons and I recommend it as a solid rental choice for comedy fans everywhere. 

Technical

The video quality of this disc is actually below average for a Blu-ray.  The daylight scenes are the best with bright primaries and good reproduction of the natural greens in the forest.  The darker scenes are plagued with some crush in the low end of the IRE scale.  There is a great deal of film grain throughout, skin tones aren't as natural as I would like and some scenes have a disappointing lack of fine details.  The audio is courtesy 5.1-channel DTS HD Master.  The sound is focused across the front three speakers with very good dialog reproduction that is never harsh while the musical score and special effects are clean and balanced.    

Extras

This single disc package is loaded with lots of quality bonus materials. These include more than 30 Deleted and Extended Scenes; an audio commentary with Judd Apataw, Steven Brill, Allen Covert, Aaron Schwartz, Shaun Weiss, Tom Hodges and Paul Feig; The Making of "Heavyweights" featurette; Super 8 Footage Shot by the Cast and Crew; Video Chat: Judd and Kenan; Where Are They Now? - See the Kids All Grown Up; Judd's Art Project - His Bizarre Photos from the Set and the Theatrical Trailer.