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The Replacements

Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 114 mins . M15+ . PAL


Rag-tag bunch of misfits replace overpriced players during a football strike and battle their way, against the odds, to success. Throw in an a touch of daggy romance and you’ve got one of the most overused cliche storylines of all time. Did you think they could possibly drag it out one more time and still make it work? Well believe it or not, they did!

Based around the NFL players strikes in 1987, ‘The Replacements’ is centred on the affairs of Shane Falco (Reeves) who steps in as the quarter back for the Washington Sentinels while the pro-players are out striking for more money (apparently $5million just isn’t enough any more). Supporting our lovable lead is your typical arrangement of cliche and unoriginal characters including the cop, the jailbird, the sumo and the joker. Nothing really new here, but its still put together well, adding a nice comic touch to the overly uninspired storyline. I don’t want to bag out the film too much though, because despite it being nothing new I really did enjoy the film, even for the second time. Unoriginal it may be, but so to is it hilarious, and well worth your viewing.


The video quality in ‘The Replacements’ is a true beauty to watch. The colours are vibrant and sharp, the blue and reds of the uniforms look amazing on the screen, even the blades of grass come out looking amazingly green and detailed. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and being 16:9 widescreen enhanced this movie is a delight to watch. Despite the very vibrant colours there appears to be no saturation or bleeding, and artefacts seem to be rare if not non-existent. An excellent transfer by the boys and girls at Warner Brothers, a big thumbs up.


The audio on this disc is also a pleasant transfer. Both the dialogue and the backing music come through clear and at a nice quality. The musical soundtrack, containing some excellent modern tunes, compliments the movie magnificently and sets the mood perfectly through basically all of the key scenes. The surround channels and subwoofer get a good working due to the excellent musical soundtrack, the stadium cheers, and the hard crunching hit ups which are common right through the movie.


The extras on this disc are a nice edition, but definitely nothing to write home about. Interactive menus, scene access (it still annoys me how publishers still try to declare these as special features), two small featurettes, the theatrical trailer and an audio commentary with director Howard Deutch.

The featurettes are rather short, and contain snippets from the film as well as interviews with the cast and crew, nothing terribly exciting, but a tidy addition. The audio commentary is pretty much the same sort of standard. Director Howard Deutch is talking pretty fluently right through the film, discussing the usual sorts of thing as well as an in detail explanation for almost every song played through the film, understandably though, because the musical soundtrack did play a large role in the presentation of the film.


Overall its really hard to knock ‘The Replacements’ that badly. True it is cliche and unoriginal, but the storyline is engrossing, entertaining and funny, and the characters are very easy to fall in love with. Howard Deutch really did a great job in keeping this movie rolling such that as soon as I sat down, it became really hard to want to do anything else apart from sitting back and watching the movie. For a light-hearted comedy with a touch of romance and a great soundtrack, it’d be quite hard to side-step ‘The Replacements’. Keanu takes it all the way to the end-zone in this witty comedy, well worth checking out. The best football movie in years.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=589
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      And I quote...
    "Unoriginal the storyline might be, but The Replacements is a very enjoyable, light hearted comedy, with a great soundtrack and a stunning video transfer."
    - Nathan Clark
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-636
    • TV:
          LG 80cm
    • Speakers:
          Home Built
    • Centre Speaker:
          Home Built
    • Surrounds:
          Home Built
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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