Blu-ray Review The Greatest Game Ever Played
Directed by: Bill Paxton Cast: Shia LeBouf, Stephen Dillane Running Time: 2 hrs Rating: PG Due Out: June 16, 2009
Plot: The underdog story of how 20-year-old caddy Francis Ouimet (LeBouf) became one of the best players at the 1913 US Open.
Who's It For? This is a light movie from Disney, but by no means is it cushy. It's mature fare for moviegoers, and certainly a great film for golfers.
The eloquence and sophistication of golf is matched by this marvelous film from Bill Paxton. Despite its traditional setting, the movie is anything but, as it works at a unique pace and presents golf game play as if this were an action movie. First of all, the movie doesn't putt around with back story that feels extraneous. Most sport films build up to the climactic match, with about thirty minutes in the movie left to spare. But here, once the backgrounds of the key players are established, the movie jumps right into the 1913 US Open, and presents it thrillingly for a swift hour. Adding to this unique experience is the special effects, that shoot and edit game footage with a lot of more excitement than you'd expect from a movie about golf.
A View From The Gallery: On The Set Of The Greatest Game Ever Played: This is a nice condensing of the kind of information usually divulged on the audio commentary. The magic behind some of the film's most beautiful moments is revealed as each stage of production is covered.
From Caddie to Champion: This special feature is in awe of the true events, as it combines the actual history of this incredible story with footage of the film. This extra is not only informational but it also allows much of the movie's unbelievable moments to be proven as authentic.
The other extras:
Audio Commentary with director Bill Paxton Audio Commentary with author, screenwriter, and producer Mark Frost Two Legends And The Greatest Game
Extras Score: 6/10
The amount of extras is a bit sparse, but this Blu-Ray is worth experiencing regardless. It would make a great rental for film fans that are reasonably mature - not just talking about the ones that play golf. As far as sports films go, this one went a bit under the radar, and unreasonably so.
The Greatest Game Ever Played is a wonderful little film, and is certainly more exciting than watching the Master's in your grandfather's basement.
Final Score: 7/10