Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

4.0 20
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor

     
 

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Director Rawson Marshall Thurber was not only lucky enough to get first-rate comic talents Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn to star in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, he also managed to get them to take part in the commentary track recorded for the film's initial DVD release. The three are very entertaining mixing explanations of how they honed the film to be asSee more details below

Overview

Director Rawson Marshall Thurber was not only lucky enough to get first-rate comic talents Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn to star in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, he also managed to get them to take part in the commentary track recorded for the film's initial DVD release. The three are very entertaining mixing explanations of how they honed the film to be as funny as possible with humorous asides about Fox's rules on what can be said during a DVD commentary. The film itself is presented in a standard full-frame transfer that fails to preserve the original theatrical aspect ratio. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. Deleted scenes with optional director commentary, a blooper reel, and a featurette on how to play dodgeball are all available for viewing. The best extra, however, might be the ability to read the screenplay, which offers a valuable lesson to up and coming comic filmmakers that if it is funny on the page it is far more likely to be funny on screen. Those who prefer widescreen versions of films should be aware that such a version of the film does exist on a different DVD release that also offers the same fine extras as appear on this disc.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
One of 2004's real cinematic surprises, Dodgeball is an unabashedly lowbrow comedy, the type that gleans laughs by heaping indignities on its cast members. Most of the men sustain blows to their private parts (some repeatedly), and whenever the action flags director Rawson Marshall Thurber has somebody smacked in the head as well. In short, Dodgeball offers an endless procession of lowest-common-denominator sight gags and pratfalls. But it also manages to invest a hackneyed story with energy and infectious humor, of the "slobs vs. snobs" variety. Vince Vaughn -- who, alone among the male cast members, emerges with his dignity relatively intact -- plays the lackadaisical owner of a ramshackle gym about to be foreclosed on by successful health-club owner Ben Stiller. Having only a few days to come up with the 50 grand Stiller requires, Vaughn and his motley customers enter a champion dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas -- only to find that they'll be playing against Stiller's highly trained, hyper-competitive team. Christine Taylor (Stiller's real-life wife) portrays a sympathetic accountant who joins Vaughn's hapless band of geeks, and Rip Torn engages in some scenery chewing as a former dodgeball champ coaxed out of retirement to coach the team. (His coaching regimen mainly involves throwing wrenches at his players.) The tournament sequence is a hoot, with supporting players Gary Cole and Jason Bateman nearly stealing the show as overly enthusiastic ESPN commentators. Some clever verbal jokes are sprinkled throughout the script, and Vaughn tosses off some snappy one-liners with improvisational brio. For a film that happily traffics in bad-taste humor, Dodgeball is surprisingly entertaining, in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Rawson Marshall Thurber's feature-length directorial debut, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, is a success thanks to its cast and its smartly structured screenplay. Vince Vaughn, (playing a part that has Stripes-era Bill Murray written all over it) is an agreeable underachiever, Ben Stiller plays outright unlikable for the first time in a film, Stephen Root continues to show why he may be the most underappreciated comic actor working, Rip Torn steals every scene he is in, and Gary Cole does a comedic pas de deux with Jason Bateman as a pair of sports announcers that rivals (without imitating) the similar duo from Best in Show. The film keeps the audience engaged by utilizing different kinds of comedy and performers with very different styles. Like the old joke about the weather, if you don't think something in this film is funny, wait five minutes and it will change. Because Thurber has tightly structured his story on the very familiar theme of underdogs, the film can support the comedic styles of the various performers. Like a good jazz composition, the screenplay supports the various performers as they solo and challenge each other. Make no mistake, this is a very slight film, but it succeeds at the most basic level for a comedy -- it produces laughs without hitting the audience over the head.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/07/2004
UPC:
0024543152798
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
PG13
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:32:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Full-length audio commentary by Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and director/writer Rawson Marshall Thurber; Deleted/extended scenes and alternate ending with optional commentary by director/writer Rawson Marshall Thurber; DVD-ROM content - Dodgeball screenplay; Bloopers/gag reel; Featurettes; Trailers and much more

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Stiller White Goodman
Vince Vaughn Peter LaFleur
Christine Taylor Kate Veach
Justin Long Justin
Stephen Root Gordon
Joel Moore Owen
Rip Torn Patches O'Houlihan
Alan Tudyk Steve the Pirate
Missi Pyle Fran
Jamal Duff Me'Shell Jones
Gary Cole Cotton McKnight
Jason Bateman Pepper Brooks
Hank Azaria Young Patches O'Houlihan
Al Kaplon Tournament Referee
Lance Armstrong Himself,Lance Armstrong
Chuck Norris Chuck Norris,Himself
William Shatner Chancellor
David Hasselhoff German Coach
Julie Gonzalo Amber,Ashley
Cayden Boyd Timmy
Christopher Williams Dwight

Technical Credits
Rawson Marshall Thurber Director,Screenwriter
Maher Ahmad Production Designer
George Bamber Asst. Director
Alan E. Baumgarten Editor
Juel Bestrop Casting
Andrew Cahn Art Director
Steve Cantamessa Sound/Sound Designer
Blythe Cappello Casting
Stuart Cornfeld Producer
George Drakoulias Musical Direction/Supervision
Jeanne McCarthy Casting
Mary McLaglen Executive Producer
Rhoades Rader Executive Producer
Carol Ramsey Costumes/Costume Designer
Theodore Shapiro Score Composer
Ben Stiller Producer
Jerzy Zielinski Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Like Baldness or Necrophilia
2. Average Joe's (Main Titles)
3. Justin's Shame
4. Ms. for a Mr. - A Serious Situation
5. An Impromptu Car Wash
6. We Could Play Dodgeball!
7. Ipso Facto, He's Your Boss
8. You're in a Chinese Opium Den, Timmy
9. A Low-Grade Beaver Tranquilizer
10. Enter the Purple Cobras
11. Hump It Into Submission
12. Sweatin' to the Wrenches
13. White Goodman Comes a Courtin'
14. ESPN & "The Ocho"
15. Feathered & Lethal
16. The Luck of the Irish
17. ¿Dónde Está la Biblioteca, Pedro?
18. Peter, the Teenage Love Puppy and Steve the Pirate
19. Quittin' Time
20. Are You Ready for the Hurricane?
21. End Titles
22. A Little Somethin' Somethin'

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