HTS Moderator , Reviewer
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10759[/img]Title: Here Comes the Boom
Starring: Kevin James, Henry Winkler, Selma Hayek
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Written by: Kevin James, Allan Loeb
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1, SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1, THAI: Dolby Digital 5.1, FRENCH-CANADIAN: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Sony Pictures
Runtime: 105 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: February 5th, 2013
HTS Overall Score:83
Kevin James is not a name one associates with highbrow comedy or even GOOD comedy with such wonderful hits under his belt as “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”, “The Zookeeper”, and “Grownups”. King of Queens was an entertaining TV show, but it still centered upon “fat man” humor and sophomoric goofball antics of a man child. When I saw the trailer for “Here Comes the Boom”, I rolled my eyes in despair and wept for humanity. All I could think was “great, another fat man joke riddles comedy”. We’d already seen a FANTASTIC underdog MMA story early last year in the form of the highly rated “Warrior” and I don’t think anyone could have seen Kevin James in the roll of an MMA fighter unless Rob Schneider was sitting in the audience yelling “You can do it!!!.” As you can guess I didn't have high hopes for this one.
Our hero Scott Voss (Kevin James) happens to be a down and out biology teacher at a high school in Boston. He once was a motivated teacher who loved to engage his students and would be the forerunner in creating unique techniques to help his students learn and grow. Now he’s just worn out and sickened with the way the school’s political system works. Effort and caring have gone out the window, now all he does is get through his lectures so he can take a nap while the students do their homework. The only thing he hasn’t given up on is his constant hounding of the local nurse Bella (Salma Hayek) to go out with him. Rude, slovenly and completely uncaring, Scott is a man going nowhere fast. The turning point comes when he finds out in a school meeting that the school’s music program is being cut due to budget constraints and his friend and co-worker Marty (Henry Winkler) is now going to be out of job just before he’s tenured. Sensing some sneaky politics Scott opens his big mouth and accidentally volunteers himself to raise the $48,000 needed to keep the Music program up and running.
As good as his intentions are, Scott soon finds out that raising that much money before school ends is going to be a problem. Even teaching a citizenship class on the side is only netting him a small amount. As luck would have it Scott runs into Niko, a big, touch looking guy from Holland who needs some extracurricular help with his citizenship exam. As selfish as he’s become, Scott still finds that teaching spark within him and offers to tutor Niko. Low and behold Niko happens to be an ex MMA fighter who teaches Martial Arts at the local gym. Realizing that he could make money even by LOSING in an MMA fight, Scott begs Niko to train him. Scott dives into the unsanctioned world of amateur MMA fighting with gusto in order to raise the extra cash thinking all he needs to do is show up and get the tar beaten out of him and claim his consolation prize money. As time goes on Scott starts seeing a change in himself and his students. Once again he’s actually taking pride in what he’s doing and as a result the lack of effort that he’s been lounging in with his students slowly starts to melt away and the enthusiastic man who just wanted to be able to make a difference emerges. With no time to spare and only $6,000 left to earn Scott gets the opportunity of a lifetime. UFC announce Joe Rogan has been made aware of the heroic quest that this one man has been undertaking for the sake of his friend and high school, and offers Scott a UFC match as a way to help out. Scott eagerly accepts and leaves to go to Vegas and fight the executioner, Ken Dietrich himself. The night before the fight, Scott learns that the assistant principal was just caught in an embezzlement scheme and all of the money that Scott has earned is victim as well. Devastated that even with the consolation prize money from this last fight he can’t save his friend’s job, Scott is ready to give up; until he realizes that the only thing he can do is dig deep and push on. If he can’t gain the money through losing, maybe it’s time to take the whole purse home by winning.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10757[/img]This movie is what I like to call 50/50 type of film. 50% of it is filled with typical clichés and goofball humor, but the other 50% has an earnestness to it that is truly refreshing. I expected nothing but the worst with “Here Comes the Boom”, but came out pleasantly surprised. There’s plenty of eye rolling Kevin James physical comedy, but unlike most of his other endeavors it’s very reigned in and controlled. Winkler and James don’t have as much chemistry as I’d like and the relationship with Bella is a bit tacked on, but the real gem in this situation is Kevin James’ complete absorption into the role. James has always been a big man, but here he actually trimmed down quite a bit and packed on a good chunk of muscle underneath his remaining bulk in preparation for the role. While no Tom Hardy here, it is very impressive for a standup comedian whose main stunt is “fat man” humor, dedicate the time and effort to learn the ins and outs of MMA and train like a beast for 6 months straight in preparation for his role. Niko and Scott have the most on screen chemistry and it was obvious the two of them really enjoyed working together.
While most would initially poo poo the underdog story as clichéd and stale, but “Here Comes the Boom” took a slightly different twist to the old tale. Instead of the classic “you can do anything you put your mind to” the film instead focused on the fact that you may NOT always overcome everything in your way, but rather that through the fires of failure and never giving up you forge and become the person you’re meant to be. Scott admits that he’s not that great of a fighter, but if gives up, then he’s no longer the man that he wants to be. As a teacher all he wants to do at that point is inspire his students. Give them something to be proud of and give them the push to want to learn and be engaged, if he has to get beaten to a pulp in the ring by a man much better than himself to achieve that, then so be it. The ending wavered a bit by going the more typical Hollywood style from that message, but still kept the movie engaging and entertaining to the end.
Rated PG for some rude humor and language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10756[/img]Again, Sony hits it out of the ballpark with an incredibly done 1.85:1 AVC encode. Detail is striking, facial stubble and every pore of the fighter’s bodies is readily apparent for the camera. Close ups are nearly impeccable, while some of the longer shots tend to be a tad soft at times. Shadow detail is great, plenty of texture and detail to the dark scenes without the inclusion of any black crush. Colors are bright and sharp, from the bright green of an MMA fighters dyed hair to the red of Kevin James shorts the saturation is perfect. The film has a slight teal tint to it that seems to be all the rave nowadays, but that’s most definitely an artistic decision. The Bitrate goes into the high 30 mpbs range and gives the disc a very clean, artifact free presentation. Another great encode from Sony.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10754[/img]The 5.1 English DTS-HD MA audio track given to us by Sony is every bit as good as the video. Dynamic and enveloping, the audio engineers did a fine job. Whether it be a quite scene from the classroom to the thundering sounds of a crowd excited for a fight, track just sings. Vocals are clean and clear, centered right in the center channel as expected. Surrounds are used well, during a fight the crowd surges around from all angles and makes you feel like you’re actually there in the front row watching the fight. LFE is nice and solid too. There was excellent low end for the heavy duty pounding being dished out in the ring as well as delivering a walloping punch with the heavy metal fight music. Well balanced and full of vigor, Sony has done it again.
• Delete Scenes
• Here Comes the Cast
• Gino vs. Ritchie
• Back to School
• Learning How to Fight
• Three Amigos
• The Pros
• Disco Street fighting
The original trailer, while seemingly extremely childish and without much redeeming quality, pleasantly surprised me with the true earnestness that the movie exuded. Kevin James absorbed himself into the role very well and gave a much better performance with his usual goofball humor drastically toned done. While the film is a tad unrealistic in its portrayal of MMA fighting, it’s sweet and endearing message floods through in such a heartwarming manner that it’s easy to overlook the flaws. Perfectly cast and well-acted by Kevin James I give my thumbs up for a cute and endearing comedy that’s honestly good for the WHOLE family, unlike the majority of comedies being put out today. With the great audio and video scores I recommend that “Here Comes the Boom” at least become a rental to spin in the old player.
Buy Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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