Cover Art and Menu: 3/10
Standard dramatic cover with the expected militarized faces of the starring dudes. I don’t mind the cover, but it is quite manufactured. That goes for the menu as well. It’s a scene from the movie with other scenes from the movie running in one section. That’s one thing I will always complain about, putting clips from the movie in the menu. I don’t get it. Why show me the movie, I’m about to watch it and I have most likely seen the trailer already. All and all the cover and menu are not enough to get me excited about the movie.

Extras & Features: 7/10

  • Deleted Scenes With optional Audio Commentary – Most of the deleted scenes are extended versions of scenes left in the movie. With the commentary on you learn that they cut most of them for time reasons, or because they were repetitive.
  • Plebe Year The Story Of Annapolis The Making Of The Movie – This is a good little extra that covers the process of actors/performers being trained, military style, before they made the movie. It covers everything from how extras were taught how to handle weapons to Franco’s devotion to learning how to look like a real boxer. It’s not very long, but it’s better than a lot of making of features you find on DVD’s. That sounds very neutral of me, ok, it’s a good extra if I do say so myself. I think it adds some authenticity to the movie, even after you have seen it, because you learn how devoted the people behind and in front of the cameras were to making a quality film.
  • The Brigades – An In Depth Look At The Boxing Sequences – How do they make a boxing match look real? They let the actors beat the crap of each other…haha no just kidding. The actors were trained and did extensive practice runs of choreographed sequences for each fight. It’s a quality extra if you are one of those people (like me) who enjoy boxing and wonder just how they can turn such an up close and personal sport where two men, or women, are trading blows, sweat, and blood in a very intimate way, into believable scenes for a movie.
  • Filmmaker Audio Commentary – I enjoy listening to the director talk about making this film. He’s got that calm vibe when he reminisces on a personal level and when he talks about the more technical aspects of getting the movie made. He’s not dynamic or particularly charismatic, but hey, that’s not a requirement for doing a DVD commentary.

The Movie: 6/10
This movie looks great, sounds great, and has a solid cast. The boxing scenes are exciting and are directed in a way that makes them feel and look as real as you can imagine being in the ring would be.

Every performance from Danny Franco to Tyrese is top quality with a certain masculine intensity that you tend to get with these types of stories. Speaking of Tyrese, he does a fine job of holding his hard ass character together while making him seem like a real dude you might encounter in the Marines. For me Franco is more captivating when he’s silent and giving someone the stare down he does so well. When you hear people say that someone can act a scene with their eyes it sounds so obnoxious, but sometimes it’s true.

The intensity of each performance and the cool boxing ring scenes don’t undo the flaws in the film. The story is noble enough. A young man working at a ship-building yard wants to accomplish a lifelong dream, and fulfill a promise he made to his mother who passed away when he was young. He has a distant, hardworking father who can’t see past the security of the job and into a future his son can make for himself if he joins the Navy.

Our hero campaigns to get into Annapolis for his Naval training and once he’s in he is faced with a barrage of mental and physical challenges along with a never ending regiment of Hollywood movie making formulas. He meets a sexy chick who happens to be a superior officer. He meets a weak dude who means well but who isn’t cut out of the rigors of Navy life. There is the commanding officer who likes to yell and who holds his devotion to his job in the Marines above all else in life and puts any punk who feels the need to question his authority in their place with lots of push ups and standing in the rain. It’s all deeper than that, I’m not picking on the story and characters, but it’s hard to get excited for the same old same old.

I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie. I’m just saying that without Franco and the kick ass boxing scenes it is basically An Officer and a Gentleman for the 21st century. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just a bit stale and predictable.

I enjoyed the whole thing, from start to finish but I won’t be watching it again and if I had to recommend a military themed, masculine injected, “young man has something to prove movie” it would be An Officer and a Gentleman first, then Stripes, and then a few more down the list might be Annapolis.

Value: 6/10
I’ll be honest, this isn’t a DVD I would have to add to my collection. Don’t spend the $20.00 too hastily. I say rent it, enjoy it, use the extra cash on something wonderful and temporarily satisfying like a twelve pack of soda and an armful of chocolate. Some movies simply do not make my list of “will watch again someday” and Annapolis is one of them. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but for the price of the DVD I would rather have the aforementioned goodies even if the experience passes quickly and is soon forgotten. Sadly much like Annapolis.

Overall Score 7/10