The Game Plan

Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
I think I’ll have a comment to copy and paste about all Disney DVD covers. I always end up with the same reaction, “cute but boring”. I don’t know what else they could do, but I feel like they could try to give the kids of the world a little less blah and more interesting art to look at. Kids are more sophisticated than Disney seems to give them credit for, but then agian, they (Disney) have all the money in the world and I don’t, so they must be doing something right.

The menu is themed for the movie, so that’s cool. It’s a standard Disney Blu-ray Total Menu which is formatted the same for every release. I like that the menu comes up over the movie on these new fangled DVD’s:)

Features: 5/10

  • Director & The Rock Commentary – Admittedly I couldn’t sit through the movie a second time, not until it’s on late night cable someday anyway. If I were to try to watch it again the voice and attempted musings of director Andy Fickman what little fondness I have of it might fade away. He’s fine, I’m sure, but it is my belief that he thinks he’s funnier and more charming than he really is. You be the judge.
  • Bloopers With Marv Albert – Are you a TV sports fan? You might be into Marv Albert and his voice. This set of bloopers is done kind of like a little comedy series of awards with some cute graphics and spliced together goofs, mishaps, etc. I’m not a fan of Albert, or TV sports, but it’s got it’s own personality and they made an effort to make it something more than some clips stuck together. I give credit where credit is due.
  • Deleted Scenes – Hmm, these deleted scenes wouldn’t make any difference to the movie in or out, so I ask, “Why take them out” nobody really cares. If people are fans of Dwayne Johnson they want to see more more more, regardless of whether the director and editor want to pretend they are making a real film and want to take things out for pacing and timing and character development…yea, right.
  • (BD Only) ESPN Sportscenter The King In Search Of A King – 1.) The fact that this is a real Blu-Ray extra means nothing to me. Other than the fact that it’s added content to an average disc and it does nothing to improve the overall value. 2.) I care absolutely nothing about ESPN, even though bazillions of people do and they will appreciate it, it does nothing for me. It’s a nice try at adding fan content though, I will say that. They whole DVD focuses on the people who will love all of it. I’m just not that person.
  • (BD Only) ESPN Sportscenter The Rock Learns To Play QB – Ditto from the previous extra.
  • Drafting The Gameplan Behind The Scenes Featurette – How does Dwayne Johnson fit into a unitard? Does he do his own football stunts? Is the director as funny as he thinks he is? These and other burning questions answered, along with the full ballet performance by cast. It’s pretty good and if you love the movie you will love this extra. Or you are like me and watch it to get your money’s worth out of the DVD.
  • Peyton’s Makeover Madness Set Top Game – Ok, who says sitting for 19 hours putting little digital jewels on stuff on a DVD isn’t fun and entertaining? Me. If you are 6 and want to decorate a picture frame or football with little colored gems until you are 16, feel free. I’m not sure why this is a game. It would work better as an online toy to play with, but I don’t decide what Disney puts on their DVD’s, so there ya go.

Movie: 6/10
What do you want from a movie? Are you looking for intellectual stimulation and challenging ideas that make an impact on your life? Are you looking for x-wrestlers, charming little girls, white teeth, and a lot of sappy moments that make some people go, “awwwweee”? The Game Plan is loaded with intellectual stuff. It’s all  hidden behind The Rock, the wide-eyed little girl who plays his daughter, their collective white teeth, and lots of sap. So, it’s the best of both worlds really, don’t ya think?

Maybe not. I can’t say it’s a great movie. That would mean I was either on my 5th glass of wine when I watched it, or that I am brainwashed into swooning over bulging muscles, neither of which is accurate. However, I won’t say it’s crap, even if I might disappoint the many people who like to look down their noses at the Disney family friendly movies. Let’s just get it over with, come on, say it with me people, “It is what it is.” A feel good flick with a big name star who does appeal to millions of people, along with the cuteness and the sentimental goop that drips from every scene. You can’t fault a studio for putting out movies that sell. That’s pretty much what I’m talking about today. It’s a formula that works no matter how bored some of us might be with the same old story over and over and over.

What is the story? A man’s man bachelor who happens to be a big football star finds out he’s got an eight year old daughter. He is then thrown into the world of childcare and, as they say, the hijinks begin. I did laugh now and then. I won’t deny it. It entertained me enough that I can’t pretend it’s a waste of time. If you NEVER like the feel-good kinds of movies and all you do is sneer and roll your eyes, this won’t be up your alley. If you are looking for amazing film making or a life changing experience….this ain’t it.

It’s not original, that’s for sure. I can think of about five other movies through the years that have the exact same premise. It’s like each generation needs a new version. It’s not a remake of any other movie, but it’s like they took some old scripts and updated things. I can remind you of other ‘big’ name actors who have fallen for the lure of the family flick trap: Hulk Hogan, Vin Diesel, and Governor Swartzenegger. Even Adam Sandler has done a fish out of water type movie as the man who takes on the responsibility of taking care of a kid in Big Daddy. I’m not saying these are all the same quality, but once you have seen a man try to cope with single parenthood through the eyes of apparently man-hating Hollywood writers, well you don’t feel the need to watch one every few years.

Why do I say man-hating writers? I just think it’s really condescending to always assume that men can’t or won’t take care of a child very well. That aside, the young girl is so overwhelmingly cute it’s kind of hard not to imagine a stage mother behind the camera coaching her on to make those little gestures and facial expression. Not that she’s not fun to watch, but because  movie isn’t very interesting and doesn’t really capture my attention very well through a lot of the scenes, my mind wanders to spiteful observations to later mention in my review 🙂

I will say that Dwayne Johnson isn’t that bad. I know, I know, the hate mail will come rolling in for that comment. I just think that in this genre and with Disney, he’s meant to be bigger than life with lots of almost campy reactions, but occasionally he pulls off a nice moment. I wouldn’t mind to see him again in something like a drama or even, dare I say, a romantic comedy..yike what am I saying? I’ve been ensnared in the web of pleasant unsubstantial entertainment. I hope it’s temporary. I’ll have to go watch some French tragedy with lots of deep concepts I don’t understand and then convince myself that I ‘get it’…that will make me feel better and distance me from what can only be described as having had a measured amount of enjoyment while watching The Game Plan.

Video & Audio: (By Ascully): 8/10
Another touchdown from Disney (you see what I did there) in terms of audio and video, not only does the Blu-Ray version of the movie look incredible the standard DVD is probably one of the best transfers I have seen recently. The Blu-Ray disc is the one to own if you absolutely must have the best picture and sound but the DVD is a very close second.

Value: 4/10
Oh no, I’m not ever gonna jump on the Blu-Ray price gauging bandwagon. You can poke me, prod me, torture me endlessly, I refuse to say that any decidedly average DVD is worth nearly 30 bucks JUST because the picture is clearer and the sound is pumped up. Movies like The Game Plan, and the indescribably average DVD they build around it are never going to be worth more than a week’s worth of groceries. That’s ridiculous! If you like this kind of flick and your kids will watch it over and over and you have to choose between spending an arm and a leg at the theater or the price of a DVD, well, then it might be worth it. If not, rent it and leave it at that.

Overall Score 5/10

2 thoughts on “The Game Plan

  1. Here’s a goof in the movie! In the beginning of the movie, they refer to Payton’s mom’s name as Sarah. We already know that Sarah’s sister is Karen. Payton leaves Joe Kingman’s place in a taxi cab and the dog (Spike) finds her backpack from under her bed. In it he finds a newspaper clipping. The newpaper clipping reads her obituary. They show a picture of her and Joe when they were married and underneath the picture is her name. Instead of saying Sarah Kingman it says Kelly Kingman. Check it out!

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