In "Varsity Blues," at first, backup quarterback Jonathan "Mox" Moxom (James Van Der Beek) is nowhere close to being a star athlete. Perfectly content to stay on the bench, he has no time for coach Kilmer’s (Jon Voight) win-at-all-cost strategies. But when the starting quarterback (Paul Walker) is injured, Mox is in the game and confronting the pressures and temptations of gridiron glory. Soon everyone will realize there's not just a new star quarterback in town, there's a new kind of hero.
Special features include commentary with director Brian Robbins and producers Tova Laiter and Mike Tollin; four featurettes: "Football Is A Way Of Life" (SD 17:47), "Two-A-Days: The Ellis Way" (SD 07:48), "QB Game Analysis" (HD 15:15) and "Billy Bob With No Bacon" ( SD 04:38); theatrical trailer and a digital copy.
The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed on Eastman Kodak film stock using the Arriflex 35-III, Arriflex 435, Panavision Panaflex Gold II, Panavision Panaflex Lightweight, Panavision Panaflex Platinumd and Panavision Panastar camera systems and sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate. The picture is mostly bright with a vivid but natural color palette that exhibits bold blues of the Canaan team. All the imagery exhibits rich and warm hues. Flesh tones are perfectly natural. The wide color gamut's nuanced hue shading enhance the visuals. HDR contrast exhibits natural black levels, revealing shadows and bright white levels. Resolution is superb with fine detail exhibited in facial features such as skin pores, fine beard stubble and complexions. Clothing fabrics are finely detailed. Object textures exhibit realism throughout. This is a vividly saturated colorful picture that looks terrific. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding but there are dated aspects with compression. While there is lots of football game action this is really a dialogue focused soundtrack. Atmospherics and sound effect enhance the realism of the settings and the playing field. The orchestral music score is very active with a wide soundstage and extension to the surrounds. Surround energy is generally enveloping. Bass extension enhances the punch of sound effects. Dialogue is intelligible and generally with decent integration but often ADR produced. This is a satisfying soundtrack throughout. (Gary Reber)