DVD DODGEBALL [Blu-ray] (DVD 6280624),
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In DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn team up once again (following STARSKY & HUTCH) for another comic romp. While hilariously satirizing modern-day gym culture, the film also celebrates a sport that has previously been relegated to the elementary school playground. Peter La Fleur (Vaughn) owns the decrepit Average Joe's gym, which has been losing its clients ever since the glitzy Globo Gym opened up across the street. White Goodman (Stiller), Globo Gym's main spokesman, is a preposterously vain egomaniac on the cusp of taking over La Fleur's failing business. La Fleur learns from a beautiful attorney (Christine Taylor) that if he doesn't come up with $50,000 in 30 days, his career running a gym will be over. Potential salvation arrives in the form of a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament, but conquering a sport one hasn't played in several decades isn't such an easy feat. Fortunately for Peter, he finds a coach for his team: the hardheaded, ex-superstar Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn). As Peter and his ragtag team make their way to the championship in Las Vegas, they must contend with White, who has assembled a team of his very own. Rawson Marshall Thurber's debut feature is a highly assured work, which features hilarious cameos from Chuck Norris, Lance Armstrong, David Hasselhoff, and William Shatner.
Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn, Elmore Rual Torn, Jason Bateman, Gary Cole, Missi Pyle, Stephen Root, Stephen D. Root, Justin Long, Chris Williams, Alan Tudyk, Hank Azaria, Joel Moore, Joel David Moore
"Vaughn recalls the seemingly effortless shtick Bill Murray trades on, and the unruffled sense of amiability he maintains, even during the daftest bits of knockabout, is the movie's chief pleasure."
Sight and Sound
"[A] slaphappy send-up of the whole sniffly underdog sports-movie genre, written and directed with a changeup pitch of whizzy aggression and bouncy merriness..."
"[I]t's a worthy addition to the genre....Thurber and company deliver the goods..."
"Nobody eviscerates the scary depths of male narcissism with such ferocity, and it is a huge relief to find Mr. Stiller flexing his oiled, low-comedy triceps with such vengeful glee....Consistently funny..."
New York Times
"Superb performances from the deadpan Vaughn and the fearless Stiller in one of the funniest films of the year."
"[With] Rip Torn getting enormous laughs with his training methods as their coach..."
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Sports & Fitness
Rawson Marshall Thurber
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