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Here Comes the Boom(2012)
A high school biology teacher looks to become a successful mixed-martial arts fighter in an effort to raise money to prevent extra-curricular activities from being axed at his cash-strapped school.
For more about Here Comes the Boom and the Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray release, see Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 31, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Kevin James, Henry Winkler, Salma Hayek, Greg Germann, Gary Valentine, Reggie Lee
Director: Frank Coraci
» See full cast & crew
Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray Review
'Boom' isn't a bust.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 31, 2013
Complete resolve in the face of an unbearable obstacle.
More than a rehash of the classic underdog story, Here Comes the Boom intermixes humor and heart and fashions a touching narrative on the power of selflessness, trust, and good work towards a noble goal. Director Frank Coraci's (Zookeeper) latest film is his best yet and by a wide margin, a picture packed with solid life lessons and built around a great cast that brings the most from what in lesser hands might have been just another forgettable "inspirational" film. Here Comes the Boom might not emit the classic vibes of a Rocky or a Rudy, but for a film that marries drama and humor rather than go it alone with the former only, it excels as a hybrid that engenders a whole lot of positive emotion that's made all the more heartfelt given the film's balanced humor and gentle soul which shines brightest in the movie's hardest-hitting fight scenes. This is the surprise feel-good movie of 2012, an undisputed heavyweight winner that will leave audiences cheering and wholly satisfied with the journey.
Former competitive wrestler-turned-high school Biology teacher Scott Voss (Kevin James, Hitch) was once "teacher of the year" and an enthusiastic educator who engaged and challenged his students and produced real results in his classroom. Now, he's perpetually tardy, he's lost his drive to teach, and at best he's working through the motions and letting his students down. When he's busted for another late arrival, he's given after school bus duty which, of course, just isn't going to work for a man of his stature. He heads on down to the music room to pawn the job off on veteran music instructor Marty Streb (Henry Winkler, An American Christmas Carol) who is everything in his classroom that Scott used to be. Marty lets slip that his aging wife is pregnant. Scott offers the obligatory halfhearted congratulations and slips away having successfully left bus duty to Marty. Later that afternoon, the faculty is called into a meeting. It turns out the school is deep in the red and cuts have to be made, chief amongst them the entire music department. That means Marty's job and that also means a lot of disappointed kids. Scott, suddenly touched by the conflicting news of Marty's pending fatherhood and his loss of a job, sets out to do something -- anything -- to raise the $48,000 the school needs to keep the music department afloat.
Scott decides that the only avenue of action open to him is to get hired back on in his old job as a teacher for a nighttime citizenship class for legal immigrants. When that paycheck proves far too small to accomplish anything in the short term, Scott is ready to give up until one of his students, Niko (Bas Rutten, Paul Blart: Mall Cop), asks for some extra help. Scott reluctantly agrees, heads on over to Niko's apartment, and learns that he's a huge fan of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and that he's also an MMA instructor at a local gym. They settle down to watch a match on TV and Scott learns that, at UFC, winners take home $50,000, but losers bring in $10,000. Suddenly, Scott has an epiphany: became a mixed martial artist, take his licks, collect $10,000, and repeat until he has enough to pay the school to keep Marty's job. Niko agrees to train Scott; his wrestling pedigree is an asset that makes him a good enough fighter to enter into some smaller, local matches that earn him a good bit of money. As Scott improves, more money comes in. With the help of the school's kindly nurse (who also happens to be the woman of Scott's dreams), Bella (Salma Hayek, Grown Ups), Scott improves his game, heals up after every fight, and climbs the ladder towards mixed martial arts stardom and, much more importantly, comes ever closer to bringing in all the money Marty needs to keep his job and save the futures of his students.
Here Comes the Boom begins humorously but ultimately rather slowly and predictably. Kevin James' character's sudden transformation from has-been lazy faculty member to a man finding a heart and dedicating himself to a good, selfless cause comes way too quickly and far too easily. There's literally only minutes of characterization to one end of the spectrum until the story does a complete 180 and transforms James' character into a hero; the only lingering element of his early laziness comes in his verbal sparring with the school's principal (Greg Germann) over his character, lack of dedication to his profession, and their conflict over the school's music program. Nevertheless, the awkward transition is quickly forgotten as Here Comes the Boom evolves from a run-of-the-mill Comedy/Drama hybrid into something very moving and pretty special in its own way. The film enjoys an underlying sweetness and family-friendly air about it. It espouses some very good values -- even sportsmanship -- as it embraces Scott's dedication and the growing sense of purpose that surrounds him and those aiding in his quest. The film displays a strongly-beating heart and digs rather deeply into an honest soul of a man who looks past the physical abuse he takes in the ring and finds an inner courage to hang in there for something in which he so strongly believes. To be sure, these aren't new themes, but they're captured very well here, and Here Comes the Boom proves to be one of the best of its kind to come around in quite a long time.
While the film does travel the well-worn path of fairly predictable and generic dramatic highs and lows, it's the sweet, tender context that shapes them that separates Here Comes the Boom from others of its kind. The pure sense of heart the characters show and the concern they demonstrate for the well-being of the students feels as honest as a movie of this sort can. That's in large part due to the faultless cast chemistry and dedication to the story. Kevin James perfectly balances drama, action, humor, and heart, showing both a toughness in the octagon and a tenderness when he's around Bella or contemplating the purpose behind his actions. Henry Winkler is outstanding as Marty the music teacher, a passionate man who truly cares and comes to not only appreciate what Scott's trying to do, but sincerely admire him for his commitment not to making the money or making a name for himself but to ensure the future of children and allow them to continue to learn under Marty's commitment and loving care. The James-Winkler casting plays inspiredly and crescendos near the end in a touching scene that drives Scott to up his game in the octagon. Even as the movie is absolutely one-hundred-percent predictable, it still brings a smile to the face, maybe even a tear to the eye, for the heart and honesty on display, the positive vibes that run through it, and the truly good work that's apparent on both sides of the camera.
Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray, Video Quality
Here Comes the Boom features a picture-perfect 1080p transfer, a real looker of a Blu-ray image that shows just how far HD video photography has come and how closely it can replicate the look and feel of film. Sony's high definition presentation offers astounding clarity across the board, from the brightest lights above the UFC octagon to colder, dimmer photography in a worn-down school hallway. The image captures an incredible array of details, from close-ups of sweaty and bloody fighters to the finest little nuances of a worn leather jacket, fading paint at the school, and old wooden surfaces. It's an endlessly dazzling display of picture-perfect eye candy that's naturally sharp and true in every shot. Colors are equally impressive. The palette is gorgeously bright and naturally varied. Every hue enjoys perfect balance, and there are no difficulties in shadowy transitions. Black levels are perfect, and flesh tones spot-on. Better, there are no flaws of which to speak: zero banding, no blocky backgrounds, nothing to distract from one of Sony's best Blu-rays yet.
Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Here Comes the Boom offers a fantastic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This presentation delivers a very robust presence and features a fine balance between quiet and subtle dialogue moments and more involved scenes. Listeners will note early on the track's very large, very wide soundstage. Music enjoys impeccable clarity, aggressive volume at reference level, and seamless balance around the stage. The music heard in the school's music room is beautifully rich and enveloping; it's a startlingly real experience that offers such fine clarity that listeners can almost pick out the instruments and place them in the listening environment. There's plenty of good, aggressive crowd surround support during fight scenes both local and national. The fighting environments are well engineered and pull the listener into the arena and octagon both, where crowd cheers and hard hits play seamlessly within the soundstage. There are fine natural booms of thunder in an outdoor match that hit hard and nicely linger across the listening area. Dialogue is clear and delivered faultlessly from the center, save for some good, natural reverberations when the scene calls for them. This is a wonderful track that delivers every element with the finest precision that current sound engineering allows.
Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Here Comes the Boom offers several short featurettes, a gag reel, and a plethora of deleted scenes. A UV Digital copy is also included.
Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
No doubt about it, there are some generic themes at work in Here Comes the Boom, but they're also wholesome and timeless themes. Certainly, the movie is pretty far fetched (OK, a lot far fetched), but it's nevertheless an example of good, honest storytelling that champions selflessness, friendship, and dedication to a task. The movie is well-made, perfectly cast, and faultlessly acted. Henry Winkler is particularly great as the job-on-the-line music teacher, and Kevin James handles quadruple duty very well, capturing the necessary drama, humor, tenderness, and action all with equal aplomb. This is one of the 2012's best little secrets, a movie that's not to be missed, a crowd-pleaser, a film suitable for most of the family. Sony's Blu-ray release of Here Comes the Boom features faultless video and audio. A healthy assortment of extras are included. Highly recommended.
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Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Here Comes the Boom Blu-ray - December 17, 2012
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced and detailed its upcoming Blu-ray release of Frank Coraci's comedy Here Comes the Boom (2012), starring Kevin James, Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler. The release will be available for purchase online and ...
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