David Krumholtz plays Benny Silman, and his performance is a rather startling bit ofmimicry (check out what the real Silman looks and sounds like in the extras). Our hero movesfrom New York (amusingly set up as if it were a small, provincial town) to Arizona StateUniversity, home of sun, fun, girls and gambling. The sexual politics are as bad as you’d expect,but the direct-to-camera addresses by Krumholtz are entertaining, and the story itself is notwithout interest.
Both 5.1 and 2.0 on offer here, and the sound is good, glean and clear. The music and FXboth have solid surround presence, and the environmental effect isn’t bad at all. No distortionsthat I picked up either.
Made for TV or not, the film is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture issharp, but the contrasts need work. There’s a grey tinge to much of the proceedings, andeven the high-contrast moments (such as a casino in Las Vegas) could still look better.
The menu is basic, but there are a few extras to have fun with. The commentary is by directorErnest Dickerson, Benny Silman, David Krumholtz and executive producer Kevin Messick. Thetrack is quite chatty, but fairly informative too. “It’s Not Worth It” is an anti-gambling short bythe NCAA, and is Silman describing his fall from grace accompanied by flashy visuals andMassive Attack on the soundtrack. “The Real Bookie” is a videotaped interview with Silman(this time without the flash and Massive Attack). Finally, there are two TV spots, andtrailers for High Crimes and Super Troopers.
A top-notch film, but a dismal package. I understand the Japanese DVD is infinitelysuperior.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- “The Real Bookie: Benny Tells His Story”
- NCAA sport wagering awareness video
- TV Spots