The Good

A solid film that delivers the feel good goods!

The Bad

There is a cheese factor about this film that is undeniable.Varsity Blues tells the tale of Mox (James Van Der Beek). He is someone who is happy to not be the center of attention. He is an underachiever who gets in over his head when his football team's star player Lance (Paul Walker) gets injured. Suddenly, Mox has got to step up his game and enter the fray, and that is when his life gets even more complicated. He finds himself getting advice from people he's never met, dealing with a coach (Jon Voight) who doesn't understand that he doesn't "want his life," and on top of that Mox is caught in a love triangle between two hot chicks (Ali Larter and Amy Smart).

So... as you can guess, Varsity Blues, with its 104 minute runtime, packs in its fair share of punches while also trying to get a few salient points across.


Commentary Track

Commenting on the movie here are Director Brian Robbins as well as producers Tova Laiter and Mike Tollin. Sadly, this portion of the DVD was a little dry. I would have much more preferred if these people took these proceedings a bit too seriously, rather than try and talk about the making of this movie as if they are breaking down Lawrence of Arabia. There are a few anecdotes but more often than not they seem to watch this movie with a reverential eye. Okay, I will admit that this movie effected me, but to act as if it's anything more than the usual teen, football film with the usual teen story is an insult.

Two-A-Days the Ellis Way

The Making of Varsity Blues

Again, there's nothing too special here. This is your garden variety "making of" piece that has the cast and members of the crew talking about making this movie. They discuss their characters, the project, and what it's like working on such material. Sure, this piece is dated in a lot of ways, but overall if you are a fan of this movie, or these actors than you're going to want to peruse this.

QB Game Analysis

Billy Bob with No Bacon

This is a featurette that shows you actor Ron Lester's (aka Billy Bob in the film) life since this movie. While I could go into some long diatribe about where he is at, I think that at under 5 minutes one can take the time and watch this piece themselves.


1080p High Definition. 1.78:1. Paramount has done a solid job with this release. The picture is solid, the colors strong, and everything plays well. I found that the football scenes took on an almost Gladiator-styled look, with there being no points that I found the picture to be overly baked in any areas. Aside from how corny I may think this film is, director Brian Robbins and Cinematographer Chuck Cohen have really done there level best to take us inside the world of these characters and small town football.


Audio - English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD - French 5.1 Dolby Digital - Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. Subtitled in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Lossless Audio. The audio on this movie was also top notch. Since the picture was so on point, I found that the sound more than held its own. There was a crispness to it that even recalled Tony Scott's work on The Fan. While the audio wasn't really used to get inside the heads of our main characters, I was pretty excited about how caught up I felt in the action and drama that was playing out on screen.


The main cast of this film is present on this front cover. Van Der Beek holds a football and in the background of all the actors is an image of a stadium. The back of this Blu-ray cover features 5 images from this movie, a description of what Varsity Blues , a Special Features listing, technical specs and a cast list.

Final Word

Having never seen this film before I was a bit dubious when BB, the MovieWeb commandant, gave it to me to review on Blu-ray disc. All in all, I must say that this movie was a pleasant surprise. It was both funny, endearing and I couldn't help but root for the character of Mox. It was easy to see James Van Der Beek as another disposable actor from Dawson's Creek, but he really showed me something here. Do I think that he reinvented the wheel as far as his acting abilities? Probably not, but he does enough on screen that it kept me interested in this movie all the way through.

Sure, there are aspects about this movie that are beyond syrupy, but when it needs to, Varsity Blues hones down and delivers everything that one might expect from a home entertainment experience of this nature.