Before Keanu Reeves and "The Replacements", there was this 1991 football comedy about a Texas college football program that comes under fire for corrupt practices. They hire a new coach (Hector Elizondo) and find an old student who never completed college (Scott Bakula) to serve as the quarterback. Also along for the ride is Sinbad as, and a kicker, Kathy Ireland(whatever happened to her?). And, in the role that he was made for (as his "Nutty Professor" performances proved) Larry Miller is perfect as the dean who doesn't want the team to succeed.
There's nothing much that hasn't been done before, besides the idea of having Ireland as the kicker. Although "Roughness" has quite a bit in the way of sports movie cliches, the film is similar to "The Replacements" in the way that it certainly knows what it is and doesn't take itself terribly seriously. It also has a few performances, such as the ones from Elizondo and Bakula, that do a fine job with the otherwise somewhat thin material - certainly, it's a better performance than Bakula gave for the horrid baseball sequel, "Major League 3". Miller though, is the highlight as the sarcastic dean who wants the team stopped.
Although I don't think I've ever seen a sports comedy that I've thought was fantastic (besides the Farrelly Brothers' "Kingpin"), "Necessary Roughness" at least has the energy and spark to carry the film down the field.
VIDEO: Although "Neccessary Roughness" isn't particularly the most visually remarkable movie, Paramount's 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer presents the film about as good as it's going to hope to look. Sharpness is generally very good throughout the movie, although some dimly lit interior scenes look slightly murky. The outdoor scenes on the football fields generally fare best.
The presentation is not without some additional problems besides some slight softness. Print flaws are at a minimum; there are some slight marks and scratches here and there, but nothing that I found too distracting. Pixelation appears lightly in a couple of scenes, as well. Edge enhancement doesn't turn up throughout the movie. Colors tend to vary slightly - they looked slightly washed out in a scene or two, but looked strong on the some of the outdoor scenes on the rich green fields. Although there's some bumps along the way, Paramount has at least given a nice effort towards making the film at least look generally pleasing.
SOUND: Paramount at least does present most catalog films with new Dolby Digital 5.1 presentations, and "Neccessary Roughness" does benefit from the studio's work. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio does offer the score occasionally from the surrounds, as well as some slight environment sounds, such as the rain coming down during a game that starts about an hour into the movie. Dialogue is generally clean and clear, with no problems in the way of harshness or clarity.
MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with very basic images serving as backgrounds.
EXTRAS: Where are the neccessary extras? There's not even a trailer included.
Positive: A fun movie gets decent treatment in terms of fine picture and audio quality. Paramount has also lowered their usual price from 29.99 to 24.99 for this title.
Negative: The lack of extras hurts the overall grade.