Thanks to Focus Features, we had a chance to review the “Champions” blu-ray combo pack with our very own copy! Below is our description and analysis of the product.
Be sure to pick up your copy on 5/22/2023!
About Champions: From the acclaimed comedic filmmaker Bobby Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, ME, Myself, and Irene), Focus Features’ “laugh-out-loud crowd pleaser” (Screen International), CHAMPIONS, starring three-time Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson will make its streaming debut only on Peacock on April 28th. CHAMPIONS will also be available to own exclusively in a special Collector’s Edition on Digital where you can buy movies with all-new exclusive bonus content, including 12 hilarious deleted scenes and more both on April 28,, 2023 and on Blu-ray and DVD May 2, 2023 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE).
Earning an “A” CinemaScore, and a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The People vs Larry Flynt), stars in the hilarious and heartwarming story of a former minor-league basketball coach who, after a series of missteps, is ordered by the court to manage a team of players with intellectual disabilities. He soon realizes that despite his doubts, together, this team can go further than they ever imagined. Harrelson stars alongside Cheech Marin (Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, Nice Dreams), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, Miss Congeniality), and Kaitlin Olson (Hacks, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
CHAMPIONS joins other Focus Features films such as Of An Age, Spoiler Alert, TAR, and You Won’t Be Alone and other box office hits including Cocaine Bear, Knock at the Cabin, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and M3GAN.
‘COLLECTOR’S EDITION EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES AND BONUS FEATURES TO OWN ONLY ON DIGITAL, BLU-RAY & DVD:
- 12 Deleted Scenes
- Keeping it Friendly – Director Bobby Farrelly, Woody Harrelson, and the rest of the cast share how they became involved in CHAMPIONS, as well as the importance of representation in the film.
- Woody and the Team – Every team needs a good leader – here we explore how Woody Harrelson filled that role on and off screen.
- Casting the Friends
- Feature Commentary with director Bobby Farrelly
HNS Review: “Champions” is an earnest, well-meaning film that will satisfy the target audience. It doesn’t reach for the stars by any means, but the feel-good nature of the plot is hard to resist. The story isn’t exactly unique, though. Woody Harrelson and Ernie Hudson turn in some nice performances as well. Check it out if you have some extra time.
About the Product: The flexible nature of the product is a plus. Not only will buyers receive a blu-ray disc but a digital code will be offered inside the package. Audiences everywhere will have easy access to the film, which is great for any situation. The package comes with a shiny sleeve featuring the main poster. Many of the special features are showcased which is nice.
About the Special Features:
Deleted Scenes – There are 12 deleted scenes in the special features section. I enjoyed this because there are more than most blu-ray packages I’ve come across. It was great seeing some scenes that weren’t included, but also the ones that were the same but featured tweaks in the editing process. I especially enjoyed the extended interaction between Marcus and the other special needs coach. I thought this scene expanded on the idea of building relationships and how he needs to be humbled a bit. This provided extra context to his journey and why he is changing his perspective. I also enjoyed the extended pool scene as well. It highlighted more details about the conclusion and where Marcus and Alex’s relationship is going. Aside from those two, I’d say it was a good call keeping the rest as deleted scenes.
Keeping it Friendly – Director Bobby Farrelly and actor Harrelson explain the importance of this film to them. Both seemed personally moved by the subject matter and felt a natural gravitation to such a project. It’s quite clear after watching how much Harrelson and the rest of the cast gave to making the special needs actors feel welcomed and accommodated. Each of the Friends actors explained how special it was for them to get acting roles. Definitely a nice touch.
Woody and the Team – In this section, Harrelson reveals how personal this journey was for him. He explains how he saw the Spanish version of this film and wanted to remake it in an American setting. He reached out to his friend Bobby Farrelly to direct, which happened to be his first film directing without his brother. Both explain how the journey of directing actors with special needs to be rewarding and eye opening. Harrelson in particular seemed to go out of his way to get integrated with everyone.
Casting the Friends – Here, we get a glimpse into each of the Friends casting process. They explain how special it was to be cast in a movie of this nature and how they feel represented now.
Check out more from Hollywood News Source here.