Air Bud/B,B

Disney/1997/98m/FS 1.33

           Stories about boys and their dogs have held audience appeal since the inception of motion pictures. Air Bud has a cute gimmick. Josh finds a stray that has the unique ability to put a basketball through the hoop with uncaninely accuracy. Josh is new to the neighborhood and the dog helps the Josh become part of the team. One of the nicest aspects of the movie is how Josh finds out about the past of the school custodian and the knowledge changes both their lives.
     The acrimonious nature of the villainous conflict featuring an antic and nasty Michael Jeter as a clown brings the film down a peg. It feels as if this was the easy way to create tension.
     Youngster Kevin Zegers does appealing work as Josh and Bill Cobbs shows lots of style as the custodian. Charles Martin Smith directs with a good share of charm and energy.

airbud.jpg (8079 bytes)

Washin' the dog. ęDisney

   Air Bud is presented in 1.33 Full Frame. Compositions do not seem cramped or otherwise compromised, suggesting that the director was careful to protect for 1.33 while composing for 1.85. Color is vivid and detail is consistently sharp. Take a careful look at Josh's white basketball for some MPEG for an example of live MPEG grain. Fortunately, there is not too much incidence of this in the transfer.




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