Varsity Blues (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Tuna's comments in white:

Varsity Blues (1999) is a High School Coming of age story about football players in a small Texas town. For most of the people in town, their High School football careers were the highlight of their life. The coach, Jon Voight, has been a fixture for 26 years, and won the division nearly every one of them. Somewhere, he lost the whole idea, and it has become about him, not the game, or the players. He is abusive to the students, and not above injecting injured players with steroids so they can play.

This year, the quarterback is the best in years, and might take them to a state title. The film is the story of the back-up quarterback, James Van Der Beek (Mox), who is suddenly thrust into the limelight when the starting quarterback is injured. Mox is far from dumb -- he receives an academic scholarship to Brown -- and knows just how bad the coach is.


When Mox takes over as quarterback, cheerleader Ali Larter dumps the injured quarterback and makes a play for Mox, wearing a whipped cream bikini.

One of the wilder players steals a police car, and shows up with three girls, all of them naked, and tries to get Mox to join them. One of the girls, Bristi Havins, shows her breasts.

At one point, the team spends the night at a strip club. There is an unknown stripper, then their family planning/health teacher comes on-stage as the featured act.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • no meaningful features

Scoopy's comments in yellow:

The MTV-produced Varsity Blues. This movie is meant as pure froth. Don't expect real-life characterizations or subtlety. It's MTV. It's dumb, but watchable.

Tonie Perensky played the very realistic role of the sex education teacher who is a stripper by night. Sure, in small town Texas nobody would ever figure that out, except maybe during those dreaded parent-teacher conferences when dad comes in and meets her. Oh, at first she looks different without the dollars in her garter, but ......

Hey, don't all small town teachers drive a Lamborghini?

Anyway, she does have the appropriate stripper body.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half stars. Ebert 2/4, Berardinelli 2.5/4, Apollo 71/100

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.2, Apollo users 85/100
  • With their dollars ... it was a solid small hit, taking in $53 million domestic on a $17 million budget.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+ (Tuna - "I found it watchable, with a few very good moments. The anamorphic transfer is top notch. High C+") or C (Scoop - "dumb, but generally enjoyable. It it comes on when you're ready to relax, it won't arttract you attention in any negative way that will make you turn it off. You might not even remember you're watching it. It's the cinema equivalent of elevator music").

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