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Score: 85%
Rating: PG
Publisher: Walt Disney Home

Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 92 Mins.
Genre: Family/Comedy
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master
           Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish


  • More than 30 Deleted Scenes
  • Audio Commentary with Judd Apatow, Steven Brill, Allen Covert, Aaron Schwartz, Shaun Weiss, Tom Hodges & Special Guest Paul Feig
  • The Making of Heavyweights
  • Super 8 - Footage Shot by the Cast and Crew
  • Video Chat: Judd and Kenan
  • Where Are The Now? See the Kids All Grown Up
  • Judd’s Art Project - His Bizarre Photos From the Set
  • Theatrical Trailer

Heavyweights is one of Disney's live-action films from the mid-90's that feels a lot different than most of their other movies from the time. For one, it was one of Judd Apatow's first movies, and it has hints of some of his future films.

The movie follows Gerry (Aaron Schwartz), a boy sent off to a weight loss camp. What his parents don't realize is that the camp's owners, Harvey (Jerry Stiller) and Alice (Anne Meara), don't seem to do a good job on the whole weight loss part of their camp. Instead, Camp Hope ends up being a summer-long haven for the heavier kids.

He quickly makes new friends in Roy (Kenan Thompson), Josh (Shaun Weiss), Tim (Paul Feig) and counselor, Pat (Tom McGowan). Unfortunately, the whole camp gets a shock when the owners announce they are bankrupt and have had to sell the business to a fitness guru named Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller). Perkis is not only focused on whipping the kids into shape, but he is planning on using the kids as guinea pigs for his new Perkisystem fitness program and the infomercial he is filming.

Needless to say, Perkis' changes don't go over very well with any of the campers or counselors. I don't want to go too much into the pain Perkis puts the kids through or how they ultimately react and fight back. After all, that's most of the fun of Heavyweights and I wouldn't want to ruin it for those that haven't seen the film yet. Let's just say that even overweight kids can only be pushed around so much before they start pushing back, and the result isn't necessarily a pretty one.

Not only does this release put the film on Blu-ray with a nice bump in visual quality (especially some of the lake scenes), but it also comes with an unexpectedly large amount of special features. The Blu-ray comes with a ton of deleted scenes and audio commentary featuring most of the people from the film, but outside of those, there is the original making-of featurette and current interviews with all of the kids as they talk about what they remember about the film. Heavyweights also includes some odd production photos with Apatow in frame as well as a home video shot on an old Super 8 camera.

Heavyweights not only has an odd cult following, but it is a starting point for quite a few people. This film came out just before Ben Stiller really became popular and Apatow's particular slant at comedy can easily be seen in this early film. It's still kid friendly, so parents shouldn't be worried about topics like those in Knocked Up or The 40 Year Old Virgin showing up, but it isn't your typical Disney flick either. Heavyweights also came out on the heels of D2: The Mighty Ducks 2, Kenan Thompson's first movie.

Quite frankly, Heavyweights is a movie that pretty much every kid should watch. Not only is there a lot of fun, but there are also a few good lessons about self esteem. Sure it's a little cheesy, but it is worth watching at least once.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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