Putting his career on the line, Los Angeles' Probation Officer Sean Porter (Johnson) bans together a multicultural high-school-level football team of convicted criminals from the Camp Kilpatrick detention center. He is convinced that with proper discipline and a tough-love approach, he will not only improve their self-esteem, but he can also turn these gang members, murderers, and drug dealers into law-biding citizens, better prepared for the once-bleak future that lies ahead. The Gridiron Gang is inspired by a true story. (Jack Kelley)
Special features are exactly the same as on the DVD reviewed in Issue 117 and include commentary with Writer Jeff Maguire and Director Phil Joanou, 15 deleted scenes with optional Maguire/Joanou commentary, a six-minute look at the actors learning the in-and-outs of football, a four-minute Joanou profile, four minutes of The Rock on The Field, a five-sequence and multiple-angle football scene, and previews. There are also up-front ads.
The gritty 2.40:1 Blu-ray Disc exhibits deep blacks, but unimpressive shadow delineation hides detail in the darkest scenes. Details are generally well resolved. In outdoor scenes, colors are highly desaturated, which is obviously the intention of the filmmakers. (Danny Richelieu)
The uncompressed linear PCM 5.1-channel soundtrack has a good mix for music, but doesn't get very exciting until the games begin. Fidelity is good, with fluid dialogue that sounds full and natural. (Danny Richelieu)