There are plenty of football films out there and with the exception of "NORTH DALLAS 40" and a few others, most are horrible. "FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS" is the exception. It's not just a good film, it's close to a "great" film! Just as one didn't have to know much about sports to appreciate the magic of "JERRY MAGUIRE", one doesn't have to know much about football to appreciate the magic and inspiration found in "FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS". Football is the subject, but it's virtually a metaphor for everything else in life the viewer may find passion in. Billy Bob Thornton is at his usual best in the role of Coach Gaines, responsible for inspiring his high-school football team to give their best. There are great scenes and a lot of great dialogue throughout the film, and Director Peter Berg shows some restraint here, allowing the script and actors to shine without overshadowing it too much with distracting visual dynamics, as he has shown a penchant for, in past films.
UNIVERSAL has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this hd-dvd release. The image is extremely clear and colors are much richer than on the already impressive dvd presentation. Even on a player that's not fully capable of producing the potential 1080p image, the 720p is outstanding to observe! The detail is incredible in every scene. There are some grainy moments, but no artifacts.
UNIVERSAL has provided a DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 mix. It's not an aggressive mix and even some of the bigger hard-hitting impacts of the game, shown in close-up never fully realize surround sound as Oliver Stone did in "ANY GIVEN SUNDAY", but the mix is decent and the fidelity is excellent. The front soundstage provides most of the separation effects, but there are some surround effects as well.
UNIVERSAL has carried over most of the extras featured on the standard DVD release, allowing for hours of extras, including deleted scenes, commentary and much, much more!