The Benchwarmers Dennis Dugan

The Benchwarmers updates Revenge of the Nerds for the 21st Century, pitting inept losers against bullying jocks via baseball. In this case, the heroic nerds are a trio of grown men battling team after team of cruel kids in order to give excluded children some self-esteem. The trio’s two losers play to type with Jon Heder dumbing down his titular role from Napoleon Dynamite and David Spade unleashing his typical sarcasm, while Rob Schneider leads the team as the guilt-ridden athlete and is refreshing playing a character less freakish than his regular roles. They may not be good at baseball, or dating, or even life in general, but they’re definitely a hilarious trio. Plus, Jon Lovitz is great as the nerdy, self-made billionaire-cum-team coach/owner, as is the rest of the cast of comedians, freaks and cute kids. With this cast, it’s no surprise that The Benchwarmers excels at surreal humour and disgusting, low-brow comedy (i.e., fart jokes and booger eating) similar to the earlier films of Adam Sandler, who produces here through his Happy Madison production company, and remains unconventional even in its uplifting finale. The DVD contains a few deleted scenes that were rightfully cut, as well as a revealing commentary from director Dennis Dugan (who brags that they made film history with the first ever shot from the POV of dirt) and a second funny commentary from Spade and Heder. The four featurettes are unnecessary, with the possible exception of "Mr. October,” which goes behind the scenes with baseball superstar Reggie Jackson, who makes a special guest appearance to train The Benchwarmers. Now that it’s on DVD, hopefully this very funny film will finally find the fan base it failed to attract in the theatre. (Sony)