Kingpin is a quirky and effective comedy directed by the Farrelly Brothers combining tasteless humor with some heartwarming scenes that made There’s Something About Mary special.
Paramount | PG13/R – 113 min. / 117 min. – $21.99 | October 14, 2014
Plot Synopsis: Bowling prodigy Roy Munson (WOODY HARRELLSON) wins the 1979 Iowa amateur and sets off on his dream to go on the Professional Bowling Tour winning his first match against reigning champion Ernie McCracken (BILL MURRAY) and taking in the $1,500 payday… which goes down the drain after his car engine needs $2,000 to fix because somebody put sugar in his gas tank. Hard up for money, Roy takes up an offer from Ernie to make some extra dough in a scheme to hustle some amateur bowlers resulting in Ernie leaving Roy high and dry and for his troubles, their victims take revenge and chop off Roy’s bowling hand.
Fast forward 17 years, Munson is a drunkard now has a prosthetic hand and makes a living selling bowling supplies. When one day he sees Ishmael Boorg (RANDY QUAID), an Amish man, having a good bowling game, offers to take him on as manager and after some reluctance, and that his family will lose their farm land unless $500k is paid, Ishmael agrees as they enter a bowling tournament, the winner getting $1 million. But it’s not an easy payday once Roy discovers Ishmael might not be a great bowler due something to do with the number of frames (or something) and now he’s stuck with a subpar bowler on a road trip as Roy attempts to teach Ishmael before the big tournament.
Hilarity ensues and, obviously, Roy meets his archrival, and the reason for losing his hand, McCracken one more time leading to a surprisingly refreshing finale from the Farrelly Brothers and the first of a one-two-three punch following Dumb & Dumber and then There’s Something About Mary but since they haven’t exactly hit all cylinders…
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover with a sparkly reflection in spots on the front and back.
Features-wise, it is pretty light porting over the original Audio Commentary with the Farrelly brothers, a new featurette, Kingpins: Extra Frames with The Farrelly Brothers (19:14; HD) and the Theatrical Trailer (1:27; HD).
VIDEO – 4.25/5
Kingpin rolls a strike on Blu-ray presented with a new 1080p high-definition transfer shown in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. For the most part, the picture doesn’t look bad with good detail levels throughout and colors appear to be strong but not oversaturation in appearance.
AUDIO – 3.0/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track meanwhile is on the weaker side. While the dialogue does sound decent enough, the other elements such as the score and soundtrack are relatively soft and even such things as the pins dropping lack any impact or depth.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, Kingpin is a quirky and effective comedy directed by the Farrelly Brothers combining tasteless humor with some heartwarming scenes that made There’s Something About Mary special. The Blu-ray release from Paramount is slightly disappointing with average audio (albeit good video), a basic featurette and a commentary track.