Hoosiers may not be one of the greatest sports movies of all time, but it has that feeling, that "it" factor, that has you dangling onto the edge of your seat anyway.
It’s set in 1950s Indiana as a - stop me if you’ve heard this one before - rag-tag team of rejects rally together under an inspirational coach to make a run at the championship that no one believed was possible. Yes, the plot is rote to the point of parody. But the film nails something about the sports-and-high-school-obsession so clear in small towns, and it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the emotional involvement yourself.
It’s mainly thanks to Hackman, who history has rendered as one of our finest American actors. This man’s like a pipe bomb; pacing and muttering and to-and-fro while we wait for his inevitable (and often harmful) explosions. It’s an amazing performance; gruff and headstrong but also loaded with the same melancholic "I wish it was me out there" feeling you’ve probably seen in some of your gym teacher’s eyes.
"Hoosiers" has come to Blu-ray before, but MGM is hoping it’s smattering of double features will be enough to convince you to double dip. We have audio commentaries, cast and crew interviews, featurettes, and all the normal inclusions. The cool part is they have included the full game tape of the 1954 championship that is dramatized in the film! This is the cool type of archive-pulling Blu-ray extras were designed for. Those who already own "Hoosiers" on Blu are probably best to stick with their current copies. But for the uninitiated, this big game shouldn’t be missed.