Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Rob Corddry, John David Washington
Release Date: Available On Blu-ray & DVD June 14, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Spencer Strasmore (Johnson) is a retired football superstar who is trying to reinvent himself as a financial manager for current players in sun-soaked Miami. His inner circle includes Ricky (John David Washington, former pro-football player), a talented but volatile wide receiver who seeks to balance his off-field antics with his passion for the game; Charles (Omar Miller), a reluctantly retired lineman who’s finding it hard to adjust to civilian life; and Vernon (Donovan Carter), a player with a rookie contract, whose promise never to forget “where he came from” brings scores of hangers-on into his life, and lands him in big financial trouble. Though they’re pros when it comes to playing the game, each one has a harder time navigating life off the field.
‘Ballers’ explores the life of star football players both on and off the field, while focusing primarily on events seen through the perspective of retired football legend Spencer Strasmore (Johnson) who is now working as a financial advisor operating a new sports division along with his eccentric new partner Joe (Corddry) as they begin to attempt acquiring clients and building the brand while also handling the constant barrage of trouble their clients are forced to endure as a part of their daily life. Whether it may be simple investments, opinions on a key career decision or resolving blackmail threats as a result of photos surfacing from an insane party night, Spencer and his team are ready to intervene; as long as they can each keep their own personal demons from conflicting with their work.
‘Ballers’ is an entertaining, humorous and high octane exploration of the continuous real life issues as well as wild fun football stars see off the field, as well as the inside complications that can occur within the team. The series serves mainly as a comedy series and it certainly delivers plenty of laughs and off the wall moments to keep things largely upbeat, yet it also makes a point of never avoiding important subjects such as the negative effects that can result from a career in the game and more. Created by Stephen Levinson (Entourage) and featuring a stellar cast that includes Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious franchise), Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine) and many more, ‘Ballers’ may not be one of the most impressive shows currently on television but it’s also far from the worst and is a continually enjoyable series that never fails to keep the viewer entertained and laughing regularly. Any fan of shows such as ‘Entourage’ in addition to football fanatics and anyone else who might be the slightest bit interested should definitely give it a shot, chances are you won’t be disappointed.
Those who were able to catch the debut season when it initially aired last summer (or in the time since) on HBO and were immediately fans of the series will quite likely want to make sure to pick up a copy of ‘Ballers: The Complete First Season’ on Blu-ray to add to your collection. The Blu-ray release includes all ten episodes from the debut season spread between two discs and delivering outstanding high definition video and audio presentations on every episode that should easily thrill fans, in addition to an inside look at the series with ‘Inside the Episode’ Featurettes for every episode of the season. Altogether it should easily make this Blu-ray collection a definite must own for many fans of the series.
Overall, those who are already fans of the series will probably want to pick up a copy of ‘Ballers: The Complete First Season’ on Blu-ray to add to their collection, the release delivers fantastic high definition video and audio presentations on every episode and a behind the scenes look at the show. Those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to check it out, yet are intrigued will definitely want to give it a whirl; it’s a funny and consistently entertaining series featuring a solid cast led by the always lovable Dwayne Johnson and certainly well worth a watch.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Ballers: The Complete First Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the first season’s episodes. The video presentations look wonderful, delivering rich, sharp and detailed presentations on every episode of the debut season, complimented by a more than adequate bitrate and with no faults of any kind to be found within. Overall, these are fantastic high definition video presentations that should easily thrill fans of the series and newcomers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 10 Season One episodes. These lossless multichannel soundtracks deliver in every possible way, providing clean, discrete and hard hitting audio presentations on each episode. Regularly utilizing all five available channels with the always aggressive musical selections along with plenty of surround activity and ambience in the majority of settings, and never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, these are outstanding 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks that should not disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Ballers: The Complete First Season’ includes one notable extra: ‘Ballers: Inside the Episode’ Featurettes for every episode in the debut season (running approximately 29 minutes in length altogether) which include interviews/comments with the cast and crew.