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Air Bud: Golden Receiver Special Edition (Sport Whistle Necklace) - family and children's DVD / Disney DVD review
AIR BUD: GOLDEN RECEIVER SPECIAL EDITION (SPORT WHISTLE NECKLACE) Rated G by the MPAA curledupdvd.com rating: 2 1/2 stars
Featuring: Kevin Zegers, Cynthia Stevenson, Gregory Harrison, Nora Dunn, Perry Anzilotti
Director: Richard Martin   Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD release: 02 February 2010   Runtime: 90 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
DVD features: Aspect ration 1.85:1, Audio tracks (Dolby AC-3 Surround - English, French, Spanish), Subtitles (English SDH, Spanish), The Buddies Sports Channel, Air Bud sport whistle necklace

Air Bud is back, and it's football season. The loveable dog that was so good at basketball takes a liking to football when his boy, Josh (Kevin Zegers), tries out for the football team. Josh joins the team in hopes of staying away from his mother (Cynthia Stevenson), who is dating the new veterinarian in town. Josh doesn't want Dr. Sullivan (Gregory Harrison) to move into the spot his late father once occupied.

Too many children's films will mess up a perfectly good story about a boy and his dog with some bumbling ne'er-do-wells, and Air Bud: Golden Receiver is no different. Natalya (Nora Dunn) and Popov (Perry Anzilotti) run a Russian animal circus and are looking for their star. They just happen to be in town and run across Air Bud, who interrupts a televised B-ball game to shoot a couple of hoops. They bumble about and pursue the golden retriever in their ice cream truck in hopes of adding him to their growing menagerie of stolen animals. That kind of thing worked in Home Alone, so why not dig it up again?

Air Bud manages to get on Josh's middle school team and sidestep the myopic rules that clearly do not state that he cannot. I'm willing to meet the story that far, as it is about a football-playing dog, and the elements of Josh's personal life are no doubt something that many kids can relate to, but the silly bits with the Russian circus thieves are really weak and cheapen the whole film. There are other bits of slapstick as well; I'm sure this has its audience, but there are genuinely good performances here from talented people that just get lost between gags. At least Air Bud doesn't talk.

The extra DVD feature is "The Buddies Sports Channel," in which Air Bud's talking progeny give commentary on some key scenes in the film.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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