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BLADES OF GLORY

BLADES OF GLORY ($30) is the funniest parody of the world of professional figure skating since that entire Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan debacle. In BLADES OF GLORY Will Ferrell and Jon Heder portray rival men’s figure skaters Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy. Chazz is skating’s bad boy, whose drinking and carousing are reflected in the sexually charged skating routines makes him a favorite with the women in the audience. Jimmy, on the other hand, is skating’s fair haired boy, an orphaned skating prodigy, raised by an obsessed billionaire and trained for one thing… to become a champion. However, fate steps in and ends both Chazz and Jimmy careers in a single swoop- the two skaters find themselves banned from the sport for life, after having engaged each other in an altercation at a televised championship event.

Three years pass and neither man is able to recover from the loss of their career. However, a loophole is discovered that will allow them to compete again… ergo the bitter rivals become the first male/male skating duo in the history of the sport. Look for Craig T. Nelson in a small, but highly amusing role as Jimmy’s former coach gets behind the team, and then wants them to perform a potentially lethal routine that he has devised. Will Arnett and Amy Poehler add to the shenanigans as the evil ice-skating brother and sister team of Stranz & Fairchild Van Waldenberg, who will stop at nothing to win, while Jenna Fischer portrays the duo’s put upon younger sister Katie. The cast of BLADES OF GLORY also includes William Fichtner, Nick Swardson, Scott Hamilton, Andy Richter, William Daniels, Nancy Kerrigan, Luke Wilson, Brian Boitano, Dorothy Hamill and Peggy Fleming.

Dreamworks Home Entertainment has made BLADES OF GLORY available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Not surprisingly, this is a really sweet looking 1080p presentation. Image sharpness and detail are very strong during close-ups, while medium to longer shots can be a little bit softer. Instances of digital effects and facial replacement look good, but also have a bit of softening applied to make the effects less obvious. As one would expect from a hi-def presentation, fine details such as individual hairs and textures in fabrics and on props are easy to discern, as are the tiny lines in the actors’ faces. Hues are very strong and very vibrant, especially where ice skating costumes are concerned. Color stability is excellent and the flesh tones are rendered in an appealing manner. Blacks are deep, whites are crisp, plus the picture boasts excellent contrast and terrific shadow detail. The film elements used for the transfer are virtually pristine. Appreciable grain is generally mild and the presentation does not take on an over processed look.

BLADES OF GLORY is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel uncompressed PCM soundtrack. Much of BLADES OF GLORY falls into the talky comedy mode, but I give the soundtrack high marks for a number of sequences were crowd noises and ambient sounds are really well done. The sound design is highly effective in creating natural sounding sonic environments. Additionally, there are a few key moments when sound effects are especially well deployed to the outlying channels. Fidelity is very strong, especially where pop songs and other music is integrated into the track. Sound effects are very convincing and fully weighted by a strong, but not overblown, bass channel. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a nice complement of supplements. Return To Glory: The Making Of Blades is an amusing interview based program lasting fourteen minutes. Celebrities On Thin Ice spends six minutes on the actors and their "skating abilities." Cooler Than Ice: The Super Sexy Costumes Of Skating offers four minutes on the over-the-top costumes. Arnett And Poehler: A Family Affair spends almost six minutes with our married "siblings." 20 Questions With Scott Hamilton provides five minute with the sometimes-funny skating great. Hector: Portrait Of A Psychofan spends three minutes expanding on the creepy/funny character. Moviefone Unscripted with Will Ferrell, Jon Heder and Will Arnett provides almost ten minutes of real questions with amusing answers. Deleted Scenes, Alternate Takes, a Gag Reel, Photo Gallery, a Music Video for the song Blades Of Glory sung by Bo Bice and MTV Interstitials close out the supplements.

BLADES OF GLORY certainly made me laugh a lot, and all I can say is that the world of professional ice-skating had it coming. Dreamworks’ Blu-ray release looks and sounds pretty terrific. Definitely recommended.

 

BLADES OF GLORY 


Blades of Glory [Blu-ray] (2007)

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DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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