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STUDIO: Paramount Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 93 Minutes
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Alternate Takes
• Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
• And Much More!
The Cutting Edge meets Brokeback Mountain.
Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jenna Fischer, Craig T. Nelson, Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World
Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) is the bad boy on the competitive figure skating tour; suggestively dancing to ‘The Stroke’, he wins over his audiences with pure bravado and improvisation. The more polished and classically trained Jimmy MacElroy (Heder) wins the audience over with his precision and class. The clash of styles results in butted heads and both skaters being kicked out of the tour for a tussle on the ice during a tie in their medals ceremony. Cut to a few years later, and both skaters have been unable to find any comfort in their post-skating careers. A loophole is revealed that allows them to come back on the tour only if they work in pairs competition. With only weeks separating them from the deadline for entry, their only option to combine to make the first-ever all-male pairs team, coached along by Jimmy’s former coach (Nelson), the duo looks to upend the favorites in the pairs competition in Stranz and Fairchild (Arnett and Poehler), the brother-sister duo who will do anything in their power to eliminate the competition –even using their sister (Fischer) as bait.
Siegfried and Roy’s flying Nazi finale was not the comeback many had envisioned.
At this point, Will Ferrell has honed his comedic sensibility so sharply that so long as you give him enough free reign over the project and allow him room to vamp (fuck you, Bewitched) the movie will be at the very least a watchable filmic experience. Blades of Glory is the latest proof of that, although certain elements conspire to doom the film to comic purgatory, Ferrell and some spirited set pieces help keep the enterprise above sea level.
Slowly, Paul Dano began to realize his ‘Heidi’ disguise wasn’t nearly as effective as he had intended.
As I already said, this is more or less Ferrell’s show to carry or drop and he does what he does throughout the picture. I think he’s the defining comedic voice of this generation with the one-two punch of Anchorman’s sublime absurdism and the biting satirical Talledega Nights (which felt less Marx Bros. and more Sturges to me, actually). I think this film could be comparable to a minor Marx Bros. picture in that there’s a lot of unruly comedic set pieces that are kind of brilliant and some delicious performances that are tainted by a slavish adherence to plot and bland characterizations.
The real weak link in this enterprise is he who is second billed, Jon Heder, whose performance here really highlights certain comedic inadequacies on his part. I think he’s got the physical part of comedy down (Napoleon Dynamite was as much a creation of physical performance than anything) and manages to get the proper comedy out of his physical appearance and skating technique – but the guy is channeling John Belushi circa 2007 with his dialogue – his comedic timing and delivery is simply nonexistent. Perhaps with time Heder will develop a voice and an ability to hang with the big boys in terms of making a piece of dialogue his own instead of it feeling like a recitation off of cue cards, but for now his work here is noticeably weak in comparison to his castmates.
Worst Siamese twins ever.
Overall, I don’t think this film is a comedy home run by any stretch of the imagination: it’s time for the sports-related comedies to go the way of asteroid-based ensemble dramas and disappear for a while. However, some quality work from the majority of the cast and some inspired set pieces and design from the film crew makes this a strong candidate for constant rotation on cable in the near future, the type of movie where you catch it channel surfing you’ll inevitably wait for one of the bigger laughs and find yourself sucked in for the duration. Reccommended.
Negative Zone party invitations: untoppable.
The cover art is poor, but retains the theatrical poster’s imagery, so at least I can’t slam them for having a pair of skates with floating Heder-head on the cover. Disc looks and sounds good, as any marginally successful studio picture should by this point in the game. The disc is stacked to the tits with featurettes, so you forgive the lack of what would’ve been an entertaining cast commentary. First up is "Return to Glory: The Making of Blades" which is an intermittently amusing making-of doc. "Celebrities on Thin Ice" discusses the peril of learning to skate competently enough for the film, "Cooler Than Ice" discusses the aforementioned awesome costume choices utilized throughout the picture. "Arnett and Poehler" was my favorite featurette on the disc and reminds you that there’s a woeful lack of their chemistry on display in the final product while "20 Questions with Scott Hamilton" is pure filler. "Hector" highlights one of the worst characters in the film, Jimmy MacElroy’s stalker. There’s deleted scenes that were rightly cut from the film, Bo Bice’s appropriately over-cooked "Blades of Glory" music video, an amusing gag reel, a "Moviefone Unscripted" feature with the three main male cast members that only highlights Heder’s inability to think on his toes comedically, some alternate takes, photo galleries that highlight the costumes and behind-the-scenes footage, some MTV commercials for the product that are funnier in concept than execution, and finally a batch of previews. The majority of these features are played for laughs and only a few of them actually achieve them for what that’s worth. Still a nice haul for those who enjoyed the film.
Ironside cameo aside, their Scanners-based routine went over gangbusters with the audience.
7.6 out of 10