Sunday, April 1, 2007

Movie Review: Blades of Glory

Movie Title: Blades of Glory
Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Jenna Fischer and Craig T Nelson
Directed by: Josh Gordon & Will Beck
Genre: Comedy/Sport(yea, right!)
My rating: 7.5/10

If Talladega Nights was "Anchorman on Wheels," could Blades of Glory be "Talladega Nights on Skates?" A sport superstar loses his way, goes insane and eventually comes back to win.... hmm, but this movie isn't exactly just that. If you look at the poster to the left you'll see Will Ferrell at large and Napolean Dynamite's Jon Heder somewhere in the lower part of the picture. Ferrell might be a comedy star right now, but Heder is not far from it. That's right, Jon Heder makes most of the difference in this movie and makes it only as unique as it can be!

I couldn't say Jon Heder stole the show from Will Ferrell, but he definitely grabbed his share of the limelight well and made sure it just wasn't a Will F movie with skates.

Jimmy (Heder) and Chaz (Ferrell, same character name he had in Wedding Crashers) are sworn rivals in the men's figure skating championships. After a tie at a tournament they get into a brawl and thereby banned from figure skating for the rest of their lives, while being stripped off their medals. 31/2 years later, a creepy fan enlightens Jimmy about a loophole in the system where a banned skater can participate in championships only with a partner. The way things turn out, Jimmy and Chaz try and put their differences aside and pair up as a team. Yes, 2 men, never before done but not prohibited by the system. Unhappy with this pairing are their rival American team, a brother-sister combo played by Will Arnett (of Arrested Development) and Amy Poehler (the last surviving doll of Saturday Night Live) - who are in reality husband and wife! Matters complicate when their sister Katie, played by the Office's Jenna Fischer and Jimmy develop mutual liking. Nah, it' not a forbidden love kind of tale, relax.

The skating scenes are ... well, entertaining but incredibly weird. I'm not a die-hard skating fan to say the least, and don't even follow the Winter Olympics on the television, but I'm pretty sure it's not that ridiculous. Forget the 2-men a team, thing.... just the concept of skate-dancing like a cowboy or peacock or even JFK-Marilyn enactment, come on. It's so SNL! In fact, the entire movie can be taken as an SNL kit, with Poehler, Ferrell and almost SNL people like Heder and Arnett. But, this is not a bad thing at all. The movie did not drag one bit, and ended before I knew it. While I compare it to SNL, I can confidently say that none of the jokes were recycled.

The acting, or comic acting rather, was superb. Will Ferrell looked a bit old in parts, and Jon Heder looked too young. It was probably the the idea of the producers. Amy Poehler plays a funny evil woman well, Will Arnett was just ok. I liked seeing Jenna Fischer on the big screen (I'm an Office fan, btw). Besides a cameo on Six Feet Under I haven't really seen her other works, but she seemed alright. Daring, in fact, which is good. Craig T Nelson played their coach, maturely, and Romany Malco (40 Year Old Virgin, TV's Weeds) played a brief part as the choreographer - I feel he could have had more screen time for a couple of wisecracks.

The cameo's were good too. Luke Wilson (representing the Frat Pack) makes a n appearance as a Sex-Addicts counselor, Rob Coddry (Daily Show), Any Ritcher (Andy Barker, PI), William Fitchner (TV's Prison Break) and Nancy Kerrigan herself added garnish to the already well prepared dish.

Best Quote:
Chaz: Nany Kerrigan, are you an official? Because you're officially giving me a boner!

You don't have to be a Will Ferrell or SNL fan to enjoy this movie. You don't have to care about ice-skating one bit. Hell, you could like it even if you're homophobic!

I give it a 7.5/10, but for a comedy it's more along 8.5/10.

This year seems to be going well as far as movies go. The previews for summer flicks made me very enthusiastic about the big part-3's :Spider-man 3, Shrek 3, Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End, Ocean's 13.

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