Blades of Glory appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a largely good image.
Sharpness was usually fine. A few interiors looked a little soft, but most of the flick boasted nice clarity and delineation.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement seemed absent. I noticed no source defects either.
Colors looked pretty good. The skating scenes boasted vivid hues, and these came across well. The rest of the palette also tended to seem positive.
Blacks were fairly deep, and shadows showed largely positive delineation. Again, a handful of interiors looked a little dim, but these were the exception. Overall, I felt pleased with the presentation.
The Uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrack of Blades worked acceptable well for a comedy of this sort, and music offered reasonably good stereo imaging. Effects played a minor role. They added some specifics at times, mainly during the skating scenes, but they didn’t add a ton to the proceedings.
The surrounds broadened the spectrum in a moderate way at most, and I thought some of the imaging could be a little awkward. For example, when we heard skating spectators in the rear channels, those vocals didn’t blend together in a natural manner.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, and I noticed no problems with the dialogue.
Effects were clear and accurate, even if they did stay in the background. A few scenes with skating pyrotechnics popped the subwoofer to life, and music seemed fine as well. This was a perfectly acceptable soundtrack.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Audio showed a bit more pep, while visuals offered clear improvements, as the Blu-ray appeared much sharper and more vibrant. This turned into a clear upgrade over the DVD.
The Blu-ray includes the DVD’s extras, and we find a series of featurettes. Return to Glory: The Making of Blades goes for 14 minutes, 46 seconds and offers info from directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon, producers Stuart Cornfeld and Ben Stiller, and actors Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Amy Poehler, and Jenna Fischer.
“Return” looks at the project’s development, thoughts about the directors, casting, characters and performances, and feelings about ice-skating.
At no point does “Return” attempt to be a real look at the creation of the film. We do learn a few facts about the flick, but it mostly plays things for laughs.
In that regard, it’s not bad, as some amusing moments result. I admit I’d prefer something that tried a little harder to inform us about the movie, though.
For the six-minute, three-second Celebrities on Thin Ice, we find notes from Speck, Gordon, Ferrell, Heder, Arnett, Poehler and skating choreographer Sarah Kawahara.
Though it also goes for comedy at times, “Ice” actually offers some decent notes about creating the skating scenes, most of which come from Kawahara. This is a short but solid show.
Cooler Than Ice: The Super-Sexy Costumes of Skating lasts four minutes, 36 seconds, and presents remarks from Ferrell, Speck, Gordon, Arnett, Poehler, Heder, and costume designer Julie Weiss. As expected, we learn a little about the film’s gaudy outfits.
Unfortunately, the comments usually stay superficial and comedic. We hear very little from Weiss, so we don’t learn much about the designs.
We take a look at the movie’s antagonists with the five-minute, 48-second Arnett and Poehler: A Family Affair. It includes comments from Arnett and Poehler as they chat about working as a married couple. They relate their experiences in a completely comedic way that’s reasonably funny but not informative at all.
20 Questions with Scott Hamilton lasts four minutes, 59 seconds. The former skater/current commentator talks about his career and other skating-related elements.
Expect more comedy here, as the questions usually aim for the funny bone. This is another moderately enjoyable piece.
Information about a key supporting character comes to us in Hector: Portrait of a Psychofan. This three-minute, 21-second piece offers a “video Valentine” from Hector to Jimmy.
It’s not quite a deleted scene, but it plays like on in a way. Like the other pieces, this one has some minor laughs and that’s about it.
Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 10 seconds. These include “Stranz and Fairchild Watch Katie’s Video” (1:11), “Chazz Offers the Verticoli, Flashback” (4:24), “Blades of Glory Song” (2:53) and “Hector Shoots Darren” (0:42).
The first two actually make sense for story purposes and might’ve fit into the final flick well. “Song” is just a flat, long attempt at humor, while “Shoots” is another failed comedic beat.
Next comes a Music Video for “Blades of Glory” from Bo Bice. The American Idol “star” produces an overwrought little tune that sounds a whole lot like a rip-off of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”.
Is his take on the genre intentionally forced or is that just Bice’s style? I’m kinda thinking the latter, but I could be wrong. All I know is that the song stinks, and it comes with a boring movie clip/lip-synch video.
When we move to the two-minute, eight-second Gag Reel, we find the usual stuff. The clip shows a lot of the standard flubs and giggles. We also see the actors fall down as they attempt to skate. It’s forgettable.
Eight minutes, 38 seconds of Alternate Takes pop up after this. As the title promises, we find different versions of scenes that made the film. For instance, we find many more voice mail messages that Chazz leaves for Jimmy.
Much of the material comes from Ferrell’s improvs, though the other actors get a few moments as well. There’s some pretty amusing material in this little collection.
A promotional featurette called Moviefone Unscripted lasts nine minutes, 54 seconds and features Ferrell, Heder and Arnett. They ask each other questions and take some from viewers as well.
Should you expect anything other than gag answers? Nope, not much, as this one follows the standard path found in the other extras.
Three MTV Interstitials fill a total of one minute, 37 seconds. These are MTV-exclusive ads with some character material that appears nowhere else. They’re moderately entertaining promotional bits.
The Photo Galleries area splits into three subdomains. We find “Kick Some Ice” (34 shots), “Capture the Dream” (37) and “Costume Glory”. The latter breaks into “Mind Bottling” (27), “Provocative” (28), and “Booooom” (28).
The titles for “Ice” and “Dream” are completely arbitrary. They just show behind the scenes photos, so the names mean nothing.
“Glory” does deal with costumes, but the other titles are also meaningless, since all of the “Glory” shots present publicity stills of the actors in various clothes. Despite the odd classifications, the “Galleries” offer a lot of reasonably interesting photos.
Will Ferrell can produce some good comedies, but Blades of Glory doesn’t do much to demonstrate his talent. The movie exists to exploit one fairly lame joke, and it fails to provoke much amusement. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio with a moderately engaging collection of supplements. Though this seems like a good release, the movie itself disappoints.
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