Fired Up appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The movie offered a positive transfer.
Only minor issues affected sharpness. Occasional wide shots a little iffy, but those were infrequent. The majority of the film seemed accurate and concise. No problems with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. Source flaws also failed to create any distractions.
As for the film’s palette, it went with natural tones. These consistently looked lively and vivid. Blacks appeared deep and firm, while shadows seemed clear and well-developed. I felt pleased with this consistently fine transfer.
Fired Up provided a pretty low-key “comedy mix” with its Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. While usually subdued, it managed to open up acceptably for cheerleading scenes. These offered good breadth and plopped us in the settings pretty well. Otherwise the track stayed restrained, though it managed good stereo imaging for music and a decent sense of atmosphere. Don’t expect anything terrific, but the mix fit the material.
Audio quality seemed good. Speech was concise and natural, with no edginess or other distractions. Music showed nice life and vivacity, while effects were clean and reasonably accurate. Again, there wasn’t much to make the track stand out, but it was fine for its genre.
We get a decent roster of extras here. We start with an audio commentary from director Will Gluck and actors Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, sets and locations, shooting the football and cheering scenes, music and production design, the decision to go for a “PG-13” rating, story/character notes, and a few other tidbits.
Like the film itself, the commentary features an irreverent tone. Heck, it starts with an acknowledgement that Olsen and D’Agosto are awfully old to play high school students, so the participants clearly don’t take themselves too seriously. That’s a good thing, as this attitude keeps things fresh. We get a loose tone and a lot of joking but also learn a fair amount about the production. The mix of laughs and facts allow this to become an enjoyable commentary.
Next we find some featurettes. This Is Not a Cheerleading Movie: The Making of Fired Up runs 15 minutes, 36 seconds and features Gluck, D’Agosto, Olsen, producers Peter Jaysen and Matthew Gross, costume designer Mynka Draper, and actors Sarah Roemer, Margo Harshman, John Michael Higgins, Danneel Harris, Hayley Marie Norman, Molly Sims, Juliette Goglia, and Edie McClurg. They chat about shooting the cheering sequences and some other scene specifics, costumes and locations, and a few other production notes. We get a few decent tidbits here, but the focus remains too fluffy and promotional for the piece to satisfy.
In the six-minute and 30-second Double Duty, we hear from D’Agosto and Olsen. They chat about training for and shooting the cheerleading and football scenes. They throw out some fun thoughts and stories in this engaging program.
Fired Up Press Junket – Hour 12 goes for a mere one minute, 51 seconds. It shows an interview during which D’Agosto and Olsen go off on a reporter who refers to the film as a “cheerleading movie”. It’s staged, of course, but it’s moderately entertaining.
Finally we find a Gag Reel. The eight-minute and five-second clip offers the usual mix of goofs and giggles. Touted as unrated, it earns that status via a flurry of profanity in its opening minute. At least we get to hear the intrusions caused by the peacocks discussed in the commentary, and it’s amusing to watch Olsen’s utter inability to correctly pronounce “especially”.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Armored, The International, Whatever Goes Up and Assassination of a High School President. These also appear in the Previews area along with promos for Year One, 2012, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, The Informers, Waltz with Bashir, Obsessed, The Class, Sugar, The Accidental Husband, Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach, Center Stage: Turn It Up, The House Bunny and Blu-ray Disc. No trailer for Fired Up can be found here.
The ads for Fired Up go out of their way to tell us it’s not a cheerleading movie. Okay, I’ll accept that, so I won’t say it fails as a cheerleading flick; I’ll just say it flops as a comedy and a piece of entertainment. The DVD offers very good picture along with decent audio and extras highlighted by a surprisingly strong commentary. I have no complaints about this disc, but the movie itself is tedious.