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HD DVD Review: Blades of Glory

While Blades of Glory takes some time to get moving, when it does, it’s a priceless laugh out loud comedy. John Heder stars alongside Will Ferrell, playing a character eerily similar to the one he portrayed in Talladega Nights. That’s fine once you realize how truly hysterical that can be.

Blades takes every imaginable route on its way to make its audience laugh. Slapstick, one-liners, sex jokes, the costumes, the skating routines, and obviously improved dialogue add up to this successful comedic romp. None of the performances goes astray in a cast filled with recognizable faces.

Until Ferrell and Heder are allowed to let their characters join forces and perform completely absurd skating routines as partners, their heated, competitive relationship leads to only a few laughs. Their constant bickering, fighting, and general stupidity either grows old quickly or is never funny in the first place.

Past that, as the ice skating competitions heat up and the villains (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) being their attack to stop the pair from entering, Blades finds its comedic mark. The final 20 minutes, including one of the funniest chase sequences somewhere between “all time” and “forever,” is filled with hysterical comedy. There’s something for everyone tossed in here.

Blades is a movie you need to stick with, getting past its slower paced opening filled with botched gags. You’ll eventually find yourself laughing increasingly harder and frequently. By the time Heder and Farrell fly off into the sunset (seriously), you’ll realize you had a great time.

The film fares beautifully on HD DVD. Details in the costumes are easily appreciated, the rich color adding to the transfer. Sharp and clean throughout, some mildly murky black levels are the only concern. It might not have the “pop” of something like Shrek, but Blades of Glory is a consistent performer in HD.

Scenes of the team competing in front of a packed house are filled with small touches in this Dolby Digital Plus audio effort. Fans scream and taunt from all five channels. These are the only scenes with anything to offer audiophiles given the dialogue-driven nature of the movie. Some of music does provide some work for the subwoofer, which is otherwise silent.

Loaded with extras, and nearly all of them in HD, Blades is a solid home entertainment piece. Return to Glory is a highly promotional 15 minute making of piece with little merit, hardly the best way to start the features off. Celebrities on Thin Ice focuses on choreography, while Cooler Than Ice discusses the wild costume design. They run slightly over 10 minutes combined.

Family Affair is a satirical look at the movie's bad guys, real life husband and wife combo Arnett and Poehler. 20 Questions with Scott Hamilton asks the Olympic skater about his experiences, and this lasts for five minutes. Hector: Portrait of a Psycho Fan is a priceless look at Heder’s insane fan from the movie (Nick Swardson), completely in character. Moviefone Unscripted is one of the features not in HD, shot for the Internet to promote the film. It’s the actors discussing the movie amongst themselves, dominated by Farrell.

Four deleted scenes run 10 minutes. Alternate takes follow those up with plenty of improv lines entertaining you for a little over eight minutes. A gag reel is far too short at two minutes. Some trailers, a photo gallery, and a Blades of Glory music video finish a funny set of extras.

It’s amazing to see the amount of cameos buried inside the movie. Even the infamous Tonya Harding gets a role in speaking form. Brian Boitano and Peggy Flemming also show up on screen, adding an odd sense of realism to a comedy hardly striving for it.

About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can follow Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.