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PCR # 366  (Vol. 8, No. 13)  This edition is for the week of March 26--April 1, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Blades of Glory"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett and Craig T. Nelson
Directed by: Josh Gordon and Will Speck
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 33 mins

There have been plenty of recent stories about athletes and their bad attitudes. Barry Bonds. Pac Man Jones. No shortage of negativity there. But until now, one sport had pretty much been exempt from bad publicity. That sport is figure skating.

Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) is a wild man on the ice. More improvisational than other skaters in his routines, we are told that in his short career he's won four gold medals and one adult film award. While other skaters perform to classical music, Chazz skates to Billy Squier's "The Stroke." His main competition is blonde haired, blue eyed Jimmy MacElroy (Heder), a former orphan who was adopted at age four by a wealthy businessman who dreamt of bringing home the gold. Jimmy is all technicality, each routine perfectly planned, usually ending with his patented "galloping peacock" move. After Chazz and Jimmy tie at the world championships, they are forced to share the podium together. Bad decision. Their ensuing brawl earns them both a suspension for life from figure skating. Or does it?

Laugh-out-loud funny, "Blades of Glory" continues the tradition of Will Ferrell comedies built around a simple premise and allowed to grow from the talents on screen. Ferrell's Chazz is an ice skating version of "Anchorman's" Ron Burgandy - very pompous in his attitude but secure in his talents. Ferrell is the rare screen comedian who doesn't mind sharing the wealth, and the laughs, with his co-stars, and here he has surrounded himself with some funny people. Heder, who really has yet to capitalize on the fame "Napoleon Dynamite" brought him, more then holds his own with Ferrell. And the supporting cast is just as strong. Arnett and Amy Poehler (real life man and wife) shine as a brother and sister skating team whose closeness is almost creepy. Their routine as JFK and Marilyn Monroe, including Monroe taking a bottle of sleeping pills and the president attempting CPR, is doubly funny because they're on skates. Kudos also to "Reno 911's" Nick Swardson and "The Office's" Jenna Fischer who stand out as, respectively, Jimmy's stalker and love interest. When Swardson's character tells Jimmy he needs to get back in the spotlight because "no one wants to stalk a has-been," the film takes off. And it's always a pleasure to see Craig T. Nelson on screen, here in the role of the unconventional coach who takes Chazz and Jimmy under his wing in their quest for gold. Cameos from such skating greats as Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano and a still gorgeous Peggy Fleming give the film an extra lift.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Blades of Glory"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Blades of Glory" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.