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Eddie The Eagle (Blu-ray Review)

eddie the eagle coverThere is nothing extraordinary about Eddie the Eagle and that seems completely fitting for the film that tells the story of an earnest young man who simply had a dream. We see lots of sports movies and some approach the genre with fresh eyes, while others revel in clichés. Given the accomplishments of the real Eddie Edwards, it seems only right that the film is a success based on achieving the minimum requirements for being a rousing feature. Now you can enjoy this underdog story on Blu-ray.

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Film:

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Taron Egerton (fresh off a solid performance in 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service) takes on a bit of a stammer and an under bite to play Eddie, a boy with aspirations of competing in the Olympics. Spurred on by his mother’s encouragement and his own perseverance, Eddie eventually finds himself training in Germany to become a ski jumper. It is there that he meets Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a former ski jumper who reluctantly becomes a mentor to Eddie.

Will Eddie overcome the odds and compete in the Olympics? Will he prove everyone who doubted him wrong? These are the sort of questions that should not be hard to answer. However, whether or not screenwriters Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton were hoping to truly invest viewers in the story’s outcome, director Dexter Fletcher has constructed a film that largely gets by on the warmth of Eddie’s persona, particularly when he interacts with Jackman’s Peary.

There is something quite entertaining about the somewhat old school spirit this film has, complete with nods to 80s montages, soundtrack choices and more. Helping to propel that is Jackman, who assumes the mentor role in a way that is somewhat ironic, given how he is chauffeuring in the new talent that is Egerton, while preparing to hang up the claws get away from the role that made him famous. If that means he gets to use his movie star charisma for roles like this (and hopefully more challenging work), then so be it.

Many of this film’s best scenes involve Eddie and Peary working together. The best scene, however, involves Jackman showing everyone how ski jumping is done. That may sound silly, but there is a lot of fun and some thrills to take away from what looks like a complicated and dangerous sport to participate in. Again, whether or not Eddie triumphs seems like something that comes after the fact, but the film’s energy in depicting Eddie’s progression is solid.

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It actually leads to another fine scene where Eddie provides a speech that digs into the spectacle he and the press creates about his story. These are areas that show me how good Egerton is and why he is so easy to watch on screen. Of course, watching him and Jackman mess around is plenty of fun too.

There is some mild commentary surrounding the nature of how class and perceived intelligence gets in the way of giving people a chance, but another film covers that and even adds a bit more edge. That would be Cool Runnings, the 1993 Disney family film about the first Jamaican bobsled team. Eddie the Eagle even goes out of the way to call out the Jamaicans, as the two films happen to revolve around the same Winter Olympics. At that point, you really do not need to be concerned with deeper themes for this film and should instead focus on the shared universe possibilities involving 1988 Winter Olympics films.

Whether or not we do get a film equivalent of The Avengers in regards to the Olympics though, you should again be prepared to enjoy what Eddie the Eagle has to offer. It delivers a simple story and earns some heartfelt beats thanks to the commitment of the leads. Egerton continues to show potential as a young actor and Jackman is as solid as ever. Put these two together, along with some solid ski jumping scenes and the established sports movie arc, and you have a real winner, as far as modern underdog stories go.

[Note: For those concerned with the film’s accuracy, just remember – most of Rudy never happened either.]

Video:

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail:  While Eddie may have been an underdog, this Blu-ray does proper justice to presenting a film worthy of a gold medal in terms of the visual representation. As the film takes place in very snowy settings, we get to see a lot of bright locations and get the look of snow, which I consistently explain how it is my favorite thing to see on Blu-ray. The image is detailed in both the indoor settings and the outdoor scenes, where you get a great look at much of what went into production.

Depth:  Aspects of the production make for scenes that provide a solid level of depth within this comedy.

Black Levels: There are a number of darker scenes in this film, which lead to seeing solid black levels on the whole.

Color Reproduction: It is all in the snow jumping costumes that allow you to have plenty to enjoy when it comes to seeing how color pops in this film. Color looks great and vibrant throughout, wherever it seems to appear.

Flesh Tones: Facial textures look great throughout this film, as the details of these people are always clean and clear, fitting of the Blu-ray.

Noise/Artifacts: None to be found.

 

Audio:

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Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics:  With a 7.1 lossless audio track, there is plenty to enjoy in the sound of Eddie the Eagle. It comes down to a lot of dialogue and sound effects to make you hear the snow being slice through, but it all sounds great. Bonus points for the fun 80s soundtrack.

Low Frequency Extension: Some of the source audio and the sports action sequences provide a bit of lift, as far as the LFE channel is concerned.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a well-structured audio track, with the lossless presentation doing a fine job to really show off the effectiveness of this mix overall.

Dialogue Reproduction: There is plenty of fun dialogue throughout, which comes through loud and clear.

 

Extras:

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While it would have been great to hear a commentary featuring Egerton and Jackman, there is one long behind-the-scenes look at the film that does a fine job of detailing all you’d want to know about the making of this film.

Features Include:

  • Let the Games Begins: Soaring with Eddie the Eagle Documentary (HD, 46:43) – Divided into three parts. This series of featurettes covers all aspects of production.
    • All or Nothing: the Hero’s Heart
    • An Unlikely Friendship: Eddie & Peary
    • Attitude is Altitude: Filming the Ski Jumps
  • Gallery (HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:30)
  • Sneak Peaks (HD)
  • DVD Copy of the Film
  • Digital Copy of the Film

Summary:

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Eddie the Eagle is a lot of fun. The film has its heart in the right place and the performance from Egerton is far too endearing to make you think bad about the man. As far as the Blu-ray goes, this disc does plenty to show off in terms of its audio and video presentation. You even get one great extra feature that digs into the making of the film. It’s a fine sports comedy with plenty of heart and the Blu-ray does proper justice, in case you want to give Eddie a chance.

Order Your Copy Here:

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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