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</script></div>{/googleAds}Anyone familiar with the comedic insanity of Will Ferrell knows that the SNL alum likes to take his clothes off . . . a lot. Be it streaking through a college town in Old School, screaming â"Help me, Tom Cruise" while wearing nothing but a Nascar racing helmet and tighty-whitey's in Talladega Nights, or donning a barely-there thong on the babe-infested beaches of A Night at the Roxbury, the mere sight of Ferrell's hardly toned abs and barely firm bottom never fails to generate mass hilarity. And while I don't know if this element of the Ferrell formula will ever lose its luster, I do know that when Ferrell laces up (and strips down) for a little guy-on-guy figure skating action in his latest sports-spoof, Blades of Glory, the result is pure, comedic gold.

Vying for the coveted top-spot in the men's figure skating division is Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) - a qualude-popping, â"ice devouring, sex tornado" whose purely improvisational, X-rated skating style is complimented by a â"clothing optional" philosophy. Despite being a favorite with female fans, one thing stands between Michaels and the sweet smell of gold: Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder). With his trademark â"Jimmy Curls," MacElroy is skating's privileged, orphan darling, combining traditional elegance with peacock-precise choreography, gliding over the competition and triple looping his way to the podium.

Blades of Glory
Jimmy MacElroy (JON HEDER)

All images copyright © 2007 Dreamworks Pictures
But when these bitter rivals tie at the world championships and are forced to share the gold, a brawl erupts on the ice. Having embarrassed themselves, their country and the sport (not to mention, setting a national icon on fire), the National Skating Federation chooses to admonish them for their unsportsmanlike conduct; stripping them of their medals and imposing a lifetime ban from men's figure skating.

Within three and a half years, both are utter has-beens. â"Unadopted" by his father (William Fichtner), Jimmy works in a local, retail skate shop while Chazz drunkenly skates (and vomits) his way through a third-rate production of Ice Capades. But when Jimmy's relentless stalker, Hector (Reno 911's Nick Swardson), discovers a loophole that would allow Jimmy to skate outside of the division from which he was banned, Jimmy feverishly seeks a partner for the upcoming pairs competition.

With only days left to registration, no female partner and facing fierce competition in (and sabotage by) the borderline incestuous brother and sister team of Stranz & Fairchild Von Waldenberg (Will Arnett, Amy Poehler), Jimmy's former coach (Craig T. Nelson) proposes that Jimmy throw caution to the wind and grab this last chance for gold (and redemption) by the horns. The only hitch: those â"horns" belong to Chazz. If the perfectly coiffed, polar opposites can succeed in putting their differences aside, mesh their â"Fire & Ice" styles and refrain from killing each other both in and out of the rink, they just may skate their way into history proving that they have that special something that no other champion ice skating pair does . . . â"twin dongs."

Co-produced by Ben Stiller and directed by the guys who brought us the Geico cavemen (Will Speck, Josh Gordon), the PG-13 Blades of Glory isn't a perfect comedy by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, its predictable plot course offers no real surprises, it briefly loses steam after a side-splitting first hour, and the love story/ ending is hardly a stunner. But frankly, who the heck cares when all you want to do is check your intellect at the door and laugh until it hurts?

Admit it, throwing two openly heterosexual men into code-red homosexual panic - sporting flamboyant, spandex unitards and performing romantically-charged, Kama Sutra-inspired routines which force their faces and hands dangerously close to unexpected body parts - is just plain funny. Add Ferrell's impeccable poker-face delivery, an explosion of comedic cameos (including Andy Richter, Luke Wilson and Robert Corddry), a sport that begs to be parodied, and enough hysterical one-liners to fill a room, and this ice skating farce charges full speed ahead into hilarious.

While Ferrell is at the top of his game, sporting infectious humor and naked improv, comedic kudos go to the host of supporting heavy-hitters that help this zany comedy earn such stellar marks. Heder, who will forever be immortalized as Napoleon Dynamite, proves that he can hold his own, playing the virgin-esque Robin to Ferrell's sexually-charged Batman with perfect comedic timing. Bathed in pink tulle and overly bedazzled, the real life husband and wife team of Poehler and Arnett are disturbingly delicious as the villainous Von Waldenberg's; American sweethearts that will not hesitate to cheat, break a leg Tanya Harding-style or pimp out their sister (The Office's Jenna Fischer) in order to reign supreme. (Watch for their ode to the adulterous affair between JFK and Marilyn Monroe, complete with pill bottle and stomach pump.) But the scene-stealing award goes to Swardson, the restraining-order ignoring stalker who wants nothing more than to wear Jimmy's skin to his birthday party. Albeit brief, his infatuation earns a sick amount of laughs. (And if you stick through the credits, you'll find an added bonus in Swardson's tryst with homemade Jimmy and Chazz dolls).

There is a scene in Blades of Glory where a vendor places two hot dogs in a bun, holds it up to the camera and asks, â"Does this look normal to you?" At least for the NSF, the answer is a resounding â"NO;" allowing it to happen anyway, however, is what makes this film so darn funny. And in good sport, all of skating's legends (including Nancy Kerrigan, who somehow manages to keep a straight face when Ferrell asks â"Are you an Official... cause you've officially given me a boner....") have joined forces with this insanely funny script to not only poke fun at themselves, but the world of ice skating, appearing as announcers, adoring fans, even notches on Chazz's bed post. (Who other than Will Ferrell can get Oksana, Kwan and a Kristi Yamagucci Lifetime Achievement Award?)

Granted, Ferrell haters who could care less about the difference between an axel and a salchow will likely find that Blades of Glory is merely a funny SNL sketch that long overstays its welcome. But while that may be true for some of Ferrell's other comedic ventures, this one successfully skates through a belly-busting long program and actually sticks the landing. It's classic Ferrell insanity at its best. And not one to break tradition, he gladly offers to strip down and give his fans what they've been waiting for - a sneak peek at what â"a skater's body really looks like." Go ahead, call it cheap-shot comedy. The truth is, Ferrell's faithful wouldn't have it any other way.


DVD

DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1

Subtitles: French, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 Surround; French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; deleted scenes; making-of featurette; gag reel; photo gallery.

* Commentary: None.
* Featurettes
o "Return to Glory: The Making of 'Blades'" (14:48)
o "Celebrities on Thin Ice" (6:05)
o "Cooler Than Ice: The Super-Sexy Costumes of Skating" (4:39)
o "Arnett & Poehler: A Family Affair" (5:51)
o "20 Questions with Scott Hamilton" (5:01)
o "Hector: Portrait of a Psychofan" (3:24)
* Deleted Scenes - Four scenes that didn't make the final cut, totalling 09:05
* Gag Reel - (02:07)
* Alternate Takes - (08:40)
* Music Video - Bo Bice song called "Blades of Glory."
* Promotional Segments - Moviefone Unscripted
* Photo Galleries
* MTV Commercials
* Trailers

Number of discs: - 1- Keepcase packaging

{pgomakase}

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