Biography Blu-ray Review

'Eddie the Eagle' Blu-ray Review: Dreams take flight and emotions soar, in this feel-good biopic

July 5, 2016Ben MK

If someone were to ask the average moviegoer to list out some feel-good sports movies, he/she might rattle off the usual suspects: Cool Runnings, The Mighty Ducks and Rudy, to name a few. Well, now there's a new contender: Eddie the Eagle, a film about an unlikely English plasterer and his incredible journey to the 1988 Winter Olympics.

For non-Brits, or simply those who don't have the foggiest memory of the 1988 Calgary Games, Eddie the Eagle tells the story of Michael "Eddie" Edwards (Kingsman: The Secret Service's Taron Egerton), who was 24-years-old when he captured the hearts and minds of millions of viewers around the world. As Great Britain's first-ever Olympic ski-jumper in 60 years, Eddie came in last in both the 70 and the 90-meter competition. However, it wasn't Eddie's athletic prowess that gained him adoration, but rather his courage, determination and unflappable spirit.

The film dramatizes Eddie's transformation from zero to hero, beginning in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, when Eddie was a young lad who would try and fail at a new sport every week, much to the dismay of his parents Terry and Janette (Keith Allen and Jo Hartley). However, it isn't until Eddie settles on ski-jumping, moves to the world-famous International Ski Jump Training Camp in Garmisch, Germany, and is taken under the wing of former U.S. ski jumper Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), that his Olympic dreams finally begin to take flight.

Otherwise, there's little else that can be said about Eddie the Eagle. Performances are solid across-the-board, and the film has a quirky sense of humor that ought to endear it to audiences. However, director Dexter Fletcher and writers Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton follow the tried-and-true "Inspirational Sports Underdog Movie" template to the letter, with results that are as feel-good as they are predictable. Make no mistake, though, Eddie the Eagle is still quite enjoyable, for, like the character himself, the movie has heart, and plenty of it.

Eddie the Eagle attains the pinnacle of 80s coolness on Blu-ray, with crisp picture quality, a warm, inviting color palette and excellent contrast levels that make scenes set against a backdrop of fresh powder pop brilliantly. Whether it's Eddie's vibrantly garish 80s sweaters, Jackman's stubble, or the multicolored ski suits, this is one all-around fantastic-looking transfer, and it's made even better by the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix. Not only does the dialogue, the upbeat synth score and the classic 80s songs come through loud and clear, but so to do the sounds of ski jumpers crash-landing on the slopes, as well as the throngs of cheering Olympic spectators.

Fox's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Let the Games Begin: Soaring with Eddie the Eagle (46:43) - A three-part look at the making of the film, covering its origins, its tone, the characters and the actors' portrayals, the production design, the score, the stunt work and the cinematography ("All or Nothing: The Hero's Heart," "An Unlikely Friendship: Eddie & Peary" and "Attitude is Altitude: Filming the Ski Jumps").
  • Gallery - A slideshow consisting of 68 production stills.
  • Theatrical Trailer (2:25)

Eddie the Eagle is available from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment as of June 14th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English Dolby Digital Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1 and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, Spanish, French and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 46 Mins.

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