Whip It (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama
Fox || PG13 - 111 minutes - $39.99 || January 26, 2010
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2010-02-08


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Drew Barrymore
Writer(s): Shauna Cross (novel); Shauna Cross (screenplay)
Cast: Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis


Theatrical Release Date: October 2, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Living in a small town, Bliss (Page) dreams of something bigger. Her Mother (Harden) forces her into beauty pageants that she hates, her Father (Daniel Stern) shows no ambition and her best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat) counts the days before she can get away from it all. Everything changes for Bliss one day when an out of town visit introduces her to the world of competitive roller derby.

After some time practicing, Bliss gets up the courage to tryout and wins a spot on the team. She soon finds out how tough it is to skate, try and make her parents proud, maintain a friendship with Pash and possibly even a relationship with a boy.

Ellen Page, like always, is excellent in this film. From Hard Candy to X-Men III to Juno I've enjoyed her in everything she's been in and Whip It is no exception. She excels at playing an average girl that is being pushed to be a beauty queen one moment, and a rock hard skater the next. Why she hasn't been taking on more serious roles is beyond me since she has the acting chops to handle it.

The rest of the cast is a bit iffy. While her father (Stern) and mother (Harden) are great in their roles, the rest of the secondary cast flounders. Bliss' friend Pash (Shawkat) really servers no purpose and thankfully she is essentially dumped from the film halfway through.

Her Roller pals are also one note characters which the exception of Maggie Mayhem (Wiig) and Iron Maven (Lewis). Barrymore, who also directed the flick, plays a character that seems far too stupid to even handle skating, while the rest of the team only has a few lines here and there. Ellen is the only actress that holds up the film and even though I really did enjoy it, I have to wonder why some people were actually cast in these roles.

Thankfully, even ignoring some of the odd casting decisions and lackluster side stories, this really is a fun movie. Filled to the brim with witty dialog, exciting action (those are some brutal races) and a great soundtrack it's hard to ignore this film.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All features are presented in standard definition.

Deleted Scenes (16 Minutes) - Roughly 10 scenes (including an alternate opening) that really add nothing to the film. You can skip these.

Writer's Draft: Shauna Cross (3 Minutes) - A cookie-cutter interview with the Writer of the film.

Don't forget about the Digital Copy (** Blu-ray Exclusive **) either!



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Whip It is presented in 2.40:1 (MPEG4) on a 50GB Disc. This is a sharp looking film! With vibrant, neon-like colors (looks like the opening to an 80's TV show like "Saved By The Bell"), you will really enjoy looking at this Blu-ray. Costumes show off some very extreme detail to them, and anytime we are watching a derby match you can see individual girls face with no problems. Fox must have used all the extra space they didn't use on Special Features to make this encode look extra pretty!

Fox has included an English 5.1 DTS MA Track for this release. Good news once again as this is a very aggressive track that not only brings clean dialog to the table, but some really great rear effects when the girls are skating. Every smack, crackle and pop is audible and the soundtrack keeps pumping throughout.



.::OVERALL::.

Whip It is another great launching vehicle for Ellen Page who just has success written all over her. While the rest of the cast is pretty lackluster, you're really watching the film for Bliss and her story. Though it has next to nothing in terms of features, the strong video and audio makes this is a recommended rental if not a purchase.