HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Eddie the Eagle
HTS Overall Score:84
Everyone loves a good sports story. There’s just something about rooting for the underdog as they overcome incredible odds to either win, or just realize their dreams. It’s an innate part of us I think. That inspirational story of someone that we can super impose ourselves onto. That ability to want to see the little guy actually make it, because if HE can then that gives us the hope that our dreams aren’t too big to achieve. That’s what makes “Eddie the Eagle” so inspiring. Not due to the fact that he overcame all odds and comes out a superhero, but that he was a regular Joe who never let life get him down. The fact that the real life Eddie was NOT spectacular is what makes it so much more spectacular. His story is not some unbelievable superhero tale where the little guy suddenly becomes the best athlete on earth. In fact he was a mediocre athlete and came in just about dead last in the 1988 Calgary Olympics, but that’s not exactly the point of this highly entertaining sports story.
Eddie Edwards (Tom Costello as a child and Taron Egerton as an adult) is not exactly what one would expect from an athlete. He grew up as a slightly under powered kid, with bad knees and a knee brace, but that never once deterred him from his dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. Trying every sport under the sun, Eddie finally settled in on skiing, but was told very plainly that he would never be an Olympic athlete and was cut from the British Ski team. Never taking no as an answer in his life, Eddie figured out a workaround. England didn’t have an Olympic Ski Jumping team, and all he had to do was modify his skiing background into becoming a ski jumper. However that turns out to not be as easy as it sounds. That is until he meets a drunken and seemingly washed up manager of a German ski jumping spot. An old man who just so happens to have been Bronson Peary, an Olympic Ski Jumper who skied for the American Olympic team back in the 70s.
Begging Bronson to teach him, and despite being told no a thousand times from the grumpy ex-skier, Eddie plows forward with that Olympic spot firmly in his mind. Refusing to be overcome by his lack of athletic skill, or the fact that the British Ski association tries their best to force him out of the sport, or even the other skiers taunting his every move, Eddie does what he always did his entire life. Move forward.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to foresee that Eddie’s making it to the Olympics, and it’s definitely for certain that he will never win a medal, even if you haven’t read his biography, but the statement by Olympic founder Pierre de Coubertin says it best “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well”. The tale of Eddie the Eagle is a blast from beginning to end, with only a few hiccups in the center act to keep the story from being more spectacular.
Almost a complete opposite from his cocky, butt kicking character from “Kingsman: The Secret Service”, Taron Egerton adopts the awkward, boxy and slightly chubby role of Eddi with apparent ease. The script takes no time at all into getting us to root for the awkward boy. No matter the obstacle he faces, Eddie takes it in stride with a sweet and humble attitude. He knows very well that he isn’t the greatest, but he believes in himself and the ability to stretch himself past what other people think of him. With the added under bite and geeky “Top Gun” style eye glasses, Egerton makes for an incredibly accurate portrayal of the British athlete. Hugh Jackman compliments him well, as the extremely SKILLED athlete who frittered his life away with his own excesses.
As much fun as the movie really is, there are some hiccups in the second act that keep it from being a truly great movie. While we root for Eddie early on, the second act takes a bit too much saccharine sweet storytelling into the game and there are some cheesy moments to make you wince once or twice. Not to mention the fact that the middle section starts to get a bit dull as the fictionalization of Eddie’s training comes into play. Well, that and Christopher Walken’s character only comes into the film for like a total of 5 minutes, and EVERY movie is enhanced by having Christopher Walken in it more.
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, partial nudity and smoking
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=72889[/img]Fox has not disappointed us at ALL in the video department. Shot with the Red Epic cameras and Hawk V lenses, “Eddie the Eagle” soars onto Blu-ray with a simply superb encode from beginning to end. The opening shots of Eddie as a child take on that sort of burnished gold hue that is reminiscent of the 1970s, but quickly changes to a much more natural color palette as the film goes on. Skin tones are pink and crisp in the snowy air, and the brilliant whites of the slopes are so sharp and blinding they pop off the screen and into your living room. Strong primary colors abound throughout the film, and the detailing is nothing short of amazing. The film sports a very crisp and razor sharp look to it, with nary a flaw in site, except for some mild banding here and there and a few crushed blacks along the way.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=72897[/img]Sadly “Eddie the Eagle” did not get an Atmos encode like the theatrical presentation did, but the 7.1 DTS-HD MA track is an amazing experience nonetheless. While it’s not an action oriented film with reference level bass, “Eddie the Eagle” manages to craft a well-balanced track that shines at every corner. The dialog is always crisp and clear, with myself never having to adjust the volume levels or put on subtitles, even for the thickest of English accents. The surrounds are awash with the varied activity levels of the slopes, with the cheering crowds roaring from all angled at the Olympic Games, to the simple hiss and woosh and Eddie screams down the jump at top speed. LFE is tight and clean, but the real “pick me up” comes from the incredibly well done 80’s synthesizer score (mixed with some good old fashioned “Van Halen” here and there) that keeps the audience on their feet and spirits uplifted the entire time.
• Let the Games Begin: Soaring with Eddie the Eagle
• Picture Gallery
“Eddie the Eagle” is a sweet and inspiring sports tale that was a whole lot of fun from beginning to end. Sports movies seems to have hit a lull lately, as I’ve watched quite a few that left me feeling rather luke warm inside after viewing. Something that I didn’t have happen with “Eddie”. Egerton did a fantastic job at absorbing himself into the role of Eddie, and while there were a few rough landings with the script, the movie did a fantastic job at keeping your spirits high with the energetic track and beautiful cinematography. Audio and video are simply superb, and the extras aren’t too bad at all. Definitely a good watch for the whole family.
Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken
Directed by: Dexter Fletcher
Written by: Sean Macaulay, Simon Kelton
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, Spanish, French DD 5.1
Runtime: 106 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: June 14th, 2016
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