The Bronze (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
July 28, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“The Bronze” is downright raw, nasty, vulgar and absolutely hilarious! Actress and the film’s co-writer, Melissa Rauch absolutely shines in this film! If you are in a mood for a comedy that is for a mature audiences, definitely give “The Bronze” a try!
© 2016 Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: The Bronze
FILM RELEASE: 2016
DURATION: 92 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English, French and Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditiona, French, Korean, Portuguese, Thai and Spanish
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: R (Strong Sexual Content, Graphic Nudity, Language Throughout and Some Drug Use)
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Directed by Bryan Buckley
Written by Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch
Produced by Stephanie Langhoff
Executive-Producer: Bryan Buckley, Michael C. Cuddy, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch
Associate Producer: Matt Lefebvre
Cinematography by Scott Henriksen
Music by Andrew Feltenstein, John Nau
Edited by Jay Nelson
Casting by Lillian Pyles
Production Design by David Skinner
Set Decoration by Roxy Toporowych
Costume Design by Michelle MartiniMona May
Melissa Rauch as Hope
Gary Cole as Stan
Thomas Middleditch as Ben
Sebastian Stan as Lance
Cecily Strong as Janice
Haley Lu Richardson as Maggie
Dale Raoul as Doris
Dominique Dawes as Herself
Dominique Moceanu as Herself
A decade ago, Hope Ann Greggory (Melissa Rauch) was America’s sweetheart. Her inspired performance on a ruptured achilles at the world’s most prestigious gymnastics tournament clinched an unlikely bronze medal for the U.S. team and brought glory to her hometown of Amherst, Ohio. But in the years since that epic third place victory, Hope hasn’t done a whole lot with her life. Still living in her dad Stan’s (Gary Cole) basement, still sporting her daily uniform of a Team USA gym suit with teeny-bopper bangs, ponytail and scrunchie, she spends her days at the mall milking her minor celebrity for free food and favors. Hope’s routine is upended when she learns that she must coach Amherst’s newest gymnastics prodigy Maggie (Haley Lu Richardson) in order to receive a sizeable financial inheritance. The hard-edged yet insecure Hope is faced with a serious dilemma: does she jeopardize her “hometown hero” status by devotedly training this rising star to achieve the dreams she never could? Or doe
From filmmaker Bryan Buckley (“ASAD”, “Hotel Hell Vacation”) and writers Melissa Rauch (actress on “The Big Bang Theory”) and Winston Rauch comes the American sports comedy, “The Bronze”.
Produced by the Duplass Brothers (Mark and Jay), the film made its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically on March 2016 courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
The film stars Melissa Rauch, alongside Gary Cole (“Pineapple Express”, “Office Space”, “Taladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”), Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, “Final Girls”), Sebastian Stan (“Captain America” films, “The Martian”, “Black Swan”), Cecily Strong (“Saturday Night Live”, “Ghostbusters”, “The Boss”) and Haly Lu Richardson (“The Last Survivors”, “Recovery Road”, “The Young Kieslowski”).
And now “The Bronze” will be released on Blu-ray in August 2016.
“The Bronze” revolves around former gymnastics Bronze medalist Hope Annabelle Greggory (portrayed by Melissa Rauch), who tries to live off her celebrity status in the town of Amherst, Ohio.
Unfortunately, Hope is stuck in the past. All she wears is her Team USA gymnastics gear, watches old footage of herself during her glory days and steals mail from her mailman father Stan (portrayed by Gary Cole).
Hope may seem sweet but in truth, she is verbally cold and brutal, even to her father who tries to help her.
Because both father and daughter survive on Stan’s income, he has warned her daughter that she will no longer have her large allowance and will need to get a job. She is also forbidden to steal postal mail.
But Hope is bitter than a new star gymnast has been born in Amherst, Maggie Townsend (portrayed by Haley Lu Richardson), who happens to be coached by Hope’s former coach, Pavleck (portrayed by Christine Abrahamsen).
When Hope’s former coach commits suicide, a letter arrives and the rules are if Hope can guide Maggie Townsend to the Olympics in Toronto, she will receive a $500,000 inheritance.
At Hope agrees to the job (simply for the inheritance money), she immediately begins sabotaging Maggie’s gymnastics career by having Maggie eat everything fattening and also having Maggie have sex with a boy she likes.
During the day of the visit from the Olympic committee, Hope goes so far to sabotage Maggie into failing by lacing her shake with marijuana.
But when Hope finds out that the person who was sent to Amherst from the Olympic committee is the arrogant Olympic Gold Medalist Lance Tucker (portrayed by Sebastian Stan), when Stan sees what Hope did to Maggie, he threatens to take over as Maggie’s coach.
Seeing that she can lose the inheritance money if she stops training Maggie, Hope convinces Maggie’s mother Janice (portrayed by Cecily Strong) to keep her onboard and that she will do whatever it takes to train Maggie and prepare her for qualifications to the Olympic Games.
But will Hope be able to train Maggie or will her jealousy and bitterness towards Maggie take over her? And sabotage this young gymnastic stars hopes and dreams?
“The Bronze” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). The film looks vibrant in outdoor scenes and close ups are full of detail. Skintones look natural. I didn’t notice any banding or artifacts during my viewing of the film. For the most part, picture quality for the film is great!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Bronze” is presented in English, French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The soundtrack is primarily dialogue and hip hop and Avril Lavigne music with crowd ambiance at competitions used for the surround channels. The dialogue and music are both are crystal clear.
Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditiona, French, Korean, Portuguese, Thai and Spanish.
“The Bronze” comes with the following special features:
- Deleted Scenes – (6:40) Featuring five deleted scenes.
- Theatrical Trailer
As many Americans have watched Melissa Rauch on the popular TV series “The Big Bang Theory”, for those who have wanted to see the actress in a much larger and also mature role, will find “The Bronze” to be to their liking.
Rauch plays the role of a former bronze gymnast who is stuck in the past of her glory moments and is left with nothing but old VHS tapes, her old gymnastics gear and a sweet personality tainted in her older age with a profanity-laced tongue.
Reminiscent of the famous 1996 US Olympics moment of gymnast Kerri Strug, “The Bronze” takes things on a different spectrum of Rauch playing the role of promising gymnast Hope Ann Greggory. An athlete who won the hearts of millions with her Bronze medal 12-years-ago.
Despite her injury, Hope continued to compete instead of fully heal and it ended her career. Feeling bitter and always trying to relive her past, Hope has nothing but anger towards her father and her old coach because of how her career had ended.
Washed-up and driven to steal and act out, it is causing problem for her father, a US postal worker who is trying to raise the family. But with Hope stealing mail and money, it leads her father to show tough love and cut out her allowance and make her daughter get a job.
And a job eventually comes her way when her former coach commits suicide and young athlete, Maggie who has true talent to compete in the upcoming Olympics, is without a coach.
And when a letter comes for Hope to become the coach of Maggie and if she successfully does it, she will inherit $500,000. And of course, the money being the driving force for Hope to be involved, it also becomes a challenge for Hope as she resents seeing another gymnast in her hometown receiving all the attention and everyone forgetting about her.
So, will Hope help Maggie become an Olympic athlete or will she sabotage Maggie’s career?
While I enjoyed the film for its comedy, there are some who may find the film to be degrading.
For one, Hope is arrogant and blunt. She can’t help but make fun of her former classmate, Ben who has a twitching problem.
She is also a person who is beyond sarcastic and profane and literally, everything that comes out of her mouth is rude, condescending and so wrong at times.
But that’s part of what makes “The Bronze” so fascinating because it plays on the purity of female gymnasts who look angelic and pure on television, and Holly is the complete opposite.
But as you want to root for Maggie, you eventually root for Holly because the antagonist of the film, the even ore arrogant Lance (portrayed by Sebastian Stan) wants Holly to fail miserably.
What I also enjoyed about the film is the focus on women’s gymnastics and even includes a few people from the 1996 women’s US Olympic team in the film such as champion gymnasts Dominique Dawes and Dominique Moceanu. But also to see good edited cuts in order to make the film’s gymnastics and transitions seem smooth and realistic.
But of course, the film is about the humor, the crazy comedy that may make shock you. Especially the sex scenes in the film, one that you are immediately introduced to at the start of the film and something even more wilder and a bit unique towards the end of the film.
So, for those who love gymnastics and watching Melissa Rauch on television and are thinking of showing the film to their family, especially children, just know that the film features a lot of profanity, there is nudity and drug use. So, definitely not a film to watch with kids around.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is great and lossless audio is crystal clear, with the soundtrack being more dialogue and music-driven. And as for special features, you get deleted scenes but it would have been awesome if an audio commentary with Melissa Rauch and her husband, co-writer Winston Rauch was included. Especially the usual gag reel and featurette. But unfortunately, there are no special features included but five deleted scenes and a trailer.
Overall, “The Bronze” is downright raw, nasty, vulgar and absolutely hilarious! Actress and the film’s co-writer, Melissa Rauch absolutely shines in this film!
If you are in a mood for a comedy that is for a mature audiences, definitely give “The Bronze” a try!
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