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The Cutting Edge (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 23, 2011 by  



“The Cutting Edge” is charming, uplifting and entertaining.   Featuring a wonderful performance from Moira Kelly, “The Cutting Edge” is recommended for those looking for a “good” ice skating film and also an entertaining, romantic comedy.

 

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Images courtesy of ©1992 Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: The Cutting Edge

FILM RELEASE DATE: 1992

DURATION: 101 minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1), English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

RATED: PG

COMPANY: Twentieth Century Fox/MGM

RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2011

Directed by Paul Michael Glaser

Written by Tony Gilroy

Produced by Robert W. Cort, Ted Field, Karen Murphy

Co-Producer: Dean O’Brien, Cynthia Sherman

Music by Patrick Williams

Cinematography by Elliot Davis

Edited by Michael E. Polakow

Casting by Marci Liroff

Production Design by David Gropman

Art Direction by Dan Davis

Set Decoration by Steve Shewchuk

Costume Design by William Ivey Long

Starring:

D.B. Sweeney as Doug Dorsey

Moira Kelly as Kate Moseley

Roy Dotrice as Anton Pamchenko

Terry O’Quinn as Jack Moseley

Dwier Brown as Hale Forrest

Chris Benson as Walter Dorsey

Kevin Peeks as Brian Newman

Barry Flatman as Rick Tuttle

Rachelle Ottley as Lorie Peckarovski

Steve Sears as Spindler

Nahanni Johnstone as Gita

Moira Kelly (Dangerous Beauty, “The West Wing”) and D. B. Sweeney (Roommates, Memphis Belle) star as polar opposites who unite on the ice for a shot at Olympic gold in this inspirational romantic comedy from acclaimed director Paul M. Glaser (The Running Man).

To this day, when it comes to films about figure skating and capturing the essence of training and competition, the 1992 film “The Cutting Edge” is considered by fans of the sport to be one of the better films to showcase the sport.

Directed by Paul Michael Glaser (the actor known for his classic role in “Starsky and Hutch” and director of episodes of “Miami Vice” and Las Vegas and the Arnold Schwarzenegger film “The Running Man”) and written by Tony Gilroy (The “Bourne” trilogy, “Michael Clayton”, “Duplicity”), “The Cutting Edge” was a cutting edge film at the time.

Featuring innovative ways to film figure skating, the film would star D.B. Sweeney (“Spawn”, “Memphis Belle”, “Fire in the Sky”), Moira Kelly (“Chaplin”, “One Tree Hill”, “The West Wing”), Roy Dotrice (“Amadeus”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”) and Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”, “The X Files”, “The Step Father”, “Primal Fear”).

“The Cutting Edge” would focus on two athletes.

For Kate Moseley (played by Moira Kelly), she is known for her attitude and being quite blunt with her mouth, many find her difficult to work with.  While skating in the 1988 Winter Olympics, while ahead in points and ranking, she ended up falling during her routine and eventually placing them out contention.

As for Doug Dorsey (played by D.B. Sweeney), he is a popular hockey player and the member of the U.S. Hockey Team and scored a winning goal for the team during a match.  Unfortunately, he is accidentally slammed by members of the opposing team and his head hit the glass pretty hard.  Unfortunately, the accident he suffered has damaged his peripheral vision and is forced to retire from professional hockey.

Both are extreme talents on the ice but post-Olympics, they are both having problems.

Doug is working construction and working for bar hockey leagues in Wisconsin in hopes that a professional team will pick him up again.  But so far, he has only received rejection letters.  His brother wants him to focus on work in the diner and forget about competing and playing hockey but Doug has a hard time admitting to himself that his hockey career is over.

For Kate, she disproves of most of the male dancers and many find her difficult to work with.  While Kate is working under well-revered figure skating coach Anton Pamchenko (played by Roy Dotrice), Kate’s father Jack (played by Terry O’Quinn) knows that there are no more male skaters in America that have the stamina or strength to be her partner and carry them to the Olympics.

So, Kate’s father asks Anton to find the best ice skater that he can.  And sure enough, the one ice skater that is available is former hockey player Doug Dorsey.

And like many other guys who have worked with Kate, Doug finds out how difficult Kate is but he is not willing to back down.  Determined to win a Gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, he is determined to learn how to figure skate and be the best partner that Kate has ever had.  And no matter how much she insults him or how bad her mouth is, Doug knows that he can put up with her.  Even if she thinks he is only a dumb hockey player.

In fact, because he is unfazed by her attitude, Kate starts to see him differently.  To the point that her fiance starts to worry that she is falling for him because their constant arguing is like a form of foreplay.

With their differences aside and with all the pressure leading up to the nationals, will Kate and Doug be ready to compete and will both qualify for the US Olympic team?

VIDEO:

“The Cutting Edge” is presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1).  Like many films from the late ’80s to early ’90s, picture quality for many catalog films on Blu-ray are unfortunately not in the best shape.  “The Cutting Edge” shows signs of age and definitely has a strong mixture of grain and noise.

Granted, picture quality for the film is more likely better compared to its DVD and VHS counterpart, certain scenes with red and blues actually do pop onscreen due to the sharpness but for the most part, picture quality is good.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“The Cutting Edge” is presented in English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Surround and French Dolby Surround.  The film is a front-channel driven lossless soundtrack.  Dialogue and early ’90s music is heard crystal clear.

Subtitles are in English SDH, Spanish and French.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The Cutting Edge comes with the following special features:

  • The Cutting Edge: Reflections from the Ice – (10:53)  D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly talk about their experience working and training for “The Cutting Edge”.
  • Theatrical Trailer – (2:04) The original theatrical trailer for “The Cutting Edge”.

Have you ever been on the ice and fall down while skating and someone to yell “toe pick”.  The now used slang on the ice skating rink is derived from the figure skating film “The Cutting Edge”.

There are not many films based on figure skating and for the films I have reviewed over time, sure there will always be “Ice Castles” and “Love Story” and I felt that back in the ’90s, “The Cutting Edge” was a pretty awesome film when it came to how they were able to film ice skating and build contraptions in order to capture the skaters and make it look convincing.

But to my surprise, what was more interesting was to know that both D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly trained in figure skating to the point where they were able to pull of certain moves on their own and make it look convincing on camera.

In fact, for Moira Kelly, she took it seriously and her dedication to learning to figure skate and amaze even the trainers because of her dedication to the training and even learning difficult moves quite quickly  (note: Kelly pushed herself so hard that she even fractured her ankle).   Granted, there are scenes of stand-in doubles for the more difficult moves but there are many scenes where you know that the two talents were actually on the ice and were skating.

Also, I felt that both D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly did a good job with their role and both had great chemistry.  I enjoyed the “opposites attract” storyline but of course, for many people who are dedicated to the sport, the fact that a hockey player became a professional figure skater may seem a bit farfetched but I actually enjoyed the back-and-forth exchanges by both characters and felt that Sweeney and Kelly did a great job with their performance.

But what about the story?  Granted, the film is quite predictable and the plot is quite formulaic in structure and yes, there are people who know more about the qualifications of athletes in the Olympics and know that the film doesn’t capture the true nature of the sport perfectly.  And I’m sure figure skaters would probably be the first people to be fairly critical of the film but one thing that this film has done is inspire many young people to take up figure skating and even Moira Kelly has mentioned how people continue to recognize her from “The Cutting Edge” and thank her for inspiring them to join figure skating.

As for the Blu-ray release, unfortunately those who are expecting the film to look pristine on Blu-ray may be disappointed to see that the film looks quite aged and for some, the high amount of grain and noise may not be to their liking.  But that’s how a lot of films in the late ’80s and ’90s look and I would rather have the grain that excessive Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) and make the film look overly soft.  But I will say that the film does look much better than its VHS and DVD counterpart.  And as for special features, it was great to have the one special feature featuring both D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly many years later to discuss the popularity and their involvement in the film.

Overall, the way I felt back in 1992 about the film has not really decrease much in 2011.  Aside from the 2010 release of “Ice Castles” which tried to show modern technology capturing the competitive and technical side of ice skating, “The Cutting Edge” is an entertaining film that captures two characters who are from different sports, are different type of people and dislike each other but eventually, their dedication to teamwork leads to an appreciation of each other’s skill and eventually making them an awesome team.

Sure, it’s not perfect, nor is it a great film and nor does it capture the authentic nature of the road to the Olympics but even now, in 2011, I still feel that this is one of the better ice skating films out there.

“The Cutting Edge” is charming, uplifting and entertaining.  It’s definitely a romantic comedy that shines through the performance by Moira Kelly who is fantastic in this film.  And I also have to say that the chemistry and tension between her and D.B. Sweeney is quite convincing and fun to watch.  Also, if you ever hear someone yell “Toe Pick” when you munch on the ice, now you know what film those words came from.

Overall, “The Cutting Edge” is recommended for those looking for a “good” ice skating film but also an entertaining, romantic comedy.

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