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review by Zach B.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Sexual Content including Crude Dialogue, Language and Drug Material)
Running Time: 111 Minutes
Starring: Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, Jimmy Fallon, Daniel Stern
Screenplay by: Shauna Cross
Based on her novel
Directed by: Drew Barrymore
Features: Deleted Scenes, Fox Movie Channel Presents Writer's Draft: Shauna Cross of Whip It, Digital Copy
Specs: 2.40:1 Widescreen 1080p High
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French
Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Spanish
Subtitles, Scene Selection
Released: January 26th, 2010
"Whip It" is presented in 1080p High Definition,
in a widescreen presentation with the theatrical aspect ratio of
2.40:1. This is a pretty superb transfer that definitely brings you
into the world of roller derby and the characters, as there's a nice
contrast between the more mundane aspects of Bliss's life and her time
on the track. Color saturation is well done and doesn't smear, be it
the greens of the derby costumes or the more drab colors of the
Cavendar house. For the most part, colors are vibrant and stand out.
Also excelling is detail, especially in the background — be it a party
scene or the crowds at the games themselves. Black levels are solid,
and flesh tones really hit the mark. For the most part the picture
quality is sharp, but at times it can be a little on the soft side —
something that I did not mind at all. The print used for the transfer
is clean too. Nicely done.
"Whip It" features a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track in English,
and this is one rich mix when it comes to the roller derby matches.
There is a depth to the sounds here, ones with real "pow" quality that
make you feel you'll racing around the tracks with the women. Dynamic
range is really tight, while panning and imaging are excellent.
Subwoofer use also shows a nice amount of power, too. This means the
crowds fill the sound stage, and you'll really hear all the rolling and
rough-and-tumble action. These parts of the film can be rather
discrete. Otherwise, dialogue is always clear, firm and crisp, and the
music fills the speakers with much energy. This is a really satisfying
mix with energy to spare.
Digital 5.1 tracks are in French and Spanish, plus there are subtitles in English and Spanish.
I'm pretty disappointed this Blu-ray release doesn't have more. I
know the film wasn't a huge box office success, but I would have loved
featurettes on actual derby girls, the actors training, the cast and
crew giving their thoughts and most of all, a commentary. But alas,
we'll have to make due...
There are 9 Deleted Scenes,
one of which is an alternate opening. Otherwise, most are extended
scenes that probably would have made the narrative feel bloated if kept
in. In total, this is about 16 minutes worth of material.
Otherwise, there's Fox Movie Channel Presents Writer's Draft: Shauna Cross of Whip It.
A mere 3 minutes, the screenwriter quickly takes us through her
real-life inspiration for the movie and novel (Cross was actually on a
roller derby team), and bringing the movie to Barrymore's Flower Films.
Nice, but I wish there was a lot more to go on.
A Digital Copy is also included, plus an ad for the movie's soundtrack.
"Whip It" is a sharp and nimble directorial debut from Drew Barrymore,
who definitely has talent behind the camera. The reviews were mixed,
but I was surprised this film did not do better at the box office.
Here's hoping it gains the audience it so richly deserves on DVD and
Blu-ray, especially among younger girls. It's disappointing this
release is lacking with supplements, but the movie sure looks and
sounds good. Definitely make it a rental.