Bring it On (Blu-ray)

July 2, 2014 9 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The world of high school cheerleaders might seem like a heavenly place, but as two squad captains learn, it can also be pure hell. As the new captain of the Toros squad, Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) is determined to bring home the sixth consecutive championship, but little does she know what problems lie ahead. Her team has all the right elements, but when Torrance discovers their main routine was stolen, she has to revamp their entire program in order to compete. The former captain was responsible for the theft and she took it from the Clovers squad, which is having some troubles of their own. Their captain, Isis (Gabrielle Union) has to figure out how to raise travel expenses, or else her girls can’t even attend the meet. So while Torrance drives her team toward another championship, Isis is bent on making sure her squad finally gets the respect they deserve. With two teams determined to be the best and only one trophy to win, someone has to go home empty handed and heartbroken.

Call me a sap, but toss some hot chicks into cheerleading outfits and load on the laughs, and I am one happy viewer. So when I saw the trailers for Bring It On, I knew I would be the first in line and sure enough, there I was on opening night. I expected some decent laughs, but little else and in the end, I was very pleased with this picture. Now this is not a modern classic or an important film, but it is very entertaining and in this case, that was enough to warrant seeing this several times in theaters. The cast includes a band of peppy, bouncy, and perky young ladies, some of which include Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union, Clare Kramer, Eliza Dushku, and a host of others. The acting is not award level by any means, but the charisma and energy are present and that carries the material well enough. The dance numbers are done to sheer perfection and in dazzling fashion, while the cinematography is fast and furious. So while Bring It On lacks depth and profound messages, it has a lot of charm, wit, and visual presence. I highly recommend this release to those interested and if you like the film a lot, you’ll want to pick up this disc, as it is a terrific one.

In a flick about cheerleaders, of course you need some young hotties and here, we have those and them some. At the head of the class here is Kirsten Dunst, who once again uses her charm and beauty to hide her flaws as a performer. Her skills are more than solid, but she still has a lot of room for improvement, though she can usually minimize her flaws well. In this film, Dunst is right on the money and though she struggles a few times, her charisma carries her through, which works fine in this case. I don’t mean to say Dunst is a bad performer by any means, but I do think her finest traits are her looks and charisma, which seem to be more enough in most instances. I like her work a lot and here, she gives us more of the same and I am glad she does. Other films with Dunst include Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Virgin Suicides, Dick, All I Wanna Do, Interview With The Vampire, and Little Women. The rest of the cast here includes Gabrielle Union (Love & Basketball, She’s All That), Eliza Dushku (True Lies, That Night), Clare Kramer (Tv’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Jesse Bradford (Cherry Falls, Hackers), and Nicole Bilderback (Clueless, Can’t Hardly Wait).

Video: How’s it look?

Bring it On received high marks from us when we first reviewed the film back in late 2000. Of course, a lot has changed since then, namely technology, and admittedly I was a bit too eager to put this Blu-ray in the player.  Universal’s 1.85:1 AVC HD image retains the bright and bold color palette, detail is razor sharp (a big step up from the DVD) and contrast looks solid as well. Some of Universal’s catalog titles are hit and miss and I was curious to see if they used a new remastered transfer. As much as I’d hoped this would be flawless, it contains a few scenes with some grain and some of the exterior shots seem a bit inconsistent.  By no means is this “bad” in any sense of the word, but this title is approaching its 15th year anniversary and as I’ve said before, some of these catalog titles just don’t look as good as their new to Blu-ray films.

Audio: How’s it sound?

If you ever want to relive your high school days and the feeling of being in a gym cheering the team on, this is about as close to that short of going to a high school basketball game. The DTS HD Master Audio sound mix is front heavy, with surrounds offering just the right amount of support during key sequences.  Vocals are strong and solid, with no distortion to be found.  The LFE, though not utilized that much, do have a  few moments as well.  The original DVD did contain dual Dolby Digital and DTS tracks and that’s made for a fine leap to Blu-ray with this mix.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Part of Universal’s “Collector’s Edition” DVD’s at the time, Bring it On actually sported a nice selection of extras. Unfortunately for the film’s Blu-ray debut, it doesn’t look like anything new has been added as this contains the same supplements found on that DVD, minus the “Did You Know That” trivia track.

  • Spotlight on Location: The Making of Bring It On – More than a simple promotional tool, this one has a lot of cast & crew interviews, as well as broad behind the scenes footage.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes – Both featuring introductions by Peyton Reed as to why they were cut from the film.
  • Home Movie of the Car Wash Scene – Essentially just that, some pretty rough footage of the car wash scene. I don’t know why I was reminded of the scene in Grown Ups 2, but those images did creep in there.
  • Wardrobe and Makekup Tests – Some raw footage that shows just that.
  • Music Video – “As If” by Blaque.
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary – Director Peyton Reed has a lot to say about this film, much more than I expected. Reed discusses all sorts of topics in this commentary track and as far as pauses or silences, this one has none, as Reed keeps chatting from start to finish. A fun and informative track, this is a must listen.

Disc Scores