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 does it look?
Bring It On is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. As usual, Universal has issued a tremendous transfer for a new release, I have no real complaints to lodge here. The film’s vibrant color scheme is showcased well here, with vivid hues and natural flesh tones, but no traces of bleeds or smears in the least. The contrast is also up to the task, with razor sharp black levels and a very strong sense of detail, very impressive indeed. I also saw no problems as far as compression, so in the end, I am left with an easy task, as this is a flawless visual presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc houses dual 5.1 surround tracks in Dolby Digital and DTS forms, so whichever format you prefer, you’re covered here. I knew this material could use some terrific audio presence, but these mixes are flawless, I was blown away in both cases. The sequences with music stand out as the most powerful, but the entire film is laced with dynamic audio. The music is full and very expansive here, it surrounds the viewer and then never lets go, tons of bass and impact audio to be heard. The crowds also sound excellent in these mixes, while the remainder of the sound effects also come through well. No problems surface with vocals either, which are replicated here in crisp and clean form at all times. As per usual, a slight edge is present with the DTS edition, but in either case, you’ll be treated to a reference level audio experience. This disc also includes a French 5.1 track, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As usual with their Collector’s Edition releases, Universal has loaded this disc with supplements. Up first is an audio commentary track with director Peyton Reed, who 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 for fans of the flick. You can also view a selection of deleted scenes, which were very cool to see and with introductions by Reed, we can learn why they were trimmed from the final version. Some extended scenes are also found here, which also contain Reed’s introductions and are very fun to browse. I usually dislike the Spolight: On Location featurettes, but the one included here is pretty good and is well worth a look. Much more than a simple promotional tool, this one has a lot of cast & crew interviews, as well as broad behind the scenes footage. A home movie version of the car wash scenes is also packed in, as well as some costume and makeup tests, production notes, talent files, a music video by Blaque, and the film’s theatrical trailer. You can also enable a cool feature that, as you watch the film, pops up bubbles of information, ala VH1’s Pop Up Video. In the end, this is a vast selection of superb and fun supplements, kudos to Universal and director Peyton Reed for their work here.