I thought I knew all about Stick It based on the cover of the disc: “From the Writer of Bring It On”. That’s it, game over. What I could expect was a film where the girls ruled the show, the adults, if they could be found, were pretty marginal, and there would be a lot of ass shots. But despite all the semi-glorified ass shots, Stick It isn’t necessarily a bad movie. In fact, I kinda liked it. Maybe it’s all the ass exposure, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, the 103 minutes …f Stick It start with Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym, Catwoman), your proverbial rebel with a load of talent who keeps pissing it away by rebelling on anything and anybody. And as punishment for vandalizing a house, her father (and yes, that is Uncle Rico himself, Jon Gries, from Napoleon Dynamite) gets her to rejoin a gymnastics academy she dropped out of as part of her restitution, community service, etc.
But then a funny thing happens when she gets there. Never mind that she’s been wearing Motorhead, Black Flag and Bad Brains shirts as part of the very tired “here’s how rebellious I am” look, but she finds her coach, Burt Vickerman. Burt is played by, get ready for this, Jeff Bridges. He of the Oscar nomination for Starman, he of The Big Lebowski fame, which I’m seeing on cable every three days now. Burt knows her and what she wants to do and what her limits are, he is a wise sage indeed. After her rough break-in (or reintroduction) to the other classmates, she manages to go to an invitational with the hope of busting out and getting free from her sentence.
But then another thing happens in the process. Jessica Bendinger’s script (Aquamarine), which she directed, goes off into a bizarre tangent, almost a bit of a rant, and the gymnasts decide to do the meet for each other, as opposed to the stringent and almost nonsensical scoring system that’s employed now. Think Bad News Bears, minus the coach that smacks his son, and replaced by a lot of girls running around in leotards.
But God help me, I liked it, for some strange reason. Maybe I was sticking around to see Bridges blow a brain circuit and swear off the project, but he does well in his role, and almost poignantly. A scene near the end with him in it gave my eyes a slight energy. I hope that doesn’t make me, as Hank Kingsley would probably say, “a half a gay”, but I watched the film, liked it, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a unique change of pace film aside from their normal flavors and tastes. And fight the power of a female athletic ass, it’s powerful man!
Dolby Digital 5.1 for the ears to soak up. It’s a very musical film, so there’s a bit of low end fidelity pumping through the subwoofer and the surrounds are used amply, and with all the music in the film, if it didn’t sound good, there’d be a reason to complain.
Quite the sparkling and pretty picture, as far as 1.85:1 anamorphic transfers go. The variety of colors is reproduced quite nicely, the print is clean, and no edge enhancement to speak of. Did I mention there were a lot of shots of girls’ asses here? (It’s okay honey, put down the knife)
Disney has certainly packed the bonus features onto this teeny tiny little disc of audio and video data. There’s not one, but two commentary tracks, the first, with Bendinger, Peregrym and Vanessa Lengies (who plays Joanne) is a little bit on the peppy side. I mean, it’s three women whose metabolic rates are like hamsters, so they go off topic quite a bit, and after awhile, came as close to sounding like white noise to me as anything else ever has, despite the universal praise for Bridges. The second commentary with Bendinger, Director of Photography Daryn Okada and Editor Troy Takaki is lower key and more focused on the production, and they all like watching the movie, with Bendinger spending a bit of time pointing out the stunt doubles for the film. If you’re a male, listen to the second commentary.
From there, there are 8 deleted scenes in anamorphic video, altogether running about 13 minutes. There’s a funny scene with Burt and the girls in a pharmacy, and some more serious scenes with Bridges and/or Peregrym that explain a little more and provide some more character development, and they could have been added back into the cut, when some of the songs could have been cut. A three minute blooper reel follows, along with two music videos. The full gymnastic routines are included with optional commentary, and there are some routines in slow motion that have commentary as well, from a judge’s point of view.
Pretty good movie, pant load of extras, nice transfer, good sound, what more can you ask? Stick It is a must for the pre-teen that you know and is worth checking out on cable for the curious.
Special Features List
- Director/Cast Commentary
- Director/Crew Commentary
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
- Blooper Reel
- Music Videos
- Stunt Double Footage
- Unedited Routines with Optional Commentary
- Slow Motion Routines with Optional Commentary