Save Your Legs! Blu-Ray Review
|AVC MPEG-4||DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1||M||Stephen Curry|
|Discussing what to take on tour to India.|
Reviewing a film based on Australia's favourite Summer sport was going to be a pleasure - well, that was until Australia got thumped in the Ashes series in England (actually when I started writing this review we were still in the middle of the third Test match which we lost. But this is a film about suburban cricket, the mateship and one adventure to India, so it was a film I was keen on checking out.
Save Your Legs! follows "Teddy" Brown who is obsessed with cricket. His whole life has revolved around the game, his park cricket team and his mates. Now that they've hit their mid thirties, his friends are starting to move on, trading in the team for their careers, wives, mortgages and kids. With Ted's precious Abbotsford Anglers on the brink of extinction, he makes one last, desperate attempt to keep his mates passion for the pitch alive and convinces his boss Sanjeet to let the Anglers represent Australia on a cricket tour of India.
Once there, Ted discovers that his dreams of winning an international cricket tour might be harder than he thinks, as his two best friends are more interested in sampling the local customs than they are with picking up a bat. Dealing with pitch invasions from goats, hallucinogenic smoothies, street parties and dry cleaning disasters, Ted's grip on the team begins to fall apart. Soon his passion for the game threatens to cost him not only the team and his mates, but also the heart of Sanjeet's beautiful daughter Anjali.
|Stephen Curry is great as Ted.|
With a 92 minute runtime this film never feels like it overstays its welcome, but it's not a film filled to the brim with laughs either although it seems to get a good balance between comedy and drama. Director Boyd Hicklin, who also directed the 2005 documentary which inspired this film, does a decent job in getting good performances from the actors. Not only that but the film does a great job of capturing life in India, the fascination with cricket, and the countries many positive, and occasionally, negative aspects. It's also pretty important to know that while it's based around a cricket team, there is very little knowledge of the sport required as it only sets the backdrop for the story.
Most Australian's watching this film would be familiar with Stephen Curry who plays Ted, he's been in films such as The Castle, The Cup and Rogue, and he's certainly the star of this film although, while the supporting cast aren't as well known, these actors include Damon Gameau as Stavros, Brendan Cowell as Rick, Brenton Thwaites as Mark (among others) put in pretty solid performances too.
Save Your Legs! won't go down as a great film, nor a very good one for that matter, but those looking for a great "mateship" film, with some Indian culture thrown in might want to check this out.
|The film can be quite colourful at times.|
Madman have presented this film on Blu-Ray in the AVC MPEG-4 codec at the films original 2.40:1 aspect ratio and it is a very pleasing transfer in fact which, with a high bitrate, manages to capture the often bright, colourful nature of the Indian culture perfectly. With most scenes taking place in daylight settings the level of detail is fantastic, but even in the darker scenes at night this detail level is retained with no evidence of compression artifacting. For such a small film (budget-wise) and one unlikely to see anything but an afterthought release outside Australia (or perhaps India) this is quite a pleasing effort.
Save Your Legs! is presented on Blu-Ray with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that, despite being quite a dialogue driven movie there are moments which bring the format to life. At the 13:11 mark when the players land in India the music there has some of the deepest, thumping bass, same with the fireworks around 15 minutes later which will shake your room. Dialogue and music are both clear while the surround sound channels also get an occasional workout.
The only other audio track (besides the commentary) is an English Descritive Audio which is encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224kbps. The only subtitle track is an English Descriptive for the Hard of Hearing which, from our samples, was accurate to the films dialogue.
|Pallavi Sharda as Anjali in Save Your Legs!|
There are a few extras on this Blu-Ray release, most important being the one hour documentary which inspired the feature film. There are a couple of other bits too so check them out...
Audio Commentary with Crew Commentary: This audio commentary, which features actors Damon Gameau, Stephen Curry, Brendan Cowell, director Boyd Hicklin and producers Nick Batzias and Robyn Kershaw, is a pretty lively, and consistent, discussion about all aspects of this film. There is some inconsistency in the volume levels of participants, but it's still a great listen.
Save Your Legs: The Documentary (54:11/HD): This is the original 2005 documentary which inspired this film, and it's actually a fantastic inclusion on this Blu-Ray well worth checking out. It's amazing how close the film is to this documentary, but we found the raw honesty in this lifts it to great viewing.
Bound for India with Ted & Col (5:56/HD): This is a pretty amusing look at the boys deciding what medication to take to India.
|While the film focuses on cricket, you only need basic knowledge of the sport to enjoy the film.|
Theatrical Trailer (2:06/HD): The trailer for the film actually sells it pretty well so it's a little disappointing that the film only scraped around $200k at the Australian box office.
Madman Propaganda (9:25/HD): After an initial anti-piracy message this disc contains trailers for Storm Surfers 3D, Fire in Babylon, Paul Kelly: Stories of Me and Kenny.
It's not essential that you be a cricked fan to watch, or enjoy, this film. It's a typical Aussie larrikin styled comedy and a good way to spend 90 minutes when the Ashes gets too, well, depressing.
Review By: Dave Warner
Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Madman. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.