Thursday, 8 November 2012

“Fever Pitch”. A Review Of The 1997 Film – Now Reissued On A 2012 BLU RAY.

This link will bring you to Blu Ray on Amazon UK to buy:

“The Problem With Life…Is That It Keeps Interfering With The Football."

The BLU RAY picture quality on "Fever Pitch" is surprisingly good - even beautiful in places - fans walking away from the London Highbury grounds - Colin Firth as Paul sat in a car at night waiting for his girl Sarah. And it's clean for the whole viewing too. I can tell you it never looked this fresh on DVD...

Mark Strong and Ruth Gemmell are particularly good as Steve the long-suffering mate and Sarah the posh totty hapless Paul fancies. Bea Guard is luminous as Sarah’s friend and confidante in love. And even with his dreadful curly hair - Colin First exudes effortless charm as Paul Ashworth - an English teacher who has read Byron and is therefore not a Neanderthal. In fact given the general childishness of his character - Firth does well to win our hearts. With his Arsenal boxer shorts and constant babbling about the life-affirming importance of English Soccer - even if he is a bit of a klutz 99% of the time - we like him precisely because he is a nice guy - and deep down – Sarah knows it. She just wishes he’d take his head out of the weekly score sheets and be a responsible adult every now and then – especially when she sees the colour blue displayed on another piece of kit – and were not talking about her away outfit…

There are also some nicely observed points about fathers and sons being able to bond on a common subject (Neal Pearson and Luke Aikman) - the tribe mentality as fans walk to and from the game. And that moment when you walk up the concrete steps to the terraces themselves - the pitch in front of you - the crowd's roar - when a live football game can feel like a magical Rock Concert every Saturday afternoon.

And when it finally comes to the end-of-season Arsenal Vs Spurs game on the 26th of May 1989 - the goal by Thomas that seals it for Arsenal in the final seconds sets up the great voice of Van Morrison as the local community pours out onto the streets of London in a frenzy - Champions at last... 
It's pure cinematic joy...

In truth - the football-obsession stuff might test the patience of too many women - but "Fever Pitch" is that rare beast - a small movie with a big heart - and the actors to do Nick Hornby's witty and observant script the justice it deserves.

More to the point - if you're a fan of the movie you NEED to see it on BLU RAY. I've found this with a lot of the Channel 4 movies reissued on the format - despite how bad they look in standard def trailers - when you get to see the BR itself you find that someone has cleaned the print and given the movie a whole new lease of life. See my review for "Brassed Off" too...

A very, very good transfer onto BLU RAY then - and with full screen aspect too (no bars top or bottom).

Great fun and recommended like that Gunners tattoo on the left cheek of Margaret Thatcher's arse...

Titles in this Channel 4 Series include:
  1. Brassed Off [reviewed]
  2. East Is East
  3. Fever Pitch
  4. Gangster No. 1
  5. Joe Strummer – The Future Is Unwritten
  6. Life Is Sweet
  7. A Room With A View
  8. Shallow Grave
  9. Touching The Void
  10. The Warrior

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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