Australian Council on Children and the Media

Blades of Glory

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Short takes

Not recommended under 15 (Sex, language, themes, violence)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Blades of Glory
  • a review of Blades of Glory completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 June 2007.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Blades of Glory
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Moderate sexual references, comedic violence
Length 93 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The only thing that Chazz Michael Michaels (W ill Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) have in common is that they are world championship skaters in the men’s singles category. At a world championship, both skaters receive a gold medal when they tie for first place. However, while standing on the podium, a push and shove match between Chazz and Jimmy ends in an all out brawl and both Chazz and Jimmy are stripped of their gold medals and banned from competing for life.
Three years later Jimmy is working as a shoe salesman while Chazz, permanently in a drunken stupor, works as performer in a children’s ice revue. Hector (Nick Swardson), a former fan, enlightens Jimmy to a loophole in the rules that will allow both men back into competitive skating if they enter into the pairs team event. Jimmy approaches his old coach (Craig T. Nelson) for assistance and before long Jimmy and Chazz have put their differences aside and have entered the world championships as the world’s first male/male figure skating couple.
While Chazz and Jimmy work hard to perfect their routine, rivals Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) plot Chazz and Jimmy’s downfall. Initially, Stranz and Fairchild bully their younger sister Katie (Jenna Fischer), who has become romantically involved with Jimmy, to force her attention upon Chazz in a hope of splitting the pair up. But when the seduction attempt fails, Stranz and Fairchild take more drastic measures and kidnap Chazz and Jimmy to prevent them from competing in the world championship. Chazz and Jimmy manage to escape their kidnappers and make it to the world championships just in the nick of time.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Sports rivalry, alcohol addiction, sex addiction

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Blades of Glory contained slapstick/comic violence throughout , including:

  • While standing on a sports podium together, Chazz and Jimmy begin to bicker and push and shove each other. Jimmy pushes Chazz off of the podium and Chazz headbutts Jimmy. Both men end up with bloody mouths and noses. At one point during the scuffle a flaming torch is knocked over, setting a nearby mascot on fire.
  • A man tells another man “I’m going to pop you in the back of the head.”
  • After Jimmy is banned from competitive skating for life, his father disowns him, kicking Jimmy out of his car and leaving him abandoned on the side of the road.
  • A gay fan, who is stalking Jimmy tells Jimmy, “I totally want to cut off your skin and wear it to my birthday party.” The same man also tells Jimmy “I sent you a cup of my blood,” and “I’m still gonna kill you some day.”
  • Children throw food at Chazz while he is performing at a children’s ice skating pantomime.
  • A man threatens to punch another man in the face.
  • Chazz and Jimmy fight each other resulting in each of them throwing the other across a room and against crates and boxes etc., neither man appeared to receive any injuries as a result.   
  • In reference to Chazz and Jimmy, Fairchild states that she would like to “Hold them down and skate over their throats.”
  • While performing stretching exercises Jimmy accidentally kicks Chazz in the groin. Later, Chazz deliberately kicks Jimmy in the groin. 
  • To demonstrate his manhood, Jimmy slides across the ice bare-chested leaving his bare chest with bloody scratches.
  • While performing in a competition, Chazz throws Jimmy through the air, but the manoeuvre goes wrong and Jimmy crashes into a wall of ice.
  • Jimmy and Chazz are shown an old film depicting a man and woman figure skating. The woman is thrown into the air while the man kicks his foot into the air. The woman lands on the ice on her knees and then her head falls off rolling across the ice, blood is splashed over the ice and the decapitated body left twitching.
  • Jimmy tells that his father had him circumcised on his tenth birthday to reduce wind resistance.       
  • Stranz strike Chazz across the forehead with a metal pipe knocking Chazz unconscious. He is seen later abandoned in a room and tied to a chair, and wakes up with a bloody bruise on his forehead.
  • Fairchild handcuffs Jimmy to a toilet in a public toilet. Jimmy is forced to lick toilet paper littered with old cigarette butts to retrieve the key to the handcuffs.
  • Stranz chases Chazz through a shopping mall and then fires an arrow from a crossbow at Chazz. The arrow misses Chazz and lands in the padded head of a mascot.
  • Chazz slides along a rope suspended above the head of spectators, as Chazz slides along he kicks numerous spectators in the head.
  • Chazz slips on a pearl thrown onto the ice by Fairchild and breaks his ankle. 
  • Stranz and Fairchild slap each other across the face.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The images of a female ice skater having her head cut off during a skating accident.
  • In one scene, Chazz drinks a large amount of alcohol becomes very intoxicated and then goes on to perform in a children’s pantomime on ice. During his performance Chazz becomes verbally abusive and vomits twice into his costume. Chazz is seen with vomit on his mouth and face.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above images

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above images

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Most children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Product placement

Alcohol advertising is seen during skating contests

Sexual references

Blades of Glory contained frequent sexual references and innuendo throughout including:

  • During a skating performance, an announcer described Chazz as being “Sex on ice.”
  • Reference was made to a nine-year old kid with a thirty five-year old girlfriend.
  • At a world championship it was announced that Chazz was the winner of an adult fiction award. The cover of an adult film is shown, depicting a man with two women caressing his legs.
  • After Chazz completes a performance he is surrounded by media and states, “That how babies are made.” Followed up with, “Was it good for you,” and then “Let’s have a smoke.”
  • A male fan tells Jimmy that he loves him.
  • Chazz tells a woman, “You are officially giving me a boner.”
  • Chazz graphically describes his sexual conquests of female ice skating legends he has “tapped” and shows Jimmy tattoos on his body that represent each of the conquests.  
  • Chazz identifies himself as a sex addict.
  • In one scene, Chazz mentions masturbation as sometimes being better than having sex.
  • Chazz makes reference to $15 hookers and states that he is never satisfied.
  • A sports announcer makes the statement, “As if figure skating wasn’t gay enough already.”  
  • In relation to romancing the opposite sex, Chazz states “Looking is for free, touching is going to cost you something.” 
  • Katie tells Jimmy, “Its time to get my jugs waxed.”
  • Chazz and Jimmy are asked, “What do you have that other couples don’t have?” The response is, “Twin dongs.”
  • In relation to being kicked in the groin Chazz states, “My nut sack, I actually use these things.” Later, Chazz tells Jimmy, “I didn’t mean to drag your balls into the discussion.”   
  • Reference is made to herpes. 
  • Stranz and Fairchild tell Katie that they just want her to have sex with Chazz.
  • While at a sex addicts meeting, Chazz tells the other members about his sexual attraction to his yoga instructor. Other members of the group become sexually aroused with some of the women beginning to caress their chests and rub their legs together.
  • After Jimmy catches Chazz fondling Katie’s breasts, Chazz tells Jimmy that he was only giving Katie a “Boob handshake.”
  • During the championship, Chazz tells the spectators “Katie is not a whore.”

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • When Chazz begins his singles skating routine he skates around the arena while suggestively grabbing his crotch, performing pelvic thrusts, licking his hands and rubbing his nipples through his clothing. 
  • Women’s underwear is thrown at Chazz, which he picks up and sniffs.
  • Chazz is depicted licking a woman’s face.
  • During one of Chazz’s skating performances, a woman removes her top and throws it at Chazz leaving the woman wearing only her low cut bra and jeans.
  • A man is shown sitting on a toilet with his pants around his ankles.
  • Katie is depicted wearing lingerie in an attempt to seduce Chazz. Katie tells Chazz that she is “hot” and entices him to sit with her on the bed. Chazz places both of his hands on Katie’s partially covered breasts. The encounter is stopped when Jimmy walks into the room.
  • In one scene during practice Jimmy’s foot accidentally ends up in Chazz’s crotch. In a later scene Chazz’s foot ends up in Jimmy’s crotch on purpose. 
  • Chazz is shown wearing only a bathrobe with a woman on either side of him, Chazz has an arm rapped around each of the women, who are rubbing their hands over Chazz in a sensual manner and Chazz kisses one of the woman. Chazz kisses a woman on her neck and caresses her bottom.
  • After winning a Championship, Chazz slaps a young woman on the bottom.
  • As part of their routine, Chazz and Jimmy skate around with Chazz holding Jimmy up side down with each man’s face in front of the other man’s face. At another point, Chazz put his hand on Jimmy’s crotch and lifts Jimmy into the air while making face. They finish their performance crotch to crotch with their legs scissored together.
  • Following a sex addicts meeting, the leader of the group has to break up several couples kissing passionately outside. One man jumps up from behind a bush and zips up his pants, while another dishevelled couple jump up and run away.
  • Chazz throws his jockstrap to a spectator who catches it and then enthusiastically smells the item.
  • A one point Chazz is attended by a female paramedic, the paramedic, who is wearing a low-cut top leans over Chazz revealing her ample cleavage.
  • Jimmy passionately kisses Katie on the lips.
  • Brother and sister, Stranz and Fairchild kiss each other on the lips.
  • Chazz kisses Jimmy on the cheek.    

Use of substances

There are several scenes depicting excessive alcohol consumption and abuse including:

  • During a performance of a children’s pantomime on ice, Chazz drinks large amounts of alcohol (spirits) from a bottle and appears to be very intoxicated slurring his words badly, staggering and being generally verbally abusive. At one point Chazz smashes the top off of a glass bottle and sculls its contents. Latter during the performance, Chazz vomits twice into the head of his costume. Reference is made to Chazz “getting stoned” with the woodland fairies. 
  • Jimmy tells Chazz “I just don’t see what’s funny.” Chazz responds with, “If you were as drunk as me you would.” 
  • Chazz states that while performing in a championship he was intoxicated on Quaaludes and doesn’t remember his performance.
  • Jimmy’s father is depicted drinking scotch from a glass while in the back of a limousine.
  • Chazz drinks alcohol from a bottle, then smashes it on the floor and states, “I hate my life.”  
  • Jimmy and Chazz’s coach is shown smoking a large cigar.
  • Stranz and Fairchild perform a skating routine where Fairchild portrays Marilyn Monroe suiciding on an overdose of pills. Stranz portrays JFK trying to get Marilyn to regurgitate the pills.

Coarse language

Blades of Glory contains coarse language, crude references, and put downs. Examples include:

  • “You are officially giving me a boner; That sucks; Sons of bitches; Cruel bitch mother; Shit; Bullshit; You bet your arse; Were’re going straight up the arse of the competition; Moron; Idiot; Nut-sack; Balls; Fat Arse; Arse-crack; Crap; Whore; Damn it; God damn;.”   
  • Chazz is told that he smells like urine.
  • Obscene finger gestures are use through out the film.

 

In a nutshell

Blades of Glory is a slapstick comedy about competition ice skating. The film targets older adolescents and younger adults. Although there are funny moments, most of the film’s humour is based around crude sexual humour and innuendo.  
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include persevering against the odds and learning to work together as a team to overcome adversity.

The movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • The real life effects of Chazz’s use of alcohol to overcome his fears and cope with stress. Chazz’s alcohol abuse.
  • The dangers of Chazz’s promiscuous life style to his physical, emotional and social well being.
  • The consequences of Stranz and Fairchild’s selfish and obsessive behaviour.

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