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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
The Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold (2005)

"It's not worth winning if you don't have to fight for it."
- Jackie Dorsey (Christy Carlson Romano)

Review By: Nate Meyers   
Published: June 30, 2006

Stars: Christy Carlson Romano, Ross Thomas
Other Stars: Scott Thompson Baker, Kim Kindrick, Stepfanie Kramer, Oksana Baiul, Patrick Hancock, Ryan Hansen
Director: Sean McNamara

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual situations, nudity, language
Run Time: 01h:38m:26s
Release Date: March 28, 2006
UPC: 043396133495
Genre: romantic comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ C-C+B- C

DVD Review

1992's The Cutting Edge is your standard romantic comedy mixed with your standard sports movie. I knew every single plot point before I even sat down to watch it as a young lad. Yet, there's an energy to the performances and a refreshing sense of joy in its storytelling that makes it fine entertainment and ideal viewing for a date nearly 15 years later. Now, what with the Torino Olympic games and Hollywood's incessant quest for sequels, we're treated to The Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold. Unlike its predecessor, though, this movie doesn't make the cut.

The leads from the original, Doug and Kate Dorsey (now played by franchise newcomers Scott Thompson Baker and Stepfanie Kramer), have retired after their Olympic glory, but spitfire daughter Jackie (Christy Carlson Romano) continues the family legacy as a singles skater. Competing in the nationals, she pushes herself too far and severely injures her leg after falling on a jump. Not one to accept defeat easily, Jackie is determined to get Olympic gold, but her skills can't improve enough for her to continue. Trying to give her room to breathe, Jackie's parents send her to L.A. where she can unwind and take her mind off skating. Upon arrival, however, she is introduced to in-line skating by the charming Alex Harrison (Ross Thomas). The two click, but their personalities are (shock!) 180-degrees opposite. Now all the ingredients are in place for the two to become skating partners, fight with one another, and eventually accept that they love one another.

I honestly expected very little from Going for the Gold and it doesn't disappoint on that front. The fact that it is formulaic isn't the problem, though the never-ending montages of skating set to popular music begin to drag after a while and there's a tiresome love triangle when Alex's ex-girlfriend (Kim Kindrick) shows up. The simple fact is that, unlike in the original, the two leads never create chemistry. Romano's performance is too hostile to believe that Alex would fall for her, while Thomas' turn is too surfer-boyish for us to believe that Jackie would ever abandon her prim lifestyle for him. With a supporting cast of which the most memorable performance is a razor quick cameo by Oksana Baiul, the comedy and sports drama fail to compel.

It also doesn't help that Dan Berendsen's screenplay virtually steals the original movie's story scene-for-scene. Some tips of the hat work, such as when Jackie playfully introduces Scott to the concept of toepick, but the overall effect just reminds me that I've seen this story done better. Director Sean McNamara does do a nice job of staging the skating routines, setting up some neat, cool-looking tricks. Unfortunately, I just can't bring myself to be involved in the action up on the screen due to the flat performances and unbelievable love story.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is pretty standard fare. There's not much depth to the image and everything looks like somewhat dull. However, there's nothing wrong the picture, either.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
English, Frenchyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio has some nice instances of sound separation and directionality (especially during the opening scene with ice skates swishing all around the home theater system), but this is primarily a front-heavy track. Dialogue is always clear and audible, but the bass is a little over-mixed during the musical montages. A French Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is also available.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Sueña, Dark Kingdom: The Dragon Slayer
1 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Sean McNamara, Christy Carlson Romano, Ross Thomas
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Movie Montage: With Music Performed by Christy Carlson Romano—a clip show of the movie's highlights.
  2. Animated Photo Gallery—a collection of publicity stills set to music.
Extras Review: Prior to the main menu there are trailers for Sueña and Dark Kingdom: The Dragon Slayer, with the former shown in anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen and both sporting Dolby Stereo sound. Special features pertaining to the movie itself begin with an audio commentary by director McNamara and stars Romano and Thomas. Their comments are largely superficial and tend to focus too much on complimenting their co-workers. Occasionally some anecdotes and observations of note pop up, but not often enough.

Beyond the Ice (15m:40s) is a publicity tool featuring interviews with McNamara, the cast, and the crew. There's some minimal behind-the-scene footage and it shows how a couple of the special effects shots were achieve, but most of this is geared towards hyping the movie. A more enjoyable extra is Movie Montage: With Music Performed by Christy Carlson Romano (03m:13s). Basically, this is the entire movie's story told through visual images set to a pop song by Romano. Honestly, I found this more enjoyable than the actual film. Rounding out the special features is an animated photo gallery (06m:35s), showing publicity stills of the actors and from the set.

This is a pretty average collection of extras for a pretty average movie.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

The Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold doesn't match the entertainment value of its predecessor and this lightweight DVD isn't likely to win the movie a new lifespan.


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