Blu-ray Review: Save Your Legs! - Twilight Time Limited Edition

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Twilight Time has a history of bringing primarily vintage lost classics (from the 1953 3D noir Man in the Dark to historical epics like Khartoum) and older cult films (like Brian De Palma’s 1978 The Fury or 1992’s bizarre Mindwarp) to Blu-ray for the first time. Their titles are all limited editions, with only 3,000 copies issued for each film. Occasionally they venture into more mainstream waters, as with Sleepless in Seattle and As Good As It Gets. Even rarer, they’ll feature a more recent, truly out of left field pick. This is precisely the case with the 2012 Australian cricket comedy Save Your Legs!.

Save Your Legs cover (214x280).jpgThis is the most recent film chosen by Twilight for their limited edition series. Whether by coincidence or by design, the previous most-recent title was also an imported, sports-related obscurity: The Firm (2009). Directed by Boyd Hicklin, Save Your Legs! is based on the real-life story of a middling Aussie cricket club that journeys to India for a series of matches. A 2005 documentary provided the inspiration for Hicklin’s comedy, written by supporting cast member Brendan Cowell. Fans will be tickled to find the original 52-minute documentary included on the new Blu-ray. General audiences, especially those with zero prior knowledge of the sport of cricket (my hand is raised), may find themselves perplexed by this depiction of a bunch of middle-aged, fanatical fan/players. Theoretically, the sport itself and the characters’ enthusiasm for it should translate to, say, baseball fans—especially since the story, riddled with midlife crisis clich├ęs, is so straightforward. But Save Your Legs! left me feeling decidedly indifferent.

Part of the problem is that the amiable cast is not especially endearing. These dudes, including club president Teddy Brown (Stephen Curry), his buddy Stavros (Damon Gameau), and the team cut-up Rick (aforementioned screenwriter Cowell), are a typical bunch of arrested development cases. There’s a lot of talk about how it’s time for the boys to become men. There’s a fair bit of touchy-feely male bonding. Gorgeous Pallavi Sharda adds some much-needed femininity to the proceedings as Anjali; not a cricket fan, but someone with an interest in Teddy. Unfortunately, the antics of the cricket club, its matches, and its inter-team scuffles play largely without laughs. Even a bout of explosive diarrhea experienced by Teddy doesn’t tickle the funny bone as much as intended. A Bollywood-style musical finale provides a jolt of energy, but it’s a little too late.

Save your Legs booklet (204x240).jpgTwilight Time’s 1080p high definition transfer, framed at 2.35:1, offers a lot of eye candy. Shot on-location in Australia and India by cinematographer Mark Wareham, this is a very recent production. As such, it should look terrific and, thankfully, it does. The colorful cricket uniforms and wardrobe worn by the Indian cast members are strikingly vivid. Detail is rich in both close-ups and wide shots. There’s an excellent audio presentation to accompany it, a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix that highlights Cornel Thomas Wilczek’s score. Speaking of which, the music is available as an isolated track for those with an interest in film scoring.

In addition to the standard definition, original 2005 Save Your Legs! documentary, there’s a shorter featurette called “Bound 4 India with Ted & Col.” A slightly chaotic (and not terribly well-recorded) commentary track boasts an array of participants, including director Hicklin, producers Robyn Kershaw and Nick Batzias, and a trio of cast members (including screenwriter Brendan Cowell). The booklet’s liner notes essay is by Twilight Time’s Julie Kirgo.

Thought Save Your Legs! is a bit of an oddity that will likely appeal to a fairly limited audience, the Blu-ray offers solid technical specs and a nice spread of extra features. For ordering information, visit Twilight Time’s exclusive distributor Screen Archives.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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