2007_03_arts_bladesofglory.jpgBlades of Glory (directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon): "Will Ferrell the Serious Actor" is a good thing, but oh how we adore "Will Ferrell the Clown." The off-kilter mannerisms, the flamboyant costumes and the tendency to flash his hairy belly for cheap laughs are hallmarks of a great Will Ferrell movie and they're all there in his newest, the figure skating spoof Blades of Glory. Ferrell plays Chazz Michael Michaels, otherwise known as "sex on skates," who ties the single men's skating world championships with the effete, former child prodigy, Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder). The two rival skaters get into a tussle on the podium and get tossed out of skating for good. However, a loophole pointed out by Jimmy's stalker persuades Chazz and Jimmy to get back on the ice, this time as the first men's skating pair. The premise is slight to say the least, but all the better for giving screen time to mercilessly mocking the over-the-top world of skating. Practically every skating great either has a cameo (see Ferrell ogling Nancy Kerrigan's butt) or a reference in the script (we learn Oksana Baiul is as cold in bed as she is on the ice). Plus the film is filled with instantly quotable supporting performances.

Of course, Amy Poehler and her real-life husband, Will Arnett are hysterical as sibling pairs skaters determined to crush Chazz and Jimmy at all costs, but then again who wouldn't be skating faux hip hop style to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's "Good Vibrations"? No, the real surprise as a stand out is Jenna Fischer as Poehler and Arnett's sweet, non-skating sister, Katie, who becomes Heder's love interest. How exciting to learn that her strong performances on NBC's The Office aren't just a fluke. She's just as funny as she is hot in this movie--particularly in a bustier costume, to quote a line that's actually about Ferrell, she puts "the bone in Zamboni." Blades of Glory won't cure cancer or anything, it's just a bucket of laughs.

Other new movies out this weekend that are worth a mention include a new Disney animated family flick, Meet the Robinsons, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a mentally-damaged mark in the neo-noir The Lookout, and Denmark's entry for this past year's Academy Awards, After the Wedding.