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I, Tonya

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • I, Tonya impressively captures Tonya Harding's intense life with stellar performances, humor, and technical excellence. Highly recommended.

    I, Tonya Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • I, Tonya's Blu-ray transfer impresses with a natural, gritty aesthetic, reflecting artistic intention without visual flaws, seamlessly incorporating varied film techniques for an organic, engaging experience.

  • Audio
  • I, Tonya's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track enhances the film's rock opera feel with crisp, vivid soundscapes from '70s and '80s hits to shotgun blasts, balancing sonic energy with clear dialogue.

  • Extra
  • The I, Tonya disc boasts rich extras including a detailed director's commentary, behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, and insightful featurettes, highlighting the film's blend of technical skill and narrative depth.

  • Movie
  • Reflecting on Tonya Harding's tumultuous life, 'I, Tonya' humorously yet poignantly captures her defiance, survival, and controversy amidst the scandalous 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan, showcasing Harding as an indomitable figure skater entwined in a narrative of contradictions and differing perspectives.

    Video: 79

    The "I, Tonya" Blu-ray is presented by Universal Films with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer and maintains a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, venturing into narrower frames for confessional segments. The transfer harmonizes the film’s unique blend of 35mm and digital footage, maintaining a seamless visual narrative that defies the expected inconsistency such a mixture could entail. Directors Craig Gillespie's and cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis's intentions are to mirror a verité style, not just through the pseudo-documentary interludes but also via the raw, almost intrusive framing of dramatized events. This approach crafts a gritty atmosphere that may lack in traditional vibrancy but triumphs in its organic realism, capturing the essence of the narrative without succumbing to visual distractions like compression artifacts or digital noise.

    Despite the potentially disheartening expectations for a gleaming, flawless visual presentation, the Blu-ray’s transfer remains true to Gillespie’s vision, proudly reflecting the titular character’s rough edges through careful choices in film stock, camera technology, and varying aspect ratios. This eclectic methodology results in an authentic, engaging visual tale that adapts fluidly across the movie’s narrative swings. Grain levels shift in harmony with the unfolding drama, colors burst with life—particularly reds and pinks—while maintaining authenticity in skin tones and the stark contrast between darks and lights. The detailed sharpness of close-ups and the integrity of backgrounds immerse viewers, enhancing the film’s raw emotional and physical landscape without betraying its cinematic quality through unnecessary digital alterations or damage to the source material.

    In conclusion, "I, Tonya" on Blu-ray delivers an uncompromisingly authentic visual experience that aligns with its gritty, unconventional storytelling approach. The technical execution is masterful, integrating various filming techniques to both preserve and celebrate the film's aesthetic ambitions. Through thoughtful cinematography and meticulous transfer fidelity, viewers are guaranteed a vivid plunge into Tonya Harding’s tumultuous world, ensuring an immersive viewing experience that is both technically impressive and emotionally resonant.

    Audio: 79

    The audio presentation of "I, Tonya" on Blu Ray delivers through its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, providing a robust auditory experience that complements the film's energetic and tumultuous narrative. The soundtrack, an amalgamation of ‘70s and ‘80s pop and rock hits, not only underscores the drama but elevates it, creating what can be described as a rock opera that aptly supports the film's pacing and tone. The mix excels in delivering clear and crisp sound during high-action sequences, with shotguns firing, punches landing, and skate blades slicing into ice, all rendered with startling clarity. These moments showcase a broader dynamic range than one might anticipate from a biographical film, ensuring key audio elements are both immersive and impactful.

    While the bulk of the movie comprises dialogue-heavy scenes and personal confessions, the audio track manages to maintain a balanced and engaging soundscape. The surround sound isn't overwhelming but employs strategic bleeds to the rear channels and effective stereo separation at the front to create an expansive auditory field. This approach offers a subtle yet noticeable depth to even the most dialogue-centric scenes. Bass frequencies pack a punch when needed, adding a solid foundation to the soundtrack’s potent rumbles, further enhancing the overall sensory experience.

    In terms of technical execution, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track handles the material with finesse. The highs and lows of the soundtrack are managed proficiently, avoiding distortion while preserving the integrity of the soundstage. Dialogues are consistently clear and discernible—no small feat given the track’s assertive use of music and effects. Though not the most nuanced of audio presentations, its direct and robust approach mirrors the film’s own in-your-face style, making it a fitting accompaniment to "I, Tonya's" vivid storytelling and high-energy performances.

    Extra: 59

    The Blu-ray extras for "I, Tonya" provide a comprehensive package that enhances the viewing experience significantly. Notably, the feature commentary by Director Craig Gillespie is a standout, offering deep insights into the filmmaking process, choices behind the film's aesthetic, and the nuanced performances of the cast. Gillespie’s thoughtful exploration into the blending of humor and drama, alongside technical discussions on film stock and visual effects, particularly face replacement in skating sequences, are enlightening. The inclusion of deleted scenes adds depth, showcasing extended versions of pivotal interviews which further immerse viewers into the narrative complexity. Various featurettes give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of this unique film, from cast preparations to visual effects, all of which underscore the meticulous attention to detail that went into recreating Tonya Harding’s controversial story. The package doesn't skimp on content, providing both fans and newcomers with a rich array of supplementary material that complements the main feature well.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Feature Commentary with Director Craig Gillespie: Insightful discussion on filmmaking techniques and artistic choices.
    • Deleted Scenes: Includes four scenes not featured in the final cut along with recreations of interviews.
    • Behind the Scenes: A compilation of EPKs with interviews and candid footage.
    • Trailers: Both teaser and full theatrical trailers.
    • All Sixes: The Perfect Performances of I, Tonya: A look at the cast's preparation and performance.
    • Irony Free, Totally True: The Story Behind I, Tonya: An exploration of the script's multiple perspectives and the real-life story.
    • Working with Director Craig Gillespie: Cast and crew discuss Gillespie’s vision and direction.
    • The Visual Effects of I, Tonya: Examination of the film's visual effects and their impact on storytelling.
    • VFX: Anatomy of the Triple Axel: A detailed view of how the triple axel jump was brought to life on screen.

    Movie: 79

    I, Tonya" on Blu-ray presents a fascinating exploration into the whirlwind life of figure skater Tonya Harding, an athlete whose story is as tumultuous and provocative as her performances on the ice. Through a deft blend of humor, drama, and mockumentary elements, director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers delve into the wildly contradictory accounts of Harding's career and personal life, capturing the essence of her indomitable spirit and the circus that surrounded her most infamous moment – the attack on Nancy Kerrigan. The film is lauded not only for its sharp, acerbic wit but also for its unflinching look at Harding’s gritty resilience against the backdrop of her rocky relationships, particularly with her mother, LaVona, portrayed by an Academy Award-winning Allison Janney in a tour de force performance.

    At the core of "I, Tonya" is Margot Robbie's transformative portrayal of Harding, bringing to life the skater's defiance, vulnerability, and complex persona with a nuanced depth that earned her an Oscar nomination. Opposite Robbie, Sebastian Stan delivers a compelling performance as Jeff Gillooly, Harding's husband, showcasing the multifaceted nature of their tumultuous relationship. The film’s brilliance extends to its technical aspects, where groundbreaking editing and a vibrant soundtrack enhance the storytelling's effectiveness, ensuring viewers are kept on their toes through an adrenaline-fueled narrative ride. Special mention must be made of the skating sequences, which achieve a stunning level of authenticity through meticulous recreation and seamless integration of Robbie's efforts with those of a skilled body double.

    "I, Tonya" transcends mere biographical recounting, presenting a multifaceted portrait of its subject that refuses to settle for easy answers or one-dimensional judgements. It dares to mix biting comedy with stark realities, pushing viewers to confront their perceptions and the media’s role in shaping narratives. The Blu-ray edition captures all these elements with impeccable clarity and sound quality, providing audiences a front-row seat to one of the most gripping stories in sports and pop culture history. Through exceptional performances, innovative storytelling, and technical prowess, "I, Tonya" immortalizes a figure skating saga like no other, making it a compelling addition to any Blu-ray collection.

    Total: 76

    I, Tonya", a film that vibrantly captures the tumultuous life and career of Tonya Harding, offers a blend of sharp wit, dramatic intensity, and a candid portrayal of one of figure skating’s most controversial figures. The movie, masterfully helmed by Craig Gillespie, intertwines comedy and tragedy in a mockumentary style that lays bare the absurdity and tragedy of Harding's story. Anchored by Margot Robbie's powerhouse performance as Tonya Harding, the narrative drives home the sensation of witnessing a force of nature, encapsulating Harding's ferocious spirit and complex persona with remarkable depth. Allison Janney delivers a stellar performance as LaVona, Harding's mother, infusing the film with a darkly comedic edge that earns her rightful praise, arguably making this as much Janney's film as it is Robbie's.

    Technically, "I, Tonya" shines on Blu-ray, where Universal’s transfer does justice to the film's dynamic visual and auditory elements. The high-definition presentation showcases the movie's meticulous attention to detail, from the costumes and settings to the finely tuned sound mix that envelops the viewer in the harsh yet captivating world of competitive figure skating. The special features included offer an added layer of appreciation for the film's craft, providing insight into its creation and the real-life saga that inspired it.

    In conclusion, "I, Tonya" is an essential addition to any cinephile's collection, offering a compelling mixture of humor, drama, and exceptional performances. Its Blu-ray release not only serves as a testament to the filmmakers' technical prowess but also ensures that the story of Tonya Harding is presented with all the complexity and nuance it deserves. As both a visual and narrative triumph, this release comes highly recommended, securing its place as one of 2017’s standout films.