DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Video Games

Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds

Sponsored Links
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Celtic Pride (Blu-ray)
Celtic Pride (Blu-ray)
Kino // PG-13 // April 3, 2018 // Region A
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Tyler Foster | posted April 11, 2018 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
Skip It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
Printer Friendly
Mike (Daniel Stern) and Jimmy (Dan Aykroyd) have been best friends for decades, and their friendship is built around a single shared obsession: the Boston Celtics. Their passion for their favorite basketball team knows no bounds, with Mike even choosing the Celtics over forming a meaningful relationship with his wife, Carol (Gail O'Grady) and young son. Both men scrape by on unfulfilling jobs (Mike is a gym teacher and Jimmy is a plumber) while they wait for basketball season to roll around again, and with it, another shot at the championship. This year, they think they've got a good chance, but the Celtics' opponents, the Utah Jazz, prove tougher to beat than they look thanks to star player Lewis Scott (Damon Wayans). Scott is an egomaniac, constantly stepping on his coach (Christopher McDonald) and teammates to take all the credit. With only one game left, a desperate Mike and Jimmy hatch a harebrained scheme when the find out Lewis is at a local bar: get him drunk, and kidnap him until the championship game is over.

With a screenplay by a young Judd Apatow based on an idea by Apatow and comedian Colin Quinn, one would be forgiven for expecting Celtic Pride to find time to be funny sometime in its punishing 91 minutes. Sadly, this 1996 relic, now unearthed for a thoroughly depressing 2018 Blu-ray, seems to have been completely lost somewhere between concept and execution. The idea of two overly-obsessed sports fans kidnapping the competition's star player is a funny one, but Celtic Pride fails to wring a single laugh out of it. Is it because neither Daniel Stern or Dan Aykroyd appear to have a grip on their loosely-formed characters? Is it because the entire star trio are all playing deeply unlikable people? Is it because the movie doesn't seem to have any allegiance to anything, whether that's an idea or a philosophy? Really, it's all of the above.

When we meet Mike, Carol is handing him divorce papers, because his mood swings are based on whether or not the Celtics are winning. For a minute, this seems like a rational set-up, but then the conversation turns to Mike's crushed dreams of being a professional basketball player himself. Right from the beginning, it's unclear whether or not we're supposed to find Mike's love of the game unhealthy or maybe a little sympathetic. After the title card, we're introduced to Jimmy, who takes time out of his busy schedule to watch some hockey on a client's big-screen TV. Jimmy reads like a comic caricature, a basement dweller-type who loves his vast array of expensive collectibles more than human interaction, which seems unlike the types of roles Aykroyd usually plays. It's clear that neither one of them is behaving the way they ought to be, but unclear exactly what the audience should be rooting for them to do instead.

Lewis, meanwhile, is clearly a bit of a villain: selfish, rude, and condescending to anyone he perceives as in his way. Theoretically, his attitude should make it easy for the viewer to root for Mike and Jimmy to kidnap him (which, again, would be weird because their Celtic love is excessive), but then the movie throws another confusing curveball by making Lewis significantly smarter than his kidnappers. When Lewis almost successfully psyches Jimmy into fighting with Mike, it's surreal to watch because the movie doesn't have a single person or motivation on screen worth rooting for. In theory, the camaraderie that sports fans have with those on their same side and the museum of sports history that Jimmy lives in seem like prime opportunities for the trio to form an unusual bond, but that doesn't happen either: instead, the movie devolves into a series of increasingly contrived and decidedly non-suspenseful situations in which Lewis almost escapes.

The film eventually twists itself around into a strange final half-hour where Mike, Jimmy, Lewis, and several other supporting characters all have something at stake as the championship game unfolds. The overlong sequence is a microcosm of the movie's problems as a whole: a tangled web of sympathies (should we be happy that Mike's wife starts to like basketball?), random plot threads that go nowhere (an ultimatum by a third friend played by Paul Guilfoyle about an expensive shirt buy, a halftime hoop contest that seems to get totally forgotten the moment it ends), and plenty of unfunny jokes (unsurprisingly, prison rape ends up being a runner). Even the film's epilogue constitutes yet another twist of sympathy in pursuit of a cheap joke that feels unworthy of Celtic Pride even in its current awful form. Director Tom DeCerchio never made another movie after Celtic Pride. Watching this trainwreck, it's no surprise he was benched.

The Blu-ray

Although many of the resultant images may not have been great poster design, one thing I do miss from the VHS-rental days of my childhood was studying the posters they had in the window that actually featured the stars in some sort of pose that sold the movie. Looking at the reprint of the Celtic Pride poster on Kino Lorber's new Blu-ray edition brings back those memories. The one-disc release comes in a Viva Elite Blu-ray case, and there is no insert.

The Video and Audio

Oof. Both the 1.85:1 1080p AVC video and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 audio for Celtic Pride leave plenty to be desired. Charitably, there are plenty of times when this old HD master looks passable, namely when the characters are at the game, which finds Stern and Aykroyd sporting human-like skintones. While there isn't any real depth to the image to speak of and fine detail is lacking, these naturally warmer sequences have a film-like texture to them that is pleasing to the eye. However, even in these scenes, eagle-eyed viewers will spot hints of trouble whenever anything is brightly lit, with blotchy white crush creeping in on the edges of shirts and pennants. The transfer hits severe low points whenever the scene is dark or cool, with skin turning almost completely gray and looking waxy and poorly-defined, and those whites start to look especially ugly (the sequence in the bar where Jimmy and Mike get Lewis drunk and the epilogue fare the worst). The presentation has print damage throughout as well. Of course, even an ugly licensed transfer is better than an actual technical error -- what should be a stereo presentation turns out to be 2.0 mono as presented on KLCS's disc (reportedly true of several other Buena Vista productions licensed to Kino as well, including Camp Nowhere. The track is serviceable even with improper formatting, but it's frustrating that the correct presentation wasn't included. No subtitles or captions are offered on this one either.

The Extras

Fans of Celtic Pride who have waited over 20 years for some behind-the-scenes information will be extremely disappointed by the one new extra produced for this release: an audio commentary by director Tom DeCerchio. Along with a cinematographer friend whose name I couldn't decipher, DeCerchio provides, essentially, a joke track that doesn't seem to contain any authentic insight onto the making of his movie. Instead, he spends his time riffing on what's on screen, crafting a parody commentary for some unknown reason. At least it continues the theme of Celtic Pride: it isn't funny.

An original theatrical trailer is also included.


Celtic Pride is a bad movie, and it's been given a suitably bad Blu-ray release. Skip it.

Please check out my other DVDTalk DVD, Blu-ray and theatrical reviews and/or follow me on Twitter.
Find the lowest price for 'Celtic Pride (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Cary Grant Collection
2. Breezy
3. Clockwise
4. Spawn of the North
5. The Sign of the Cross
6. A Different Story
7. The Mirror Crack'd
8. Dr. Who and the Daleks
9. First Snow
10. Carole Lombard Collection I (Fast and Loose / Man of the World / No Man of Her Own)

Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use,