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    Batter Up for Legs!

    Posted by Mike Finnegan on

    In theaters now, the biopic Race chronicles athlete Jesse Owens' obsessive quest for track and field excellence and his historic medal-winning performances at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he casts the blinding light of American exceptionalism into the face of Adolf Hitler's vision of Aryan supremacy. It’s a thrilling tale to recount 70 years later, but sports movies don’t always have to depict the best of the best in order to charm and entertain. Just three years ago this week, Australian moviegoers were treated to the (mis)adventures of a hard-luck Melbourne cricket club’s improbable but true three-match “tour” of India with the nationwide opening of Save Your Legs! (2012). What they got was, in the words of director and sometime Abbotsford Anglers club member Boyd Hicklin, “a film about blokes” and “a coming-of-middle-age comedy,” and what Twilight Time’s Julie Kirgo further called “a cricket movie, a wacky comedy and a kind of shaggy Australian ‘bromance.’” Hicklin had already covered the team’s 2001 exploits on the subcontinent in a 2005 documentary and the tale’s expansion into a feature film was an opportunity that he and actor/screenwriter Brendan Cowell and producer/part-time Angler Nick Batzias found too rich to resist. Wearing its heart and the team member’s foibles proudly on its uniformed sleeves, Save Your Legs!’s loose-limbed appeal transcends the need to know the intricacies of cricket and treats viewers to a “journey to enlightenment” as the players wrestle with their aging-resistant attitudes, cope with “Dehli-belly” missteps enjoying the native cuisine, and learn to revel in the open and often beautiful Indian scenery, ultimately cherishing the bonding and support each member gives and receives. There’s even a Bollywood-style finale that could be this mirthful movie’s form of Olympic pageantry. In celebration of the world’s second most popular sport after soccer, Twilight Time’s hi-def Blu-ray of Save Your Legs! bats high and mightily with a full complement of special features, including an Audio Commentary with the cast and creative team, Hicklin’s original documentary and other treats to get you in the swing. To sample how Australian TV previewed the film’s opening, click here: