Wed, Jul

DVD Review: Rangers FC - The Blue Bear Rises

Current Affairs
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

A few of our members and subscribers over the last year or so will remember that an English production company were aiming to put together a feature-length documentary into the experiences of the fans over the last few years coupled with help from various supporters, players and RSCs. I'm pleased to say that after around nine month's work, these efforts are about to be published by way of a 90minute cinema film (and DVD release) over the next month or so. SDMC Productions kindly gave me an opportunity to put together a short review of an early edit of the documentary ahead of the final release which now follows.

At the outset I think it's important to note that the budget for this film was partially crowd-funded and, thus, quite small so I certainly didn't expect a Hollywood standard production. As such, if the viewer can tune their expectations to that level then they'll get more out of the experience. With that in mind, it's fair to say I enjoyed some aspects of the film whilst being slightly disappointed in others.

Basically, the documentary follows and interviews a number of fans in their Rangers supporting rituals and experiences - some related to events since 2011/12, some of a more general nature. While it can be said that a few of the interviews are perhaps somewhat repetitive and occasionally bland, the viewer can't fail to feel the love these fans have for their club. As much as every Rangers fan supports/views the club in a different way, I could definitely feel an affinity in which the passion these guys follow follow.

That passion is certainly aided by some of the (apparently expensive) archive footage contained in the video. Whether it's the goals from our Cup Winners' Cup win in Barcelona '72 or Lee McCulloch grabbing another winner against lower league opposition, I'll never tire of cheering them in. That glimpse of our continuing history should evoke pride in all of us. In addition to the footage, interviews with Dave Smith and Dave McPherson show just what the club means to former players as well. My edit didn't have the interviews with Gordon Smith and Alex Rae but I'm sure the final version will emphasise that player/fan relationship.

Unfortunately, where the producers missed a trick was perhaps not concentrating a little bit more on not only where the club is now but why. In that sense, some of the fan interviews only very lightly touched on the events of 2-3 years ago and I feel a more in-depth examination of Rangers troubles may have been appreciated. However, on our forum, the film director did say they weren't overly interested in an exposé of what happened but I do believe more should have been made of why we are where we are now. Similarly, while the untimely death of Sandy Jardine and the Ibrox Disaster of 1971 are understandably juxtaposed later in the film, this felt rather clumsy.

Taking these comments on board, while I certainly enjoyed parts of the documentary, for some, the content may be seen as superficial or overly sentimental. However, that's not necessarily a major criticism as supporting Rangers nowadays - be it the daily financial or legal analysis - can be a complicated and stressful process so perhaps a more simple study will provide a welcome antidote to the constant headache many bears have nowadays. All things considered SDMC have clearly worked hard to independently produce something our fans will appreciate and I thank them and all involved for their efforts.

You can judge for yourselves when the DVD is released and you can pre-order this below on Amazon. Furthermore, we'll have an opportunity on this site to win a copy of the full-length release next month.

Glasgow Rangers FC - The Blue Bear Rises (SDMC Productions)
£14 - Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glasgow-Rangers-FC-Blue-Rises/dp/B00O7QL29G