Flashdance: Special Collector’s Edition – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Director:

Adrian Lyne

Starring:

Jennifer Beals ………. Alex Owens
Michael Nouri ………. Nick Hurley
Lilia Skala ………. Hanna Long
Sunny Johnson ………. Jeanie Szabo
Kyle T. Heffner ………. Richie
Lee Ving ………. Johnny C.
Ron Karabatsos ………. Jake Mawby
Belinda Bauer ………. Katie Hurley
Malcolm Danare ………. Cecil
Phil Bruns ………. Frank Szabo
Micole Mercurio ………. Rosemary Szabo
Lucy Lee Flippin ………. Secretary
Don Brockett ………. Pete

The Movie

The 1980s are both well known and often ridiculed for its over-the-top fashion, big hair styles, and commercialization of music. What better way to leave a lasting impression of The 1980s than by creating films that embodied all of those elements, while throwing in some hot dance numbers to keep things moving. Modern musicals featuring more dancing than singing were what the 1980s were really all about. One of the first of this kind of movie to become successful and memorable was Flashdance.

Flashdance stars Jennifer Beals as Alex, a young woman who works as a welder and whose main joy in life is dancing. Well if you are having work regarding welding at your home or  any where then you must read tig welder reviews. She moonlights as a dancer in a local nightclub, but her great ambition in life is to become a ballet dancer at the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory. This film tells the story of how she attempts to achieve her dream, as well as the story of her romance with a wealthy middle-class divorcee, who happens to be her boss. In addition, there a couple of secondary storylines that involve Alex’s friends as well. Jeanie is a waitress that wants to be a professional ice skater, while Jeanie’s boyfriend, Richie, is a cook that wants to be a professional stand-up comedian. As you can tell, the theme for this movie is “your nothing without your dreams”.

There is nothing about the plot of Flashdance that doesn’t seem to be absurd. Would an old-fashioned steel mill really have given a welder job to a 18-year-old woman? Is anyone buying the romance between a young girl and someone that could be her father? Better yet is sleeping with your rich boss really the only way for a young woman to achieve her dreams? This film definitely has a shallow plot and one that is filled with stereotypes and implausibilities.

On the bright side, though, Jennifer Beals was the perfect person to play Alex in this movie. She is a young, fresh face that engages the audience everytime she is on the screen. This movie made Jennifer Beals a star, even if that star didn’t shine as brightly as it could have. The only thing that Beals couldn’t do was, ironically, dance. That’s why Hollywood created doubles, though. The rest of the cast gets a somewhat passing grade, but you can’t really fault any of them in this movie. They are not given a lot to work with here.

What ultimately hurts Flashdance as a movie is what also helped it become a culture phenomenon. This movie seems to be more like a series of pop music videos stringed together by a flimsy storyline. Just when you are ready to get behind the character of Alex and truly begin to care what happens to her, the music begins to play and someone starts dancing on the screen. One might even say that the editors of this movie might have been listening to “Maniac” too much while editing this movie. They frantically move about from one short sequence to another under dim lighting. However, you can’t deny the fact that the soundtrack to Flashdance is one of the most memorable and most profitable soundtracks ever.

Flashdance has a good idea behind it. It is good to have dreams that you try to attain. But the story featured in this film is not that interesting, and it doesn’t help that it’s also not very believable. Despite the lack of a decent plot, Flashdance still has had a tremendous influence on pop culture. If didn’t have a memorable soundtrack, Flashdance might have been completely forgettable. As it is, though, this film will go down as the one movie to watch to find out what the 1980s were really all about.

The Video:

The video is given in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen color, which is enhanced for 16:9 TVs. The video is an upgrade over the previous release of this film for sure. It now can even be comparable to other new release movies. The cinematography is not the greatest, though, and it’s completely ripped from the pages of “How To Make A 1980s Pop Music Video”.

The Audio:

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround sound, Spanish Mono sound, or Portuguese Mono sound. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese as well. A definite upgrade from the first release. The music and dialogue come out loud and clear. It’s been stated before, but the only reason this film is memorable is because of its soundtrack.

The Extras:

“The History of Flashdance” Featurette
This featurette runs 15 minutes long and it tells you how this movie came to be on the big screen. We talk to mainly producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, and director, Adrian Lyne, about how they got involved with the project, and their decisions in casting certain roles in the movie. Basically, the title says it all. It’s pretty informative.

“The Look of Flashdance” Featurette
This featurette runs 10 minutes and it talks all about the clothing, location, and the sets in the movie. This movie pretty much started a fashion trend in the 1980’s with the clothing in it. We talk to pretty much the same people as the first featurette, with the exception of the costume designer, Michael Kaplan. It’s fairly interesting, and does what it’s suppose to do.

“Flashdance Music and Songs” Featurette
This featurette runs 6 minutes and it’s all about the music in the film, of course. Jerry Bruckheimer says this movie was a modern musical. We talk to him and the composer of the film, Giorgio Moroder, about the music and song choices. It’s short, but that’s pretty much what you expect with a movie filled with short music video inspired sequences.

“Flashdance: The Choreography” Featurette
This featurette runs 10 minutes and it’s all about the dancing in the movie. We talk to to Jeffrey Hornaday, the choreographer, of the film along with the usual suspects above. If you didn’t know, Jennifer Beals didn’t do much of her own dancing in this film. This featurette talks about that and all the other dance numbers in film. It’s a solid complement to the other featurettes.

“Releasing the Flashdance Phenomenon” Featurette
This featurette runs 9 minutes and it talks about how the movie was promoted after it was made. We hear from the producers and director again about how they made the final cut of the movie. This is a compelling story of how a simple movie became to be something much bigger than expected.

Bonus Audio CD
Another disc is included with this release of Flashdance, but it doesn’t hold any special features for the movie. At least none you can watch that is. The second disc is an audio CD of the infamous soundtrack to the movie. There are six songs on the CD. They are “Flashdance…What A Feeling” by Irene Cara, “Manhunt” by Karen Kamon, “He’s A Dream” by Shandi, “Lady Lady Lady” by Joe “Bean” Esposito, “Romeo” by Donna Summer, and “Maniac” by Michael Sembello. It’s nice to see some of the lesser known songs included here, and if you don’t have the soundtrack already this is a great addition to this DVD release.

THE INSIDE PULSE
If you are a hardcore fan of this movie, I would actually recommend getting this special edition of the DVD. It has to some entertaining special features and even comes with an audio CD of the soundtrack. That’s worth a buy alone, if you don’t have it already. If you haven’t seen this movie, I say at least rent it. Casual fans probably won’t like it enough to purchase it, though.

 

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Flashdance
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE
4.5
THE VIDEO
8
THE AUDIO
8
THE EXTRAS
6
REPLAY VALUE
5
OVERALL
5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

 

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