Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dirty Dancing (20th Anniversary Edition) Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 46.6 GB
Film Size: 24.9 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: AThe Video

Dirty Dancing made a Blu-ray debut with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Panasonic Hollywood Blu-ray Authoring Center did the authoring and compression services for this initial release. The video presentation is filled with issues, many that have to do with the dirty source and others which could have easily been prevented.

The film appears to be from a 1080i source which is mastered as if it were a 1080p presentation. Jaggies are present throughout, becoming much clearer the bigger you go screen-wise. The movie features some hideous amounts of aliasing, certain moments which are just downright dreadful.

There are certain moments in the movie which I thought looked good though, despite the serious issues. Certain moments featured a nice level of clarity like only a high-def image can bring. Most moments are filled with problems though and really can’t be missed.

I actually dug the colors, aside from a few moments which felt very pushed and unnatural. Black levels on the other hand were quite disappointing at times, always leaving at least a bit to be desired. The print is also quite dirty, featuring dirty and specks at a constant rate.

The release is certainly one of the more disappointing efforts on the format. How this made it through quality control is beyond me. The presentation is an improvement from DVD though; it is just a shame the release was not done right like it should have been.

The presentation will likely be found acceptable by some and absolutely hated by others. Like I said, there are moments which do feature a great high-def image, but with so many problems in between it really makes the transfer feel that much more inconsistent.

Bottom line is that there are issues that should not have made it past quality control, yes certain moments look nice, but the mistakes on this video presentation are just too many. You know there are problems when Jennifer Grey's face looks like stirred up cottage cheese. 3/10.

The Audio
A 7.1 PCM (Uncompressed) audio track is the lossless option included. Also included is a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX track. Optional subtitles include English and Spanish. The audio mastering was done by P0P Sound and I actually think the audio quality is impressive at times.

Okay, so yes the movie sounds dated. Dialogue is not always as clear as I would have hoped, but the music is what really adds so much to the mix. From the very first song, I found the clarity to be very impressive and filled with life.

The final dance number for example has never sounded better. The film’s surround moments are few and far between, but there are a notable amount of surround effects placed throughout to make it quite the decent 7.1 mix.

I’m very pleased by the audio mix on this release. While the mix didn’t really immerse me, the music moments certainly sounded better than I’ve ever heard the film before. The dance numbers are aggressive and filled with life like only a lossless soundtrack can make happen.

I think most viewers will be more than satisfied by the audio mix present on the release. Dialogue levels are fine and do leave a bit to be desired, but for a low budget 80’s film it doesn’t sound bad at all. I thought the audio quality was quite impressive. 7.5/10.

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With Eleanor Bergstein.

Audio Commentary
With Kenny Ortega, Miranda Garrison, Jeff Jur, Hilary Rosenfeld and David Chapman.

Dirty Dancing 20th Anniversary Pop-Up Trivia Track

Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze (12:30) (HD)
Patrick Swayze remembers the film and talks about all levels of production.

Tribute to Jerry Orbach (6:34) (HD)
This is an entertaining tribute to Jerry Orbach and his long career.

Deleted Scenes (HD)
Eleven deleted scenes are included and are presented in true high-definition.

Alternate Scenes (HD)
Three alternate scenes are included and are presented in true high-definition.

Extended Scenes (HD)
Six extended scenes are included and are presented in true high-definition.

Outtakes (:41) (HD)
A very quick gag reel, but is surprisingly included in actual high-definition.

Original Screen Tests (HD)

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey Screen Test Montage (HD)

Jennifer Grey Screen Test Comparisons (HD)

Multi Angle Dancing Sequences (HD)
View certain dance sequences from different angles not featured in the film.

The Classic Story on Stage (13:21) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes of the stage show version of Dirty Dancing.

Photo Gallery
The photo gallery is presented in slideshow form with music.

Interviews (HD)
Jennifer Grey
Eleanor Bergstein
Kenny Ortega

Music Videos (HD)
Hungry Eyes
She’s Like The Wind
(I’ve Had) The Time of my Life

Emile Ardolino Tribute (13:31) (HD)
Miranda Garrison and crew remember Emile Ardolino.

The disc is filled with extras and what isn’t naturally in high-definition is upconverted to 1080i. The extras are quite great and take up the entire disc. There are plenty of features to see to say the least; it just would have been nice if the features were a bit more updated. That being said, I don’t think anyone could be disappointed by the bonus features included. 8/10.

The Movie
Dirty Dancing, love it or hate it, there is no denying that the film is one of the most popular films from the 80’s, featuring a love story with a timeless soundtrack that viewers fell in love with or absolutely hated. Featuring songs such as ‘(I’ve had) The Time of my Life’ and lines like ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner.’

The film was a low budget film which has become quite the success throughout time, even younger audiences and new generations are falling in love with the movie. The film is cheesy and totally 80’s, but I think it adds charm to the movie as a whole.

The film is directed by Emile Ardolino and written by Eleanor Bergstein. But perhaps most importantly, the choreography comes from the fantastic Mr. Kenny Ortega. The man is truly great at what he does and really helped make the movie what it is. What would Dirty Dancing be without the final dance scene? It would probably be just a low budget film with a small following.

Kenny Ortega is a man who I have had the opportunity to know and see him work. Recent films in which he has served as both a choreographer and director include High School Musical 3: Senior Year and Michael Jackson’s This Is It. The man can come up with something great in only seconds of thinking and I was just very impressed by his talent and what he brings to the films in which he works on.

The movie stars the late Patrick Swayze as well as Jennifer Grey. Patrick Swayze is a great dancer and actor and he brings his best to the film. Aside from a few cheesy lines, etc, I really was impressed by his performance throughout. Jennifer Grey is a semi-attractive girl at the time and creates a very likeable lead character as well.

The movie’s music and dancing is what people really love about the movie though. The music makes the film stand out. When I hear ‘Hungry Eyes’ or any other song from the film I can’t help but automatically relate it to Dirty Dancing.

The movie is very predictable and the story isn’t anything that redefines the romance film genre. The film is a cheesy fun movie and is quite entertaining even today. The film is certainly one of the more memorable chick flicks of all time, really standing the test of time with some of the most memorable music moments in a film. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Dirty Dancing is a cheesy but fun chick flick. The Blu-ray release features a dreadful video presentation and good audio mix. The extras are also very enjoyable, but perhaps they could have been updated a bit. The video features some issues that cannot be excused which unfortunately are the reason I say ‘Skip It.

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