Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dirty Dancing: Limited Keepsake Edition Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 44.0 GB
Film Size: 30.5 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: AThe Video
Dirty Dancing revisits Blu-ray in a keepsake edition with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The packaging claims the title is newly remastered, which is likely true, but I can’t say I am very impressed by the results. Fortunately this release is the release that should have happened to begin with; free of the series issues of the 20th anniversary Blu-ray release.

This time around Lionsgate went to Radius 60 rather than Panasonic for their compression and authoring and the results are significantly better. The film now looks much more natural and film-like, which perhaps may underwhelm a few viewers.

While I thought the previous Blu-ray release was horrendous, I actually liked the boost in certain colors; it made the film look a bit less dated. In comparison, this new release looks far more natural which at the same time makes the movie look a lot more flat.

The levels of detail are still fairly unimpressive, but there are some sharp and very clear moments throughout. Grain is present throughout, all natural and welcome. Dirt and specks are also quite active throughout the presentation though which is definitely disappointing for being remastered.

The serious issues from the original release are gone and I’m very grateful for that. The film could be a bit more cleaned up though. While I do wish colrs were a bit bolder, we do get to see detail we didn’t see before due to the darker push in colors, etc. One is example is the first screenshot, in which we can now see the detail in Jennifer Grey’s hair.

I did notice an issue and I am unsure if both are incorrect or one is the intended look of the film. If you compare my screenshots between both reviews, the one with Patrick Swayze dancing for example. You will see that the original release features both of his feet in the shot while this new release doesn’t. You will also notice that the original release is missing video from the top which is featured on this new release. Neither presentation shows the entire picture, which I don’t know if previous releases had the same problem or if one is the intended look of the film.

Dirty Dancing is a film from the 80’s, most high-def transfers from the 80’s are a bit softer in general so I anticipated it to look about the same. The Blu-ray presentation is definitely satisfying, but don’t expect to be blown away by the quality just because it is a 1080p source used this time around. 6/10.

The Audio
An English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option, also included is an English 5.1 Dolby Digital EX track. Optional subtitles include English, English SDH and Spanish. The audio mastering was done by P0P Sound and I actually think the audio quality is impressive at times. The mix is pretty much recycled from the previous Blu-ray release; they just used a different codec.

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

Disc 1:

Audio Commentary
With Writer/Co-Producer Eleanor Bergstein.

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

Trivia Track
The trivia track from the 20th anniversary edition Blu-ray release is also included on this Keepsake edition.

Kellerman’s: Reliving The Locations of the Film (12:24) (SD)

Dirty Dancing: The Phenomenon (13:44) (SD)
The crew looks back at production from casting and share memories from filming.

In Memoriam (1:58) (SD)
This is a feature highlighting the many that have passed away since the film.

A Tribute to Patrick Swayze (15:16) (SD)
Patrick Swayze’s brother and cast remember Patrick Swayze and his talents.

Emile Ardolino Tribute (13:28) (SD)
Miranda Garrison and crew remember Emile Ardolino.

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

The Rhythm of the Dancing (4:08) (SD)
Patrick Swayze talks about working on music and writing ‘She’s like the Wind.’

Fan Reel (1:42) (SD)
This is a series of images and video from fans of the film, big fans of the movie will likely find entertainment from this.

James and Julia Derbyshire: Dancing Across the Pond (4:41) (SD)
A couple talks about the amount of recognition their YouTube video received, including an appearance on the Oprah show.

Dancing To the Music (16:33) (SD)
The crew talks about the music in the film and how certain things came to happen, including the final dance number.

Theatrical Trailer (2:25) (HD)

Dirty Dancing With Patrick Swayze (12:29) (SD)
Patrick Swayze remembers the film and talks about all levels of production.

Eleanor Bergstein Script
See images of the actual script, well the pieces which exist.

Outtakes (:38) (SD)
The outtakes are presented in standard-definition this time around.

Music Videos (SD)
Hungry Eyes
She’s Like the Wind
(I’ve had) The Time of My Life

Multi-Angle Dance Sequences
View certain dance sequences from different angles not featured in the film.

Interviews (SD)
Jennifer Grey
Eleanor Bergstein
Miranda Garrison
Kenny Ortega

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey Screen Test Montage (SD)

Jennifer Grey Screen Test Comparisons (SD)

Deleted Scenes (SD)
Eleven deleted scenes are included.

Alternate Scenes (SD)
Three alternate scenes are included.

Extended Scenes (SD)
Six extended scenes are included.

Vintage Featurette (6:45) (SD)
This is an old behind-the-scenes look of the film featuring on-set interviews prior to release.

Photo Gallery

Dirty Dancing Live In Concert (1:22:57) (SD)
Dirty Dancing Live in Concert is included in whole, presented in standard definition.

Save your favorite scenes and return to them later.

Disc 2:

Digital Copy of the film
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

The Packaging
The movie is packaged in a limited keepsake edition, which is DVD-sized packaging. The box set is actually of very good quality and includes a few things inside as well.

$50 Coupon
$50 off towards a 2-night stay at Mountain Lake Hotel, also known as The Real Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing.

Hardcover Book
A small hardcover book is included, featuring all-color photos and pages. The book looks great and will easily please fans of the film.

Unfortunately the extras are all presented in standard-definition, aside from the theatrical trailer. This is especially disappointing as the deleted scenes/alternate scenes, outtakes, etc were all in true high-definition on the previous Blu-ray release. There are additional features this time around, but obviously sacrifices in quality were made to get them all on the disc. The Digital Copy is a nice addition though.

Overall I am pleased but can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed that some extras are inferior to the overall inferior previous release. Had this been a 2-disc Blu-ray set, I would have been much more satisfied. 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 on the set of High School Musical 3. 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 fun but cheesy chick flick. The Blu-ray release is improved this time around, featuring a pleasing video and audio presentation. The extras are good but I am a bit disappointed that they are almost all in standard-definition. Overall this release is ‘Recommended’ to big fans of the film.

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