Flashdance Blu Ray Review (Paramount)
Flashdance is a 1983 drama film directed by Adrian Lyne (Jacob’s Ladder, 9½ Weeks, Fatal Attraction, & Unfaithful). It was written by Thomas Hedley Jr. (Obsession, Double Negative, Fighting Back, & Mr. Patman) & Joe Eszterhas (F.I.S.T., Basic Instinct, Jade, Nowhere to Run , & Showgirls). It was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Beverly Hills Cop franchise, Bad Boys franchise, Top Gun, The Rock, Gemini Man, Days of Thunder, & Con Air) & Don Simpson (Top Gun, Days of Thunder, The Ref, Beverly Hills Cop II, Crimson Tide, & Bad Boys). It was the first collaboration for the legendary producing duo. It won an Oscar for Best Song. Brian De Palma was the original director for this project. It’s based off of Maureen Marder’s life & she was only paid $2,300 for this. The budget was $7 million & it grossed $201.5 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
Alexandra “Alex” Owens (played by: Jennifer Beals from The Book of Eli, The Bride, Four Rooms, & Vampire’s Kiss) is an eighteen-year-old welder at a steel mill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who lives with her dog Grunt, in a converted warehouse. She aspires to become a professional dancer but she has no formal dance training & she works as a sensual dancer by night at Mawby’s. Lacking family, Alex forms bonds with her coworkers at Mawby’s. Jeanie (played by: Sunny Johnson from Almost Summer, Why Would I Lie?, & Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype), a waitress is training to be a figure skater, while her boyfriend short-order cook Richie (played by: Kyle T. Heffner from Angel III: The Final Chapter, When Harry Met Sally…, Runaway Train, & The Woman in Red) hopes to become a stand-up comic. One night, Alex catches the eye of customer Nick Hurley (played by: Michael Nouri from Damages, The Hidden, American Yakuza, & Captain America), the owner of the steel mill where she works. After learning that Alex is one of his employees, Nick begins to pursue her on the job & Alex turns down his advances at first. Alex is also approached by Johnny C. (played by: Lee Ving from Streets of Fire, Clue, Nightmares, & Black Moon Rising), who wants Alex to dance at his nearby strip club, Zanzibar. After seeking counsel from her mentor & retired ballerina Hanna Long (played by: Lilia Skala from House of Games, Testament, & Heartland), Alex attempts to apply to the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory. Leaving Mawby’s one evening, Richie & Alex are assaulted by Johnny C. with his bodyguard Cecil (played by: Malcolm Danare from Christine, The Curse, Popcorn, & Godzilla). Nick intervenes & after taking Alex home, the two begin a relationship. After seeing Nick with a woman at the ballet one night, Alex throws a rock through a window of his house. She finds out that it was his ex-wife (played by: Belinda Bauer from) whom he was meeting for a charity function. She gains the courage to apply to the Conservatory. Nick uses his connections with the arts council to get Alex an audition. Alex is furious with Nick, as she did not get the opportunity based on her own merit & almost doesn’t go through with the audition. Can Alex finally achieve her dreams & ultimate goal after all her hard work????
Flashdance is way better than expected, I avoided it all these years because I thought it was a hardcore chick flick but it’s much more than that. I was very surprised to see that it was Rated R also. Don’t get too excited if you are hoping for Beals to get naked here. I think it’s hilarious that no one gets nude at this Mawby’s place for some bizarre reason. They do go to an actual strip club that shows nude women at some point in this. The script had a little bit of everything in it. A little comedy, drama, romance, & some great dancing. Flashdance has some of the best dancing & choreography that I’ve ever seen in cinema. I could watch that “Maniac” scene over & over. Jennifer Beals is more than eye candy in this, she was great as the ambitious woman who worked two jobs to achieve her dreams. She is beautiful & I couldn’t see anyone else playing this role, I know a decent amount of known actresses tried to get it back then. Michael Nouri is a very odd choice for her romantic lead. I honestly thought they could have done better. It’s a shame Al Pacino turned down the part. Nouri is very creepy at first in this. He basically stalks Alex & then uses his power to hook up with her. I thought he was decent but their chemistry wasn’t anything special here. It had a solid supporting cast with some character actors that you might recognize from some other movies. Besides Beals, the true highlight for the production is the amazing soundtrack & music for the feature. It spawned so many hits & classics people still love today plus it won an Oscar for it. I love an underdog story plus it’s a time capsule for the 80’s which is my all time favorite time for movies. I wasn’t expecting much from this but I am glad I gave it a shot. It’s one of the better dancing movies that was made when that sub-genre was really popular. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Paramount Pictures! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is from a brand new 4K remaster. I did some research & compared this to a few past home video releases including the previous blu ray release from Warner Bros & it’s a huge upgrade compared to those older versions. It’s never looked this good before & if you are a fan of Flashdance, you will be very happy with this disc. The cinematography has a very stylish look to it & the dance scenes are top notch here. It has a few options for audio which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & French: Dolby Digital 2.0 on the blu ray. For some reason, it dropped the Spanish track that was on all the other releases. Don’t get me wrong, the older English audio track is really good here but I am shocked that they didn’t upgrade the audio for this new re-issue considering how important music is to the film. The dialogue is very clean & the music is the best technical aspect about this. It also has English, English SDH, & French subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Paramount Pictures! “Filmmaker Focus: Director Adrian Lyne Discusses Flashdance” is brand new & it’s an almost 6 minute interview with the director. He says that he turned it down twice before finally accepting the job. He brings up that he gets letters for it all the time telling him that it inspired them to follow their dreams. He chats about the look of the film & some of the scenes from it. He talks about the music for it & how he helped come up with some stuff for Flashdance. He brings up casting Beals for the lead when she didn’t have much experience & she was a model at the time. “The Look of Flashdance” is almost 9 minutes. It has interviews with director Adrian Lyne, producers Jerry Bruckheimer, Lynda Obst, costume designer Michael Kaplan , editor Bud Smith, & actors Kyle T. Heffner & Michael Nouri. They chat about the stylish clothes, scenes, & look of the production. They say stuff from the movie became a trend at the time & you would see it everywhere. They talk about Pittsburgh & other shooting locations. “Releasing the Flashdance Phenomenon” is almost 9 minutes. It has interviews with the same cast & crew as the extra above this one. They chat about thinking it was about to be a disaster when it was first released. They talk about the different reviews it got from critics at the time. They mention how popular it became. They bring up the soundtrack selling so good & people would buy it right after seeing Flashdance. They chat about crew members they have lost since it’s been released. It has a “Theatrical Trailer” for the film. It also has a unique slipcover that folds out like a poster & a clear case with some pics inside. It’s from the brand new Paramount Presents line. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!
Loving the new Paramount Presents line.