A Few Words About A few words about...™ Flashdance - in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

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Adrian Lyne's Flashdance opened on April 15, 1983, to generally disastrous reviews. It was based upon'
the life of Maureen Marder, construction worker / stripper.

Fortunately, for me, I'd not read them. Saw it in a theater, and loved it.

A 20 year-old young woman, stuck in a decaying Pittsburgh (Wayne, Scott and Dietrich had left town long before),
wanting nothing but to dance, and get out of the mills.

And everything goes wrong for her.

Jennifer Beals, in her first starring role is terrific, and remains so to this day, as the film stands the test of time beautifully.
I noted that the date of birth for her character, Alex Owens, as seen on her application form, is her own December 19, 1963.

Music composed by Giorgio Moroder, who had previously scored a silent film;

Beautifully cut;

Great cinematography.

Just a terrific piece of entertainment.

How does it look and sound on Paramount's new Blu-ray?

Very nice. No dirt. No registration or fade issues. Nice black levels, and shadow detail. It all works beautifully.

When I put together these offerings, I occasionally check certain actors, to see where they've gone in the
intervening years, and was troubled to find that Sunny Johnson, who played Jeanie Szabo in the film (the ice
skating friend), passed away just eight weeks after the film opened.

This is spine number 4 in Paramount's new super-duper series, was released on Blu-ray, with more extras than are
on this new one. Only one new short featurette, with director Lyne. I had expected more for a super-duper release,
possibly a piece with Ms Beals, but the image quality is lovely. I presume it's a new transfer, but can't comment,
as I no longer have the previous versions, which as I recall, was also a very nice image harvest.

All that matters is that it's fine.

Nominated for four Academy Awards (Editing, Music/Original Score, Cinematography, and Original Song (What a Feeling) - which it won.

If you don't have Flashdance in your library, this one will do very nicely.

Image - 5

Audio - 5

Pass / Fail - Pass

Upgrade from previous Blu-ray - No

Recommended

RAH

 
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octobercountry

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Argh, why are new editions released with fewer special features than the old ones! Very frustrating. The previous disc had a five-part behind-the-scenes documentary running nearly 50 minutes.
 
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PMF

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Okay, then, a 5/5 for “Flashdance” it is. I’ll go the way of RAH and purchase down the road; but for this first batch of “Paramount Presents” BDs, its “Fatal Attraction” that’s on my front burner...that is, if you know what I mean. :rolleyes:
 
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I was a teenager when this came out and thought it was the first music video film. But empMTV. Beals is charming but the plot loses grit with the ridiculous welders dance club and...oh what a feeling!
 

Garysb

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So far it appears this new Paramount label has been a way for them to charge more for less. Hopefully most people interested in these films got them when they were first on blu ray.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Argh, why are new editions released with fewer special features than the old ones! Very frustrating. The previous disc had a five-part behind-the-scenes documentary running nearly 50 minutes.
The unsexy answer is usually licensing/residual payment costs. Studios did major market research on bonus features around 2005 or so and discovered that in the overwhelming majority of cases, bonus features didn’t drive sales. Flash forward to present day where physical media sales are in decline across the board, especially for catalog titles, and the result is that the profit margins are tighter than they’ve ever been. It’s often a simple case that excluding older bonus features won’t affect sales figures in any significant way, while adding them would cost the studio more without measurably increasing how many copies are sold.

...which is undeniably a bummer for the shrinking number of enthusiasts like us who do enjoy that material.
 

dpippel

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Enthusiasts want special features, and these releases are being targeted at enthusiasts. Yet once again, if sales don't live up to expectations it won't be because it's a (presumably) repackaged existing transfer of a catalog title with FEWER extras than the current release, and that this gets widely reported online among enthusiasts. It'll be because "no one wants to buy physical media any more."

IMO, if Paramount REALLY wants this Paramount Presents line to be successful, they need look no further than The Criterion Collection as a role model. If they want enthusiasts to gobble these releases up then they need to bring something of value to the table. Basing 2020 business decisions on 15 year old market analysis data is idiotic.
 
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Dave H

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I never saw the movie, but enjoy a lot of 80s stuff.

Okay for a blind buy?
 

MatthewA

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Argh, why are new editions released with fewer special features than the old ones! Very frustrating. The previous disc had a five-part behind-the-scenes documentary running nearly 50 minutes.
At least they don't cut stuff out of the actual movie like a certain rodent-based studio, the one the then-head of Paramount left for a year later.
 
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Marco S

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One of the first I heard in Beta hi-fi. It was a milestone.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I never saw the movie, but enjoy a lot of 80s stuff.

Okay for a blind buy?
Maybe for camp value, as it's a deeply silly movie.

As an actual well-told story with compelling characters? Nope.

It's about as "80s" as a movie can get, though - total time capsule stuff!
 

MatthewA

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I'm more familiar with the soundtrack than the movie as it was all the rage when I was born. "What a Feeling" won the Best Song Oscar while the top prizes of 1983 went to another Paramount movie: Terms of Endearment.

They also made Trading Places that same year, and before the virus Disney and Paramount traded places in terms of how they were doing financially then.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I'm more familiar with the soundtrack than the movie as it was all the rage when I was born. "What a Feeling" won the Best Song Oscar while the top prizes of 1983 went to another Paramount movie: Terms of Endearment.
I remembered "Flashdance" as a hit soundtrack 1st, a "fashion statement" 2nd and a movie 3rd.

I knew it did well, but I thought its success as a movie was well below its status in those other areas.

I was wrong! "Flashdance" was the 3rd highest-grossing movie of 1983 in the US! :oops:

It's definitely aged the worst of those 3. "Jedi" remains fun, and while I've not seen it in years, I suspect "Terms of Endearment" probably holds up fairly well.

Like I said earlier, "Flashdance" is total time capsule stuff. It couldn't be more dated if it tried! :D
 

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Don’t forget, except for close ups, Jennifer Beals is body doubled for all the dances.
 

Robert Crawford

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Don’t forget, except for close ups, Jennifer Beals is body doubled for all the dances.
Duh, we never heard that.;)
 
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Worth

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Don’t forget, except for close ups, Jennifer Beals is body doubled for all the dances.
And it'll probably be all the more obvious in a new 4K master.
 

Robert Harris

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Colin Jacobson

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Ok Mr. Smarty Pants! :) You may have heard that, but in reading through the review and other comments, I don’t see it mentioned at all.
I mentioned it in my review:

"It doesn’t help that the movie uses a hilariously obvious “dance double” for Alex’s climactic audition. Not for one second do we believe Beals does her own performance there, and the disconnect makes this “big moment” laughable. "
 

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