HTF REVIEW: "Flashdance" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    [​IMG]

    Flashdance




    Studio: Paramount
    Year: 1983
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 94 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Subtitles:



    Take your passion and make it happen!
    It has been nearly 15 years since I last saw
    Flashdance. Watching it again on DVD this
    evening brought back so many fond memories of the
    film, in particular, how beautiful actress Jennifer
    Beals is in this film. In fact, I was so infatuated
    with her screen presence as she pumped her long-legged
    body (and hot tiny buns) that I decided to make
    certain that every screenshot I include in this
    review captured the very essence of her beauty.
    [​IMG]
    What's interesting to note about Flashdance
    was that it was the very first of many glossy
    film productions from the Simpson/Bruckheimer duo
    who went on to produce Top Gun and Days
    of Thunder
    . The film produced a phenomenal
    soundtrack album that sold 700,000 copies
    in a two week period. Of course, the film made
    a sort of fashion statement causing women to rip
    their sweatshirts to shreds and don leg warmers.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Alex (Jennifer Beals) is a welder by day, but at
    night she wows her blue-collar customers with her
    fancy erotic dances. What she yearns for the most
    is a true career in dance and she aspires to joining
    an upscale ballet school, but doesn't have the
    confidence to apply. When her boss Nick Hurley
    (Michael Nouri) takes a romantic interest in her,
    he secretly helps and gives her the courage to live
    her dreams.
    How is the transfer?
    After watching the lackluster transfer of
    Footloose, I was about ready to give up
    all hope for this film. Surprisingly, the transfer
    is far better than what I expected it would be.
    Once you get past the blemish-filled title
    sequence, you'll find a rather smooth transfer
    that contains little film grain. It seems that
    Paramount put some effort into this title. Some
    of the strongest visual dance scenes involve white
    background colors. Normally, a bad transfer would
    show dirty whites. Here, the whites are very clean.
    The only problem I had with the picture was that
    it was a bit on the soft side, resulting in a tiny
    loss of detail. Still, dark scenes managed to retain
    a good portion of picture detail. Even the smoke-filled
    scenes inside Mawby's bar with all its red neons
    came across rather nicely with no smearing.
    The picture has such clarity that you can now
    absolutely see how bad Jennifer Beal's double
    looked during the film's final dance sequence.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    The 5.1 surround mix is rather uneven. As the
    film begins, the sounds of synthesized music
    introduce Irene Cara's title song. This is perhaps
    the best any of the film's music will ever sound,
    as her voice stays firmly in the center channel
    as the music distributes nicely amongst the front
    and rear channels. The entire title sequence has
    a lot of punch, and you anticipate that the rest of
    the film is going to sound just as good.
    Unfortunately, you will find that all of the music
    sequences that follow sound pretty darn good, but
    don't quite have the same pizzaz. Though the rest
    of the film's music comes across all the front
    channels with bass-heavy sonics, the rears only add
    echo reverb.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    What's really disappointing here is that unlike
    Saturday Night Fever, the LFE channel adds
    very little support to any part of this film. I
    actually had to walk over to my subwoofer to make
    sure it was on. Fortunately, the front channels
    deliver enough bass to make the music impressionable.
    All in all, I would rate the transfer very good
    (for a film of its age), and the sound quality
    nearly as good.
    Special Features
    [​IMG]
    Well, folks, there ain't none! Once again Paramount
    has decided that the effort of putting a simple
    trailer on a DVD is too much to ask for. Could
    someone please clarify why trailers are now verboten
    on Paramount catalog titles?
    Final Thoughts
    Those worrying about Paramount's uneven quality
    on their catalog titles as of late should put
    their fears aside. Flashdance looks and
    sounds pretty darn good on DVD.
    [​IMG]
    Don't get me wrong -- I have always enjoyed
    Flashdance. However, looking at this film
    15 years later, it's clear that the film was just
    one big music video with a bunch of extra scenes
    of storyline sewn into it. Not that it makes the
    film a bad one, but certainly makes you wonder why
    it became so successful in the first place. The
    answer may be as simple as this....we were young
    and naive.
    Release Date: October 8, 2002
     
  2. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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  3. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    I'll be picking this one up, if for no other reason than for nostalgia purposes. Happy to hear it looks better than Footloose. Still, the absence of the trailer is a real pisser!
     
  4. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    Ron:
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I completely respected your decision not to review this originally, given your time constraints. You are gracious, in the extreme--and a surprisingly good review, to boot![​IMG]
    I'm gonna be freeze-framing this on Jennifer so much, my wife will rip the remote from my hand!:b
    What a feeling!!
     
  5. Joseph_mx

    Joseph_mx Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I hope to receive the Dance Pack Gift Set next week with Grease, Flashdance, Footloose, Saturday Night Fever and Urban Cowboy. The video quality and audio might not be great but you can bet its better than a VHS. Great reviews Ron.
     
  6. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    thanks for the review, ron. Looks like another buy for me
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Thanks Ron for the heads up on this one. It is sure a purchase![​IMG]
     
  8. rhett

    rhett Supporting Actor

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    Great review, Beals is definitely a looker! I would pick this disc up if Paramount didn't make the cover art bilingual in Canada.
     
  9. Enrique B Chamorro

    Enrique B Chamorro Supporting Actor

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    Another review notes that the 2.0 sound mix is more
    balanced than the 5.0, the effects are too loud.
    http://www.dvdfile.com/software/revi...lashdance.html
    It is a shame that they did not include the extra
    scenes that sometimes are shown on TV broadcasts as an extra.
    I can remember two, one where Beals visits her mentor
    and one where Beals is talking to her dog.
    I am very on the fence about this.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I, alas, have no choice in whether I will purchase this disc, as veterans of the notorious "Leg Warmers" thread in After Hours will understand. :b
     
  11. JasonRH

    JasonRH Second Unit

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    I read that a body double was used for many shots in this film. Can anyone confirm? Jennifer Beals is incredible but I wonder how much of the good shots are of her??
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Jason,

    Watch the final dance sequence where Alexandra
    is auditioning for the panel.

    You can clearly see a double with a bad wig
    was used for the entire scene (minus a few
    short close-ups).
     
  13. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    The break dance move was actually a guy!
    The E! True Hollywood Story of Flashdance interviewed the girl who did almost all of Beals' dancing. She's really quite something, herself. She's French, if I recall correctly. Anybody remember her name?
     
  14. Jonathan

    Jonathan Second Unit

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    Just picked this up at a well known warehouse club for only $13.49! Gonna try to watch it before Sopranos comes on.
     
  15. JasonRH

    JasonRH Second Unit

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    Ronald,
    Thanks for the update.

    Peter - yikes!!!!!
     
  16. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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  17. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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  18. JasonRH

    JasonRH Second Unit

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    Jenna,
    I have only seen the movie once or twice, and never since about '85 so it came as a surprise to me!! LOL
     
  19. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    The E! segment commented more than once about how good the editing was on this film; that even people who were aware of the doubles could believe it was all Jennifer.
     
  20. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    I remember when this film first came out I went to see it 8 times in the theater! I loved the music, and was "in" love with Jennifer Beals! Looking back I was somewhat naive. I remember seeing the movie some years later and thinking about how "silly" it was!

    Now some 20 yrs later I just watched it again for the first time in a long time and still being infatuated with just how beautiful Jennifer Beals was then ( and still quite attractive today). She was gorgeous and had the most beautiful eyes! Looking at the movie today, I have to admit it isn't as "silly" as I thought it had been!

    It's dated! Very 80's type of movie. The music certainly reflects the time period. However it remains at it's heart a very good and simple story. A woman who has a dream. Is hesitant to pursue it despite encouragement from mentors. Finally gets up the nerve to take the chance, and succeeds! This is a basic story that's been done time and time again about fullfilling one's dreams and taking chances! Looking at it from a more mature perspective I was able to appreciate it more this tme around.

    I've always loved films by Adrian Lyne and thought he seemingly disowns this film I must admit it has many elements of his films. The use of colors, background scenery, camera techniques, set pieces, even the use of pets, which seems to be his signiture in many of his films (Fatal Attraction, Indecent Proposal, even Unfaithful)! If you look over his films, you'll see so much of his signiture style begun in FLASHDANCE or even possibly FOXES!

    I was also amazed to see just how much of the story line was used in the recent movie COYOTE UGLY. It's the same story just change the locale and context, but the same story! I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise as Jerry Bruckheimer produced both films!

    As far as the DVD goes, it's looks alright, though not without it's problems. It seems to be plaged with that "red tint" that seems so prominent from 80's flicks but the transfer in itself isn't bad. Just not clean. I noticed some grain in some scenes (particularily darker and mixed lighting scenes) but otherwise it was quite good!

    The 5.1 was average,probably should have listend to the 2.0?

    Overall this disc brought back memories and a new appreciating in a different kind of way for this movie.

    David
     

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