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FLASHDANCE
I Love the 80s Edition

Review by Chastity Campbell

Stars: Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri
Director: Adrian Lyne
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Paramount
Features: Bonus CD
Length: 94 Minutes
Release Date: February 3, 2009

“Some nights I just can’t wait to get out there so I can disappear.”

Film **

Well, I feel the music, close my eyes and…well, keep them shut!   Flashdance was a movie from the early 80s that helped propel torn, off the shoulder sweatshirts from weekend wear to everyday dress.  That unfortunately was not enough to help this movie be all that it could have been.  

Now, don’t get me wrong…Jennifer Beals, who plays the tough as nails, metal welder Alex, is quite eye catching while dancing on stage at Mawby’s bar.   Her co-star Michael Nouri, better known for his run of 80s TV movies, did a wonderful job playing off of Beals character.  It was, however, the jumpy editing and choppy dialogue that left me counting the minutes until she danced the last dance. 

Alex has a dream of being a dancer, but is afraid of failing and thus has yet to take that first step to stardom.  She’s been working full time at a factory welding metal for a living, and in her free time dances on stage at Mawby’s bar. Mawby’s is a nice little dive downtown that allows the pretty ladies to dance while taking their clothes off.  

Now Nick comes into Mawby’s to kick back and have a beer, when to his delight, Alex takes the stage and washes away the competition, literally.  Nick finds out that Alex works for his company by day and before you know it, they are dancing the midnight tango!    

Nick has some connections and helps get Alex a dance interview with Pittsburgh Dance & Repertory School.  Before her interview, Alex unfortunately witnesses one of her best friends miss out on her dream of becoming a figure skater after she falls on the ice.  This causes her to get a case of cold feet and anyone who knows dancing knows that you have to warm those tootsies up before you can hit them with your best shot. 

A lot of emotions and a few conversations later, Alex takes the plunge and heads on into the school to show them what she’s made of.   Apparently, she’s made to fall down because that’s exactly what she does.   She is able to however pull herself up by her ballet shoes and knock their bobby socks off with some 80s moves that would make Janet Jackson yell, “YOU GO GIRL!” 

If not for the dialogue problems and the somewhat predictable storyline, I would have been impressed with this movie a little more.   I suppose modern day movies have spoiled me a bit and I expect more than an early 80s release can deliver. 

Video **

The movie is presented in a 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format, but unfortunately, it didn’t transfer to the digital world very well.  The daytime shots were very grainy and tended to be gray and flat. The shadows and muted tones of the well lit scenes seemed to take over most of the picture, leaving you feeling like you’d lost a dimension that in this day and age most movie lovers have become accustomed to.   Overall, the quality wasn’t horrible, and it’s what you would typically expect from an early 80s re-release. 

Audio **

I love 80s tunes, and this soundtrack did deliver, but the audio quality overall was only mediocre.   Given to us in a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound format with English & French subtitles, you get the feeling right from the opening credits that you’re inside a shoe box and the sound is being filtered in.   The mix was ok, but in some places it tended to drop out quite a bit where spoken dialogue was layered over the background music.

Features ½*

The only extra is a bonus CD of some big 80s hits.

Summary:

Yes, Flashdance has lost some of its flash and its dances are outdated.   However, if you like 80s music and seeing the good girl get the guy and grab onto the reigns of stardom, then go ahead and let Flashdance dance its way right into your DVD collection!

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