Showgirls (1995)

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Released 18-May-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Biographies-Cast & Crew
Gallery-Photo
Theatrical Trailer
Teaser Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 125:45
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (80:07) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paul Verhoeven
Studio
Distributor
Chargeurs
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Elizabeth Berkley
Kyle MacLachlan
Gina Gershon
Glenn Plummer
Robert Davi
Alan Rachins
Gina Ravera
Lin Tucci
Greg Travis
Al Ruscio
Patrick Bristow
William Shockley
Michelle Johnston
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Rena Riffel
David A. Stewart


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.20:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Completely tasteless and sleazy, Showgirls is so bad it's good. Indeed, it's inadvertently hilarious at times. Known affectionately as Trashdance, with Showgirls director Paul Verhoeven has reached a new low in Hollywood. Indeed, he has hit bottom and started digging. Anyway, we can all view the results with the same morbid curiosity as looking at a car wreck, and enjoy it for what it is - a $US35 million camp classic.

    Showgirls is the work of Basic Instinct duo, director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas.

    Eszterhas is the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood history, earning about $US4 million per script. And what does $US4 million get you? A vulgar, weak, cliché soaked, predicable plot, with gratuitous lewdness, shallow characterisations, and some of the worst moments of moronic dialogue ever to insult an audience.

    Eszterhas' wafer thin story traces the meteoric rise of Nomi (Saved By The Bell's Elizabeth Berkley), a stripper/lap dancer who manages to not only claw her way into becoming a Las Vegas showgirl, but also headlining a big Vegas show - all in a matter of months. A role she snatches from her bi-sexual nemesis, and reigning diva, Cristal Connors (Gina Gershon). And . . . well . . that's about it . . .

    Along the way there are plenty of boobs, bums, and the occasional Brazilian. I can only assume all of this was distracting Verhoeven, as he seems to have forgotten to direct this film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Sadly, the video quality is awful. It has the appearance of an old VHS rental tape.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.20:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    Overall, the sharpness of the image is reasonable, but some scenes are soft. The shadow detail and black level are generally good, but there is some low level noise occasionally.

    The picture was a little dark throughout, but the colour is generally good. Skin tones did appear accurate, and hell, there's a lot of skin in this movie.

    There were no problems with MPEG artefacts. The main problem is with film-to-video artefacts. There is very, very bad aliasing throughout - for example look at the interior of the show room at 54:06 or the buildings at 84:36. Sadly, there is also telecine wobble, but it is most noticeable during the opening credits. The source material is a used theatrical print, and a variety of film artefacts appear throughout, and some of them are quite large, such as the reel-change markings.

   English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are present on this DVD, and they are simplified, but accurate.

    This is a Dual Layer disc, with the layer change placed at 80:07.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Surprisingly, the film's audio is simply English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s). It is not surround encoded.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are mostly fine. In some of the chaotic backstage scenes, some of the dialogue is hard to follow, but I don't think we're missing anything.

    The score comes from a variety of sources, but is principally credited to Rena Riffel and David A. Stewar. There is a lot of genuine-sounding Vegas tunes and urban hip hop songs as well, which suits the film.

    Obviously as a simple stereo track, there is no surround presence or LFE activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Yes, there are some extras.

Menu

    A simple, static menu.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Text-based career information about:

Picture gallery

    22 stills from the film. I admit, my favourite is of Elizabeth Berkley in her G-String licking the pole (in the pole dancing club) - it's all class!

Trailers

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Showgirls has had two releases on DVD in Region 1. The better release was the MGM VIP Edition (in a box set).

    Compared to the MGM VIP Edition, the Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 MGM VIP Edition misses out on:

   Obviously, the MGM VIP Edition box set is the clear winner. There is also an R3 version with a dts track, but that version is censored, and if you take the tits and bums out, there's nothing left to enjoy.

Summary

    It's A Chorus Line with lap dancing and bad dialogue.

    The video quality is disappointing but still watchable.

    The audio quality is limited to stereo.

    The extras are slim.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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