Flashdance (1983)

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Released 11-Oct-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 90:47
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Adrian Lyne
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Jennifer Beals
Michael Nouri
Lilia Skala
Belinda Bauer
Sunny Johnson
Kyle T Heffner
Lee Ving
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Giorgio Moroder


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
German
Greek
English
Spanish
French
Hebrew
Croatian
Icelandic
Italian
Hungarian
Dutch
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Slovak
Finnish
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

When Flashdance hit the big screen in 1983 it was big news. It's sad to look at it today. Other films have come out since that are so much better. The "girl who wants to dance ballet" movie I'd recommend today is Save the Last Dance - it's far more credible that a girl who has trained for years might get into Julliard to study ballet, than that a girl who has never taken a class might get into a repertory company (after all, a repertory company is for trained dancers to perform, not learn). Ballet is far too technical for anyone to pick up simply by reading and watching. Oh, if you're more interested in the details of ballet, then perhaps Centre Stage is more the movie for you.

Even so, this film is pleasant to watch. Jennifer Beals is gorgeous, and very appealing as Alex Owens (I think it's sad her career has gone nowhere). Michael Nouri makes a perfectly adequate leading man as Nick. The supporting cast are not bad, either.

The plot, in case you didn't catch this film in the cinema, and haven't seen it on video or TV, is fairly simple. Alex is an 18-year-old girl living three lives. By day she works as a welder in a steel mill (no kidding). By night she works in a bar as an exotic dancer (that's a stripper who doesn't strip all the way) one of the most memorable sequences in this film is her opening dance, with the water drenching. And in her dreams, she is a ballet dancer. Her dreams are encouraged by a friend, an old dancer called Hanna (Lilia Skala), who takes her to the ballet, and talks of what it is like to perform. Her boss at the steel mill, Nick, asks her out, and eventually she goes out with him. A fairly standard love story ensues, mixed with the mounting pressure on Alex to apply for an audition to join the local ballet repertory company.

There are some nice touches: the cook who wants to be a stand-up comedian; the waitress who wants to be a skater; the jaded older exotic dancer who has lost hope. But although these are nicely done, there's not a lot of originality in any of them. There are some fun scenes, too, including the encounter in the restaurant with the ex-wife (you'll notice it when it comes, believe me).

There's some good music, too, if you like the music of the early 1980s. The theme song, Flashdance, What A Feeling, won an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The soundtrack album won a Grammy. I noticed, going through the songs, that a lot are performed by women: Laura Brannigan, Irene Cara, Kim Carnes, Joan Jett, even Donna Summer.

By the way, according to IMDB, Demi Moore was considered for the role of Alex I think she'd have been a poor choice but she did get to play an exotic dancer much later in Striptease.

Some people are sensitive to strong language I feel I should mention that there's quite a bit in this film.

Taken for what it is, this is not a dreadful film, but it's no work of art - a pleasant distraction, I guess.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

This film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. As far as I can ascertain, the original theatrical aspect ratio is 1.85:1, so this is close.

The image is a little soft, but clear enough. Backgrounds are often much softer (not sure if that's an effect of an MPEG parameter). Shadow detail is adequate, but not fabulous. There's no low-level noise. There is some grain. The picture appears a little harsh at times. There are some bright flashes, both during welding, and during the strobe used in the Imagination dance sequence these are reproduced accurately, and can be a bit hard on the eyes.

Colour is strong and effective, occasionally looking a little odd due to coloured lighting, but that's part of the source material. There are no traces of colour-bleed or over-saturation.

There are numerous tiny film artefacts, but nothing worth pointing out normal for a fairly well-preserved film that is nearly 20 years old.

There are small traces of aliasing, but they aren't troubling. There's no moire, but there is some background shimmer, maybe due to a touch more compression than would be desirable.

There are subtitles in 23 languages, including English, and captions in English. I watched the subtitles in English. They are accurate, well-timed, and easy to read.

The disc is single-sided and single layered. The cover claims dual layer, but it is inaccurate in this regard. That means no layer change, and I'm not going to complain about that. But, on the other hand, it means the movie may have been compressed a little more to make it fit.

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

Audio

The soundtrack is available in five languages, but I only listened to the English soundtrack. It is a Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation at the higher rate of 448 kbps, which is good for the music. It's a fairly frontal presentation.

The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. There are no audio sync problems.

The music is credited to Giorgio Moroder, arranged and conducted by Sylvester Levay. There are numerous songs as well, some with contributions by Moroder, others that predate the movie.

The surrounds get very little to do other than slightly deepening the soundstage. The subwoofer gets to support the deepest register of some of the songs, but that's pretty much all.

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

Extras

This disc is pristine, completely unsullied by extras.

Menu

The menu is static and silent.

R4 vs R1

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

The Region 1 version of this was released simultaneously with this one, and has the same scintillating list of (no) extras. It has fewer languages, but sounds otherwise identical.

Summary

Flashdance is a pleasant-enough movie that's dated badly, on a reasonable DVD.

The video quality is not wonderful, but it won't stop you enjoying the film.

The audio quality is good.

There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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