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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 October 2013
Paramount have finally released Flashdance on Blu-ray Region A and B,and what a fantastic upgrade from DVD.

Blu-ray video quality:

Continuing the theme of contrasts, Lyne and cinematographer Don Peterman (Men in Black) shot a movie about artistic aspiration in the gritty urban style pioneered by Lyne's countryman Alan Parker for Fame (1980). Lyne then softened the imagery by dispersing smoke into the air in almost every shot such that, according to editor Bud Smith, there were always a few takes that couldn't be used because the actors were obscured. (Midway through production, the studio panicked and ordered that no more smoke be used, and Lyne posted an assistant to watch for the approach of any studio people, so that the smoke machine could be hidden before they arrived.) The result is an often soft, delicately colored image of a type that has gone almost entirely out of fashion in today's world of digital photography and post-production.

Paramount/Warner's 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray is a superb rendition of Lyne's and Peterman's vision, as it was seen by audiences in 1983. The grain and texture of the imagery have been retained without diminishment, but they never become obtrusive (unless one is allergic to even a hint of grain). No attempt has been made to compensate for the original photography's softness with digital tools, which is the correct choice, because the image has fine detail that artificial sharpening or excessive contrast could easily overwhelm. Besides, Lyne and Peterman carefully designed Flashdance for visual contrast between the muted everyday world and the garishly "hyper-real" stage show at Mawby's, with its intense colors and bright lights. A Blu-ray treatment that failed to render both ends of this contrast accurately would not do justice to the film. This Blu-ray does.

Blacks are deep and accurate, and shadow detail is properly rendered in places where you're supposed to see it. Minutia of hair, faces, costumes and the rusting Pittsburgh cityscape are readily discernible, even if they don't pop off the screen in every scene (they're not supposed to). The average bitrate of 26.44 Mbps is sufficient for the rapid dancing scenes, primarily because there are more than a few episodes of simple, quiet conversations in between. In any case, I saw no compression artifacts.

Flashdance was released in Dolby Surround and has been remixed for 5.1, which is here presented in lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1. As is typical of Paramount's remixes, the approach is conservative and does not attempt to create gimmicky rear channel effects where none are warranted. The stereo separation in the original mix was often effective in placing sounds of such locations as the steel mill to the left or right of characters, and those effects have been preserved. Otherwise, the chief beneficiary of the lossless multi-channel treatment is the historic soundtrack. The songs sound airier and more "opened up" than I have ever heard them before, from the moment Irene Cara's voice comes in over the opening titles. The dialogue is occasionally overwhelmed by Giorgio Moroder's instrumental score, but this has always been the case with Flashdance. The sound mixers understood what was important, and dialogue took a backseat to the beat.

Paramount has released four DVD editions of Flashdance. The first in 2002 was featureless. A "special collector's edition" in 2007 added the array of features that have been ported over to this Blu-ray; that edition was reissued in 2010 (without the "special collector's edition" label) under the same cover used for the Blu-ray. In between, in 2009, Paramount re-released the featureless disc as part of their "I Love the 80s" series but included with it a limited edition CD of the soundtrack.

Note that all of the featurettes listed below are essentially part of the same documentary, cut up into segments.

The History of Flashdance (1080p; 1.78:1; 14:43): Lyne, Bruckheimer, associate producer Lynda Obst, Michael Nouri and actor Kyle T. Heffner (who played Richie the cook and aspiring comic) discuss the origin of the project, although there is reportedly much more to the story than they relate. For example, no mention is made of the involvement of other directors, although Brian De Palma was reportedly attached for a time, before leaving to make Scarface.

The Look of Flashdance (1080p; 1.78:1; 9:13): The same group, plus editor Bud Smith and costume designer Michael Kaplan, discuss the film's visual style, especially its costumes.

Flashdance The Choreography (1080p; 1.78:1; 10:10): The important new participant here is choreographer Jeffrey Hornaday. Lyne also discusses the various stunt doubles used to transform Beals into an extraordinary dancer, as well as the "dancing cop" sequence.

Flashdance: Music and Songs (1080p; 1.78:1; 6:14): Giorgio Moroder and music supervisor Phil Ramone are the key participants here. (Note that Bruckheimer says he always referred to the film as a musical.)

Releasing the Flashdance Phenomenon (1080p; 1.78:1; 8:53): Bruckheimer, Lyne and others discuss the film's release and its surprising success.

Teaser Trailer (1080p; 1.78:1; 1:31): Tantalizing.

Trailer (1080p; 1.78:1; 1:58): The trailer is effective, and it includes some quick cuts of footage that did not make it into the final film. Unfortunately, no deleted scenes appear to have survived.

I don't know when Flashdance will be released in the U.K but their is no need to wait, buy this U.S version with confidence it plays on U.K players.
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on 18 February 2011
I first saw this movie in the 80s, I was divorced and bringing up 2 boys on my own. I loved her independence. She knew what she wanted and went for it. I loved the dancing scenes, her leg warmers were the norm then, we all wore them. She had a job that i thought was amazing for a women. The energy and purpose of her life was only a dream for me. Its fun right from the beginning.I never get bored with the music or the movie and its characters. You laugh and cry, sad and happy.
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on 11 March 2016
VIDEO:

Flashdance arrives on blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC @ 26 MBPS 1080p 1.78: 1 encode. Continuing the theme of contrasts, director Adrian Lyne and cinematographer Don Peterman shot a movie about artistic aspiration in the gritty urban style pioneered by Lyne's countryman Alan Parker for Fame (1980). Lyne then softened the imagery by dispersing smoke into the air in almost every shot such that, according to editor Bud Smith, there were always a few takes that couldn't be used because the actors were obscured. (Midway through production, the studio panicked and ordered that no more smoke be used, and Lyne posted an assistant to watch for the approach of any studio people, so that the smoke machine could be hidden before they arrived.) The result is an often soft, delicately colored image of a type that has gone almost entirely out of fashion in today's world of digital photography and post-production. The grain and texture of the imagery have been retained without diminishment. Blacks are deep and accurate, and shadow detail is properly rendered in places where you're supposed to see it. Minutia of hair, faces, costumes and the rusting Pittsburgh cityscape are readily discernible. Lyne and Peterman carefully designed Flashdance for visual contrast between the muted everyday world and the garishly "hyper-real" stage show at Mawby's, with its intense colors and bright lights. This contrasts with soft image was faithfully brought out with this encode, thanks to restraint in excessive artificial sharpening and noise reduction. (4.5/5)

AUDIO:

Flashdance arrives on blu ray with DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio lossless track. The chief beneficiary of the lossless multi-channel treatment is the historic soundtrack. The songs sound airier and more "opened up" than I have ever heard them before, from the moment Irene Cara's voice comes in over the opening titles. The dialogue is occasionally overwhelmed by Giorgio Moroder's instrumental score, but this has always been the case with Flashdance. The sound mixers understood what was important, and dialogue took a backseat to the beat. Flashdance…What A Feeling won Oscars for Giorgio Moroder, Keith Forsey and Irena Cara, as the Best Original Song. There are many great songs from this soundtrack. Maniac by Michael Sembello was also nominated as Best Original Song. Flashdance…What A Feeling is one of my all-time favourite song. Somehow it gave me an uplifting experience. Now to hear all these favourites in multi-channel lossless audio is definitely the highlights of this film. (5/5)

TRIVIA:

1 Did you know that this film was inspired by a trip to a Toronto strip club?
2 The role of Alex Owens was originally offered to Melanie Griffith, who turned it down. Executives at Paramount Pictures wanted an unknown for the part. A nationwide search for a young actress was narrowed down to three finalists: Leslie Wing, Demi Moore, and Jennifer Beals. Reportedly, a Paramount executive took pictures of the three actresses to a group of construction workers on the studio lot, asking them "Which of these women do you most want to make love to?" and being given the answer "Jennifer Beals".
3 Marine Jahan was Jennifer Beals' body double for the dancing scenes. Jahan was kept hidden from the press because the filmmakers did not want to ruin the illusion. Alex's leap through the air in the audition scene was done by gymnast Sharon Shapiro and the break-dancing was done by Crazy Legs. Jahan also appeared in the music video for Maniac.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Both the video and audio are far more superior than the 2002 standard Collector’s Edition DVD. The soundtrack has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The soul of this film belongs to both Jennifer Beals and the wonderful soundtrack. To see Jennifer Beals workout in high definition, surrounded by the lossless soundtrack, is my dreams come true. What a body…what a soundtrack…And What A Feeling! This set is highly recommended.

Finally, as per usual Amazon tradition, reviews of this film on standard DVD and even VHS tape are included in this HD section. Please read the date of review before wasting time reading outdated reviews.
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on 6 September 2011
I really enjoyed this film. The special features are really interesting, telling us about the history of the making of it from the director's point of view. The film itself is both exciting and moving. The costumes and make up, along with the fantastic dance routines, are magnificent. Even though Jennifer Beals is not a trained dancer and the main dance, that wins the audition towards the end of the story, is made up of several different dancers, it is so well orchestrated and choreographed, you cannot tell that it is not her good self! other dances throughout the film are magnificent. Needless to say the soundtrack is brilliant. On the whole a great film, timeless and an inspiration to any generation. Well worth watching - this is definitely a film that Jennifer Beals fans must see!
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on 11 December 2010
Truly amazing retro fun, thoroughly loved watching this again....and again! Put it on and I defy you not to tap a toe or have a dance round the room I dare you!
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on 14 February 2013
Personaly what makes a good film for me is that it is enjoyable, entertaining, gripping, likable and emotional. Flashdance without a doubt ticks all these five boxes. Flahdance is a very retro, cheesy entertaining film that is at no point boring and never drags, and is also a very clear symbol of the great 1980s and the night club exotic dancing scene of the time.

The films plot is pretty basic, an 18 year old girl called Alex (Jennifer Beals) who despite her age and gender works as a welder at a steele mill by day, but by night she is an exotic dancer in a night club, however she aspires to become a professional dancer, but early on can't get the courage to apply, intimidated by the scope of the application process, which includes listing all prior dance experience and education which Alex lacks. But after the various events that follow throughout the film (both positive and negative) she finaly develops the courage to audition for a dance school or something like that and passess, ending the film on a predictalbe but happy conclusion. So yhea, the plot isn't the most interesting, but dose it really have to be? no, because its a motivatoinal dance story, so the basic plot isn't an issue.

Pros

- Brilliantly coreographed dance scenes, with amazing cinematography which capture the images with various creative shots, with perfectly placed edditing.

- Alot of likable characters, some more than others.

- Interesting central character (Alex)

- The story is told at a reasonably nice pace and never drags.

- Deals with relatable themes, such as failing and achieving certain goals in life.

- A very entertaining feelgood film.

- Brilliant music, with very good music video like montages.

Cons

- At times the scrpit got very stale and flat and even lazy, for example when the love story begins, its just simply isntant with no proper indication and development and just feels forced. Although despite this most of the script throughout was very solid.

- Wooden acting from the co star Michael Nouri from time to time in his role of the love interest.

- Not alot of character development. (Although this is being very picky)

All in all Flashdance despite its few undeniable faults is a very decent and enjoyable film in my opinion. As it mostly meets all five of my requirements I am happy to give it a possitive review. This film is one of the quintessential 80s films, that works well as a symbolic artefact of its time. I highly reacomend this film to anyone who loves 80s American cinema and dance films, and also to anyone who enjoys feelgood films and looking for an entertaining night in.

Although I gave this film a rating of 4. I preffer to rate films out of ten, so ignore my first rating.

I give Flashdance a rating of 7 / 10.
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on 28 May 2009
my mum got me into this film and the fact that i saw Jennifer beals in the l word,the film itself is awesome great dance moves great soundtrack so take your passion and make it happen!!lol
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on 9 October 2002
Flashdance is more than a collection of great 80-ies pop songs, although even just that would make it a worthwhile watch. Alex, an 18 year old (played excellently by Jennifer Beals) is a steel worker, who also works as a bar dancer at night, and dreams of entering Classical Academy and becoming a ballet dancer. But she is not the only one with the dream - 2 of her friends also have dreams, unfortunately they both fail. Alex also fails at first, but in the end she makes it. So this is a great motivational movie - it shows you that you can achieve whatever you want, and that you just have to keep on going, and not be put off. So, if you ever need to be motivated - do go out and watch this movie!!
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on 22 January 2016
Of all the 'girly' films I enjoyed in the 70s and 80s (Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Dirty Dancing, an officer and a gentleman, pretty woman etc) this is the one that stands the test of time and stands above the rest (though I still love Dirty Dancing and pretty woman!). But this film stands out still.

Why?

A cracking sound track which is stil easy to listen to today.

The gorgeous Jennifer Beale who I aspired to be when I first watched it. Her characters innocence and personal ethics and morality spoke volumes to me then and still does today.

The storyline, basically a Cinderella story with a kick ass Cinderella and a prince who is real with flaws and all.

This film is about a working girl (as a welder! Not a prostitute!) who aspires to attend a dance school. By day a welder, by night a dancer in a shady club. The film shows her relationships with her boss, her friends, her elderly dance teacher and charts her journey to realise her aspirations.

A lovely film which will make you laugh and cry. Perfect!

I was 13 when I saw this in the cinema and I still love it 33 years later.
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on 13 April 2009
I watched this when I was a little younger, ok a lot younger. Loved it then. Bought it for my daughter and myself as we love dance films. I didn't check the rating having only remembered the fantastic moves. It is a 15 she is only 9 so she will have to wait a few more years. If you have never seen it and are of age or slightly older like myself, it really is a great film.
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