has an average rating of 6.2 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 7.1 MA / Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
are very extensive with a book & more!
– 100 minutes
Overall Verdict – Recommended for Fans
— Review written by: Danielle Byington —
The Movie Itself is Directed by Emile Ardolino, and Written by Eleanor Bergstein.
The movie revolves around Frances Houseman (Jennifer Grey), who goes by the nickname Baby. The film opens with Baby‘s narration as a reflection of the summer of 1963, as her father (Jerry Orbach), mother (Kelly Bishop), and sister, Lisa (Jane Brucker), and herself are traveling to the hotel where they will spend the remaining weeks of summer. The resort is of high-class nature, and being that Baby‘s father is a doctor, they have no problem fitting into the wealthy crowd. However, Baby is a little more down to earth than most of the guests, having a passion for seeking to help others, and wanting to pursue that desire to help those less fortunate as a career. There is a crowd of lesser-than social status present at the resort as well; the staff. From the beginning of her arrival, Baby does take notice of two dance instructors showing-off their skills at an evening dinner party, though being cut-off from their performance by the hotel manager, Mr. Kellerman (Jack Weston), who sees their style of dancing as controversial and too erotic in content to be appropriate for the high-end guests.
After being not so willingly accompanied by Mr. Kellerman‘s son, Neil (Lonny Price), along the property after dinner, Baby gets bored with hearing the hotel manager’s son and heir gloat about himself and his shallowness, and quickly makes an excuse to return to her family. However, Baby‘s curiosity actually seeks to wonder about the grounds until she finds the housing quarters for the staff, whose entrance is also accompanied by a sign that asks guests not to enter. Baby ignores this sign and ventures onward towards the blaring of music. A very different party is going on amongst the staff members as Baby persuades her way in, and again gets to witness the impressive dance skills of the two dance instructors, Johnny (Patrick Swayze), and Penny (Cynthia Rhodes). They are not quite welcoming to Baby as she tries to compliment them, seeing the doctor’s daughter as merely a spoiled brat who gets everything handed to her.
However, after seeing Penny breaking down crying, Baby again tries to push her desire to help by getting Penny‘s staff member friends, and upon finding out that the chaos is an unwanted pregnancy, Baby offers her help to Penny by simply asking her wealthy father for the money to solve the dance instructor’s problem. The termination of the unwanted pregnancy is not the only issue at hand, though; Johnny and Penny were planning to compete in a dance competition, and with no other option, Baby volunteers to fill Penny‘s shoes.
Now clear that Johnny is not romantically involved with Penny, through the duration of their dance practices, Baby begins to have feelings for him. She also must take measures to keep their relationship hidden from her family, knowing that her father especially would not approve of Johnny.
“Dirty Dancing” was definitely a great “chic-flick” for its time as my mother wore it and the soundtrack out, as I’m sure many others did as well. Regarding a topic discussed by Eleanor Bergstein in the provided supplements, she explains that the the movie was really built around the music heard in the film. That fact really just sums up a lot of the energy of the film, making it very much like a musical. Obviously great performance from the cast, not just the acting, but their dancing skills as well. On the note of dancing, certainly the beautiful choreography is yet another topic that has added so much fascination to the 23 year-old film, made possible by Kenny Ortega who you still know today of <"High School Musical Fame“, and who also was the director behind “Michael Jackson’s This Is It“. It is still a strong film over two decades later, with an equally strong fan-base, and easily earns a “4 Star Rating“.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Likely, the first assumption one has when it comes to 1980′s films coming to Blu-ray is that presence of a softer picture, though, depending on the transfer process, efforts of cleaning it up, the care taken in the preservation and storage of the source, and so forth, all play a role in just how soft (or not) these slightly mature films are going to play out in High Definition. Here, “Dirty Dancing“‘s Hi-Def presentation is certainly a visual improvement compared to previous releases. Only a small number of sequences briefly exhibit the typical overly soft picture quality seen in many other 1980′s films, and aside from those small events, the clarity present shifts from fantastic to simply “good”, all depending on the lighting situations, and cinematography that sometimes provides close-ups of the actors.
There are some small signs of DNR, though they are not heavy, and it is apparent that the filter was not used in excess; simply enough to add a slight amount of cleaning-up to the picture. The definition of particular close-ups does stand out quite well, again, proving that the transfer was not drowned with the application of DNR, as the release really does not display an overly smooth quality. Detail of the usual subjects such as facial features and hairs of the actors do stand out rather well to a degree. The color palette is vivid at times, and simply well balanced, giving the film a younger look at times. Some exterior shots are rather bright on the grounds of the hotel Baby‘s family is staying at, and notably the hues of the lawns and foliage vividly pop out. The black level is nearly solid; though not so much of a disappointing gray/blue tone that over takes the gamma level, the inky quality is close, but no cigar. In contrast to this, whites are often bright, and continue to show-off the nice saturation levels. Fleshtones are generally accurate, with perhaps a tinge of reds/browns apparent only apparent under more poor lighting conditions.
Overall, this is certainly an improvement in video presentation in comparison to previous releases of film, having past re-mastered DVD releases, and was even one of the few films released on the D-VHS format. In the end, the Blu-ray release of this finds itself sitting on a nice “4 Star Rating“.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX. The full use of the 7.1 setup is pretty general, being that this film offers a strong musical presence. The (technically) four rear channels are mostly used for blending the harmonies of the music, and occasionally (as in a handful of times) an environmental sound effect pops up respective to the on-screen action from either the left or right rears. It is in ways similar to the case of Pinocchio getting a DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio track; it is borderline overkill for this film. It is probably safe to assume that the original audio for this film was an analog source, and even with professional sound mixing (without by any means imposing insult to those behind the efforts here), sometimes that nature of the audio tracks organic history can be limiting in ways. The studio would have been fine putting this release out with DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, as the 7.1 setup, though not bad at all, has nothing insanely impressive to deliver in ways that the basic 5.1 can not do. In other words, perhaps the 7.1 mix is not so much overkill, as it simply (in more polite terms) was not necessary.
As mentioned above, the music is obviously a huge part of this film, and immediately with the opening of the film the presentation of “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes is a great exhibit of the nice performance that the audio track is going to provide through out. Depending on the content of the song, whether there is a stronger presence of snare, bass, strings, and so forth, the 7.1 setup conveys the music with a pleasing balance, never coming across as front-heavy, and does use every channel to at least some degree (regarding the four rears). Bass presence is most often in play during the classic soundtrack, and is not quiet nor over the top in performance, simply falling in the most suitable level. There are no significant elements of panning aside from one notable scene; as Baby first ventures to the party in the staff’s quarters carrying a watermelon upstairs, the music that plays from the housing grows from faint rear channel presence, to faint full channel presence outside of the doors, then with her entrance, suddenly overwhelms the soundscape.
The one reoccurring flaw that is bound to catch your eyes and ears is an issue with the syncing of dialogue and actors talking on-screen. This incident is not brief in the scenes that it is present, and the issue takes place a number of times beginning roughly one third through out the release’s runtime. Aside from that visual que of spoken dialogue being slightly off, the actual audible delivery of the dialogue presents no complaints, being primarily conveyed clearly from the center front channel, and at times the left and right front channels respective to the on-screen blocking of the actors. Overall, the sound that this DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio track offers is no doubt a large step-up for the 1987 film and its previous releases, and taking into consideration its pleasing performance regarding the well-known soundtrack, as well as the flaw regarding ADR, it finds itself in the end receiving a “4 Star Rating“.
Bonus materials are presented in mostly Standard Definition, with a few supplements in High Definition (which will be noted), using Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.
- “Digital Copy“…
- “Commentary With Writer/Co-Producer Eleanor Bergstein“
- “Commentary With Filmmakers“
- “Trivia Track“
- “Kellerman’s: Reliving the Locations of the Film” (12:24) discusses with production members filming at Mountain Lake Hotel in Virginia.
- “The ‘Dirty Dancing‘ Phenomenon” (13:43) takes a look at how the iconic film’s roots have branched out in pop-culture.
- “Tributes” (37:14) includes 4 tribute chapters.
- “The Rhythm of the Dancing” (4:08) interviews with cast and production members as they discuss the choreography.
- “For the Fans” is a collection of “Dirty Dancing” fans:
- —”Fan Reel” (1:42)
- —”James and Julia Derbyshire: Dancing Across the Pond“
- —”Hungry Eyes” (3:46)
- —”She’s Like the Wind” (3:52)
- —”(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (4:43)
- —”The Lift” (0:47)
- —”Everybody Dance” (1:54)
- —”Jennifer Gray” (11:13)
- —”Eleanor Bergstein” (18:36)
- —”Miranda Garrison” (13:19)
- —”Kenny Ortega” (15:21)
- —”Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey Screen Test Montage” (1:10)
- —”Jennifer Grey Screen Test Comparisons” includes 4 chapters (4:36)
- —11 Deleted Scenes (13 mintues)
- —3 Alternate Scenes (2:38)
- —7 Extended Scenes (8 minutes)
Overall, the bonus materials here are basically a collection of those that have made their way onto previous DVD releases, as well as a few extras new to Blu-ray. For the avid “Dirty Dancing” fan, this should be the ultimate collection available to date.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.