April 11, 2023

FLASHDANCE: What a Feeling...in 4K

FLASHDANCE 40th Anniversary Edition (4K UHD)
1983 / 95 min
Review by Stinky the Destroyer😼

The ‘soundtrack movie’...a product of its time if there ever was one.

Some of you might remember them...flashy, high-concept flicks where more effort probably went into the soundtrack than the screenplay. Not quite musicals, these films nevertheless featured loads of pop songs and music montages, carefully calculated to sell just as many records as movie tickets.

Paramount Pictures may not have invented the formula, but they damn sure got it down to a science. Beginning with 1977’s Saturday Night Fever, the studio was the undisputed king of the soundtrack movie, ruling over the next decade with such jukebox hits as American Gigolo, Urban Cowboy, Staying Alive, Footloose, Flashdance, Cocktail and Top Gun, the last of which was arguably the pinnacle of the genre. 

Flashdance is the archetypal soundtrack movie, complete with the standard-issue chase-your-dreams theme. While there are fleeting attempts to emulate the working class grittiness of Saturday Night Fever, both the setting and story are simply clotheslines on which to hang sexy, sweaty dance sequences, most of which draw heavy inspiration from MTV. The film pretty-much slows to a crawl when it focuses on the actual story, including the creepy romantic subplot between 18-year-old Alex (Jennifer Beals) and her boss, Nick (Michael Nouri), who’s twice her age.

But since no one cared about the plot back then, it stands to reason they won’t now. This film has always been about aesthetics and style. If one can still suspend disbelief that a blue collar bar would regularly feature hot dancers whose routines are epic marriages of sight & sound, those sequences remain nostalgically enjoyable eye-candy. Flashdance may only be skin deep, but as one of the quintessential examples of the soundtrack movie, revisiting it after all these years is like unearthing a time capsule. 

Though remastered as part of the Paramount Presents series just a few years ago, Flashdance is getting yet another upgrade, this time in 4K. Overall, it’s an impressive picture that reveals some depth and texture differences from the Blu-ray. The DTS-HD 5.1 audio track is identical in both formats, but it sounds great, especially during sequences featuring the iconic song and dance numbers. However, there are no new bonus features. All the extras are from the Paramount Presents Blu-ray, which is also included. 



FEATURETTES - “Filmmaker Focus: Adrian Lyne Discusses Flashdance”; “The Look of Flashdance”; “Releasing the Flashdance Phenomenon”


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