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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Dirty Dancing (Blu-ray)
Dirty Dancing (Blu-ray)
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // PG-13 // May 8, 2007 // Region A
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Matthew Hinkley | posted July 14, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

"Dirty Dancing" is a classic that leaves countless fans oohing and ahhing over Patrick Swayze and his smooth moves. I don't know a single person who doesn't know at least one line or song from "Dirty Dancing." The basic premise of the film is this: a doctor, his wife, and two daughters go to a private club in the Catskills for the summer. 'Baby' is just that, the baby of the family at seventeen. She is quite naive and has high hopes and dreams for her future. After all the acceptable family activities during the day, Baby stumbles across where things come alive at night when the staff does some dirty dancing. She immediately spies the lead dancer Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), enjoying his rebellious nature much more than the rich boys her parents try to set her up with. When Johnny's dance partner Penny (Cynthia Rhodes) falls ill and is unable to perform, Baby steps up and learns to dance with Johnny's help. As he leads Baby through the moves, they begin to fall in love.

"Dirty Dancing" is your typical tale of a "city" girl falling for the "poor" boy. But "Dirty Dancing" has a lot more going for it then other romance flicks...it has incredible heart and passion. When Johnny and Baby rehearse and dance, they light up together and their chemistry is wonderful to watch. We are completely drawn into these two actors as they fall in love and dance brilliantly on screen. Patrick Swazye was cast perfectly as Johnny, a cocky dancer who does what it takes to get by. Jennifer Grey was also cast wonderfully as Baby, a rich girl living a very sheltered life. When the two of them meet, and begin to get to know each other, the sparks really start to fly and we get a fantastic love story that works beautifully.

Lets talk about the dancing...the dancing in "Dirty Dancing" is wonderfully choreographed by Kenny Ortega. The choreography is what separates "Dirty Dancing" from all other dancing movies. It is hot, sensual, and visually very appealing. We are brought through the boring dance routines as Johnny teaches the other families the traditional steps over the summer, to the hot nights doing some dirty dancing, to Baby and Johnny alone, holding each other and moving together perfectly, like that is what they normally do and the acting part is just for fun.

"Dirty Dancing" is indeed a chick flick at heart. For some reason, guys typically have been drawn more to "Dirty Dancing" then most other chick flicks around. I am not sure why this is...but this is definitely the case for me. I have absolutely no problem seeing Baby and Johnny hit it off on screen...especially when Johnny tells people: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

The DVD

Video:

Here we get a very nice AVC MPEG-4 transfer. Made in 1987, "Dirty Dancing" is brought back to life with this release on Blu-ray. The colors really pop throughout the film, and the skin tones are nice and even. The blacks are nice and rich, but as the scenes become darker there is definite detail loss. During these times the picture becomes a little blotchy and the contrast seems to be a little too high. There is also the presence of grain throughout, but not enough to truly distract you from your "Dirty Dancing" experience.

Sound:

Here we pull out all the stops with a 6.1 PCM and a 5.1 Dolby Digital track. Unfortunately the 6.1 doesn't really do much more then a 5.1 PCM track would have. The surrounds just aren't used that much; sure in the dancing scenes it is very nice to hear the dances fill up all of my speakers and bring us into the dance, but most of the film is dialogue and doesn't have much of a presence in the surrounds. The soundtrack on the other hand is extremely memorable, and we can only hope for more Patrick Swayze singing "She's Like the Wind." All around this audio track is actually very nice; just a little more surround support would have been appreciated.

Extras:

Commentary with Screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein: Bergstein is wonderful in her commentary. She is absolutely passionate about "Dirty Dancing." She explains each and every scene almost as if it were shot yesterday. This is a fantastic listen that is fun, easy on the ears, and has great insight on the film. If you are not usually a commentary fan...watch this one...it will at least show you what a good one is.

Commentary with Kenny Ortega, Miranda Garrison, Jeff Jur, Hilary Rosenfeld & David Chapmen: After listening to Bergstein's commentary, this track is extremely hard to watch as it is dull...and fairly boring. No one really plays off each other like you would hope, and there isn't a lot of substance like in the previous track. If you have already listened to Bergstein...call it a day, skip this one.

Pop-up Trivia Track: This track is a very nice "commentary" track if you will. We get some really nice details about cast and crew, locations, and some fun info that we don't need to know, but is entertaining to know...especially if you are a "Dirty Dancing" fan and just want some insights on the film! One example...Val Kilmer almost being cast as Johnny!

Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze: Swayze brings us through "Dirty Dancing" with some behind the scenes footage, details, and dancing auditions. This is actually a really nice feature with some great old footage, and some cool thoughts and comments from Swayze.

Tribute to Jerry Orbach: For those of you that don't know the name, Orbach plays Baby's father in "Dirty Dancing." He has been in many roles over the years, and was a fantastic actor. Here they have a very nice feature about his entire life, honoring Jerry Orbach.

Deleted, Alternate & Extended Scenes: Wow, this is more then enough deleted, alternate, and extended scenes that even the die-hardest of fans could watch in one sitting. There are so many deleted scenes that it will make your head spin. Go...watch them...enjoy some footage that has never been scene before!

Outakes: Meh, short, not so sweet, and maybe good for a laugh.

Origianl Screen Tests: Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey screen test montage & Jennifer Grey screen test comparison. These are both interesting watches as these young actors take to their characters...the later being my favorite as they compare it to the actual final film clip.

Multi Angle Dance Sequences: 2 Scenes: "The Lift" & "Everybody Dance." Here we have the ability to jump between 4 cameras and watch each scene unfold.

The Classic Story on Stage: Basically a very detailed promotional piece on the "Dirty Dancing" show that is now on stage. We get casting, auditions, dancing, all that good stuff...plus some promotions for the stage show.

Photo Gallery: Whooaaaahooooo!

Interviews: Here we get 3 different interviews: Jennifer Grey, Elanor Bergstein & Kenny Ortega. All three of them talk about something different relating to their role in the film. Grey talks about her audition, getting the role...Bergstein talks about the cast, location, traveling, marketing...and Ortega talks about , getting his job, getting actors, and Patrick biting the bullet even when injured on set. This feature is okay, not a lot of "entertainment" value out of this one.

Music Videos: "Hungry Eyes," "She's Like the Wind," & "(I've Had) The Time of My Life."

Emile Ardolino Tribute: Here we have the cast and crew talking about their memories of Emile.

Final Thoughts:

"Dirty Dancing" is a classic love story, that is hot, passionate, and a lot of fun. Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze truly hit it off on screen and make "Dirty Dancing" a great movie. This release we get a good, not great video transfer, a nice audio track, and a absolutely ridiculous amount of special features that are sure to win some fans over. Because the audio and video is not perfect, I can't highly recommend this one...but I can Recommend it, and say it is on the verge of me highly recommending it.

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