Anything Goes (1954/E1 DVD) + Kites – The
Remix (2010/Image Blu-ray) +
Showgirls (1995/Umbrella Region B Import Blu-ray)
Picture: C/C+/B- Sound: C/B/B Extras: D (Goes: C) Main Programs: B-/C- & D (Remix version)/C-
PLEASE NOTE: The Showgirls Blu-ray is fixed at/on Region B and can only be operated
on Blu-ray machines capable of playing back that format and can be ordered from
our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the link at the end of this review.
have become something too often that is neither realistic, narrative or
musical, as these three new releases will show.
an impressive archival performance of Anything
Goes from 1954 that was made for TV and stars no less than Ethel Merman,
Frank Sinatra and Bert Lahr. That this
survived is amazing, but here it is and at 52 minutes, is a very entertaining
piece that shows these talents in great form and what a fine interpretation of
Cole Porter’s work they made. Also
starring Sherry North, the sets may be aged and there might be minor flaws here
and there (apparently, this was done live), but the dancing is decent and
singing is great. There is also some
great comedy and some money was definitely put out for this considering the
time and rising format.
X 1 image and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono show how old the program is, but this
transfer represents a good clean-up without ruining what survived of the
program. A 20-page booklet on the show
inside the DVD case and interview with the show’s original Musical Director
Buddy Bregman are the solid extras.
makers of this gem understood what a Musicals was and what entertainment
was. Too bad so many have become
confused since, even (and especially) when they are Backstage Musicals.
oddity is Kites – The Remix (2010) that
is here in two versions. One is the
longer, better Bollywood production that did not impress me much, then there is
the half-hour-shorter Remix version
by the horrid Director Brett Ratner (now
he’s trashing other people’s work!!!) that throws away the narrative, tries to
make this slicker and even urbanizes it in a sloppy Urban American sense that
never works. The boy-meets-girl tale is
stretched to unrealistic and boring in both cases, but at least the original
had some degree of honest intent. Oh
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image here is more degraded and tampered with
than expected, even with the longer cut there are enough problems to fault
playback. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
lossless 5.1 mix in both cases is the default highlight of the disc, but the
shorter English version has some of the sloppiest sound editing on Blu-ray to
date. There are no extras.
is Paul Verhoeven’s infamous Showgirls
(1995), which we now look at for the fourth time and the second on
Blu-ray. We first covered the U.S.
Region A Blu-ray from Fox/MGM at this link:
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image here is a little strained and soft like
the U.S. Blu-ray version, so with few differences, they are about dead on in
look. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
lossless 5.1 mix is also pretty much the same with a good soundfield and is
again the default highlight of the disc, unless you really think the film is
good and this is the uncut version.
There are no extras, but I was surprised by this as you would think
Umbrella could find someone in Australia
or New Zealand
to offer an audio commentary track to mock the film and maybe with new insights
from a Down Under angle. Still, this
film as it stands is better than Brett Ratner ruining someone else’s work!
above, you can order the Showgirls
Region B Blu-ray import exclusively from Umbrella at: