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Category:    Home > Reviews > Musical > Comedy > Backstage > Dancing > Bollywood > Erotic > Exploitation > Anything Goes (1954/E1 DVD) + Kites – The Remix (2010/Image Blu-ray) + Showgirls (1995/Umbrella Region B Import Blu-ray)

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.



Musicals have become something too often that is neither realistic, narrative or musical, as these three new releases will show.



First is 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.


The 1.33 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.


The 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.


One 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 well.


The 1080p 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.


Finally, there 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:





The 1080p 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!



As noted above, you can order the Showgirls Region B Blu-ray import exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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