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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Gay > Remake > The Birdcage (1996/MGM Blu-ray)

The Birdcage (1996/MGM Blu-ray)

Picture: B Sound: C+ Extras: D Film: B+

Armand (Robin Williams) is the owner of a gay cabaret along with his cross-dressing/diva/life partner Albert (Nathan Lane), but when his son suddenly announces his married to a daughter of a right wing conservative politician, it raises up more than just a few red flags and few problems they must overcome, mainly how will they introducing themselves to the girl's parents? Armand and Albert must transform themselves into straight men become 'normal' adult parents, but between being themselves and the media sharks, how long can they hide their secret before it gets found out?

It's hard enough explain your parents are gay, but how do you tell their livelihood is a singing and dancing transvestite bar? You can imagine the shock as their son when he decides to marry a 'normal' girl, but while the two young lovers are OK with their family differences, their families were like more like polar opposites or enemy camps. Armand is asked to play the role of a 'cultural diplomat father' and Albert is play the role of the wayward 'Uncle', but then Albert decides he can't (and won't) live the life of a lie on who he is, so he decides play the role of the 'Mother' and cross-dresses instead. When the media gets wind of this scandal it is the politician who ends up in hot water and needs to hide ...and the only way for them to do that is to cross-dress and join the sing crowd. Things go from bad to worst when the facade starts falls apart and the secret gets out, but then two natural enemies are forced work together to help the bride's politician father to escape a media scandal (and thus ruining their wedding). And it is for their sake then each side is able to forgive the other and set aside their differences.

Mike Nichols' The Birdcage (1996) remakes La Cage Aux Folles, a masterful comedy, making fun of gay men, a lot of cross-dressing, with conservative politicians and this can be as good. The cast is a plus and the film is likely the best English remake we'll get.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image looks good for its age, but could look a bit better, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix is joke & dialogue driven, so only expect so much from it. There are oddly no extras.

- Ricky Chiang


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