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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Musical > Dirty Dancing – 20th Anniversary Edition (Lionsgate/DTS DVDs)

Dirty Dancing – 20th Anniversary Edition (Lionsgate/DTS DVDs)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: C     Film: C



Though it brought back some aspects of the Classical Hollywood Musical back for some, I was never a big fan of Emile Ardolino’s surprise hit Dirty Dancing and though it is still a fan favorite two decades later, the new 20th Anniversary Edition DVD set does little for me.  Yes, Swayze gave some of the best effort of his career and yes, it is a shame Jennifer Grey got plastic surgery after the film destroying her commercial possibilities for no good reason, but there are many thi8ngs about the film that never meshed.


I guess that is why so many fans read all kinds of things into the film, especially female fans with hopes and dreams of romance.  Far from a dream is a bizarre mix of great classic Rock songs and Pop hits recorded for the film that are more annoying and dating than ever before.  The dancing is not bad or course (I can hear you fans booing!) and the film has a good pace and good cast to its credit, but all this flick ultimately did was follow the MTV/Paramount formula for soundtrack-driven non-musical music films that are so 1980s.  That also means it is not a full Musical, but that is a separate essay at some other time.


Artisan has issued a new set to commemorate the film complete with new extras, but the same decent picture transfer and DTS-ES sound upgrade are from the previous Ultimate Edition previously reviewed by another critic here on this site.  At least the film has its heart in the somewhat ambitious right place, but it was always silly to me and despite being a hit, never held together for me and attempts to recapture what was here (some of which frankly happened by accident) never panned out.  Well, it’s good for nostalgia.


The picture and sound are the same as the previous Ultimate Edition, though he was more impressed with the sound at the time than I was.  When this hits Blu-ray, audio differences will be interesting.  They could go back and redub the audio, but can get away with its decent condition now.  Both editions look to be the same master for its anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 picture.


This edition not only repeats the audio commentary by writer/co-producer Eleanor Bergstein, the trivia track, Jennifer Grey DVD introduction, Jennifer Grey's screen test, on camera interviews with Grey, Eleanor Bergstein, Kenny Ortega & Miranda Garrison, Emile Ardolino tribute and three Music videos: Hungry Eyes, She's Like the Wind, (I've Had) The Time of My Life, but the second Kenny Ortega (choreographer), Miranda Garrison (assistant choreographer and actress Vivian Pressman in the film), Jeff Jur (director of photography), Hilary Rosenfeld (costume designer) & David Chapman (production designer) and Dirty Dancing Live In Concert are missing!


In its place going into a second DVD, you also get “Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze” interview featurette, Tribute to Jerry Orbach, “The Classic Story on Stage” featurette (unless that is the same as Dirty Dancing Live In Concert, so ask a fan) Deleted scenes, Alternate Scenes, Extended Scenes, Outtakes/Gag reel, more original Screen Tests, Multi-Angle Dance Sequences and Interactive Photo Gallery.  Die hard fans will likely keep both versions, but I wonder if the Blu-ray will be missing some items?


For a more positive review of the film, try our other critic’s coverage of the Ultimate Edition at this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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