Audio Commentary - (102mins) This is a full length audio commentary from director Peter Chelsom and it's exemplary of what a good supplement should be. He's on his own on this one but his input comes across as very intelligent, purposeful and with plenty of reasoning in his filmmaking. A lot is relative to the Japanese original and he really talks in depth to give a thoroughly excellent and interesting insight. If audio commentary is not your bag then do give this one a listen if only to appreciate how it should be done.
Deleted Scenes - (17mins 28secs) There are five deleted scenes and they come with directors commentary. You have an Alternate Opening sequence, Dr Dance, The Competition, Link, Bobbie Rumba and Paulina coaches John, Paulina dances with children
Behind the scenes of Shall we Dance - (24mins 06secs) This is a well edited behind the scenes look at the movie. The ensemble of cast and crew make comment about the film itself and relate it to the original Japanese original version of the film. As I say it's a pleasant surprise to find that this is well put together rather than the usual clips simply thrown into the mixer.
Beginners Ballroom - (3mins 52secs) Learn about the beauty of the dance
The Music of Shall we Dance - (4mins 49secs) Explore how classic moves and music were modernised for the film. It's all rather tastefully done.
Pussycat Dolls “Sway” music video - (3mins 14secs) The Pussycat Dolls take on the classic song. They haven't completely ruined the song and even if you don't like their version they're nice enough eye candy..... Phew! these girls are most certainly hot !
The original attached a certain amount of stigma to ballroom dancing, which within the cultural backdrop was understandable. It's the reason why the film worked. However, the same stigma doesn't quite apply in an American context. After all it's a well-known form of dancing over there. The end result is a movie that feels like it's been put together in a very formularised way.
It's not all bad, the performances from the lead actors are quite competent and as the movie progress you will warm to it increasingly so. The dance routines remain fairly basic and the film also never tries to place anyone above their station. In some ways it allows the viewer to engage realistically with the dancing. Richard Gere's acting is smooth and believable whilst Jennifer Lopez concentrates on what she does best, dancing. Diehard fans though maybe justified in being slightly disappointed that their stars are not completely on top of their game.
The blu-ray disc package is good. The movie has a clean, sharp and colourful transfer and the audio complements it to a point. The extras on the disc are also a welcome bonus with the director's audio commentary being the pick of them. The movie definitely makes for a good rental and you don't necessarily have to be a fan of ballroom dancing should you wish to add this one to your collection.
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