SRP 34.95 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 DREAMWORKS

More than just a little inspired by Diana Ross and the "Supremes", "DREAMGIRLS" has been released on dvd, blu-ray and hd-dvd formats at the same time.  This musical/drama/comedy is terrific for many reasons. The cast is outstanding! Eddie Murphy was deserving of his nomination for best supporting actor and it's hard to argue Jennifer Hudson wasn't the best supporting actress. Even Beyonce is quite good. While Jamie Foxx is decent, his performance doesn't stand out amongst his best, but even an average performance from Foxx is better than many actors at their best.  Writer/Director Bill Condon has put together his most accessible film by far, and unlike his previous work, "DREAMGIRLS" is never dull. The accomplishments and betrayals within the music industry make for great drama and most viewers should love the way the narrative structure blends together the various themes explored. The look and feel of Motown is brilliantly captured as well.

DREAMWORKS has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for all formats, with the dvd receiving 16:9 enhancement.  "DREAMGIRLS" is one of the better looking dvds to come out in 2007.  Colors are dead-on perfect throughout the film.  With a wide variety of set designs and lighting techniques, this is no small accomplishment.  There is absolutely no grain to be found, except for stock footage, wherein it's intentional.  Detail is also impressive, especially in darker scenes. While the depth is still undermined when compared to hd-dvd or blu-ray, the dvd makes a fine case for the format still being capable of producing stunning imagery.

The Blu-ray release provides a 1080p/MPEG-2 transfer. Colors are even more vibrant than the dvd! In fact, some may take issue with it being so vibrant as to be unrealistic, but it worked perfectly for this viewer!  Scene after scene appeared to pop off the screen. The detail is incredible throughout and as impressive as the dvd was, the blu-ray blows it away!  The blu-ray is a perfect title for one to demonstrate their home theater system! The HD-DVD offers a 1080/VC-1 transfer. Both look stunning, with comparable color quality and detail. There might be a slight edge to the Blu-ray in terms of a marginal edge in contrast, but it's hard to objectively detect. Both images are that stunning!

While the HD-DVD Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix offers a higher bit-rate, there's no discernible difference in quality between it and the lower bit-rate Dolby Digital 5.1 mix found on the blu-ray.  Both offer incredible dynamic range and great use of bass. Of course, music is critical to the film, and it's perfectly rendered here with a fidelity seldom equaled thus far on High Definition format.  The songs provide an almost revelatory experience here! The surrounds are carefully and continuously utilized for an immersive experience that compliments the story, without ever calling too much unnecessary attention to itself. While both HD-DVD and Blu-ray offer the best sound mixes, the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix found on the dvd is still quite impressive and those who've not adopted to the high-def format, won't have anything to feel bad about.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on dvd offers one of the best sound- mixes of  2007! In addition to a great dynamic range, there's terrific separation within the front soundstage throughout and surrounds provide non-stop ambient effects, in a dazzling manner. Bass effects are also dazzling at times. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

The HD-DVD, BLU-RAY and "SHOW STOPPER" edition of the dvd, come loaded with extras! To begin with, over 1/2 hour of deleted/extended scenes are included.  Most of these are extended musical numbers and it's a shame they weren't re-inserted into the film, ala "RAY: SPECIAL EDITION."   The High-Def formats of course, offer these in 1080i, all except for a Beyonce music video only available in 480i.  Additionally, there's a terrific nearly 2 hour documentary, offering everything a fan would want from a documentary. It's outstanding and should be watched!! There are also screen tests, auditions and much more!!! There's no reason to miss out on this great film with three great formats being offered!