Not being a fan of musicals, this reviewer was pleasantly surprised with how entertaining and effective "HAIRSPRAY" managed to be on blu-ray. Adapted from the musical, adapted from the "B" movie from John Waters, this film version improves substantially on everything missing in the other versions. The film ingeniously deals with the weighty issues of race relations, high school angst, and much more, while working around the setting of '60s Baltimore and an "American Bandstand" type of tv show. In keeping with John Waters' original concept, John Travolta somehow manages to make us forget he's a man in drag by somewhere in the middle of the film! But, then "everyone" here is outstanding. It's a real ensemble gem! Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken and the rest are perfect! "HAIRSPRAY" manages to get across important messages, without ever patronizing, and while providing an upbeat atmosphere that's contagious. It's hard not to move one's feet or head during the music! Perfectly choreographed, performed and shot, "HAIRSPRAY" is great entertainment for any occasion!
NEW LINE has provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio with this 1080p/VC-1 transfer. Marking the debut "blu-ray" release for NEW LINE, "HAIRSPRAY" never disappoints! The elaborate production design is flawlessly complimented with rich, vibrant colors without any hint of oversaturation! The level of detail is outstanding! The texture of the clothing is perfectly presented with almost 3-d quality. The image is never flat, and contrast, offering deep blacks and grays, is outstanding as well! This is a reference quality Blu-ray! BRAVO, NEW LINE, BRAVO!
The 2 disc dvd version offers the same aspect ratio(perhaps "slightly" less than 2.40:1)with terrific detail, at least as standard dvd goes. Colors are rich and never oversaturated. Of course the depth can't match high-definition, but there it's as impressive a looking dvd as we've seen all year! Contrast is great, although blacks aren't as deep as on the blu-ray version. Thankfully, there aren't any dark scenes to speak of so, contrast in this area is a non-issue.
NEW LINE has provided a DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio with 7.1 sound! It's hard not be blown away by the aggressive, engulfing soundstage provided here! From the opening number "HELLO BALTIMORE" to the end, music plays a predominant fixture, but it's given a reverence few tracks give to elaborate special effects. The music is flawlessly balanced and its environment is wondrous to behold! There are also plenty of ambient and discrete effects, but none of these overshadow the other and dialogue is always perfectly rendered! A REFERENCE QUALITY MIX!!
NEW LINE has provided options for two mixes on dvd. There is a Dolby Digital EX 5.1 or DTS-ES 6.1 option. Comparing scene to scene with both mixes, there's better dynamic range and bass with the DTS option. Although the Dolby Digital mix rivals most other dvds of recent memory in quality. Surrounds are well utilized throughout.
NEW LINE has provided stunning high-def for its supplementary material on the 2nd disc as well! There are four great documentary featurettes, with one running over 70 minutes long! The "DVD" version offers the same material, but in Standard 480 resolution.
The first disc offers "step-by-step" dance moves, deleted scenes(one musical number with is incredible)and more!