While not a fan of Director John Badham, "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" is
actually a good(not great)film, that has kept its entertainment value, over 30
years since its debut. John Travolta stars in Badham's generally successful
attempt at incorporating a sometimes gritty atmosphere, along with a fairly good
drama, with the '70s disco scene as a consistent rallying point. The film works
well, not only due to strong performances by Travolta and the supporting cast,
but also due to a script that's never as pretentious and pathetic as "FLASHDANCE",
while still reveling in its dance sequences.
The neighborhood of its main characters, as well as their attempts to rise above
no-end jobs, albeit temporarilly, for the various pleasures and vices of night,
found in the club scenes, wherein Travolta's character can be a star, makes for
an often compelling film.
PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
blu-ray release. It looks fantastic! While the previous laserdisc and dvds had
all been hindered by grain and inconsistent color levels, the blu-ray
exemplifies just how far the format can go at improving previous flaws. The
production design for "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" is really impressive, with rich
colors adding greatly to the excitement around the major dance scenes with
Travolta. Even without the nostalgia, it's now easy to understand why Gene
Siskel paid so much for the white suit, Travolta's character, Tony, made famous,
on the dance floor! The level of detail is outstanding in almost every scene.
There are a few minor instances, wherein the image gets soft, and a few where
the depth is diminished, resulting in a flat appearance. However, the great
majority of the film offers dazzling depth, and even the grain that pops up,
adds rather than detracts from the film's appeal, making it more cinematic.
Blacks are inky, ensuring terrific depth in the darker, gritty night scenes, on
the bridge, and elsewhere. A GREAT IMAGE!!!
PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. It's notably better in every way
to the previous dvd and laserdisc. The lossy mix provides terrific fidelity,
allowing the efficient, yet self-descriptive lines of Tony, to have greater
power to them, especially now that they're more understandable, even in scenes,
with pulsing bass and the ambient effects of a disco. While the mix doesn't go
as far to create "new" immersive ambient effects, as in heightening the energy
of the music, it's never a dull mix, and the Bee Gees have never sounded this
good! While not an aggressive mix, it's certainly fun.
A lot of extras are included, and while it's disappointing Travolta doesn't
appear in the lengthy featurette, "CATCHING THE FEVER" was a lot of fun to
watch. A commentary with Badham, offers plenty of nostalgic insight, as well as
some humor. He's a likeable guy and even those potentially sitting on the fence
about the film's overall quality, might be won over by Badham's conviction
here! A few deleted scenes, in standard resolution are included, as well as
some other goodies(Pop-up disco info/descriptions, and more!)
GET THIS ONE!!!!