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DVD Review: "Dreamgirls"

2-Disc Showstopper Edition


Going into this Bill Condon musical, I didn't really know what to expect, and a large part of that is me not paying attention and doing the research beforehand. Was I going to see another "Ray", or another "Walk the Line"? I went into this film blindly, intent on letting it sweep over me, although I knew from the previews that this type of film was really not my usual cup of tea. And, this was the same Condon that gave us "Candyman II: Farewell to the Flesh," so my expectations were all over the place.

Our very own reviewer Brian Orndorf hit the nail on the head with his review of the film when it first released to theaters, so I won't rehash essentially what would be the same lackluster review. What I will say is that the film will most likely deliver wholeheartedly to its intended audience. But as for me, watching someone sing their dialogue draws me instantly out of the drama. What could have been an emotional ride through the Motown era instead drained out of the film through the melodramatic lines being sung between the actors/singers.


- Extended and Alternate Scenes
If you loved the musical numbers (and there are a few that really shine) then this section is for you, as many of the performances in the movie get extra minutes.

- "Listen"
A music video featuring Beyonce performing one of the better numbers from the movie.


- Building the Dream
A series of very extensive behind-the-scenes documentaries on how the movie came to fruition from stage to screen. A fascinating look at the history of the play, as well as insight from many of the producers, directors, and actors from the movie. The meat and potatoes of the extras is for certain in this section.

- Dream Logic: Film Editing
An exhaustive look at how the film was edited. It's a wonder that the editor didn't lose her mind, what with all the footage that was shot.

- Dressing the Dreams: Costume Design
As you can imagine, this featurette examines the process of making the costumes for the film, a monumental task, given the source material from which this production came.

- Center Stage: Theatrical Lighting
Given that the movie is based on the classic musical, it makes sense how much theatrical lighting went into each and every scene. This featurette deals with the technicalities and issues that arose from trying to mimic the musical while making it feel like a movie.

- Auditions and Screen Tests
Get a glimpse inside the screen test of Beyonce Knowles, and auditions from Anika Noni Rose and Fatima Robinson.

- Previsualization Sequences
The audio from actual movie scenes plays while storyboards from production display at key times during these previz sequences to give you insight into how the pacing is worked out before any filming is done.

- Image Gallery
Still images from storyboards, costume designs, production designs, and the art department archive.

Movie Grade: C
DVD Grade: A

"Dreamgirls: 2-Disc Showstopper Edition" dances its way to shelves on May 1st!

Posted by on April 30, 2007 10:14 PM
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