Burlesque is a song-and-dance-filled extravaganza centered around Ali (Aguilera), a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to Los Angeles. After stumbling upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theatre that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job as a cocktail waitress from Tess (Cher), the club's proprietor and headliner. Burlesque's outrageous costumes and bold choreography enrapture the young ingénue, who vows to perform there one day. Soon enough, Ali builds a friendship with a featured dancer (Hough), finds an enemy in a troubled, jealous performer (Bell), and garners the affection of Jack (Gigandet), a bartender and fellow musician. With the help of a sharp-witted stage manager (Tucci) and gender-bending host (Cumming), Ali makes her way from the bar to the stage. Her spectacular voice restores The Burlesque Lounge to its former glory, though, not before a charismatic entrepreneur (Dane) arrives with an exciting proposal. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Writer/Director Steven Antin; "The Burlesque Jukebox" (six full and uncut performances from the film) (HD 17:26); an alternate opening (HD 06:31); a blooper reel (HD 05:09); five featurettes: Burlesque Is Back! (HD 03:19), The Performances: The Cast Of Burlesque (HD 08:50), Setting The Stage: Production Design & Photography (HD 04:10), Inside The Dressing Room: Creating The Burlesque Look (HD 05:46), and The Set List: the Music & Choreography Of Burlesque (HD 11:02); up-front previews; MovieIQ, and BD-Live functionality.
The 1080p 2.40:1 AVC picture is beautifully rendered, with a colorful stylistic appearance that engages the visual senses. While the club scenes offstage are pretty dark, the imagery sets a realistic tone to the storytelling. The choreography, by Denise Faye and Joey Pizzi, is dazzling! The costumes, makeup, and stage settings are absolutely spellbinding. Hues are rich and warm with a vivid, saturated look. Resolution is purposely softly focused, but during close-ups of facial features, clothing and object textures is, at times, nicely detailed. Due to the darkened club environs, the film is best viewed in a similar darkened room for optimum results. Bojan Bazelli's cinematography is visually arresting, with an engaging play on light and contrast. This is a wonderful visual experience that won't disappoint. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is spectacular, with an aggressively holosonic® soundfield presence. What is impressive is how the soundfield is so well integrated at the sides of the soundfield, with superb phantom sidewall imaging and depth. The music, especially the live band club sound recorded and mixed by Steve Kaplan, is terrific and recorded superbly, with an impressive dynamic realism and punch that is engaging. Instrumentation is well defined in timbre and spatial qualities, and the drum set dynamics are spot on. Bass sounds completely natural, with excellent decay. The bass is alive during the music numbers, perfectly supported by the .1 LFE channel. The performances of "Express...It's Burlesque" and "Show Me How You Burlesque" are spectacularly powerful and classy, with powerful vocal and dance deliveries by Aguilera! Atmospheric effects, such club and bartending sounds, are realistic. The thunderstorm sequence is dynamic and spatially engaging. Dialogue is perfectly intelligible and, at times, nicely integrated spatially. This is a high-energy and beautiful-sounding soundtrack that will impress. (Gary Reber)