BLU-RAY REVIEW

Dreamgirls

Featured In Issue 121, June 2007

Picture5
SoundNR
WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
(Studio/Distributor):
Paramount Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number):
12357
(MPAA Rating):
PG13
(Rating Reason):
For language, some sexuality, and drug content
(Retail Price):
$39.99
(Disc Type):
Two-Disc Set (HD 30s)
(Widescreen Edition):
Yes
(Full Screen Edition):
No
(Running Time In Minutes):
130
(Color Type):
Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access):
Yes
(Closed Captioned):
Yes
(Regional Coding):
Not Indicated
(Theatrical Year):
2006
(Theatrical Release):
Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release):
No
(Disc Release Date):
05/01/07
(THX® Digitally Mastered):
No
(Director):
Bill Condon
(Screenplay/Written By):
(Story):
(Music):
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer):
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor):
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers):
(Co-Producers):
(Producers):
(Academy Awards):
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio):
(Measured Disc Aspect Ratio):
(Disc Soundtrack):
(Theatrical Sound):
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(DTS Bit Rate):
(Dolby Digital Bit Rate):
(Additional Languages):
(French Language):
(Spanish Language):
(Chinese Language):
(Subtitles):
(Cantonese Language):
(Mandarin Language):
(Japanese Language):
(Italian Language):
(German Language):
(Portuguese Language):

Singing and dancing their hearts out since before they were teenagers, Deena (Knowles), Effie (Hudson in her Oscar-winning role), and Lorrell (Rose) are beginning to wonder, after losing yet another talent contest, if all the hard work is really worth it. When from the shadows steps Curtis Taylor Jr. (Foxx) who offers the trio a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...an opportunity of fame and of fortune, and of heartache. "Dreamgirls" is based on Tom Eyen's Tony award-winning Broadway musical. (Jack Kelley)

Special features on Disc One of the HD DVD are the same as on the DVD but with the addition of the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack promo, and include 12 extended and alternate scenes, the "Listen" music video by Beyonce` Knowles, and previews. Disc Two is also the same as the DVD except there is no image gallery: four featurettes: the nine-part "Building The Dream" (115 minutes), "Dream Logic: Film Editing" (four minutes), "Dressing The Dreams: Costume Design" (eight mintues), and "Center Stage: Theatrical Lighting" (nine mintues); three auditions/screen tests; and seven previsualization sequences.

The MPEG-2-encoded Blu-ray Disc and VC-1-encoded HD DVD look fantastic, with inky blacks, superb shadow delineation, and great resolution. Colors are bright and bold, sometimes slightly unnaturally so, but fleshtones are rock solid. If there are differences between the two encodings, I cannot see them. (Danny Richelieu)

The DolbyŽ Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack can sound very good, but when levels get too high there is some clipping distortion that can be heard. While it isn't overly intrusive, it can become somewhat distracting. In general, though, vocals and dialogue are recorded and played back very well. The front stage is amply wide, with good imaging of individual instruments across the stage. The surround channels, though, are not incorporated into the mix as well as they could be, which can limit the spaciousness of the soundtrack. The Blu-ray Disc's Dolby Digital 5.1-channel encoding improves fidelity slightly over the DVD track, and the HD DVD's Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel encoding improves upon that a little more. The only downside of this increased fidelity is it makes it even more obvious that the singing was recorded close-miked, as the vocals sound even more closed in and spatially incoherent than in the DVD. Still, this is a great soundtrack with very good dynamic range and fidelity. (Danny Richelieu)