Featured In Issue 127, January 2008

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
New Line Home Entertainment
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(MPAA Rating):
(Rating Reason):
For language, some suggestive content, and momentary teen smoking
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(Disc Type):
2 Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25's)
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(Full Screen Edition):
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(Chaptered/Scene Access):
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(Theatrical Release):
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(Disc Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Adam Shankman
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(Academy Awards):
(Principal Photography):
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(Disc Soundtrack):
DTS HD Lossless 7.1
(Theatrical Sound):
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
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(French Language):
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It is 1962 in Baltimore and teen Tracy Turnbald (Blonsky) is a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart. Tracy's dream is to appear on Baltimore's hippest dance show, The Corny Collins Show. She auditions for the show and proves she definitely has the moves, winning a coveted spot on the program. Tracy becomes an overnight dancing sensation, but when her popularity threatens to dethrone the show's reigning princess, the dance party gets personal and a feud errupts between the two rivals as they compete for the Miss Teenage Hairspray crown. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features on Disc One that are different from the DVD include two commentary tracks—one with Director Adam Shankman and Nikki Blonsky and the other with Producers Caig Zadan and Neil Meron; the ability to Jump To A Song in the film with a sing-along option; and "Behind The Beat," which are interacive features that take you behind the scenes while viewing the film with optional picture-in-picture abilities. The supplements that are the same as on the DVD are five deleted scenes with optional commentary from Shankman and Blonsky; "Hairspray Extensions," which is a behind-the-scenes look at six segments of the movie; and "Step By Step: The Dances Of Hairspray," where you learn two dances featured in the film. The supplements on Disc Two can be found on the DVD and include "The Roots Of Hairspray," which contains three featurettes: "The Buddy Dean Show" (eight minutes), "John Waters' Hairspray" (16 minutes), and "Hairspray On Broadway" (16 minutes); "You Can't Stop The Beat" with the following featurettes: "Hairspray Returns To The Screen" (nine minutes), "The Cast Of Hairspray" (17 minutes), and "The Music Of Hairspray" (15 minutes); and the theatrical trailer.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.38:1 DVD shows good resolution and solid black levels. Shadow delineation and contrast is also rendered nicely. The imagery can have a believably dimensional look. While resolution is good, it isn't great, as the subtleties in textures aren't recognizable, looking soft and flat. Colors are bold and nicely saturated. Edge enhancement is minor and compression artifacts aren't overly distracting, for the most part. While the VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows a noticeable improvement in resolution over the DVD, fine textures can look slightly too soft, compared to the best high-definition transfers. Colors are bold and vibrant, contrast is nicely balanced, and black levels are solid. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital Surround EX 5.1-channel and DTS® ES™ 6.1-channel encodings have good fidelity with a broad, deep front stage and adequate surround integration. The LFE channel is used well, and deep bass is also presented in each of the full-range channels. Dialogue sounds natural for the most part (but there are times when it sounds boxy and thin), and vocals are integrated into the rest of the soundtrack well. The DTS encoding provides a slight improvement in overall fidelity, with better articulation and tighter bass. The discrete center surround channel doesn't add much to matrix-derived center surround in the Dolby encoding, as both encodings provide slightly improved surround engagement over listening without the center surround channel activated. The Blu-ray Disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-channel probably sounds fantastic, but we still do not have the capability of decoding anything but the core DTS Digital Surround stream. It sounds very similar to the DVD's DTS encoding, with good articulation and tight bass. (Danny Richelieu)