MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Midwest singer Ali (Christina Aguilera) wants to break into the big time, so she leaves Iowa for Los Angeles. Soon, she stumbles upon the Burlesque Lounge where the productions are spectacular in the most Bob Fosse, underground cabaret sort of way. She befriends the owner Tess (Cher), who is struggling to keep her club in the black, and soon becomes the star of the show herself.
WHAT I LIKED
I don’t care what anyone else says… “Burlesque” was a hell of a lot of fun. It’s totally ridiculous, utterly unbelievable and deliciously naughty as much as a PG-13 movie can be. But part of the fun of a movie like “Burlesque” is giving into that theatrical fantasy. A friend of mine described it as a place that doesn’t exist but you wish did. Another friend described the film: “Stanley Tucci getting hit in the face with a glitter gun? Fabulous!”
If you cannot look at “Burlesque” with these eyes, the film will be lost on you. Like the fantasy elements of “Chicago,” “Burlesque” injects the love of theater into your blood like a mainline of heroin. It’s intoxicating and a spectacle to watch.
The music really brings the movie together. Where many musicals fail by forcing song and dance numbers into a script, these are the highlights of this film. Rather than resting on a plot, “Burlesque” rests upon a string of dance numbers that are more enjoyable to watch than anything else in the film. It’s cabaret performance porn at its best.
And I was also totally fine with all the underwear-clad butt shots given up in the film. It doesn’t matter that not a single woman in the cast has her original hair color.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I’ll admit that as enjoyable as “Burlesque” is, it’s plot is nothing to write home about… even if you are from Iowa. Small-town girl going to the big city to be an entertainer? Seen it a million times. It’s pretty much “Showgirls” without the rape and ball-busting lap dances. So don’t expect much there.
And any time someone steps outside of the cabaret, I lost complete interest in the story, characters and plot. Because who can have fantastic show-stopping numbers like this in a swanky L.A. pad?
Like the movie itself, the DVD of “Burlesque” hits hardest when it’s doing the production numbers. Six songs are presented in unedited format, and there are five featurettes spotlighting the music, dancing cast and playlist.
There’s also a MovieIQ sync feature via BD-Live that feeds you trivia along with the film.
Additional features include the director’s commentary, a blooper reel and an alternate opening.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People with some theater in their blood.