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post #1 of 12 Old 01-19-2010, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=163916&d=1263751724
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

90






Studio and Year: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 107 minutes (Theatrical Version)/123 minutes (Extended Version)
Genre: Musical/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Naturi Naughton, Paul Iacono, Kay Panabaker, Charles S. Dutton, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullally
Directed by: Kevin Tancharoen
Music by: Mark Isham
Written by: Allison Burnett (screenplay), Christopher Gore (1980 motion picture "Fame")
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 12, 2010







"Dream It - Earn It - Live It"



Film Synopsis:

A reinvention of the original Oscar-winning hit film, Fame follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors, and artists over four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, a diverse, creative powerhouse where students from all walks of life are given a chance to live out their dreams and achieve real and lasting fame…the kind that comes only from talent, dedication, and hard work. In an incredibly competitive atmosphere, plagued by self-doubt, each student’s passion will be put to the test.




My Take:

Remakes are never well received. If the filmmakers change the story or “modernize” the source material the purists scream bloody murder. If they make it just like the original (Gus Van Sant’s Psycho), everyone feels cheated and complains of the rip-off they just witnessed; it is a no-win a situation. To the silent majority, these remakes must be doing something right as they are making money and Hollywood keeps churning them out. From the success of modern music movies like the High School Musicals, we are treated to a modernization of 1980’s Fame. You know…”I'm gonna live forever, I'm gonna learn how to fly, High!”…Fame.

2009’s Fame had a lot to nail. It needed memorable characters, performers who can act, great music, choreography, direction...the list goes on. First time feature film Director Kevin Tancharoen comes from a background of doing music projects, so it makes sense that the musical sequences and music itself were top notch. I hope he learns to use a steady-cam because I was getting sick with all the zoom-in, move left to right for no reason shots (seriously, do you need to zoom and wiggle the camera around on a shot of teacher speaking on a podium?). The kids cast to attend the famous New York City High School of Performing Arts all had talent; not all were as memorable as the original cast, but they sure could sing and dance. Denise (Naturi Naughton), a classically trained pianist who finds her true calling as an R&B singer, much to her parent’s disapproval, was a standout with her amazing voice; I really wanted more of her story. Whenever the script touched on character development it dropped it like a hot potato, moved on to another storyline, only to try to pick it up 20 minutes later to drop it again….over and over. Fame had good ideas and intentions; it just never finished what it started, leaving the characters and itself underdeveloped. It needed the raw grit and honesty of the original; too much attention was spent on the production and music, not the story. Add this to your “If nothing else is on” list because it’s not ‘that’ bad…. it’s just not good either.





Parental Guide:

Rated PG for thematic material including teen drinking, a sexual situation and language.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 92



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373694

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373698

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373697

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697



Video: 88



  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373697

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373698

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373698

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948d=1210373696


Fame comes to Bluray Disc from MGM featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 mbps and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.9 mbps

Here is where Fame shined. A top-notch transfer with a nice style; filmed with golden and blue hue's, Fame's color pallet was realistic yet vivid. The hand-held camera work added some softness at times but Fame was mostly sharp with great detail all around. Black levels were deep and there were no compression artifacts to bee seen. The DTS-HD mix is reference quality. Dynamic, detailed and lush, my room came alive while watching Fame. Dialogue never got lost, surrounds were utilized with taste and I always felt right there with the players. Deep and warm low end was oozing out of my sub during the musical numbers. The lunchroom jam really stood out; Starting with a drum machine, then a drummer joins...to a bass player, rappers, singers, percussion, guitar...layer by layer kept adding to the jam as a new instruments joined in. It kept building and the result was nothing short of breathtaking. This is the best my system has sounded with a non-blockbuster action extravaganza.




Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) "Fame" Music Video

  • (HD) Remember My Name: Character Profiles

  • (HD) Make-up Test Footage

  • (HD) Fame National Talent Search Finalists Featurette

  • The Dancers of Fame Featurette

  • Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:

Fame didn't live up to the expectations left by it's class of 1980. As its own film it was missing spark and character development. As a technical piece it was stellar with a top notch transfer and true reference audio. Close to an hour of additional footage and supplemental material is included; if you are into the movie I think you will enjoy all of it. Fame is another sub-par remake that misses the soul and reason the original was a hit. If you are cool with knowing it's a let down and just want to enjoy your system, then Fame is recommended. I will suggest a rental before a blind buy.




attachment.php?attachmentid=157497&d=1257542613







Lee Weber
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-19-2010, 12:06 PM
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Greetings,

Thanks Lee..


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post #3 of 12 Old 01-19-2010, 12:18 PM
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-19-2010, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys



2/5 and I was in a good mood!
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Originally Posted by The Chosen One View Post

2/5 Wait what?! Oh the remake...

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-19-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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appartently, this disc contains 2 versions...the theatrical and an extended version. WHat are the differences? Are the musical numbers just extended? Or is there more to it?
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-19-2010, 05:03 PM
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The extended version will torture you for an additional 15 minutes. I agree with Lee...this film totally missed the mark not only compared to the original but as a film. The characters are one-dimensional, the pacing is poor, and in the end the viewer (at least my wife and I) doesn't care if the main characters make it big or get hit by a bus. The only character I wanted to see was Naturi Naughton, who has a terrific voice. Everyone else...blah.

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-19-2010, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Clemons View Post

appartently, this disc contains 2 versions...the theatrical and an extended version. WHat are the differences? Are the musical numbers just extended? Or is there more to it?


Just more dance/musical numbers...sure wished it was character development!
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-20-2010, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

The extended version will torture you for an additional 15 minutes.

So basically you'll be blind and deaf for that amount of minutes. lol

After reading Lee's take, review and write up i think i'm going to pass on this one. Don't normally pass on a high scoring Blu Ray but when Lee said that "...script touched on character development it dropped it like a hot potato, moved on to another storyline, only to try to pick it up 20 minutes later to drop it again.over and over..." that left me wondering what happened to the rest of the characters story and such.

Cheers
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-20-2010, 06:50 AM
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Is there a post/thread somewhere that details the score system for these reviews?

I know presentation and extras are taken into account, but you would think the bulk of the weight would be placed on the quality of the film itself (you know, the whole polishing a turd thing).

It's very an odd system that would have a 2 star movie result in a 90 and a 4 star movie (500 Days Of Summer) result in an 81.

Or is it simply that the numeric score is JUST for presentation, while the star system is solely for quality?
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-20-2010, 06:54 AM
 
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WHile I was never a fan of the original, I guess comparing the two films is a good signpost of the type of society we live in these days. Just like the last DIE HARD film, where the character is called John McClane, but no longer drinks, smokes, or cusses. I doubt I'll even bother with FAME as a rental.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-20-2010, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClerkDante View Post

Is there a post/thread somewhere that details the score system for these reviews?

I know presentation and extras are taken into account, but you would think the bulk of the weight would be placed on the quality of the film itself (you know, the whole polishing a turd thing).

It's very an odd system that would have a 2 star movie result in a 90 and a 4 star movie (500 Days Of Summer) result in an 81.

Or is it simply that the numeric score is JUST for presentation, while the star system is solely for quality?

Those numeric scores are purely for audio and video quality, not content - just how it is presented. A shiny turd is still a turd.

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-20-2010, 05:23 PM
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The rating for the film is at the top of the page. In this case, 2/5 which puts is in the territory of crap (but may be worth a rental for some).

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