The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: MGM - 1995
MPAA Rating: NC-17
Feature running time: 131 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AV (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Elizabeth Berkley, Gina Gershon, Kyle MacLachlan, Glenn Plummer, Robert Davi, Alan Rachins, Gina Ravera
Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Music by: David A. Stewart
Written by: Joe Eszterhas
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 15, 2010
"Sex, seduction, and betrayal"
The show is about to begin. Sex, seduction and betrayal come together in the outrageously unforgettable camp classic Showgirls: 15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition, hitting the strip on Blu-ray June 15 from MGM Home Entertainment. It's Vegas, baby, and Nomi's (Elizabeth Berkley) dreams and desires to make it big are as sharp as a stiletto heel. When she catches the eye of Cristal (Gina Gershon), the Stardust's sexy headliner, Nomi is on the brink of living her dream. But she soon realizes that there is only room for one starlet on the marquee and that either she or Cristal will have to take the fall!
Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) has what it takes to make it as a Las Vegas showgirl -- what she doesn't have is a way in. To survive, she accepts the only job available: lap dancing at a seedy club. And when she meets Cristal (Gina Gershon), Vegas' reigning showgirl, Nomi wants everything she has -- including her boyfriend (MacLachlan). And as Nomi dives deeper into the world she so desperately desires, a rivalry between the two women heats up. The battle for the spotlight becomes so fiercely competitve that it drives Nomi to desperate lengths -- and devious heights -- for fame in Sin City.
The much ballyhooed Showgirls. I didn't see it theatrically but can clearly recall the hype that surrounded its release and the fervor that ensued when it came to home video. I have seen it on DVD and honestly didn't care much for it. I will admit to my initial shock at seeing Elizabeth Berkley, not only completely nude but potty mouthed and in enough sexually explicit situations to rival soft porn. Prior to this film my only other experience with her was seeing her on the cheesy TV sitcom Saved by the bell where she portrayed a character that is a far cry from Nomi. In looking at Showgirls as a dramatic film it plays out like a standard formulaic type that features a dreamer that comes from meager means (dark past included), suffers, rises, and succumbs to the pitfalls of worldly inexperience in a fast paced dog eat dog scenario. In this regard it isn't anything special however it isn't overtly poor either. Where I think it fails is in the additional elements that are thrown in order to elevate its very basic and unoriginal premise. This comes in the form of gratuitous nudity, over stated (and in a few cases graphic) sexual content, as well as references to explicit sexual acts with the accompanying language. There is also a rather disturbing rape scene that to me appeared irrelevant within the film's context but served as another means to elicit reaction.
The result is a sexploitation style film that becomes defined by its reliance on disingenuous characters, and over the top and derived situations that lack plausibility which at times make it laughable. The principle characters (with the exception of Molly) are all pretty unlikeable and have little to no redeeming qualities. This includes Nomi who as portrayed by Berkeley comes across as melodramatic, whiney, and hammy. Kyle MacLaughlan and Gina Gershon are credible enough but the remainder of the cast which consists primarily of familiar yet unremarkable faces adds little. Director Paul Verhoeven is an established and competent director with a solid pedigree that hits the mark more than misses it. This would qualify as a miss but with an asterisk. Showgirls did poorly during its theatrical run but since coming to video has attained cult status and sold more than $100 million in video rentals. In that light it is seen as a success for the studio. I haven't seen it in years and this revisit didn't do anything to ingratiate to me.
The rating is for nudity, erotic sexuality throughout and for some graphic language and sexual violence.
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Showgirls comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 channel Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.4 Mbps.
The video presented on this catalog release title looks surprisingly good. Images are clearly defined with crisp textures, and appreciable delineation that enhanced depth. Black levels are slightly elevated which tended to make dark scenes look flat but mixed light/dark elements looked fine. Colors are well saturated with bright, vivid hues that popped nicely. Skin tones are lifelike with natural tonality that varies among the members of the cast. Grain is visible in fine even layers that appear consistent throughout the presentation. There are instances where fidelity wavers however as a whole this is a high bitrate encoding that doesn't suffer from any obvious indications of compression related artifacts/noise and looks solid.
Like the video presentation I found this lossless DTS-HD MA sound mix to be surprisingly good. Dialogue is crisp, well intonated and mixed to a prominent position within the impressively wide front soundstage. Sound effects and panning sequences across the main channels are smooth while offering discernible channel separation spatial dimension. The largely techno style music doesn't have the feeling of authority that you might find with today's digital recordings but it exerts tangible influence with clear instrumentation and robust dynamics. Surround activity is frequent and offers a nice blend of ambience and discretely placed sounds that envelop the listening position which broadens the soundfield. Bass reproduction isn't prodigious but its presence is purposeful and tangibly obvious. The recorded elements rarely sound dated and result in a satisfying surround sound presentation.
- (HD) Pole dancing: Finding your inner stripper - 12 minute feature on the S-Factor workout routine
- Lap dance tutorial: Featuring the world-famous Girls of Scores - 5 minutes
- The greatest movie ever made A commentary by David Schmader
- A showgirls diary - 4 deleted scenes including behind the scenes footage/storyboard sketches
- Showgirls fact-up trivia
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- DVD Bonus Disc - Standard definition version of Showgirls
Showgirls is a film characterized by many as being so bad that it is good. I don't think it is the worst film ever made but I would not qualify it as a good film, guilty pleasure or otherwise. It makes it debut on Blu-ray from Fox in a two disc 15th anniversary edition that features high quality lossless surround sound along with a nice looking high definition video presentation that is sure to surpasses the standard definition versions making it worthy of consideration as an upgrade for fans. The Blu-ray Disc bonus features include a trivia track, audio commentary, deleted scenes, a couple of featurettes that are more fluff than substance, and a bonus DVD version of the film. If you haven't seen Showgirls and are curious you can give this a rent. Otherwise this offering should be reserved for purchase by fans of the film.
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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package