Cher, Christina Aguilera, Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Julianne Hough, Alan Cumming, Peter Gallagher, Kristen Bell and Stanley Tucci
Out to buy on Blu-Ray/DVD 25/04/11
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Fed up of just been a waitress in Ohio, Ali (Aguilera) decides to leave everything behind and head to Los Angeles to showcase her talents. Of course this was never going to be easy and even when she finds a place where her dreams may come true, only the best get to perform at Burlesque. Sweet-talking the barman Jack (Gigandet), she gets her self a job waiting tables but all she needs is an opportunity to impress the owner Tess (Cher) to show that she can bring something new to the club.
Since the success of ‘Chicago’ at the Oscars, studios have been looking for the next big musical to wow audiences with dance and song but can ‘Burlesque’ tempt you into taking another peek?
The musical had died at the box office during the 80s and 90s with audiences only accepting Disney’s animated classics but the turn of the new millennium brought them back with song, dance and a big dollop of modern technology to bring them right back up to date. After ‘Moulin Rouge!’ in 2001 and with ‘Chicago’ clearing up at the Oscars a year later, studios knew that an audience had returned for musical theatre and floodgates were now open. With film versions of popular stage musicals like ‘Hairspray’, ‘The Producers’, ‘Rent’, ‘Dreamgirls’, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Nine’ all gracing the silver screen, it was the humongous success of ‘Mamma Mia!’ that really showed that modern music and the traditions of the stage can combine with great success on the silver screen and that brings us to ‘Burlesque’.
The story of a girl wanting to make it in the big city is eternal in the halls of Hollywood and the essence of many a piece of musical theatre. Dreaming of fame and fortune is something that has become all the more prominent in modern popular culture with TV reality talent shows dominating ratings all of the world, so the story of a girl of a small town in Ohio who heads to Los Angeles to become a singer is something that even more people can relate to than ever before. Instead of her auditioning to a panel and getting her shot on national television however, this film’s lead character Ali gets her break in LA’s up and coming nightspot ‘Burlesque’ and her rise to fame and fortune begins.
Making her motion picture debut as a lead actress, singing sensation Christina Aguilera plays Ali, the small town girl with the big voice’. Many a singer has stepped out of the recording studio and onto a sound stage before and failed miserably but, even though opportunity must have raised its head before, Christina Aguilera has waited quite late into her career to make this step. There is no arguing that the former teen sensation turned respected artist has a stunning voice but the question is and always has been, “Can she act?” ‘Burlesque’ gives her the chance to try but it is her presence in the musical numbers and her contribution to the soundtrack that overshadows what is a promising acting debut.
For a singer to make her debut as an actress, you need to fill her with confidence by surrounding her with accomplished talent. Kristen Bell as rival Nikki, Peter Gallagher as the club’s co-owner Vince, Stanley Tucci as Sean, the man who looks after the girls, Cam Gigandet as Jack the love interest and Eric Dane as Marcus Gerber, the businessman who only has money on his mind, all make Christina’s debut all the more smooth. It is her big hitting co-star that steals much of the limelight however. As Tess, music legend and Oscar winning actress Cher shows what can be achieved when you mix music and acting and while she may be well into her sixties and had a some work done, Cher has a screen presence that draws you in.
‘Burlesque’ is a musical with a simple well-trodden story, some excellent song and dance numbers and a cast that can bring it when it comes to the taking you on that fantasy music journey. The fact that the club is not ‘Burlesque’ in the European sense of the word, some of the dialogue is dreadful and it is completely predictable, takes nothing away from a film that achieves what it set out to be, a crowd-pleasing musical.
Blu-ray & DVD Bonus Material
- The Burlesque Lounge: 6 Full Musical Performances!
- Blooper Reel
- Alternate Opening
- Commentary with Writer/Director Steven Antin
- Burlesque Jukebox
Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Material
- movieIQ®+sync featuring the Burlesque playlist
- Burlesque is Back! Featurette
- The Performers: The Cast of Burlesque Featurette
- Setting the Stage: Production Design & Photography Featurette
- Inside the Dressing Room: Creating the Burlesque Look Featurette
- The Set List: The Music & Choreography of Burlesque Featurette
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