Burlesque appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This wasn’t a great image, but it was usually good.
Sharpness became the only mild concern, as the movie occasionally looked a little on the soft side. I suspect that this related to the original photography, as the flick favored a “glamour look”; that seemed especially likely given the probable desire to make Aguilera and Cher seem younger than they are.
Whatever the reason, this did leave parts of the movie without especially strong delineation. Nonetheless, the flick usually seemed fairly distinctive. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and edge haloes were absent. Source flaws failed to show up as well; the movie remained clean and clear.
Colors were a highlight in this bubbly flick. The movie boasted a broad palette, and the hues looked lively and vivid. These favored reds and golds, all of which were lush and rich. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows demonstrated good clarity and smoothness. Only the softness caused me to lower my grade down to a still solid “B”.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it should come as no surprise that it favored music. In that realm, the score and songs boasted excellent stereo presence in the front as well as good reinforcement in the rear. The track didn’t feature any prominent unique music from the back speakers, but those channels bolstered the music’s overall impact.
The rest of the mix remained less ambitious. A storm added some involvement, but that was about it. really remained truly dominant, and speech was the second most prominent element. Effects stayed minor and didn’t add much to the proceedings, which was fine, as they shouldn’t have had much to do here.
The track worked well because the music sounded so good. Those songs and score boasted excellent clarity and punch, with clean highs and warm lows. Speech was consistently concise and natural, and the effects – though low-key – were clean and accurate. I thought the mix brought home the music in a very satisfying manner.
As we shift to extras, we find an audio commentary from director Steven Antin. He delivers a running, screen-specific chat that discusses cast and performances, music and choreography, sets and locations, costumes, makeup, editing, deleted scenes and story issues.
Despite a dogged tendency to throw praise at everything involved with the film, Antin provides a pretty good commentary. He gives us a solid nuts and bolts take on the movie and digs into a nice mix of topics. As a first-time director, he has a lot to say, and he ensures that we get a useful track here.
Under The Burlesque Jukebox, we get six full-length musical performances. These include “Something’s Got a Hold On Me (Dancers Version)”. “Long John Blues”, “Guy What Takes His Time”, “Express”, “Jungle Berlin” and “That’s Life”. Most of these act as extended sequences, though “That’s Life” is an actual deleted scene. Altogether, these run a total of 17 minutes, 10 seconds, and they’re a nice bonus for fans of the flick’s tunes.
An Alternate Opening runs six minutes, 33 seconds. This is essentially a longer version of the existing sequence; it adds a few minor bits like a farewell comment from Loretta and also alters the editing; here, we get a musical sequence before Ali quits her job whereas in the final film, that part gets intercut into a montage. It’s not a radically different opening, but it makes a few changes.
Next comes a Blooper Reel. It fills five minutes, 10 seconds and offers the standard assortment of goofs and wackiness. Much of this is forgettable, but we find a few amusing improv moments.
Five Featurettes occupy a total of 33 minutes, 10 seconds. We find “Burlesque Is Back!” (3:19), “The Performers: The Cast of Burlesque” (9:51), “Setting the Stage: Production Design and Photography” (4:11), “Inside the Dressing Room: Creating the Burlesque Look” (5:46) and “The Set List: The Music and Choreography of Burlesque” (11:03). Across these, we hear from Antin, production designer Jon Gary Steele, director of photography Bojan Bazelli, lighting designer Jules Fisher, costume designer Michael Kaplan, makeup designer Cindy Williams, choreographer Denise Faye, and actors Julianne Hough, Alan Cumming, Christina Aquilera, Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Cher, Kristen Bell, and Stanley Tucci.
The featurettes discuss the history and nature of burlesque, the film’s origins and development, cast, characters and performances, sets and cinematography, costumes, makeup, music and choreography. While the programs cover a good variety of subjects, they tend to do so in a superficial manner. Most of the time, we just hear how amazing and wonderful everything about the project is. Some good details do emerge along the way, but this remains an inefficient and fluffy collection of programs.
The disc opens with ads for How Do You Know, The Tourist, Country Strong and You Got Served: Beat the World. These also show up under Previews, but no trailer for Burlesque shows up here.
The package also provides a DVD Copy of Burlesque. This provides a standard retail copy of the disc, so except for the featurettes – exclusive to the Blu-ray – it shares all the same extras. That helps make it a nice bonus.
A slightly classier version of Showgirls, Burlesque suffers from a ridiculously stale script and dialogue and a total lack of originality. While it maintains a moderate level of competence, it suffers from an absence of creativity. The Blu-ray gives us good picture and audio along with a reasonably nice package of supplements. I can’t say the movie itself impresses me, but the Blu-ray presents it well.