Click For The Z Review Homepage!
Movie News!
Movies Coming Soon!
Movie Reviews!
Movie Trailers!
All The hot Movie DVD 's!
Movie Features!
Movie Community!
Movie Resource!
 
Site Contents Copyrightę 2001 The Z Review, unless used with permission.

Hot News!
We have moved to our Brand new home on our own server at www.thezreview.co.uk

Please click over there for ALL our DAILY updates!



Strictly Ballroom  
STRICTLY BALLROOM DVD FEATURES

Region Reviewed: Region 1
Number of Discs
: 1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Picture: 2.35:1 Anamorphic


Special Features: Audio Commentary with director Baz Luhrmann, production designer Catherine Martin and choreographer John 'Cha Cha 'O'Connell
'Samba to Slow Fox' Dancing Featurette, The entertaining documentary that inspired Strictly Ballroom, Special Deleted Scene, 3D Gallery, 'Red Curtain 'Inspired Animated Menus, Technical Specifications: 5.1 Audio Sound French Subtitles and Spanish Subtitles


Strictly Ballroom Review: Opening at 'The Southern District's Waratah Championship', the dance-floor swarms with couples hoping for a trophy. Scott (Paul Mercurio), is a talented dancer who dreams of winning the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix and is entered in this championship. During a rumba final when Scott and his partner get boxed into a corner, the only chance of escape is via acrobatic, unconventional steps. His maverick approach flies in the face of the rituals of ballroom dance and sees him being threatened with disbarment by the ADF (Australian Dancing Federation) judges. It's just too much for his partner, who flees in tears. Enter the clumsy and visually challenged Fran (Tara Morice).
A mere beginner she hasn't even got a partner, yet Fran really admires
Scott's ground-breaking performance and would love to dance with him (a
preposterous idea under normal circumstances).

Scott can't quite believe that she's even asking but when Fran stings his pride with a few well-aimed words, he just has to take her on. Unsurprisingly she's pretty clumsy, though nowhere near as bad as Scott had imagined, leading them to snatch a few hours in the evening to practice. There's no way that news of the illicit dancing can get out though, so Scott still has to plow through the charade of trials. The big problem now is time, with the State and Pan-Pacific contests looming large.

The scenes when Scott is being instructed by Fran's father Rico (Antonio
Vargas) stand out for their passion and expression of dance as something to
be lived and enjoyed, rather than as a clinical sport. The contrast with ScottÕs family, where trophies are all, is extreme, with Scott a definite aberration.
When he is dancing in the finals with Fran, despite the desires of Barry Fife
(Bill Hunter - he's the ADF President) who unsuccessfully to disqualify the
pair and give the championship to a couple to whom he has already promised
the prize. The audience goes wild with the unconventional steps, especially
with the inclusion of the Spanish steps taught him by Rico and the
impression is given that Scott and Fran win the prize and go on to live
happily ever after.

Buy it. Watch it.

It's a feel-good fantasy with none of the negative connotations that this
suggests. Strictly Ballroomwill make even the meanest curmudgeon smile.
The camera lens, again and again, makes fun of the stuffy judges and the
anxious parents.

The Miramax film is based on an Australian play of the same name that was one
of that country's biggest 1992 screen hits. It's easy to see why.

The movie is funny, energetic, and enjoyable Ñ the perfect film for a night
or an afternoon out, regardless of what mood you're in. While the plot and characters don't boast any special depth, there's enough freshness to hold just about anyone's interest.

Strictly Ballroom focuses its attention on the gaudy, fantastical world of
ballroom dancing and the fixated characters that live within it. To the people who use performing as a way to escape the daily grind of normality, there is nothing more important.

The beginning of Strictly Ballroom sets the tone for the rest of the film
brilliantly, showcasing techniques which pop-up throughout and introducing
the main characters. At first all is quiet, with the dancers gliding in slow motion, then background sounds gradually seep in as the camera pulls back. From intimate close-ups, the arena and noisy crowd suddenly appears, thrusting us from the refined to the popular. Throughout the film there are fine intercuts and smooth transitions.

The plot is blatantly familiar, a romance blossoming between an unlikely
pair, and they go on to conquer all, against all the opposition. But the film
has flamboyant style and vibrant energy. The dancing is thrilling to watch, enhanced more by the slick editing and rousing score. The peculiar rituals of ballroom dancing are satirized without making them look ridiculous. And the transformation of Fran's ugly duckling into the beautiful swan is convincing.

Like Dead Poets' Society, Strictly Ballroom's motto might be 'Seize the
day!' When Scott is dancing to satisfy everyone else's expectations, he isn't
happy, but when he takes a chance and does his own thing, he finds
fulfillment, and, with Fran, love.

In a world where winning means everything, Scott learns how hollow victory
can be if the price means stifling creativity.


Strictly Ballroom Disc Review: The DVD includes a host of bonus programs including: Audio Commentary with director Baz Luhrmann, production designer Catherine Martin and choreographer John 'Cha Cha 'O'Connell
'Samba to Slow Fox' Dancing Featurette, The entertaining documentary that inspired Strictly Ballroom, Special Deleted Scene, 3D Gallery, 'Red Curtain 'Inspired Animated Menus, Technical Specifications: 5.1 Audio Sound French Subtitles and Spanish Subtitles


3 3/4 out of 5

The Critical Couch Potato


Coming Soon Index
A,B,C,D,E,F,
G,
,H,I,J,K,L,
M
,N,O,P,Q,R,
S,T,U,V,W,X,
Y
,Z
Made In Britain!
Pre-order 'Fellowship' on DVD
Release Dates
United Kingdom
United States
News!

We have moved to our Brand new home on our own server at www.thezreview.co.uk

Please click over there for ALL our DAILY updates!

DVD Easter Eggs
Want to find out all the secret features in your DVD collection?