on August 14, 2013
The specials on the second disk of the Showstopper Edition are fantastic. Excellent interviews, behind the scenes looks, revealing footage. Not repetitious at all. This is the first time I enjoy the specials more than the film itself. The film has excellent vocal and acting performances, but lacks something that I cannot quite point out. Maybe focus, or pace, or storyline?
on January 21, 2013
When I ordered this movie, there was nothing in the description to indicate that it had to be played on a HD DVD player, which I do not have. Also the cover of the DVD was not the same. On the DVD I received, at the very top of the cover, it says HD DVD VERSION which is not what the movie in the artwork for this advertisement says. Be very careful when ordering. I know I am probably one of the last people on the planet to not have a HD DVD player. I am just looking for a version of this movie that I can play on a regular DVD player that has the two-hour documentary and the rest of the special features. If anyone knows where I could get one, please let me know.
on January 29, 2009
The Bottom Line:
When it's at its best Dreamgirls is an aggessive and engaging musical, but too often it slides into slow scenes and uninteresting songs (We are a family/like a shining tree) while focusing on characters like Curtis (played by a thoroughly bored looking Jamie Foxx) that the audience doesn't care as much about; Dreamgirls is a mixed bag but I suggest you pass.
on July 13, 2007
I enjoyed this movie because it is based loosely on the story of one of my favorite Motown groups, the Supremes. But the downside is that there's not much bonus material (at least not on this edition). The #1 thing I look for on DVDs is commentary by directors, producers &/or actors; I found none here. So I'm glad I saved money & storage space by renting instead of buying.
While the Oscar snub was certainly shocking I can't say that it wasn't justified (not that the lineup for 2006 impressed me in the least). `Dreamgirls', while probably one of the most entertaining films of the year, was far from the best.
It delivers in many ways. It's visually stunning, from the set pieces to the beautiful cast. It's very easy on the ears. The musical numbers (for the most part) are all brilliantly structured and add layers to the film. In fact, the films biggest and key emotional scenes are in fact musical numbers. Both `And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going' and `Listen' are the most emotionally connected scenes in the film for through music they convey the very feelings of the singer. It also delivers, to an extent, in the acting department as well. Eddie Murphy is fantastic as James "Thunder" Early and delivers a career best performance. Beyonce Knowles shocked me with her delivery of Deena Jones and Anika Noni Rose beautifully captured the immaturity and naivety of Lorrel Robinson. In fact everyone delivers decently here except for Jamie Foxx who was, without a doubt, miscast.
Sadly, with all this delivery the film fails to deliver in the one area that matters the most; substance. By the time the credits begin to roll `Dreamgirls' is nothing more than a fun time. The characters, while superbly acted, lack any real depth and the film fails to evoke any real emotion in the audience. With all the hype surrounding this film you'd expect to be really moved, really taken-a-back by it's magnitude but in the end it doesn't really do any of that. One may be blinded by the glitz and glam upon a first viewing, as I was, but upon second and third viewings it becomes apparent that the film feels kind of empty, especially when the music has stopped.
The film tells the story of aspiring musical act `The Dreamettes' who finally get their big break after aspiring music manager Curtis Taylor Jr. sees them perform in a talent show. He persuades them to sing backup for R&B sensation James "Thunder" Early and thus their showbiz life begins. The group suffers from internal struggles when lead singer Effie is pushed aside so the slimmer, more socially termed `pretty girl' Deena can sing lead vocals. This seemingly small gesture drives a wedge in friendships and relationships, working and social, and creates a whirlwind of tragedy and in the end justice.
Now, I left off one key element to the film for a reason...and that is the fact that arguably there was no bigger star in 2006 than the beautiful and talented Jennifer Hudson. I don't necessarily agree with her Oscar win, but I was so happy for her because she delivered on all fronts and was so gracious with all the accolades she was receiving. She handled herself like a true star, and that is commendable. As Effie White she truly breathed life into this film and serves as one of the only actors here to actually flesh out her character. With all the `lack of depth' found in `Dreamgirls' it is refreshing to see Jennifer grab a hold of Effie and make her real and relatable to the audience. So I am here to tell you that Jennifer ain't goin nowhere, and that is a fact!
So, the film is, like I said, extremely entertaining and a truly fun filled time. Parts are corny (that whole "Steppin' to the Bad Side" part was dreadfully painful to watch) but as a whole it is just good ol' fun. But that is it. It is a fun film, but not a deep one and not one that deserved to win Oscars (aside from some technical, musical and acting recognition). So, do I feel that the Oscar snub was truly a `snub'? No, but I don't feel that that really takes away from the appeal and the good time that a film like `Dreamgirls' brings to the table.
on October 11, 2007
I though this movie was mostly entertaining. I thought the music was exceptional. I did think some of the songs went on for way too long, like the one where Jennifer Hudson's character was being removed from the band.
I thought this movie was probably pretty close to what it was like for an African American to get introduced into the music industry. I also thought the acting was suberb.
I lower the rating by one because of the unneccesary placement of the F word from Beyonce's character (I can't stand movies that put it in there to make sure they get a PG13 rating) and another point because it was probably about 30 minutes too long and some of the characters weren't developed as much as they should, like Eddie Murphy's and the Dreamgirl that he was sleeping with.
Overally good but not great.
I am not a person who likes musicals. The sight of people breaking into song mid-sentence annoys me to no end, and the very idea that people would talk to each other in verse is ridiculous. That being said, I wanted to see this movie because I'm a Jennifer Hudson fan and I wanted to see what all the talk was about. I'm glad that I did. Dreamgirls isn't a cheesy musical. There is no moment when the people are doing something absolutely ridiculous but it's justified because they're singing at the same time. In fact, the singing supports the story rather than the story supporting the singing, which is the main problem I have with musicals. Dreamgirls was enjoyable from start to finish, and I'd encourage those who don't consider themselves musical fans to give it a go.