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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never Goes Limp
`Hairspray' is a non-stop, exhilarating song and dance extravaganza. This exuberant remake of the John Waters' musical is funny, fast, and fabulous. Adam Shankman's direction is appropriately lilting in the right measure, but balanced with social commentary highlights. Unlike 'Dreamgirls,' there are no Oscar worthy performances, but the production is so fun there...
Published on July 20, 2007 by "Rocky Raccoon"

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339 of 416 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not sure why this isn't part of the description
Information below was found on another site - I hope it's accurate. If Amazon wants to add this to the description and delete this comment it's fine with me.

Single-Disc Edition:

* 16×9 widescreen version of the film or 4×3 fullscreen version of the film
* English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX Surround Sound
* English & Spanish subtitles...
Published on October 23, 2007 by Amazon Customer


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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never Goes Limp, July 20, 2007
`Hairspray' is a non-stop, exhilarating song and dance extravaganza. This exuberant remake of the John Waters' musical is funny, fast, and fabulous. Adam Shankman's direction is appropriately lilting in the right measure, but balanced with social commentary highlights. Unlike 'Dreamgirls,' there are no Oscar worthy performances, but the production is so fun there doesn't have to be. The entertainment is winning on every level, and, as for the songs, it never goes limp.

Once again we are transported to the early sixties in Baltimore, where flannel is uniform, Blacks and Whites are segregated, and beehives are in fashion. The plot is fairly simple: Overweight teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) wants to break the mold on her favorite TV program "The Corny Collins Show" (an "American Bandstand"-like feature) while discovering a more urgent need to end segregation on a show that only sometimes features "Negro Night". She gets her big break when teen singing sensation, Link Larkin (Zac Efron) makes advances that bring her to the stage floor. In the meantime, her success is challenged by the show's program manager, (played with overbearing skill by Michelle Pfeiffer) and her daughter, Amber, the show's reigning "Miss Teenage Hairspray," a nasty nemesis . Joining forces with her Afro-American friends, especially Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah) and dancer Seaweed (Elijah Kelly), she works for equal time on the dance floor.

`Hairspray' is set as perfect entertainment. John Travolta provides likable loopiness as Nikki's mother while he dances and cross-dresses his way into our hearts. The villains are nasty enough, and the sweetness pervades even amongst important demonstrations on key social issues. When it all comes down to balance, 'Hairspray' fills the bill.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Stopping the Beat Here with Such a Game Cast and Surprising Gravitas, August 11, 2007
This is the sort of brassy, candy-coated musical to which you either give yourself entirely or not at all because there is little room in between. First, there was the edgy 1988 John Waters comedy followed years later by the sunnier 2002 Broadway musical version. I thoroughly enjoyed the elaborate stage version thanks mainly to Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman's ebullient music and sharp lyrics and stellar performances from Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur as a most unlikely mother and daughter in 1962 Baltimore. That most of that high-kicking, watusi-gyrating spirit remains intact is quite an accomplishment for director Adam Shankman, whose previous track record consists of mediocre studio comedies. Adapting Mark O'Donnell's stage book, screenwriter Leslie Dixon seems equally unlikely of pulling it off. Yet, somehow they do and even bring a deeper sense of gravitas than the previous incarnations with the heavier elements of racism and segregation. Starting out his career as a dancer and choreographer, Shankman provides the energetic, in-your-face choreography that is appropriately applied here.

The story centers on Tracy Turnblad, a genuinely optimistic teenager, a bouncing bundle of energy obsessed with the local Corny Collins dance show. Living in a working-class neighborhood with her agoraphobic, self-consciously plus-sized mother Edna and her congenial, novelty store-owner father Wilbur, Tracy only wants to dance on Corny's show. Standing in her way is the malevolent Velma Von Tussle, an aging beauty who owns the TV station, and her equally venal daughter Amber. Once a month, the station allows the dance show to have a co-host, blonde-tressed Motormouth Maybelle, who holds a "Negro Day" to allow the local black kids to dance on their own. These kids seem to end up in detention a lot since Tracy finds them there and learns new dance moves from them. She realizes the world would be a better place if black and white kids were able to dance together on Corny's show. This sets up the story's central conflict, which comes accompanied by romantic complications among the various characters. All of this ends with the Miss Teenage Hairspray pageant and naturally a pull-all-the-stops production number.

The casting is inspired. Following Divine and especially Fierstein in the cross-dressing role of Edna is no easy task, but John Travolta brings a surprising delicacy to the character. The novelty of his casting never wears off, but he also does not stoop that much to parody either. Even with a slightly garbled Baltimore accent, he is convincing as a woman who has accepted life's compromises for the sake of her family. Alternating quickly between clever and broad, Michelle Pfeiffer has a field day playing Velma, though she has precious little opportunity to show off her long dormant singing talent. As Maybelle, Queen Latifah seems to be cornering the market on musical earth-mother types and gets her shining moments on "Big Blonde and Beautiful" and especially on the gospel-flavored "I Know Where I've Been". Christopher Walken has comparatively less to do as the put-upon Wilbur, though he shows off his singing and dancing skills on his sweet pas de deux with Travolta on "(You're) Timeless to Me".

For all the veteran talent on display, it's Nikki Blonsky who carries the heart of the movie as Tracy, and her sunny demeanor and "American Idol"-caliber talent keep the story aloft. The other teens - Zac Efron as singing heartthrob Link, Amanda Bynes as devoted best friend Penny, Brittany Snow as spoiled Amber, and Elijah Kelley as Maybelle's son Seaweed - are all played with energetic adolescent brio. Complementing the principal cast are James Marsden as the perpetually smiling Corny and Allison Janney as Penny's Bible-thumping mother. Everyone is in the right spirit, and the pacing and tone are spot-on. The film's one weakness is a certain lack of energy in the camera movement around the production numbers, as Shankman's tendency is to film key dance sequences intermittently at mid-waist level. The net effect is a reduction in the overall energy level at key moments such as Travolta's Tina Turner-style turn at the end. Regardless, this is fun stuff for those open to this genre.
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339 of 416 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not sure why this isn't part of the description, October 23, 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Information below was found on another site - I hope it's accurate. If Amazon wants to add this to the description and delete this comment it's fine with me.

Single-Disc Edition:

* 16×9 widescreen version of the film or 4×3 fullscreen version of the film
* English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX Surround Sound
* English & Spanish subtitles
* Closed captions

Two-Disc "Shake and Shimmy" Edition:

* "Behind the Beat" picture-in-picture option allowing viewers to watch behind-the-scenes footage and on-screen commentary concurrently with the running feature (HD Exclusive)
* All new musical number, "I Can Wait"
* Feature-length audio commentary from director and choreographer Adam Shankman, star Nikki Blonsky and producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron
* Deleted scenes with audio commentary from director and choreographer Adam Shankman and star Nikki Blonsky
* "You Can't Stop the Beat: The Long Journey of Hairspray" documentary
* "Step By Step: The Dances of Hairspray" featurette offering how-to dance instruction
* "Hairspray Extensions" featurette, giving viewers dance breakdowns
* Jump to a song with optional sing-along feature
* "The Roots of Hairspray" featurette
* Interactive menus
* Theatrical trailer
* 16×9 widescreen version of the film
* English 2.0 Stereo Surround
* English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (on feature, deleted scenes and interactive menus)
* English & Spanish subtitles
* Closed captions
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Edna and Tracy, September 25, 2007
By 
MICHAEL ACUNA (Southern California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Any film that features a touching love scene shot in a Baltimore backyard with laundry hanging on the line (as Moms used to say) between Christopher Walken ( Wilbur Turnblad) and John Travolta (as an almost scary Edna Turnblad) is OK with me. That that scene may also be one of the most romantic scenes of this or any year is crazy on the one hand and perplexing on the other. With that being said, director Adam Shankman has magically turned the stage musical into something that is more full of life, more effervescent than either the play or the John Waters slight, though terrific film of 1988.
Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky who almost makes us forget Rikki Lake from the film) is a Baltimore teenager: chubby of body, colossal of hair and bubbling over with good cheer and ironclad self esteem. The year is 1962 and the signs of change are everywhere Tracy goes foremost of which is the "Corny Collins Show," an American Bandstand-type show which features a "Negro Day" once a month: a situation that Tracy and her friends Penny (Amanda Bynes) and Link (Zac Efron) are desperate to change into an everyday occurrence. Edna, who hasn't left the house since 1951 and therefore very much aware and embarrassed of her size discourages Tracy from auditioning as a dancer for the show but Tracy, to her credit, feels confident enough about her dancing does so anyway and is finally accepted into the Corny Collins fold much to the chagrin of both Velma Von Tussle ( a gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer) and her daughter Amber (Brittany Snow).
"Hairspray is also very much a capsule of its time and place: pregnant women smoking and drinking martinis, children in cars without seat belts buckled, boys and girls hair greased and sprayed to within an inch of its life (Tracy is accused of having a "hair-don't" at one point) and bigots spouting the kind of gunk that bigots do.
"Hairspray" is ultimately a big, calorie laden birthday cake of a film: you know you shouldn't imbibe but you can't help yourself. But along with the sugar rush of this spectacle there lays some lumps based on reality which point out, not only how much has changed since 1962 but more importantly how much has stayed the same.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dances Up A Storm, August 14, 2007
By 
Adam Shankman directed "The Wedding Planner" with Jennifer Lopez and "Cheaper By the Dozen 2" before directing "Hairspray." Upcoming is a revival of "Topper" starring Steve Martin as Cosmo Topper who can see ghosts. I don't recall if I ever saw the 1988 "Hairspray" musical film; and I sure as shootin' can't afford a trip to Broadway. So "Hairspray" the film was viewed with a set of fresh eyes; and I liked what I saw.

From the first frame, it kept my interest. It's so significantly different from the summer's movie offerings that it stands out nicely. John Travolta has been nominated for two Oscars, "Saturday Night Fever" in 1977 and "Pulp Fiction" in 1994. He does a great job as Edna Turnblad with a look and gestures so different that we believe this is the gal with whom Wilbur (Christopher Walken) is in love. Walken won a supporting Oscar for "The Deer Hunter" in 1978 and was nominated again in 2002 for "Catch Me If You Can."

Michelle Pfeiffer plays Velma Von Tassle. It is a pleasure to see her return to the screen after a hiatus. She has three times been nominated for Oscar: "Love Field" (1992), "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (1989) and "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988). While this film may not result in nomination #4, she does a great job as the beauty queen whose superficiality is so huge that it leads her to judge everyone by their exterior, whether it be because of race or girth.

Amanda Bynes who did a nice job in She's the Man (Widescreen Edition), plays the best friend of Tracy Turnblad played by newcomer Nikki Blonsky. Blonsky has unlimited energy and a smile that could stretch all the way from Baltimore to D.C. James Marsden from the X-Men films hosts the "Corny Collins Show," a dance teen favorite. Queen Latifah plays Motormouth Maybelle who works on the show once a week when blacks are allowed. Latifah's lone Oscar nod was for "Chicago" in 2002. Brittany Snow plays Amber Von Tussle who models her mother's example of perfect hair, perfect dress and perfect superficiality. Snow has done a lot of TV work from "The Guiding Light" to "American Dreams" to "Nip & Tuck." Zac Efron plays the local favorite teen dancer Link Larkin. Taylor Parks does a nice cameo as Little Inez who dances up a storm on the final live TV craziness.

The pacing, music and dialogue kept me riveted throughout the film and had me leaving the theatre with a big smile on my face. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hairspray (2007) Movie Review, July 19, 2007
Delightfully corny with a charming look that boasts the razzle-dazzle style of Hollywood musicals from a bygone era, Hairspray could be the most fantastic Broadway adaptation since Grease. The surprisingly exciting picture won't just keep your hair in a flashy do, it will hold audiences attention from the first note of its energetic opening song, "Good Morning Baltimore" right through its whiz bang finale.

Based on the John Waters' 1988 film turned Broadway musical, the 2007 adaptation of Hairspray may not be as politically charged as its predecessor, but the reaffirmation of today's cultural values, plus a campy look at an era of lost innocence, should enchant audiences into falling in love with the material all over again. Captivated by the Corny Collins Show, a sixties dance program on a local Baltimore television channel, young Tracy Turnblad (Niki Blonsky) spends her hours keeping her perfect hairdo at attention while daydreaming of dancing on the television program and winning over one of the show's hunkiest young stars. Despite the disapproval of her mother Edna, played by superstar John Travolta in drag, Tracy's father, Wilbur (Christopher Walken), encourages his daughter to audition for the show, because in America after all "you have got to think big to be big".

And big is exactly how to describe Hairspray. The gorgeous, pastel colored back lot sets are big, the dance numbers are big, and even Travolta's fat suit is big! Sans the wailing divas and in your face editing of past Oscar worthy musicals, Hairspray follows its daring lead character in celebrating being different. Director-Choreographer Adam Shankman approaches Hairspray with the appreciation of a veteran Broadway performer, showcasing the grand spectacle of it all instead of trying to overwhelm audiences with flashy and gimmicky editing tricks. Though his surprisingly formulaic style failed in his previous directorial efforts like The Pacifier and Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Shankman seems to be at home with a period piece set in 1962, recreating a feel from Hollywood's golden era.

Unlike The Producers, another recent picture adapted from a musical originally based on a film, the witty screenplay penned by Leslie Dixon, brings out the director and casts' comedic timing and skill, giving Hairspray some big laughs. While the romantic pairing of Travolta and an underused Christopher Walken is uproarious, it disappointingly caters to cheeky humor that is funny for nothing more than the fact that one of the famous actors is in drag.

Luckily the young talent that populates most of the film is absolutely delightful. Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelley and Zac Efron all deliver solid and entertaining performances, but the real find in Hairspray comes in the form of the pleasantly plump, yet undeniably adorable Nikki Blonsky. Working in Cold Stone Creamery merely one year ago, the unknown actress with no experience besides a handful of high school musicals explodes on screen in Hairspray with a memorable debut performance that should finally steal some thunder away from last year's sluggish Dreamgirls.

With old Hollywood charm and flair Hairspray should delight audiences across the country with its quirky style and laughable medleys reaffirming that being different is a good thing. With enough subtle raunchiness to please fans of the John Water's original, plus big performances and spectacularly fun dance numbers that should cater to Broadway aficionados, Hairspray should be just the product theaters need to get that extra pouf in their summer box office sales.

-Joe Russo
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Movie!, August 15, 2007
I enjoyed this movie more than I can say. I felt happy for hours after watching it. It was energetic, happy, sweet, funny and delightful. The casting was perfect. Everyone seemed to give it there all. The songs and dance sequences were very entertaining. I especially loved the innocent chemistry between Nikki Blonsky and Zac Efron. They are both very talented. I would highly recommend this movie. For those of us over 40 the energy of these kids is invigorating! I hope this movie succeeds beyond all expectations so that they will make more like it in the future.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie Musical EVER!!!!, September 27, 2007
By 
Jordon (Hohenwald,TN) - See all my reviews
I just want to tell you that this movie totally blew me away in the theatres!!! I went into the theatre with low expectations, because I hated the original! This movie has everything a good musical should great acting, great music, and lots of flash and color! This movie has great performances from all of the stars! John Travolta does an excellent job of playing a woman! Queen Latifah, Michell Pffifer, and Christopher Walken are all equaly as funny! Zac Efron, Britany Snow, Amanda Bynes, and newcomer Nikki Blonsky all give top notch perfomances also!

Now the music! This show has the greatest music ever in a movie musical in my opinion. Every song in the movie blew me away! From the inspirational opening number "Good Morning Baltimore" to the finale slam dunk "You Can't Stop The Beat". The other songs are also great. The solo numbers really showed off some of the actors as great singers such as "Ladies Choice" performed by Zac Efron, "Miss Baltimore Crabs" perfomed by Michelle Pffifer, and "Big, Blonde, and Beautiful" performed by Queen Latifah!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressed, December 2, 2007
This review is from: Hairspray (Full-Screen Edition) (DVD)
Let me say, first off, that I'm not the typical kind of person who would watch thing kind of movie. I don't care for musicals or plays, so I didn't know what to expect before I began this movie. With that said, I found it to be highly entertaining, and fun throughout the entire film. The girl who played the main character (the name escapes me) was outstanding. John Travolta as a woman was humorous, but believable. Great cast, fun songs, all together a very fun movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "What a treasure trove!", June 10, 2008
By 
Melissa Niksic (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
I've never been a big fan of the musical "Hairspray," but this is a very good film adaptation. The story revolves around Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), a chubby teenage girl who shocks everyone by landing a coveted role on "The Corny Collins Show," a television dance program. The plot itself is kind of hokey and there are only a few decent songs in the show, but the film is worth checking out for its star-studded cast, which includes a fantastic performance by Michelle Pfeiffer as a vindictive TV station manager, and Christopher Walken and John Travolta as Mr. and Mrs. Turnblad, respectively. (Their romantic tango is hilarious!) All in all, this is an uplifting, energetic little movie that was a lot of fun to watch.
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Hairspray (Full-Screen Edition)
Hairspray (Full-Screen Edition) by Adam Shankman (DVD - 2007)
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