Flashdance (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

A female steel-mill welder by day works as a dancer in a bar by night and dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In 1983’s Flashdance, Jennifer Beals stars as Alex Owens, a steel-mill welder in Pittsburgh who works as a bar dancer by night but dreams of a formal career as a ballet dancer. Her dreams are aided by her longtime and tough instructor Hanna Long (Lilia Skala) and her boss-cum-love interest Nick Hurley (Michael Nouri).

The film is mostly focused on Alex’s interrelationships with her friends, her burgeoning romance, and rough road to success as a ballet dancer. What makes the film unique from other backstage dramas is the stylish, MTV-era production as handled by director Adrian Lyne (9 ½ Weeks, Fatal Attraction), who places the emphasis on the visual aesthetics, the famous dance performances, particularly the water-drenched bar dance as performed mostly by Beals’ double Marine Jahan, and the ‘80s pop music soundtrack.

Two massive hit songs from the Flashdance soundtrack and their music videos made up mostly of clips from the movie would burn up the charts: Michael Sembello’s “Maniac” and the Oscar-winning, Giorgio Moroder, Keith Forsey, and Irene Cara-penned “Flashdance… What a Feeling” performed by Cara.

It was in many ways a perfect storm of musical, visual, and social commentary coming along at just the right moment in the 1980s as electronic, dance, and R&B music were ascendant, the music video was reigning, and women were more visible in the workforce and new professional avenues.

  • Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri in Flashdance (1983)
  • Jennifer Beals and Sunny Johnson in Flashdance (1983)
  • Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri in Flashdance (1983)
  • Flashdance (1983)
  • Flashdance 4K Ultra HD Combo (Paramount)
  • Flashdance 4K Ultra HD Combo (Paramount)

The Video

Flashdance has been newly remastered and approved by Adrian Lyne in 4K. It is brought to 4K Ultra HD in a 1.78:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. It is a brilliant looking transfer with an organic layer of grain even under the opening credits where the granularity is a bit coarse. The overall detail is crisp especially as compared to the Blu-ray, which is also strong, but cannot resolve the heavy grain as sharply as the 4K disc. Colors and specular highlights are the strength of this transfer. The multiple bar dance sequences really pop with excellent contrast and vibrant specular highlights on the stage lights, the multi-colored flashing lights, and sparkle on some of the wardrobe as well.

The Audio

The film is only granted a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix, but it presents this soundtrack well, especially the presentation of the music, which really hits with punch, atmosphere, and deep, musical lows. The dynamics are handled well also as it goes from quiet dialogue to loud scenes in the steel mill or the blaring of “Maniac.”

The Supplements

The bonus features included are brief and few, but the contemporary interviews with Lyne and featurettes on the entire phenomenon are interesting views for fans of the film.

  • Digital Code
  • Blu-ray with Feature Film and all Bonus Features
  • Filmmaker Focus: Director Adrian Lyne Discusses Flashdance (1080p; 00:05:51)
  • The Look of Flashdance (1080p; 00:09:12)
  • Releasing the Flashdance Phenomenon (1080p; 00:08:52)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:01:41)

The Final Assessment

A visually stylish film that takes its cues from the music videos of the era, this is a standout of the decade for its music and charismatic performance from Jennifer Beals. This new release has the film looking and sounding better than ever.


Flashdance (40th Anniversary Edition) is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo April 11, 2023, from Paramount Home Entertainment.

  • Rating Certificate: R
  • Studios & Distributor: Paramount Pictures | PolyGram Filmed Entertainment | Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films | Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Director: Adrian Lyne
  • Written By: Thomas Hedley Jr. | Joe Eszterhas
  • Run Time: 94 Mins.
  • Street Date: 11 April 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: English Audio Description | German DD 2.0 | French DD 2.0 | Japanese DD 2.0
  • Subtitles: English | English SDH | German | Spanish (Castilian) | Spanish (Latino) | French | Japanese
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A female steel-mill welder by day works as a dancer in a bar by night and dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer.Flashdance (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)
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