"Dirty Dancing is a reimagining of the beloved 1987 hit film and global pop-culture phenomenon. This original movie event features the story from the original film told from a fresh perspective. Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances 'Baby' Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle, and nothing is ever the same for anyone in the Houseman family. Modernized, updated versions of memorable favorite songs including (I've Had) The Time of My Life, Love Man, Do You Love Me, Hungry Eyes, and She's Like the Wind are teamed with well-known songs new to the world of Dirty Dancing (such as Fever and They Can't Take That Away from Me), woven into the story and performed by the talented and versatile cast. Discover what happens to Baby and Johnny after that summer, and learn more about the supporting characters from the original film." That is the official description for Dirty Dancing, now available on DVD and Digital from Lionsgate, which has provided NewTechReview with a NFR copy for review.
Before you sit down to watch this film, try to leave your preconceived notions in the other room. It stands to reason that no remake or sequel will ever replace the original Dirty Dancing. Those of us who were alive during the 80s know just how popular the film became and that the on-screen chemistry between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had a certain kind of magic, which made viewers love the film even more. And while ABC's Dirty Dancing won't win any awards, it's actually quite fun to watch, especially since it provides a fresh take on the story.
Instead of a remake, this new version of Dirty Dancing is dubbed as a reimagining because while it follows the same storyline as the original, we're now given a more detailed look at the backstories for many of the other characters. This is especially true of Debra Messing's performance as Marjorie Houseman, who's emotional storyline is one of the standouts.
Other changes are modern versions of the original songs, as well as new songs being added to the story. That includes new dance numbers as well. But the biggest change is the inclusion of singing, which is welcome in some scenes, but not in others. Having singing during the iconic dance number of I've Had The Time of My Life was a bit distracting, although I suppose they were trying to differentiate it from the original. The one other dissapointment was that the chemistry between the lead characters just didn't work very well. Of course, it's difficult not to compare them to Swayze and Grey, but even without the comparison, the magic isn't there.
Since this is a DVD, there's nothing to really say about the techical aspects of the film. Both the picture and audio track present the film nicely, and director Wayne Blair does an excellent job of capturing the look and feel of the 60s. There are also two bonus featurettes provided with the film: Dirty Dancing: The Legacy Lives On and Dirty Dancing: Don't Step on the 1, Start on the 2.
As I mentioned earlier, nothing will ever take the place of the original Dirty Dancing. However, if you watch ABC's rendition (or reimagining) of Dirty Dancing with an open mind and try your best not to compare the two, you'll have fun with this new take on the story and learn something more about these classic characters.
For more information, visit:
* Amazon: http://amzn.to/2sF2B5M
* Website: lionsgate.com