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Despite a weak script, the show must (and does) go on for Burlesque
on November 4, 2012
A waitress (Christina Aguilera) leaves her small hometown in Iowa and heads to Los Angeles to follow her dreams of becoming a star. Upon arriving in the big city, she snags a job at a struggling nightclub (owned and run by a veteran dancer played by Cher), and sets her sights on landing a part in the clubs racy stage show.
Burlesque features some great singing and sexy dance numbers and successfully captures the dark neon lit nightclub atmosphere quite well. Cher and Aguilera both turn in fine performances, as does the supporting cast, which includes Stanley Tucci, Peter Gallagher, Kristen Bell, Eric Dane and Alan Cumming.
Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about the predictable and at times boring script, which is essentially just a retelling of dozens of other tired musical films. It sometimes feels like a bland version of ‘Showgirls’ mixed with ‘Coyote Ugly’ with a dash of ‘All About Eve’ thrown in. Lackluster dialogue and lazy writing causes the movie to be unable to find an energy or spirit of its own. It’s simplistic plotting also leads the whole experience to feel drawn out and a bit overlong. Again this is not the fault of the talented cast, but the just plain lousy screenplay.
With all of that being said, there are still some standout scenes and show-stopping stage performances. Divas Cher and Aguilera’s powerful voices are worth the price of a rental alone. The soundtrack is also very strong and includes a touching solo by Cher that may possibly mirror real life.
Burlesque offers up both solid video & audio quality and a collection of extras that includes: an audio commentary by writer/director Steven Antin, an alternate opening (7 min), five mini-featurettes (totaling about 35 min), Burlesque Jukebox feature, and a short blooper reel (5 min).
With strong stage numbers, a decent collection of extras, and good performances by Cher and Christina, Burlesque is at least worth a rental. And even though the story fails to offer up anything new or original, fans of the two leads (and musicals in general), may want to add this one to their collections permanently.