Fame (Blu-ray Review)

Fame Blu-ray ReviewI’m not sure what everyone’s problem is with this film.  I have previously been lambasted for openly writing my feelings about how much I liked Fame during its theatrical run and I have seen and heard nothing but pessimistic and repugnant comments from the critical community.  Am I the only one out there who sees the beauty, faith and inspiration that can be drawn from the film?  Should I be concerned or seriously ponder anymore why I thought Fame was one of the better movies of 2009?  I initially went into the theatrical presentation of this movie that I had little to no interest in, especially considering the subject matter, and I came out a believer.  I’ll expound on that in a little bit, but for now let’s talk more Fame


Like everything else in Hollywood nowadays, I suppose it was only a matter of time before the 1980 hit film Fame got remade.  Like its predecessor, the film features a group of students attending the New York City High School for the Performing Arts.  The school was created to provide the diverse training and infusion of skills needed in students aspiring to obtain professional careers in dance, music or drama.  As you can imagine, the competition is quite fierce among these students.  The film follows the trials and tribulations of the students’ lives throughout each four years of the performing arts high school.  After all, not only are the students competing for a chance at achieving fame, but also they are still just your ordinary everyday teenagers who are experiencing the highs and lows that go along with life as a high school student.  You remember what that was like?  Now could you imagine throwing in the stress of trying to make it as an entertainment professional while just barely managing to keep your chin above water in high school and fit in?  I could not.  

The original 1980’s version went on to become an international sensation spawning not only a hit television show, but also a stage production of the same name that is still playing now.  How’s that for legacy?  Not bad at all!  While today’s Fame will likely not achieve that same level of success its predecessor did, that does not stop the talented cast from trying.  The MGM production features performances by Kristy Flores, Asher Book, Paul Iacono, Paul McGill, Naturi Naughton, Megan Mullally, Anna Marie Perez de Tagle and more.  We even procure seeing TV sitcom star Kelsey Grammer on the big screen as well as Charles S. Dutton, affectionately known as Rock, from his television show of the same name.

Whether you’re an actor, a musician, a dancer, a filmmaker or a participant in any other performing arts area, Fame has a little something to offer you.  Fame does not discriminate against any area within the performing arts category.  If you are artistic on any level, then this is the must-see feel good movie on the Blu-ray format for you.  The performances brought back some vivid memories of nostalgia within my sometimes-cold rigid self.  The film really inspired me to go out in life and get everything I want out of it, but most importantly to believe in myself and shun all the non-believers that seem to engulf me most of the times.  I undoubtedly felt the cast delivered a triumphant and rousing performance in capturing not only the energy required for a film like this, but also the inspiration that was essential to capturing the essence of the message the film conveyed.

For all the reasons listed above and for many more, I enthusiastically give a two thumbs up green light salute to anyone who has even an inkling of interest in visiting the newest Hollywood reincarnation of Fame.  The movie is far from being perfect and it obviously did not make my Top 10 of 2009, but that did not stop me from enjoying this musical gem.  And guess what?  Fame rocks it out even harder and louder on the Blu-ray format with an Extended Dance Edition.  The movie starts off a little slow, but the story quickly develops and emotionally reels you in as you become attached to these kids’ blossoming lives.  Although the film is not my usual proverbial cup of tea, I applaud it for its riveting performances, comedic elements and its inspirational value it bestowed upon me.  And now, best of all, I can enjoy it forever on the Blu-ray format.



Fame‘s visual presentation on the Blu-ray format is just as riveting and rousing as the song and dance performances within the actual film.  Fame graduates at the head of the class with a solid A in the video department and showcases a near perfect 1080P AVC MPEG-4 encode transfer and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio presentation.  The Blu-ray video presentation faithfully reproduces the rough and gritty streets of New York City, but most importantly it also captures all the beauty and wonder that can be found within the city of dreams.  But as I mentioned before, it’s not perfect.  The blacks are solid and inky, the characters in the shadows are always distinctively delineated, the flesh tones are accurate for the most part, but what prevents me from awarding a perfect 5-point score is the sometimes blurry images caused by the different filmmaking techniques and heavy palettes of grain found in certain scenes.  Other than the aforementioned minor qualms, Fame is a fabulous Blu-ray presentation to behold.



Fame’s technical report card is looking pretty good with another A on record, this time in the prestigious audio category.  Like the video presentation described in detail above, the audio is near reference as well.  If Fame were an action movie, then there is no doubt in my mind that you would be using this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track as the next demo to impress upon your friends.  The dynamics of the mix will put you right in the center of the thunderous bass action, the infectious groove of the songs and the crystal clear sing-along vocals.  From the ambient New York City traffic passing by to the clip-clap of the tap shoes on the wooden floors this track brilliantly captures it all.  The music of Fame resonates clearly through every channel of your surround system.  What more can you ask for?  It won’t please the pickiest of hardcore audiophiles completely, but make no mistake; they will be left with little to complain about.


Special Features   

What’s not impressive about the Fame Blu-ray package is its supplemental materials or therefore lack of.  Despite most of it being presented in hi-def, there’s simply nothing of quality or quantity to keep me entertained for hours on end here like most Blu-ray releases are able to elicit.  Sure there are the two versions of the film to watch, but where is the obligatory audio commentary track or the extensive behind the scenes look at the production of the film?  Oh well, I do enough complaining in life so let’s say we just briefly go over what hidden treasures await you on the Fame Blu-ray release.

  • Extended Edition – As I previously stated, the Blu-ray release contains two versions of the film, the theatrical presentation and an extended edition which runs an extra 15 minutes longer and clocks in at 123 minutes in length.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD) – There are really no new and exciting dance numbers to be missed here.  These are mostly conversational pieces that were cut.
  • “Fame” Music Video (HD) – A crowd-pleasing music video that contains many appealing clips and moments from the film.
  • Remember My Name Character Profiles (HD) – Here we have short video bios about the featured actors.  The profiles include Anna Marie Perez De Tagle, Asher Book, Collins Pennie, Kay Panabaker, Kherington Payne, Kristy Flores, Naturi Naughton, Paul Iacono, Paul McGill, Walter Perez and director Kevin Tancharoen.
  • Fame National Talent Search Finalists Featurette (HD) – I think you can easily guess what this one is about.  Personally, being such a non-fan of anything reality TV related, I could have done without this one.
  • The Dances of Fame Featurette (SD)Actress Kerrington Payne gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the casting, boot camp and various dances featured in the movie.
  • Digital Copy (SD) – The second disc in the Blu-ray package is none other than a lovely DVD that contains the even lovelier Digital Copy of the film.  I am being facetious here of course.  You all know how I love these standard definition extras.  Enjoy Fame on the go with your favorite portable media player.


Final Thoughts   

So what do you think?  You ready to give Fame a try on the Blu-ray format?  C’mon.  What do you have to lose?  You already know in addition to the near reference video and audio package that you will be bedazzled with plenty of songs to sing and dances to move to.  It may just be what the doctor ordered to get you off that couch this weekend.  Or if you are like me, Fame on Blu-ray may be the perfect medicine to kick your career into high gear and start doing something about achieving your dreams and goals in life.  If Fame teaches us one thing in life, it’s that not everything comes easy for everyone.  You either have what it takes or you don’t.  However, you will never know what you are capable of until you give it your all.  Whatever your poison is, Fame is the cure.  Live forever today with Fame on Blu-ray. 

I hope you enjoyed my review of the MGM’s Fame Blu-ray release.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.  I look forward to receiving any and all feedback from my readers.


Fame was released on Blu-ray January 12th, 2010.  If you like what you read in the review above, then please show your support for our site by clicking the shopping cart link above to order and save with Amazon’s everyday lowest prices.  Thanks! 


Fame Blu-ay Cover Art




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