Showgirls (1995) - 15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama
MGM || NC17 - 131 minutes - $29.99 || June 15, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-06-13


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer(s): Joe Eszterhas (written by)
Cast: Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, Gina Gershon, Robert Davi


Theatrical Release Date: September 22, 1995


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Trivia Track
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • DVD Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

“Must be weird not having anybody cum on you.” – Al Torres (Robert Davi), Showgirls

“Plot” (from the back cover): Vegas, baby, where Nomi’s (ELIZABETH BERKLEY) dreams and desires to make it big are as sharp as a stiletto heel. When she catches the eye of Cristal (GINA GERSHON), the Stardust’s sexy headliner, Nomi is on the brink of realizing her dreams. But she soon realizes that there is room for only one starlet on the marquee... and that either she or Cristal will have to take a fall!

Ok, that plot somehow makes the film sound better than it actually is when in fact Showgirls is the story of a young woman’s rise and fall into stardom starting out with nothing in Vegas, working at a cheesy strip club for an equally cheesy boss (ROBERT DAVI) before moving onto bigger and better things, though still topless on an uber-cheesy play.

I honestly do not even know where to start with this film. Well, I guess my first thoughts were, being this was my first viewing, is how in the hell does a filmmaker like Paul Verhoeven, the director behind a few modest classics like Total Recall, RoboCop and Basic Instinct (not to mention Starship Troopers which has its own following) can come up with a crap and cheese-fest in Showgirls.

Of course, to be fair the movie was written by one-trick pony Joe Eszterhas who made his name with Basic Instinct but couldn’t recapture that magic with follow-ups including Sliver (although that is based on a novel) and Jade. To be even fairer, this time to Eszterhas himself, he has said that Showgirls is his least favorite script that he’s written, so at least he does have some taste.

Over the now 15 years this film has been in existence and gathered a cult following for being one of the best bad movies ever made, I think the reason it initially got its hype was two-fold: one it’s rated NC-17 which, while not in the least unique, isn’t typically seen all too often on mainstream movies; and the second is you have Elizabeth Berkley’s feature film starring debut after appearing for many years on the Saturday hit series, “Saved by the Bell” and Showgirls was to be her breakout from a more kid friendly demo. Alas it was not meant to be and she garnered a different kind of career than what she no doubt envisioned.

But what has made this movie so darn well loved for its awesome badness? The main reason is because most involved from the studio on down, especially with director Verhoeven, approached this in a serious manner and thought they were making an important film, a film that on its surface is a woman’s struggles to her dreams but underneath a commentary on sex and nudity in America. So looking at it in that light, it makes the movie ever the more hilarious to watch, though it helps that no one – save for Gina Gershon – gives a particularly good performance and sadly, Berkley is hardly the worst of the bunch as Kyle MacLachlan gives a run for her money, or $100k, the amount she was paid for the role...

In the end, Showgirls is indeed probably one of the best worst movies ever made for the mere fact that this isn’t exactly a cheap looking film made by a bunch of yahoo filmmakers who don’t know what they’re doing, or so we think. Paul Verhoeven may not be the talent akin to Spielberg or Nolan, but he has made entertaining and enticing movies before, but this one misses the mark in almost every way imaginable. It also says something that I, a male in his late 20s, was more bored with the nudity than titillated by it. Instead, I was able to admire the movie for its shear awesomeness and though I won’t revisit it anytime soon, I now appreciate what some of the hoopla has been all about, I’m sure for the reasons the filmmakers were not aiming for.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There isn’t a whole lot here but we do get a fantastic feature commentary with David Schader, an expert on the making of Showgirls as he provides insight into why the movie is so damn awful yet in the most awesome way possible.

Next up is Pole Dancing: Finding Your Inner Stripper (11:55; HD) where you, yes YOU, can learn how to pole dance and it also serves as an education on the origins. Yeah, really fantastic.

Equally lame is another featurette entitled Lap Dance Tutorial (4:57; SD) and features ladies from ‘Scores’ club. The women give tips to other women on how to get into the mood and other little tid-bits.

Fact-Up Trivia is a track where you get some trivia on the movie, some obvious others pointless. Good news is you can play it along with the commentary for a real good time.

A Showgirls Diary (10:54; SD) is some behind-the-scenes footage of Verhoeven setting up shots, giving direction to the actors, looking at script sketches and more.

Last up is the theatrical trailer (1:59; HD) and a DVD Copy that has new cover artwork (to match the Blu-ray) but is the same as the previous DVD releases.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Showgirls is presented with a 2.35 aspect ratio and FINALLY in 1080p high-definition! Ok, I will admit that without comparing it to the DVD version, I thought this looked pretty good especially since the movie is now 15 years old. The detail level is good with a certain crispness that make the areolas and tits pops off the screen very nicely I must say. But seriously, the movie does look decent in high-definition and probably an upgrade over the DVD version, although I’m not sure how much more you really want to shell out for a movie like this. I should also note there is a noticeable amount of noise throughout but it’s not distracting.

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio meanwhile is strong and with plenty of music, a few from Prince, plus the dance numbers, the lossless audio does get a workout. The dialogue also sounds crisp and clear. The front and side channels get the most use while the rears get mainly used for ambient noises. The low-frequency channel goes on every so often especially during the musical number or at the strip club.



.::OVERALL::.

I now understand the big deal about Showgirls. No, it is not the beginning to end amount of nudity and sexual content. It’s not the NC-17 rating. Nope, it is just how awesomely bad the movie truly is. That said, this is a film that should be watched with friends – and if you’re really close, family too – so you can mock the hell out of it because almost every second is deserving of mockery.

The Blu-ray excels with the video and audio but the features are pretty useless especially if you already own the VIP edition, save for a couple throwaway featurettes.