Shall We Dance?—Miramax (Blu-ray)
Unbeknownst to most people Shall We Dance? is actually a remake of a Japanese movie. Thankfully it fares much better than the endless amount of Japanese horror remakes we see on this shore. Gere plays a husband who is in search of some spark in his life as he continues the daily grind day in and day out. A young dancer catches his eye on his way home so he decides to check out the school where she works. What he finds is a new passion and direction in his life that has him feeling young and motivated again. This film takes an interesting look at relationships and how people need to find their own niche in life. It's a great film for couples and fans of dance alike.
While I wouldn't really call this an older film, it does have a slightly dated look. The image doesn’t have that crisp appearance that so many of the newer HD presentations bring and color rendition is slightly washed out. Overall detail is good though and the lack of edge enhancement and obvious compression make this a nice step up from the DVD release. Fine detail in close ups is quite good and contrast overall is average. This just isn't a film that relies on stylization to achieve a look but rather relies on natural photography and realistic lighting to deliver a solid visual experience.
The uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrack is a fun mix of great dance tunes and nice atmospheric effect. Obviously the dance sequences are the highlight of the film and the score does a good job of heightening the experience and envelopment is quite good. Surrounds do a nice job of creating the acoustics of the environments and bringing you into the fun a bit more. Dialogue is balanced nicely within the mix and I didn’t notice any signs of strain.
Extras are pretty much carryovers from the DVD release. You get a feature commentary along with a few themed features. Some behind the scenes footage and deleted scenes are included along with a music video and a beginner's guide to Ballroom dancing.
This is a great film that both uplifting and good hearted. Miramax has done a good job with the presentation and the uncompressed soundtrack does make you want to get up and dance. If you haven't seen this one yet, this is the perfect opportunity.