Shall We Dance?
While Gere does a commendable job as the lead character, this film would fall flat on its face without the supporting cast, which includes Lisa Ann Walter as John's dance partner, Bobbie, and Stanley Tucci, whose portrayal of Link is worth the price of admission all by itself. There is a great scene with Gere and Tucci in the bathroom that had my wife and I in stitches.
Disney's codec of choice for Blu-ray is usually AVC, but the studio used a high-bitrate VC-1 encode for this one. Color saturation is excellent throughout, with good use of primary colors, especially red. Black levels are stellar, providing deep contrast and multi-layered dimensionality. Detail is above-average, but the occasional soft shot creeps in from time to time.
The uncompressed PCM audio offers considerable clarity and depth. Dialog is natural and intelligible with no strain or stress, and the musical score shines as it makes use of the entire soundstage. It's great to hear such care taken with the audio on a catalog title.
The standard-definition bonus features offer a glimpse of the production with a behind-the-scenes featurette, a director's commentary, and four deleted scenes. In addition, there is a feature on ballroom dancing and a music video by the Pussycat Dolls.
For a "chick flick," Shall We Dance? is tolerable from a male point of view, but just barely. The supporting cast makes this one work, and the PCM audio is excellent. For previous owners of the movie on DVD, Disney has included a $10 mail-in rebate for upgrading to Blu-ray, which is a nice gesture for loyal customers.
Release Date: May 6, 2008
Film: 7 out of 10
Picture: 8 out of 10
Sound: 9 out of 10
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Yamaha RX-Z11 AVR
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector