Sundance HD has been airing Flashdance (1983) recently, which certainly puts the iconic 80’s hit in a new light. Though it was one of my favorite films when it came out, the best viewing I could muster in my formative years was via VHS tape and 19″ Sony Trinitron. 55″ HD makes a big difference.
I was so impressed with what I saw that I considered a “Cinematic Greats” post. Then I watched a little more and realized how meaningless that category would become once I threw Flashdance in with the likes of Bound, Fargo, and After Dark, My Sweet. There is obvious cheese in no short quantity here — including the watered-down, Rocky-based plot — and Michael Nouri as the male lead is an absolute hack.
But the spirited dance numbers, original music, and Jennifer Beals’ winsome performance push it into positive territory. I agree with the criticism out there, but when I see a Tomatometer rating of 33% while Blade Runner sits at 91% and is considered by many to be among the greatest of all films, well, that’s backwards-world.
Despite its flaws, Flashdance holds its place in the pantheon of iconic 80’s pictures, and, as such, is highly recommended and essential viewing — just make sure to watch in HD, and with decent sound.
First I must give credit to Jack Flacco and his post on Bring It On’s heroine Torrance Shipman.
This is a good-natured movie about high school cheerleaders. There is nothing original in the plot — trying to win a cheerleading competition against all odds yada yada. But, as Flacco points out, Kirsten Dunst’s Torrance is one dynamic chick:
When I hear people say, “Oh, she’s only a cheerleader.” I say, “Yeah, can you perform a front handspring, step out, round off back handspring, step out, round off back handspring, full twisting layout?” That’s when the glazed look falls on their face. Torrance can. I wouldn’t have her performing full twisting layouts on Women Who Wow Wednesday otherwise.
Kirsten Dunst is among the most prolific and versatile actresses of her generation. Bring It On, besides being a fun time at the movies, represents one end of that talented spectrum. Watch this, then watch one of her more serious turns, for example in All Good Things, Melancholia, or Levity. Mix in Marie Antoinette and you’ll understand what I mean. Really like her.
I think Stephen Colbert is the funniest, most intelligent, and most prolific comedian today. If you missed it, this whole episode is great — but the dance sequence is especially fun. Happy Hump Day!