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Hairspray [Alemania] [Blu-ray]
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Die vollschlanke Tracy Turnblad mit der turmhohen Frisur und einem noch größeren Herzen kennt nur eine Leidenschaft: den Tanz. Sie träumt von einem Auftritt in der "Cony Collins Show", der hipsten TV-Dance-Party in Baltimore. Eigentlich ist Tracy für die Show wie geschaffen - doch sie hat ein gar nicht so kleines Problem: Sie passt einfach nicht hinein. Nikkis mehr als mollige Figur stempelt sie in coolen Kreisen zur Außenseiterin, und ihre liebevolle, aber sehr gluckenhafte und ebenfalls übergewichtige Mutter Edna wird auch nicht müde, ihre Tochter immer wieder darauf hinzuweisen. Doch Tracy lässt sich nicht entmutigen, denn eines weiß sie ganz genau: Sie ist zum Tanzen geboren. Und ihr Vater Wilbur macht ihr Mut: "Versuch's! Wer etwas erreichen will, muss klotzen, nicht kleckern."
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Once again we are transported to the early sixties in Baltimore, where flannel is uniform, Blacks and Whites are segregated, and beehives are in fashion. The plot is fairly simple: Overweight teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) wants to break the mold on her favorite TV program "The Corny Collins Show" (an "American Bandstand"-like feature) while discovering a more urgent need to end segregation on a show that only sometimes features "Negro Night". She gets her big break when teen singing sensation, Link Larkin (Zac Efron) makes advances that bring her to the stage floor. In the meantime, her success is challenged by the show's program manager, (played with overbearing skill by Michelle Pfeiffer) and her daughter, Amber, the show's reigning "Miss Teenage Hairspray," a nasty nemesis . Joining forces with her Afro-American friends, especially Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah) and dancer Seaweed (Elijah Kelly), she works for equal time on the dance floor.
`Hairspray' is set as perfect entertainment. John Travolta provides likable loopiness as Nikki's mother while he dances and cross-dresses his way into our hearts. The villains are nasty enough, and the sweetness pervades even amongst important demonstrations on key social issues. When it all comes down to balance, 'Hairspray' fills the bill.
The story centers on Tracy Turnblad, a genuinely optimistic teenager, a bouncing bundle of energy obsessed with the local Corny Collins dance show. Living in a working-class neighborhood with her agoraphobic, self-consciously plus-sized mother Edna and her congenial, novelty store-owner father Wilbur, Tracy only wants to dance on Corny's show. Standing in her way is the malevolent Velma Von Tussle, an aging beauty who owns the TV station, and her equally venal daughter Amber. Once a month, the station allows the dance show to have a co-host, blonde-tressed Motormouth Maybelle, who holds a "Negro Day" to allow the local black kids to dance on their own. These kids seem to end up in detention a lot since Tracy finds them there and learns new dance moves from them. She realizes the world would be a better place if black and white kids were able to dance together on Corny's show. This sets up the story's central conflict, which comes accompanied by romantic complications among the various characters. All of this ends with the Miss Teenage Hairspray pageant and naturally a pull-all-the-stops production number.
The casting is inspired. Following Divine and especially Fierstein in the cross-dressing role of Edna is no easy task, but John Travolta brings a surprising delicacy to the character. The novelty of his casting never wears off, but he also does not stoop that much to parody either. Even with a slightly garbled Baltimore accent, he is convincing as a woman who has accepted life's compromises for the sake of her family. Alternating quickly between clever and broad, Michelle Pfeiffer has a field day playing Velma, though she has precious little opportunity to show off her long dormant singing talent. As Maybelle, Queen Latifah seems to be cornering the market on musical earth-mother types and gets her shining moments on "Big Blonde and Beautiful" and especially on the gospel-flavored "I Know Where I've Been". Christopher Walken has comparatively less to do as the put-upon Wilbur, though he shows off his singing and dancing skills on his sweet pas de deux with Travolta on "(You're) Timeless to Me".
For all the veteran talent on display, it's Nikki Blonsky who carries the heart of the movie as Tracy, and her sunny demeanor and "American Idol"-caliber talent keep the story aloft. The other teens - Zac Efron as singing heartthrob Link, Amanda Bynes as devoted best friend Penny, Brittany Snow as spoiled Amber, and Elijah Kelley as Maybelle's son Seaweed - are all played with energetic adolescent brio. Complementing the principal cast are James Marsden as the perpetually smiling Corny and Allison Janney as Penny's Bible-thumping mother. Everyone is in the right spirit, and the pacing and tone are spot-on. The film's one weakness is a certain lack of energy in the camera movement around the production numbers, as Shankman's tendency is to film key dance sequences intermittently at mid-waist level. The net effect is a reduction in the overall energy level at key moments such as Travolta's Tina Turner-style turn at the end. Regardless, this is fun stuff for those open to this genre.
* 16×9 widescreen version of the film or 4×3 fullscreen version of the film
* English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX Surround Sound
* English & Spanish subtitles
* Closed captions
Two-Disc "Shake and Shimmy" Edition:
* "Behind the Beat" picture-in-picture option allowing viewers to watch behind-the-scenes footage and on-screen commentary concurrently with the running feature (HD Exclusive)
* All new musical number, "I Can Wait"
* Feature-length audio commentary from director and choreographer Adam Shankman, star Nikki Blonsky and producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron
* Deleted scenes with audio commentary from director and choreographer Adam Shankman and star Nikki Blonsky
* "You Can't Stop the Beat: The Long Journey of Hairspray" documentary
* "Step By Step: The Dances of Hairspray" featurette offering how-to dance instruction
* "Hairspray Extensions" featurette, giving viewers dance breakdowns
* Jump to a song with optional sing-along feature
* "The Roots of Hairspray" featurette
* Interactive menus
* Theatrical trailer
* 16×9 widescreen version of the film
* English 2.0 Stereo Surround
* English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (on feature, deleted scenes and interactive menus)
* English & Spanish subtitles
* Closed captions
Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky who almost makes us forget Rikki Lake from the film) is a Baltimore teenager: chubby of body, colossal of hair and bubbling over with good cheer and ironclad self esteem. The year is 1962 and the signs of change are everywhere Tracy goes foremost of which is the "Corny Collins Show," an American Bandstand-type show which features a "Negro Day" once a month: a situation that Tracy and her friends Penny (Amanda Bynes) and Link (Zac Efron) are desperate to change into an everyday occurrence. Edna, who hasn't left the house since 1951 and therefore very much aware and embarrassed of her size discourages Tracy from auditioning as a dancer for the show but Tracy, to her credit, feels confident enough about her dancing does so anyway and is finally accepted into the Corny Collins fold much to the chagrin of both Velma Von Tussle ( a gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer) and her daughter Amber (Brittany Snow).
"Hairspray is also very much a capsule of its time and place: pregnant women smoking and drinking martinis, children in cars without seat belts buckled, boys and girls hair greased and sprayed to within an inch of its life (Tracy is accused of having a "hair-don't" at one point) and bigots spouting the kind of gunk that bigots do.
"Hairspray" is ultimately a big, calorie laden birthday cake of a film: you know you shouldn't imbibe but you can't help yourself. But along with the sugar rush of this spectacle there lays some lumps based on reality which point out, not only how much has changed since 1962 but more importantly how much has stayed the same.