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Fame (2009)

review by Zach B.



MPAA Rating: PG (Thematic Material including Teen Drinking, A Sexual Situation and Language)

Running Time: 107 Minutes (Theatrical)/123 (Extended)

Starring: Debbie Allen, Charles S. Dutton, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullaley, Bebe Neuwirth, Asher Book, Kristy Flores, Paul Iacono, Paul McGil, Naturi Naughton, Kay Panabaker, Kherington Payne, Collis Penne, Walter Perez, Anna Marie Perez De Tagle

Screenplay by: Allison Burnett
Based on the motion picture "Fame" by:
Christopher Gore

Directed by: Kevin Tancharoen


Studio: Fox

Retail Price: $39.99

Features: Extended Edition, Deleted Scenes, "Fame" Music Video, Remember My Name Character Profiles, Fame National Talent Search Finalists, The Dances Of Fame, Digital Copy

Specs: 2.40:1 Widescreen 1080p High Definition, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selection

Released: January 12th, 2010



"Fame" (2009 edition!) is presented in 1080p High Definition, in a widescreen presentation with the theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1. It's a pretty decent transfer, that "pops" a little but not as much as it could have. Colors are well saturated even if they are not as vibrant as I had hoped they'd be, but at least they don't smear. Detail is pretty good and black levels are strong, while fleshtones hit their mark — even if they are a tiny bit on the pasty or orangey side. The print used is clean, too. This transfer is nothing bad, but I was really hoping to feel like I had a front row seat when watching the performers. I didn't. 


"Fame" features a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track in English, and it's the best part of the disc. I'll cut right to the chase: the movie's hook comes from the song and dance sequences, and when it's time for those, this track does not disappoint. Singing voices are clear and annunciated, and the music is pretty powerful, almost bombastic in how it fills up the speakers. Imaging and pans are fantastic, and subwoofer use is actually quite strong. You'll certainly feel like you're in the audience when it's time for the performers to show their stuff.

Otherwise, dialogue is clear and easy to hear. Smaller sound effects (footsteps, doors opening, etc.) are subtle enough and do their job. Dynamic range on the whole is strong, while fidelity is pretty high.

Standard Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are in French and Spanish, plus there are subtitles in English and Spanish.

The Blu-ray features an "extended" edition that runs about 16 minutes longer, but if that's not enough, there are 18 minutes worth of Deleted Scenes. No context is given for these, but from what's here, it seems there's more of an emphasis on the teens. I guess character development would have slowed the movie down.

A "Fame" Music Video is here as well, as a new generation tackles the iconic song. Remember My Name Character Profiles runs about 17 minutes, where the cast is each given a small moment in the sun that give visuals of their backgrounds and them in the movie. (Not sure we'll remember all their names, though — how ironic!)

Fame: National Talent Search Finalists is a featurette that runs 7 minutes, where eager performers hoping to win money and talent meetings perform. The Dancers Of Fame is a 7 minute piece that focuses on the dancers and their performances in the movie. There's nothing of real depth here, but just a hodgepodge of the evolution of the dance numbers: casting, rehearsals and the final product. Dancer Kherington Payne is also featured here.

And last but not least, there is a Digital Copy included.

This remake of "Fame" is actually not a bad idea given people's desperations to be stars in this day and age, but what might have been interesting actually falls flat — not to mention the ill-fated idea of taking away the gritty realism of the original and making this a weak copycat of "High School Musical." The Blu-ray's extras are fluffy, but the movie itself looks and sounds good. If you have to see it, definitely make it a rental.