TV Party Tonight! #111

TV Party Tonight! #111

Monday, 01 August 2022

Singin’ in the Rain
70th Anniversary Edition
[4K+Blu-ray combo]

Boy this is a tough one, mostly because I’m not much of a musical guy. I’m a film aficionado for sure, and my Criterion movie collection can attest to that. But musicals? That’s a toughy, because musicals are objectively contrived, embarrassing, and just plain bad. It’s pretty much a fact. Anytime someone breaks into song, it sends chills up my spine. Add choreographed tap dancing and you’ve got a death sentence. Sure, there are some good musicals, but they’re underappreciated, because again, the musical loving crowd doesn’t recognize a good one when they see (or hear) it. I’m talking of course of Rocky Horror Picture Show and Spinal Tap. These are movies that succeed at being musicals (or musical-adjacent) because either the cast is aware of how ridiculous they are and lean way in (Rocky Horror) or they’re just plain good songs (Spinal Tap). Most musicals, however, take their “high art” so seriously that it’s just plain sad to watch. Really.

But, Singin’ in the Rain is a bona-fide classic, and for good reason. It’s got some of the heaviest hitters of its time like Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly, and there is a good plot in buried beneath all that unnecessary singing and dancing. Also, the numbers are elaborate and everyone is ready to charm your pants off. It’s also got some classic songs like Singin’ in the Rain, Make ‘Em Laugh, and All I do is Dream of You.

Whatever your feelings are on musicals, it’s pretty clear that a movie fan should be familiar with this one. And, Warner Brothers has released the definitive version of Singin’ in the Rain on a 4K and Blu-ray 70th Anniversary Edition. This new transfer is crisp and includes all the nuance of the film with the limited sources that it has (the original negatives were lost in a fire). Charmingly, the audio choices are both a remastered 5.1 audio version and the original mono soundtrack for all the purists out there. There’s also a boat-load of special features like audio commentary by Debbie Reynolds and Baz Luhrmann and featurette about bringing this movie to a new generation.

Singin’ in the Rain is a must see and a must own if you’re a movie fan. It might not be your cup of tea, but it’s trying it’s damndest for you to like it. And this 70th Anniversary version makes it hard not to.

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