Click here to return to the main site.

Blu-ray Review

DVD cover



Starring: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Eric Dane and Cam Gigandet
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 12
Available 25 April 2011

Ali is a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to LA. After stumbling upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theatre that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job as a cocktail waitress from Tess, the club’s proprietor and headliner. Burlesque’s outrageous costumes and bold choreography enrapture the young ingénue, who vows to perform there one day. Soon enough, Ali builds a friendship with a featured dancer, finds an enemy in a troubled, jealous performer, and garners the affection of Jack, a bartender and fellow musician. With the help of a sharp-witted stage manager and gender-bending host, Ali makes her way from the bar to the stage...

Burlesque is a musical rags-to-riches tale that follows a young girl who leaves her one horse town behind to try and make something of her life in the big city. Yes, it's that old cliched story, but with the twist of burlesque singing/dancing thrown in to make it appear a little different.

I have to admit that I had a few reservations about this Blu-ray receiving a 12 certificate. While no nudity is shown there are plenty of scenes where the actresses parade around the screen in lingerie and there's also a scene where Alan Cumming's character simulates sex on stage. Not really the content I'd want a 12 year old to see... but then that's obviously just me.

Likewise, I didn't really think a Hero's Journey tale based around a young woman wanting to escape the dullness of her life by wearing lingerie and singing in a club full of lecherous men was something that was that realistic. Maybe I wouldn't have had so much of an issue with it if the main story revolved around a young girl who wanted to be a Broadway singer/dancer or a pop star; maybe I'm showing my age - but do we really want young girls to dream of a life where they parade about on stage in lingerie? Would you be happy to see your 12 year old daughter act out the scenes in this movie in a basque? I doubt it!

Even though in his audio commentary, as well as in one of the featurettes, the director explains the origins of burlesque and how it was very different to what it is today, I still maintain (though I could be very, very wrong) that burlesque shows will mainly attract men - like peep shows or lap dancing bars - who just want a cheap thrill.

There were also aspects of the movie that just didn't work for me as well as they could have. For example Ali and Jack's romantic scenes just didn't fit right with me. There were too many pointless twists that by the time they got it together I couldn't have cared less. Firstly Ali turns into a bit of a bitch when she falls in with the wrong crowd and Jack turns out to be a jerk when he plays Ali and his girlfriend off against each other.

Then there's the issue of Cher in lingerie. Sure, for a woman in her early sixties, she looks great but do you really want to see a woman of that age parading around in lingerie? Her plastic surgery is also really starting to make her look rather alien... why can't people just grow old gracefully rather than draw attention to themselves by trying to prevent the inevitable?

Extras include audio commentary with writer/director Steven Antin; trailers for other releases; The Burlesque Jukebox (where you can skip to each song in the movie - just chose which you want to see and it will play all the ones you've selected); Alternate Opening (6 min, 31 sec); and Blooper Reel (5 min, 09 sec). Then under the Features section we have: Burlesque is Back! (3 min, 19 sec look at how the idea for the movie came about); The Performers: The Cast of Burlesque (8 min, 50 sec which interviews director and actors on what it was like to work with each other); Setting the Stage: Production Design & Photography (4 min, 10 sec); Inside the Dressing Room: Creating the Burlesque Look (5 min, 46 sec); and The Set List: The Music & Choreography of Burlesque (11 min, 02 sec).

While I'm aware that I've focused very much on the negative aspects in this review, I did enjoy the movie as a bit of escapist nonsense - although I still maintain that no one under the age of 15 should really view it.


Nick Smithson

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£12.99 (
£12.99 (
£15.99 (
£17.47 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.