It’s hard to believe it was a little over a decade ago when director Bill Condon wowed the world with his adaptation of the award-winning Broadway musical Dreamgirls in 2006. The film blew everyone away, as did Jennifer Hudson who won an Academy Award for her amazing voice and acting talent that took viewers by storm. Now this classic returns with the Dreamgirls: Director’s Extended Edition Blu-ray that includes ten minutes of extended footage and DTS:X enhanced sound that makes sure you’re gonna love this movie all over again.
Starting in the 1960s and following the cast through the 70’s and beyond, we enter the lives of singers Effie (Jennifer Hudson), Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose), and Deena (Beyoncé Knowles) who are friends that share a love of music. It doesn’t take long for the ladies to be discovered by Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx), a manager that catches them at a local talent show and has big dreams for these girls. Soon they take on the name “The Dreamettes” and are offered one of the biggest opportunities they’ll ever have…being the opening act for James “Thunder” Early (Eddie Murphy), the biggest music sensation out there at the time. As time goes on, all of them become famous and powerful, but at the cost of their friendship and personal lives that quickly unravel as the shows go on, which take viewers through the emotional highs and lows of their lives.
As with any classic, Dreamgirls still has the music and moves that keep it going strong after the years. Seeing this in high definition for the first time and experiencing the epic DTS:X audio made it feel as though I was watching the film for the first time, as the visual and audio quality are outstanding here. The cast gives some of the greatest performances of their lives, especially Eddie Murphy as he has yet to top this role in his career, as with Jennifer Hudson and her stunning voice that made me misty-eyed because of it’s raw power and emotion (I dare you not to be moved when she first sings “You’re Gonna Love Me”). I also like how the extended bits in the film help to add more to the movie by adding very little, such as some of the songs going on a little longer than they did in the theatrical cut, feeling as though Condon took the saying “less is more” to heart.
There’s also some pretty cool special features to take a look at, starting with the new collectible book-style case the discs come in that has images from some of the musical moments in the movie with lyrics to boot. To really top things off, viewers finally get to see Jennifer Hudson’s auditions and screen tests that easily show off her amazing talent and how she won the part for the film. There’s a few of them to go through and all of the extras are a rare treat for those who take the time to watch.
If you’re a fan of the movie or love great dramas/musicals, you’ll want head to the nearest stage and pick up Dreamgirls: Director’s Extended Edition for your collection. An amazing classic gets the star treatment it deserves as perfect casting and performances, powerful songs that’ll make you want to get up and dance or sit down and cry at their beauty, and some neat special features round out this package that viewers are gonna love.