This article is over 15 years old

Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Dreamgirls (2-Disc Showstopper Edition)”

(DreamWorks/Paramount. 2006. Color. 2 Discs. Widescreen. 130 minutes. Directed by Bill Condon.) Jamie Foxx, Beyonc? Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover, Anika Noni Rose, Keith Robinson, Jennifer Hudson. Music and Lyrics by Henry Kreiger and Tom Eyen.

Eddie Murphy…then and now! This long-awaited big-screen version of the 1981 Broadway musical is slick and efficient, much like the adaptation of Chicago a few years ago. Like most musicals, it fares best in a theater with a live audience, which is where I first saw it: you get caught up in people vocally responding to the musical highlights and dramatic turns. On second viewing at home, I was able to better appreciate a few of the individual performances, particularly Murphy’s so-close-to-an-Oscar supporting turn as James Thunder Early (an R&B shouter in the mode of James Brown/Jackie Wilson, etc.). On the other hand, Jamie Foxx’s Berry-Gordy-like character fails to convince as the record mogul who should inspire loyalty. Jennifer Hudson, who did snag that golden statuette, is still impressive as the betrayed Effie. Eye-popping costumes by Sharen Davis. Lots of interesting extras on the second disc; I was fascinated by the choreography auditions and screen tests (but where’s Jennifer’s?).