New On Dvd

November 18, 2007|By TIM SWIFT

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD

Two-Disc Special Edition

HAIRSPRAY

Two-Disc Shake & Shimmy Edition

New Line Cinema / $22.99

This Hairspray may have more in common with High School Musical than its '80s predecessor, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, this story about a plump TV dancer who fights for integration in 1960s Baltimore has been sanitized of most of its John Waters quirkiness. But as a musical, it works. Bursting into song on film is always tricky business, so the producers have wisely toned down the grit and realism, and given viewers a more polished and bright Baltimore.

The musical keeps Waters' underdogs, Tracy (an excellent Nikki Blonsky) and Edna Turnblad (John Travolta), charming and lovable. While Travolta is no Divine, at least he can dance.

Special features --The second disc features several documentaries about the origins of Hairspray, and it includes interviews with Waters and dancers from The Buddy Deane Show, which inspired the films. And those so inclined can sing along with special subtitles and learn dance moves from the film's choreographers.

tim.swift@baltsun.com

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