Can’t Stop the Music

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Jack Morrell (Steve Guttenberg) is a songwriter and radio personality in New York City, but he has dreams of making it beyond his current lot in life. He feels like his songs have the potential to become big time hits, but he needs them to be heard, otherwise no one will even know they exist, of course. So he just needs to find that one big break and then his music will take off, hopefully landing him a record deal worth some serious greenbacks. He is not alone in his search however, as his roommate Samantha (Valerie Perrine), a retired model and a lawyer named Ron White (Bruce Jenner) are pitching in to find his musicians. And after some time, the trio manage to put together a band of Greenwich Village “macho men” who fit the bill, now they just need a name, some kind of gimmick, and of course, Morrell’s songs. Soon enough, The Village People are born and the members include the G.I. (Alex Briley), the Construction Worker (David Hodo), the Leatherman (Glenn Hughes), the Cowboy (Randy Jones), the Indian (Felipe Rose), and the Police Officer (Ray Simpson), quite a colorful assortment, to say the least. But can these men win over the masses and make Morrell’s dreams come true, or is that just wishful thinking?

I’ve often been surprised to see some films released on DVD, but perhaps none were as shocking as Can’t Stop The Music. But of course, Anchor Bay managed to nab the rights to this camp classic and have issued a terrific disc, as per usual. This film tells the story of the disco legends, The Village People and stars the band members, as well as Steve Guttenberg and Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, an odd assortment indeed. I mean, this movie goes beyond the “so bad that’s it good” realm and breaks all new ground in that respect. I’ve seen this with a few people and we’ve always had a fun time watching it, which is, I think, the point of Can’t Stop The Music. No, it isn’t fun because it is well written, performed, and directed, it is fun because it is so over the top, gaudy, and outrageously bad, but that can often equal immense entertainment. The homosexual tone seems obvious now, but back then, not everyone saw it for what it was, which also adds some humor to Can’t Stop The Music. It is said that it takes a village to make a bad movie, but only The Village People could make one like Can’t Stop The Music. I give this film a recommendation to fans of cult cinema, especially since Anchor Bay’s disc is excellent and priced low, so don’t miss out.

Video: How does it look?

Can’t Stop The Music is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. As expected, the image here looks dated, but let’s be honest, I think most viewers would be honked off if it didn’t. The materials have held up rather well, given the film’s nature and age, which means we have a nice, clean print, with only minor grain at times to quibble over. The image is on the soft side, but only to a minor degree and with this kind of material, I think that’s expected. I found contrast to be acceptable, but not quite as stark as I would have liked, though detail remains solid throughout. No problems with the colors however, as the hues are bright and vivid at all times, with no signs of smears, oversaturation, or any other worries present. Yes, the image has some flaws and is a shade soft, but come on, this is easily the beyond realistic expectations and if any other studio had taken this film on, I can promise you it wouldn’t have looked this good.

Audio: How does it sound?

In a bold, surprising, but very welcome move, Anchor Bay sanctioned new Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES mixes here, for which they deserve limitless praise. We’d never even see this movie from anyone else, but Anchor Bay refuses to just slap it on a disc, opting to invest in top notch, cutting edge new audio mixes, simply unbelievable dedication. The mixes are without question the finest audio treatments the film’s ever been given, but the material isn’t able to take full advantage, though this should be expected. The bass is pretty dormant here, but kicks in at times, while the surrounds are used often, though not always to powerful ends. The music sounds alive and makes good use of the speakers, which is good news, since this film relies on the music, both for storyline and entertainment value. All in all, these tracks are better than I had expected, so I once again tip my hat to Anchor Bay, terrific work on a title most studios would have ignored.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a photo essay titled The Village People Story, a selection of still photos & promotional materials, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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