DVD: After the Oscars, Burlesque Suddenly Seems a Little Less Terrible
None of its songs made the fifth slot in the Best Original Song category -- and we were even deprived of hearing co-host James Franco warble the Diane Warren-composed, Cher-sung ballad "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" -- but Burlesque (new on DVD and Blu-Ray this week from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) suddenly seems a more viable entertainment option after enduring the three-hour Trail of Tears that was this year's Academy Awards ceremony.
Let's not get carried away by hyperbole -- Burlesque was a dull crapfest of the highest order. But still, its many musical numbers delivered at least a little flash and sizzle (even if they completely missed the point of the neo-burlesque revival that peaked about five years ago), which is more than one can say for the Oscar show hosted by Franco and Anne Hathaway.
The Academy Awards, more often than not, winds up being a show about itself -- much more time is spent talking about the history and prestige of the prizes, and of Hollywood's rich legacy -- than in actually giving those awards out, and Burlesque also devoted a great deal of footage to explaining what "burlesque" even is. (There are several songs with that word in the title or chorus, including one -- "Show Me How You Burlesque" -- that turns it into a verb.)
And much in the same way that Franco disappointed in his move from acting/directing/thesis-defending to awards-show hosting, Christina Aguilera fell short in her effort to branch out from music into the thespian arts. Still, it must be noted, she's a better actress than Franco is an Oscar host.
So yeah, now that the Academy Awards have lowered the bar drastically in terms of what we think of as small-screen entertainment, there may be no time in history in which popping in the Burlesque DVD will seem like such a good idea. Embrace the moment.