Opening Night
R0 - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (9th September 2017).
The Film

"Opening Night" (2016)


Former Broadway singer turned stage manager, Nick (Topher Grace) has the odds stacked against him backstage on opening night of the new Broadway Musical "One Hit Wonderland". He must corral the eccentric cast and crew after learning that his ex-girlfriend Chloe (Alona Tai) had a drunken fling with the star JC Chasez (of NSync playing himself).From a prima donna back-up dancer (Taye Diggs), to a temperamental producer (Rob Riggle), to his leading lady (Anne Heche) suffering one accident after another, Nick does everything he can to make sure "The show must go the f#&k on" in this raunchy musical comedy.


A number of films have been made about the musical theater's behind the scenes antics. From "The Producers" (1967), "A Chorus Line" (1983), to "Noises Off..." (1992), they all have their charm of being eccentric and quirky introducing the individual differences of the people on and off stage. "Opening Night" takes cues from many behind-the-scenes movies and screwball comedies to make something sadly playing off cliches rather than something truly original. Following the standard that the events in the film occur in real time, the gimmick doesn't seem to peak interest in the way thrillers like "88 Minutes" (2007) or "Nick of Time" (1995) do, the genre where it works best. Instead the audience is actually left with possibly about 20% of the stage performances and 80% backstage shenanigans. Where the film shines brighter are the performances where JC Chasez plays a despicable playboy version of himself, Anne Heche as the over the heap fading star with a head injury, and Topher Grace trying to keep things level are roles that actors strive for, being able to play eccentrics on stage and off.


The idea of having a musical set to one-hit-wonders by artists such as The New Radicals, Mr. Big, Vanilla Ice, Modern English and others is an interesting idea, but why JC Chasez rather than getting a real one hit wonder to play the part? "Opening Night" has its fair share of laughs and anyone who ever participated in musical theater will find things to awkwardly enjoy, but for the most part is nothing particularly new.


Note this is a region 0 NTSC DVD which can be played back on any DVD or Blu-ray player worldwide

Video

Umbrella Entertainment presents the film in 2.40:1, anamorphically enhanced in the NTSC format. The film is very colorful as the stage sets have exaggerated color palates as well as very colorful costumes for the cast. Being a new production there is very little to fault even though it is a standard definition transfer. The framing is fine and there are no issues of damage to report. The film has a lot of breathing room on the dual layer disc as it shares nothing else.

The film's runtime is 83:12.















Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1
The original English track is given a full workout in the 5.1 soundscape. Dialogue is mostly centered while the music and effects use the surrounding channels. There are no issues of dropouts or faults in the enveloping and lively track.

There are no subtitles available on the disc.

Extras

Sadly there are no extras on the disc. There are outtakes in the credits sequence but there are no interviews, alternate takes, or an alternate "Musical Only" version of the film which would have been an interesting idea. To make note the US release from Wolfe Video also had no extras except for bonus trailers.

The trailer courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment has been embedded below:

Packaging

Case mistakenly states the aspect ratio as 1.85:1, region 4 PAL and the runtime as 90 minutes.

Overall

"Opening Night" has its laughs with the backstage chaos but unfortunately falls short in terms of originality. The Umbrella Entertainment release gets stellar marks in video and audio but without any extras it is a missed opportunity.

The Film: B- Video: A Audio: A Extras: F- Overall: C

 


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