Moulin Rouge!

This colourful musical extravaganza proves to be a Spectacular Spectacular Blu-ray showcase

Moulin Rouge! is the pinnacle of Baz Luhrmann’s cinema of excess. Described by the filmmaker himself as ‘belonging to a cinematic vernacular where you are essentially heightening the cinematic experience’, this bold, brash and electrifying attempt at re-creating the movie musical for a modern audience offers little original in the way of narrative. But the way it is designed, staged and filmed, not to mention the inventive use of pop songs throughout, makes it a film like nothing you’ve ever seen before – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Picture: In one of the new featurettes on this Blu-ray, director Baz Luhrmann explains that he and colourist Jan Yarbrough spent months re-timing the film’s visuals in order to ‘take the film that you experienced in the cinema and transfer it to Blu-ray, but enhance and celebrate the visual philosophy that we arrived at in trying to reinvent the movie musical’. What this boils down to is a sensational AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode that wows from the get-go. The upgrade in clarity, fine detailing and – especially – colour saturation is evident in every shot (although I heartily recommend the interior of the elephant during Your Song in Chapter 9 for a real demo showcase) and is so far beyond what the DVD achieved, it truly is spectacular, spectacular!
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Moulin Rouge! comes to Blu-ray with a sparkling diamond of a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that is every bit as opulent and satisfying as the disc’s visuals. From the moment that Christian and his bohemian companions are sucked into the Moulin Rouge in Chapter 4 the entire soundfield bursts into life. Unsurprisingly, it’s the musical numbers that really showcase what it’s capable of with rich, layered vocals (even if the lossless audio now highlights some of the cast’s vocal limitations), accurate tonality of the instruments and surprisingly deep bass.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Baz Luhrmann and his team have pulled out all of the stops for this lavish Blu-ray release. The ‘Spectacular, Spectacular’ picture-in-picture mode assaults the senses with a cavalcade of behind-the-scenes footage, concept art, pop-up trivia, audio commentary from Luhrmann, production designer Catherine Martin, cinematographer Don McAlpine and co-writer Craig Pearce, and even branching links to alternate edits and other treats from the Bazmark Vaults.

Luhrmann also provides a short intro to the Blu-ray and discusses his filmmaking ethos and working relationship with wife Catherine Martin in a pair of new featurettes. Following on from this there’s a tour of the House of Iona facilities (home to the Bazmark production team), a 26min Making of Moulin Rouge! doc, the Bazmark Vaults (housing raw footage, rehearsals and more) and a host of additional featurettes, interviews, music videos, trailers, extended dances and webisodes split between seven sub-menus (The Stars, The Writers, The Design, The Dance, The Music, The Cutting Room, Toulouse Tonight and Marketing).
Extras rating: 5/5

We say: Come what may, we will love this vibrant and thrilling Blu-ray until our dying day.

20th Century Fox, All-region BD, £20 approx, On sale November 1