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Ghost Canyon

'Thank God It's Friday - 40th Anniversary'
(Donna Summer, Jeff Goldblum, Debra Winger, Teri Nunn, Valerie Landsburg, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1978) 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Set amongst a single night at the hottest disco in town, 'Thank God It's Friday' is the hilarious story of a disco diva trying to get the DJ to play her demo, two underage disco queens out to show their stuff, a good girl looking for Mr. Right, a sleazy owner that will do anything to get a girl, and a bigger-than-life dance contest capturing the great music, dancing, fashions, and delight of the disco craze!

Blu-ray Verdict: OMG! I totally love and adore this film! Not that I don't realize that it may not reflect the finest qualities of cinematography ... but, OMG, I totally love and adore it anyway!

It's like watching the dumbest episode of The Love Boat, with great music as the background. I spent waaaay too much time in discos back in the day, and you might say that this is an ever-so-slight exaggeration, but it never fails to make me feel good on the worst day ever!

And as for the music ... let's go back to Los Angeles 1978! This has a great soundtrack that features Diana Ross, The Commodores, The Village People, Oscar-winner and songwriter for 'Last Dance,' Paul Jabara, Pattie Brooks ... shit, basically the entire Casablanca label was featured in this film!

This movie was rated PG, even though it includes graphic drug use in many scenes, but back then I guess it was normal. Oh, and for those not in the know, the setting is the Zoo, a Los Angeles discotheque, and everything in the movie happens either in or around the Zoo in the space of a few hours on a Friday night.

Furthermore, 'TGIF' (now released here as a beautiful 40th Anniversary Blu-ray by those fine folks at Mill Creek Entertainment) is best regarded as a cultural artifact, an attempt to show everything that was shiny about the Disco world without any reference to its down sides of sexually transmitted diseases, next-morning-hangovers, and serious drug addictions.

The story is slight: a disco is hosting a big dance contest, and every one arrives at the door with personal ambitions. There is, of course, the singer who hopes to hit it big; two underage teen girls hot to be Disco Queens; a sweet young thing who hates polyester and is looking for Mr. Right in the wrong place; and a lady killer looking to score his next victim.

The film is most memorable for the look of the disco, which is the real star of the film, and the cast, which includes several performers on their way up: Jeff Goldblum as the lady killer; Deborah Winger as the anti-polyester good girl; and of all people a very, very young Terri Nunn, who would later score big as the front singer for the band Berlin.

There are all the usual running gags, and as a whole the film is only mildly entertaining. But then Donna Summer steps into the spotlight - and for a few moments everything that was magic about Disco lives and breathes again.

So sure, every cliche has been trotted out to move the alleged plot along, but the costumes are actually quite accurate - and the hair! Ladies, if you are of a certain age, you know it is the real deal. Fetch me my beer-can rollers and teasing comb, I feel a disco flashback coming on! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.millcreekent.com





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