|Mean Girls (2004)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Friday, 17 April 2009|
"Mean Girls" is a typical teenage girly film. But it has its place in comedic films. Even guys can find something about this film. The film is an over-exaggeration of high-school life. It is entertaining to say the least.
"Mean Girls" is about Cady Heron, a teenage girl who was born in Africa. Upon receiving a tenure position, her parents move her back to the United States, where everything is foreign to her. She is attending a real American high-school for the first time. Everything from slang to food to limitations and rules are weird and new to her.
Cady is taken in by the odd pair of Janis and Damian (Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese). Lunch time is representative of all the clicks in high school. Each table is reserved for a particular social status. Remarkably, Cady is invited to sit with the popular three: Regina George, Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith (Rachel McAdams, Lacy Chabert and Amanda Seyfried). Janis persuades Cady to become friends with the three and report back to her about all the mean things that they do.
Along the way, Cady is sucked into the ditzy, popular life. She begins to alienate her true friends, neglect her studies and do mean things to other students. When Regina steals Aaron Samuels, a cute senior from Cady, Cady goes postal and is determined to destroy Regina George. She remains friends with the three while secretly plotting behind their backs. Using information supplied by an annoyed Gretchen Wieners, Cady is finally able to get Regina away from Aaron and remove her away from the popular group.
Cady now becomes the new queen bee of the group. After drinking quite a bit, things begin to backfire for her. She vomits on Aaron, Janis catches her in a lie and Regina finally realizes what Cady has been doing to her weight with this weight increasing energy bars. That is the final breaking point for Regina and she plans the ultimate revenge plot. She distributes the infamous "Burn Book," a book that contains mean things about each of the girls in the junior year. After entering a nasty comment about herself, Regina is able to pin the entire book on Gretchen, Karen and Cady. The girls start to go wild in the school hallways, prompting an emergency meeting held in the school gymnasium. A upset Regina storms out and gets hit by a bus. That's karma.
The film is simple and wears thin with each watch. However, the ditzy acting of the girls and the story by Tina Fey are entertaining to watch. Before she became successful with her own show, "30 Rock," Tina Fey wrote and starred in this film. It is her comedy bits that help move the film along. I simply adore Rachel McAdams and will watch anything that she is in. Amy Poehler and Tim Meadows both deliver good comedic performances. Amanda Seyfried, recently starring in "Mamma Mia: The Movie" doesn't have much but a ditzy blonde role in this film, but she is cute while doing it.
The video quality on this Blu-ray doesn't offer much an upgrade from standard DVD. The video quality is perfectly fine for high definition. However, with such high quality transfers out there, this film doesn't leave an impact. Most notably, there appears to be a very fine screen covering the image. The details are there, but never quite pop. The black levels are solid, but shadow delineation isn't prominently featured. Colors are nicely saturated, but fleshtones have a red push. The contrast is good but not exquisite. There is a standard amount of film grain present, but there is no evidence of edge enhancement or digital noise reduction. There almost appear to be some compression artifacts, but it is usually just an amplified section of film grain.
The audio quality is also standard. The Blu-ray comes equipped with a Dolby TrueHD track. The pop/hip-hop songs in the film get the most notable attention in the audio track. The LFE channel is lacking for the most part, except for the wild girl sequences and in the pop songs. The dynamics are decent, but not expansive. The dialogue is clear and always audible. The mix is largely front heavy. The surrounds are rarely engaged, except for again the wild girls sequence and some bleed of the pop music. Other than that, there is not much but dialogue and minor sound effects to this audio track. It is certainly adequate and a mild upgrade from the standard Dolby Digital track. The lossless TrueHD is only limited by the original sound design.
The Blu-ray contains all the original standard DVD supplemental materials. They all remain in standard definition except for the theatrical trailer, which is high definition as per usual. First, there is an audio commentary with the director, producer and Tina Fey. The track is rather bland, containing the standard filmmaking information. There are three featurettes, "Only the Strong Survive," "The Politics of Girl World" and "Plastic Fashion." These featurettes cover the costume design, self-image and the characters of the film. "Word Vomit" is a blooper reel. "So Fetch" is a section of deleted scenes with commentary by the director and Tina Fey. Lastly there are three interstitials and theatrical trailer.
"Mean Girls" is good fun the first and second time around. After that it becomes a movie in the background type of film. The video and quality are adequate but pale in comparison to mainly of the newer titles on Blu-ray. Certainly the film is worth a look.