The Girl Next Door appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This wasn’t a bad transfer, but it seemed inconsistent.
Sharpness varied somewhat. Softness never turned into a major issue, as most of the movie came across as reasonably concise and detailed. However, I thought some shots were less well defined than I expected, and they could be moderately undefined. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred. Neither edge enhancement nor print defects showed up during the movie.
Colors tended toward the bright end of a natural palette. The tones occasionally looked a little dense, but they usually appeared reasonably vivid and distinctive. Blacks were acceptably deep and dense, but shadow detail tended to be somewhat heavy. Low-light shots occasionally came across as a bit thick, though they weren’t terribly opaque. Overall, the softness and general drabness of parts of the transfer made it a “B-“.
One can’t expect much from the audio of a comedy, and The Girl Next Door followed suit with a predictably adequate soundtrack. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix presented a soundfield that maintained a heavy bias toward the front speakers. Those channels showed positive stereo imaging for the score and songs as well as a nice sense of ambience. However, it rarely went beyond that, as the track stayed with general atmosphere most of the time. The surrounds added little, though the music expanded into them more actively than usual. Otherwise they largely just bolstered the information from the front.
Audio quality was fine. Speech remained consistently intelligible and natural, and I noticed no issues with edginess. Effects played a small role but came across as accurate and firm, with no distortion or other issues. Music was the most positive aspect of the mix. The songs and score were always bright and lively, and they showed nice low-end response. Nothing much about the audio stood out, but it seemed more than adequate for this sort of movie.
How did the picture and audio of this Blu-ray compare with those of the Girl Next Door DVD? The audio was a wash, and the visuals didn’t show substantial improvement. The resolution upgrade inherent in Blu-ray meant some increase in clarity, but on the other hand, this also made the less appealing shots look worse by comparison. The Blu-ray provided stronger visuals, but don’t expect a big jump.
We get a mix of extras from The Girl Next Door. We launch with an audio commentary from director Luke Greenfield, who offers a running, screen-specific discussion. Greenfield proves to be very chatty, as he yaks almost non-stop during this piece. Unfortunately, not a ton of great information pops up in it. Much of the time Greenfield just tells us how great everyone was and how much he likes various sequences. This happy talk gets old fast.
Frustrations stem from the positive parts of the track, as Greenfield occasionally becomes insightful. He lets us know about the writing process, with an emphasis on the way he envisions music use in the flick. We also learn a mix of casting and production details as well as changes made for the uncut version. Some good information appears, but the prevalence of Greenfield’s praise makes this an erratic commentary.
Next comes a scene-specific commentary. Actor Emile Hirsch chats over four scenes for a total of eight minutes, 40 seconds, while actor Elisha Cuthbert talks over five segments for 12 minutes, 45 seconds. Hirsch meanders through his conversation as he presents mostly generic remarks about the shoot and the story. Cuthbert offers stronger information, as she discusses her attitude toward nudity, her approach to the character, and various elements of the shoot. Cuthbert’s track merits a listen, but you can skip Hirsch’s bland chat.
In The Eli Experience, we take seven minutes and 57 seconds to watch actor Chris Marquette go to a real adult film convention in character. Along with some others, the play pranks on the attendees in this silly and not terribly amusing program.
For a more standard featurette, A Look Next Door goes for nine minutes and 50 seconds. It uses the usual mix of movie snippets, behind the scenes shots, and interviews. We hear from Greenfield, Hirsch, Cuthbert, screenwriter Stuart Blumberg, Marquette, producers Charles Gordon and Marc Sternberg, executive producer Guy Riedel, production designer Stephen Lineweaver, and actors Timothy Olyphant, James Remar and Paul Dano. They go through casting and characters, the director, various story points, and sets and locations. It’s a bland and generic program that does little more than puff up the flick.
The Gag Reel goes for two minutes, 45 seconds, as it presents the usual array of errors and giggles. 16 Deleted and Extended Scenes appear, with a total running time of 10 minutes, 55 seconds. As one might expect due to their brevity, little of consequence appears here. None of the additions seem memorable or useful, even with an alternate ending. We can watch the clips with or without commentary from Greenfield. He gives us basic production notes and explains why he cut the sequences. The one-word answer for most? “Timing”.
The disc finishes with the film’s trailer. To my surprise, it drops some components from the original DVD. It loses a still gallery and a trivia track. Why lose existing supplements? I don’t know.
The Girl Next Door doesn’t offer a story. It presents a series of complications poured on complications piled on complications added onto complications. This never-ending stream occasionally provides some amusing bits, but the flick wears out its welcome before long. The Blu-ray presents decent picture and audio plus a sporadically interesting set of extras. An inconsistent flick, Girl doesn’t provide a very positive expansion of its genre and it only musters moderate entertainment. The Blu-ray also fails to become a strong upgrade over the DVD.
To rate this film, visit the Unrated review of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR