Mean Girls appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a mediocre transfer.
Sharpness tended to be erratic. Much of the movie showed decent delineation but more than a few shots came across as tentative and soft. Still, overall delineation was fine. I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, but some mild edge haloes showed up at times. Print flaws remained absent.
Given the story, Girls displayed a pink-oriented palette that looked okay. Colors could have been peppier, though, as they tended to seem a bit heavy. Black levels appeared deep and firm, while low-light shots presented appropriately dense but not excessively dark images. This was a consistently average image.
Don’t expect a lot of sonic ambition from the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Mean Girls, but the audio was fine for this sort of flick. Unsurprisingly, the sound remained largely oriented toward the forward channels.
Dialogue dominated the movie, so most of the additional information tended to be general ambience. We got some light movement of different elements and acceptable stereo imaging for the music.
A few scenes broadened the spectrum reasonably well. The “Animal World” sequences were the most prominent in this regard, and the Spring Fling opened up matters mildly. The track displayed little to make it stand out, but this kind of movie didn’t require anything more than what it offered.
Audio quality also seemed good but unexceptional. Speech came across as natural and distinct. No edginess interfered with the lines, and the dialogue was consistently intelligible. The songs and score were reasonably bright and dynamic.
Effects functioned fine, with good clarity and range. Low-end was nicely tight and firm. Not a whole lot happened here to make Girls a standout mix, but it worked well for what it was.
How does the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD release? Audio showed a little more pep, while visuals came across with better definition and cleanness. Don’t expect major improvements, though, as the Blu-ray offered a lackluster presentation.
The Blu-ray replicates the DVD’s extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director Mark Waters, writer/actor Tina Fey, and producer Lorne Michaels. All three sit together for their running, screen-specific chat. The track has potential but rarely lives up to it.
Waters dominates, and Fey talks quite a bit, but Michaels chimes in much less frequently. The commentary covers cut sequences and other unused segments, alterations and bits adapted from the book, locations, and a lot of various notes from the set. The latter category fills most of the track; it lacks a great deal of concise data and usually tells us more about trivia.
This makes it fairly breezy but it doesn’t let us know much that sticks. Honestly, I find it hard to remember anything substantial about the film’s creation. The lackluster quality of the material presented combined with a lot of happy talk and praise turns this into a moderately entertaining but less than informative commentary.
When we head to the “Featurettes” domain, we find three programs. Only the Strong Survive lasts 24 minutes, 52 seconds as it mixes the usual complement of movie clips, shots from the set, and interviews. We get notes from Fey, Waters, Michaels, and actors Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Lindsay Lohan, Jonathan Bennett, Daniel Franzeze, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Tim Meadows, and Lizzy Caplan.
The participants reflect on the way teen girls treat each other, the roots of the project, the characters and the actors, and the SNL connection. Some of the footage from the shoot seems interesting, and the occasional useful note about the casting pops up, but for the most part, this is a pretty superficial and lackluster program that doesn’t tell us much.
Next we get a 10-minute, 33-second featurette called The Politics of Girl World. It includes remarks from author Rosalind Wiseman. She discusses her book and her creation of the Empower Program, an organization aimed at helping teens with their violence-related issues. She also chats about granting the movie rights to the book and other aspects of her work and study. It’s a pretty tight and informative look at the background to the movie.
Called Plastic Fashion, the last featurette runs 10 minutes, 25 seconds as it explores the clothes of the movie. We get notes from costume designer Mary Jane Fort. She explains her work with an emphasis on the choices she made for the various characters. It presents a lot of good information and packs some nice details into its running time.
For some bloopers, Word Vomit gives us five minutes, 44 seconds of those. Expect the usual goofs and giggles. The disc follows this with a trailer and three Interstitials that take a total of one minute, 39 seconds. These are TV ads that use unique footage created specifically for the promos, and that makes them more fun than usual.
After that we find nine Deleted Scenes that go for a total of seven minutes, one second. Obviously none of these offer long, detailed segments, but they’re surprisingly amusing. Most deleted scenes are cut for obvious reasons, but these include more than a smattering of funny bits and they definitely merit a look.
We can watch the segments with or without commentary from Waters and Fey. They offer some basic notes and give us a few remarks about why the segments didn’t make the cut. The commentary is decent but not terribly scintillating, and you won’t miss much if you skip it.
A darker than usual look at the teen comedy, Mean Girls works in a general way but rarely kicks into high gear. The movie offers a gently subversive take on the genre and that’s about it, for it seems clever and amusing but falls short of greatness. The Blu-ray offered passable picture and audio along with a decent set of supplements. I like the movie but the Blu-ray doesn’t impress.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of MEAN GIRLS