Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer came across well.
Sharpness looked solid. Virtually no softness emerged, so we ended up with an image that appeared accurate and distinctive. I witnessed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the film lacked any print flaws.
In terms of palette, Worst went with a mix of orange, teal and amber. It didn’t overwhelm us with these choices, but they dominated. Within the stylistic choices, the hues seemed fine. Blacks were deep and tight, and shadows looked smooth and clear. Across the board, this became a terrific presentation.
Though not scintillating, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack suited the story. This meant the soundscape accentuated general atmosphere and came to life only on sporadic occasions. Animated representations of Rafe’s art used the soundscape in a peppy manner, but much of the rest of the mix lacked a lot of ambition.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech seemed distinctive and concise, without roughness or brittleness. Music was warm and full, and effects came across as accurate. This ended up as a more than acceptable track for a comedy.
A handful of extras fill out the disc, and we begin with a featurette called That Middle School Life. It runs 10 minutes, 57 seconds and delivers comments from author/executive producer James Patterson, producer Bill Robinson, director Steve Carr, production designer Perry Blake, animation supervisor Chris Sauve, and actors Lauren Graham, Thomas Barbusca, Griffin Gluck, Isabela Moner, Alexa Nisenson, Rob Riggle, Andy Daly, Retta, Efren Ramirez, Adam Pally, and Jacob Hopkins.
“Life” looks at cast and characters, sets and production design, and the movie’s animated sequences. The first half consists largely of fluff – and spoilers - but the second gives us some decent material.
Next comes the awkwardly-titled Middle School = The Worst/Making Movies = The Best. It fills five minutes, 28 seconds and involves Gluck, Carr, Ramirez, Hopkins, Moner, Nisenson, Daly, Riggle, and Patterson. This one gives us cast/character notes. It’s mainly promotional happy talk, though some fun shots from the set emerge.
With The Wedgie Wheel, we get a two-minute, 33-second reel. It involves Pally, Gluck, Ramirez, Riggle, and Sauve. The participants offer their thoughts on wedgies and their use in the movie. It’s forgettable.
YOLO: Behind Operation Rafe lasts six minutes, 55 seconds and includes Gluck, Riggle, Blake, Carr, Ramirez, Moner, Hopkins, Retta, Nisenson, Barbusca, Pally, producer Leopoldo Gout and DP Julio Macat. “YOLO” looks at the movie’s pranks and their execution. Though not packed with substance, “YOLO” presents some decent thoughts about these elements.
After this we locate a Gag Reel. In this five-minute, 22-second compilation, we get the usual goofs and giggles. Some of the actors offer a couple of funny asides, but don’t expect much.
Four Deleted Scenes take up a total of three minutes, 21 seconds. We see “Stricker Hallway” (0:41), “Lunchroom” (1:10), “Bear Refrigerator” (0:52) and “Rafe Thanks Gus” (0:38).
Of these four, “Lunchroom” offers the most entertainment via the introduction of a brutish lunchlady. “Bear” gives Rob Riggle a little more to do, which makes it watchable. The other two feel superfluous.
The disc opens with ads for The Great Gilly Hopkins and Rock Dog. No trailer for Worst appears here.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Worst. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Mild entertainment for adolescents, Middle School: The Worst Years Of Its Life neither thrives nor flops. It comes with occasional signs of creativity but remains pretty average most of the time. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals as well as fairly positive audio and a small set of bonus materials. Preteens may dig this flick but it lacks a lot of value to others.