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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Malcolm D. Lee
Cast:
Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Taran Killiam
Writing Credits:
Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg

Synopsis:
Teddy Walker attends night school to get his GED but he butts heads with strict teacher Cassie Carter.

Box Office:
Budget:
$29 million.
Opening Weekend
$27,257,615 on 3010 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$77,199,070.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13/NR.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS X
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS-HD HR 7.1
English DVS
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 111 min. (Theatrical)
116 min. (Extended)
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 1/1/2019

Bonus:
• Both Theatrical and Extended Versions
• Audio Commentary with Director Malcolm D. Lee
• Alternate Opening
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “In Session” Featurette
• “Who’s the Student? Who’s the Teacher?” Featurette
• “Prom Night Revisited” Featurette
• “Cap ‘n Gown ‘n Giggles” Featurette
• “Making of the Dance Battle” Featurette
• “Christian Chicken” Featurette
• “Game Over” Featurette
• Extended Performance
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Night School [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 23, 2018)

Back in 2017, Tiffany Haddish became the breakout comedy star of the year via her turn in Girls Trup. Haddish reunites with Trip director Malcolm D. Lee for 2018’s Night School.

Due to learning difficulties, Teddy Walker (Kevin Hart) drops out of high school. Despite this lack of a degree, he manages to enjoy a highly successful career as a salesman, albeit one who lives above his means in an attempt to keep up with his hot, upwardly-mobile girlfriend Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke).

When Teddy accidentally destroys his place of business, he loses his job and can’t find another because he lacks a high school degree. This sends him to night school to get his GED, where he clashes with disciplinarian teacher Carrie Carter (Haddish).

A look at Lee’s filmography reveals one mediocre comedy after another. I saw five of his films prior to School and couldn’t locate a single one that offered anything more than passable entertainment at best, and that included the disappointing Girls Trip, a movie that earned excellent reviews for reasons I still can’t comprehend.

Night School received much worse notices from critics, and I also can’t figure out why. Not that this means I think School brings a good comedy, but it certainly fares no worse than Trip.

Actually, I prefer School to Trip, mainly because it comes with a better cast for its genre. Of the main cast found in Trip, only Haddish came with a clear comedy background, whereas School gives us performers with more funny material in their pasts.

The film’s major strength, School really does come with a strong cast. In addition to Hart and Haddish, we get talented comedic performers like Rob Riggle, Taran Killiam, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Romany Malco.

When School succeeds, it does so almost entirely due to the talents of these actors. This crew could go the proverbial “read the phone book” route and still manage some laughs, so it comes as no surprise that they produce occasional mirth here.

Though the chuckles materialize at a disappointing rate give the skills of those involved. While some humor pops up here, too much of School feels cheap and uninspired.

Haddish also feels miscast for much of the film. While co-billed with Hart, she plays a much smaller role, and even when she does appear, she usually gets stuck as “straight-woman” to Hart’s lead comedy role.

Somehow the film used six screenwriters and yet most of the gags feel flat and predictable. The basic premise comes with tons of room for comedy gold, but the movie wastes its time on trite gags that lack more than basic amusement potential.

It doesn’t help that School runs nearly two hours, an awfully long span for a comedy of this sort. It meanders down a mix of superfluous plot threads and could’ve fared better at a tighter running time.

Though I can’t claim I think a leaner School would seem a lot superior to this one, as I feel the script would still remain problematic. School manages periodic entertainment value but too much of it flops for it to be anything other than a disappointment.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Night School appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a pleasant presentation.

Sharpness was positive. Only minor softness crept into wide shots, so the image remained pretty tight and well-defined at all times.

I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.

Night School went with a teal-influenced palette that sprinkled in a fair amount of orange as well. Within the movie’s color design, the tones seemed solid.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows demonstrated nice smoothness. This was a consistently satisfying image.

Downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1, the DTS X mix of Night School showed scope generally typical of the comedy soundfield. That said, a few action elements occasionally allowed it to open up in a satisfying manner.

These added some immersiveness, as did a few other exteriors, but those instances remained fairly infrequent. The mix did use the score in a broad, engaging manner, though, and the whole package fit together smoothly.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music seemed warm and lush, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Bass response delivered great punch. The mix suited the story and kicked into higher gear when necessary.

The disc offers both the film’s theatrical (1:51:16) and extended versions (1:56:01). Because the extended edition represented my first screening of the movie, I can’t cite specific changes, but I suspect the added material largely revolves around tidbits too smutty for “PG-13”.

Alongside the theatrical cut, we get an audio commentary from director Malcolm D. Lee. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing, and connected domains.

Bright and involved, Lee makes this an informative and entertaining commentary. He covers all the appropriate based with a refreshing sense of honesty, factors that mean we get an enjoyable and useful chat.

In addition to an Alternate Opening (6:29), we find six Deleted Scenes (13:27). Discussed during the main commentary, the “Opening” shows more clearly how Teddy skated through high school as long as he did. Some decent exposition appears but the sequence runs too long to work in the final cut.

As for the rest of the scenes, they mix comedic beats with added character notes for secondary roles. On their own, they come with some value, but like the “Opening”, they would’ve made the end product drag even more than it already does.

We can watch the “Opening” and the deleted scenes with or without commentary from Lee. He gives us info about the footage and lets us know why he excised the clips. Lee continues to be informative and blunt.

A Gag Reel runs 11 minutes, four seconds. While it includes some of the usual goofs and giggles, it also boasts lots of alternate lines, and those make it more productive than most blooper collections.

A component that splits into eight parts, Night School’s in Session takes up a total of 13 minutes, 33 seconds. It offers brief cast-related featurettes with notes from Lee, producer Will Packer and actors Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Romany Malco, Al Madrigal, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Taran Killam, Rob Riggle and Anne Winters.

The “Session” segments discuss cast and characters. The snippets lack much informational value but a few behind the scenes shots add some value.

Next we get Who’s the Student? Who’s the Teacher?, a two-minute, 33-second reel with Hart, Lee, Haddish and Packer. They cover the Haddish/Hart dynamic in a superficial, comedic manner.

With Prom Night Revisted, we see a three-minute, seven-second segment with Hart, Packer, Lee, Haddish, Killam, Riggle, Malco, Rajskub, and actor Megalyn Echikunwoke. We get cast/crew prom memories in this mildly enjoyable segment.

Cap ‘n Gown ‘n Giggles goes for two minutes, eight seconds and features Killam, Riggle, Malco, Rajskub, Packer, and actors Fat Joe and Ben Schwartz. “Cap” mainly shows the participants on the set for the graduation scene. It becomes a mediocre addition.

After this comes Making of the Dance Battle, a three-minute, 45-second piece with Hart, Haddish, Lee, Packer and choreographer Eboni Nichols. We get a few tidbits related to the scene in question, but mostly we find joking around, so don’t expect much information here.

From there we head to the 40-second Christian Chicken, a promo piece. It puts Hart in character to promote the fast food restaurant. It’s cute and painless.

Game Over spans one minute, 46 seconds and includes Hart, Echikunwoke, and actor Yvonne Orji. “Over” discusses Orji’s character in a quick, superficial manner.

We wrap with an Extended Performance of “El Sueno”. This shows more of the song the Luis character croons at prom. It probably should’ve been in the deleted scenes area, and it’s a watchable clip.

The disc opens with ads for Johnny English Strikes Again, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Benchwarmers 2. No trailer for Night School appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Night School. It includes both versions of the film, the commentary, the alternate opening and the deleted scenes but it drops the other extras.

Due to a solid cast, Night School produces the occasional laugh. However, it tends to waste their talent with easy, witless gags and predictable situations. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio as well as supplements led by an informative commentary. Night School isn’t a terrible comedy but it never becomes better than mediocre.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main