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TOUCHSTONE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
David Mirkin
Cast:
Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo, Alan Cumming , Julia Campbell, Mia Cottet, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Elaine Hendrix
Writing Credits:
Robin Schiff (and play)

Tagline:
The Blonde Leading The Blonde.

Synopsis:
Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino play ditzy best friends who decide to attend their 10-year high school reunion, but they completely make over their styles and identities first in order to impress the people who tormented them. The two stars keep the film going despite various lapses and potholes in David Mirkin's direction and despite a sneaking sense that the idea can't sustain the length of an entire feature. A midsection dream sequence underscores the latter problem through blatant padding, but Sorvino and Kudrow - both of whom became established stars playing airheads on other projects - are worth the weaknesses.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$7.429 million on 1602 screens.
Domestic Gross
$29.205 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
French Dolby Digital 2.0
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $20.00
Release Date: 8/7/2012

Bonus:
• Production Featurette
• Trailer
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Romy And Michele's High School Reunion: 15th Anniversary Edition [Blu-Ray] (1997)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 27, 2012)

As an Official Old Guy, I get to be nostalgic for both the 80s and the 90s. 1997’s Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion touches on both, so it seemed like a good viewing choice.

Longtime best friends Romy White (Mira Sorvino) and Michele Weinberger (Lisa Kudrow) lead a superficial California life of dieting and clubbing. With their 10-year high school reunion on the horizon, they reflect on their lives and where they find themselves in their late 20s.

In that process, they realize that they’re not doing as well as they’d thought, so they decide to jazz up their résumés for public consumption. They pretend to be successful career women as they head from Los Angeles back to Tucson. Alas, they bicker along the way and decide to go it alone once they arrive at the reunion. We follow their adventures as they deal with their past and the present.

Back when Reunion hit screens in 1997, I went to see the flick theatrically and expected it to offer a solid comedy. As I recall, I left disappointed. I don’t think I actively disliked the film, but I didn’t think it was nearly as fun as I hoped it’d be.

15 years later, I feel exactly the same way. Reunion manages enough amusement to keep me moderately entertained across its 92 minutes, but it just can’t go any higher than that.

What goes wrong? I think the main problem stems from the thin nature of the premise. The movie simply can’t generate enough character or narrative thrust to carry it, so it tends to sag along the way – and it sags pretty early.

This means the first act works best, as the goofy Valley Girl performances by Sorvino and Kudrow are enough to entertain. Unfortunately, that novelty wears off before too long, so we’re left with the threadbare story and one-dimensional characters. If you hope the film will give Romy or Michele more depth, you’ll feel disappointment; yeah, I guess it allows them to seem less ditzy by the end, but beyond the flick’s “be happy with who you are” message, it does little to expand them.

Some aspects of the film also felt padded, as though it creators knew they didn’t have enough to sustain a full-length effort. In particular, one fantasy sequence goes on forever. Some of the segment’s excessive length may stem from an attempt to trick the audience; the viewer may believe he/she sees “reality” because a story gimmick wouldn’t last 13 minutes, would it?

Yes, it would. That running time may not seem long, but it takes up a sizable chunk when the flick in question barely hits the 90-minute mark, and the padding seems obvious. It doesn’t help that even the non-fantasy scenes just lack much to motivate them. Once we’re at the reunion, we get the inevitable encounters with the characters set up in the first act and their inevitable triumphs or comeuppances – virtually nothing surprising or inventive occurs.

This doesn’t mean Reunion lacks entertainment value; as I noted, it does just enough to keep us with it. Unfortunately, it still feels way too long, and it runs out of steam well before the finale.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. An erratic transfer, the picture varied from pretty good to meh.

Most of the issues related to sharpness, as some scenes came across as rather fuzzy and ill defined. Much of the flick seemed acceptably distinct and detailed, but the picture lacked consistency. No issues connected to jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Print flaws also caused no distrations.

Given the bright palette of the movie’s various settings, one might expect vibrant colors, and the flick occasionally delivered. However, more inconsistencies occurred here; some hues popped off the screen, while others seemed somewhat dull. Black levels were a little flat, and shadow detail could be somewhat murky. Some low-light shots looked acceptably discernible, but others were a bit on the dull side. A lot of this related to the era’s film stock, but I still thought the image was no better than a “C+”; it just had a blandness that pervaded it.

While the DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack of Reunion demonstrated greater consistency, it still wasn’t especially impressive. Most of the audio remained in the front and tended toward general ambience. Clubs and a few other settings could provide nice spread and dimensionality, but they didn’t broaden enough to make a big impact.

Audio quality was fine but unexceptional. Speech seemed adequate; I noticed a little edginess at times, but the lines usually appeared reasonably natural. Music was clear and acceptably full, and the same went for effects. Those elements were fairly accurate and distinctive, though they didn’t do much to add real pep. Overall, the soundtrack of Reunion was fine for the movie it served.

Despite the “15th Anniversary Edition” moniker, the Blu-ray includes few extras. We get a production featurette that runs three minutes, 34 seconds and provides notes from director David Mirkin, producer Laurence Mark, writer Robin Schiff, and actors Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo and Mira Sorvino. They tell us basics about the story, characters and production. This is a glorified trailer, so don’t expect to learn anything from it.

The disc opens with promos for The Odd Life of Timothy Green, The Avengers and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Sneak Peeks also provides ads for Castle and other TV on DVD/BD products. The trailer for Reunion shows up here, too.

Though it comes with a good cast and a fun premise, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion never really takes flight. It offers serviceable entertainment at times but just doesn’t have enough substance to carry us through its 92 minutes. The Blu-ray presents mediocre visuals, acceptable audio and nearly non-existent supplements. This feels like a lackluster release for an average movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 5 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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