The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 97 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish/Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian
Starring: Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Katherine McPhee, Christopher McDonald, Beverly D’Angelo
Directed by: Fred Wolf
Music by: Waddy Wachtel
Written by: Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 19, 2008
"They wanted a role model, they got a Playmate"
Shelley is living a carefree life until a rival gets her tossed out of the Playboy Mansion. With nowhere to go, fate delivers her to the sorority girls from Zeta Alpha Zeta. Unless they can sign a new pledge class, the seven socially clueless women will lose their house to the scheming girls of Phi Iota Mu. In order to accomplish their goal, they need Shelley to teach them the ways of makeup and men; at the same time, Shelley needs some of what the Zetas have - a sense of individuality. The combination leads all the girls to learn how to stop pretending and start being themselves.
I am familiar with Anna Faris from the Scary Movie spoof films she has appeared in. I find her likeable enough although I honestly didn’t have an opinion of her one way or the other going into this review. I thought that she did a commendable job in this rather formulaic comedy about a Playboy Bunny who leaves the mansion and becomes a sorority house mother to a group of outcast college sorority chicks. The story isn’t very original but it does speak to young women a little about the pitfalls of vanity and internal substance as opposed to just what is on the outside. It reminded me of Revenge of the nerds in that here are a group of misfits who are about to lose their soroity house unless they can come with 30 pledges to join. With Shelley’s (Faris) help they go from being nobody’s to the most popular frat house on campus. They are pitted against the most popular female frat house on campus who will stop at nothing to ensure their demise. Faris had to carry the ball here and I thought that she did a very good job with this character. Shelley is goofy, ditzy, unassuming and trusting. These are the things that get her into trouble with those looking to take advantage of her. On the other hand she can sometimes be astute, is genuinely of good character, and cares about people. These are the things that endear her to the seven girls of Zeta Alpha Zeta. All the familiar plot points are present, including the textbook ending. I don’t know, there was something likeable about this movie. The young actresses cast as the Zeta Alpha Zeta sorority were fine although Katherine McPhee (from American Idol fame) isn’t much of an actress. Colin Hanks shows up from time to time and plays a love interest for Shelley. Screen veterans Beverly D’Angelo and Christopher McDonald have cameo’s as a school administrator and competing soroity house mother. Hugh Hefner has a few quick scenes and of course plays himself. Ultimately Faris is the one who did the heavy lifting and is the reason I found this movie to be just a bit better than I expected. It won’t be added to my recommended list of must see films but it had its moments.
The rating is for sex related humor, partial nudity and brief strong language
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The House Bunny comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.8 mbps.
This is a high quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are oversaturated with eye pleasing vibrant quality and alluring, image penetrating depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle delineation. Certain scenes looked better resolved than others although I suspect this is related to the photography and not the encoding. Contrast was dynamic without being overpowering and blacks were respectable in depth with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent. This soundtrack comes with three lossless audio language options and competently delivered the elements present in this recording. Dialogue is well intonated with crystal clarity and good room penetration. The presentation offers an open soundstage across the front with definitive channel separation and good dynamic range. Surround use is limited to spatial cues and venue simulating surround effects. This was noticeable during the party and bar sequences to create a fairly enveloping rear sound field. There wasn’t any sub bass frequencies in the mix however the subwoofer was used to provide low bass emphasis that extended the low range content associated with the soundtrack and the results were quite good.
- 10 Deleted scenes
- (HD) Featurettes:
- Anna Faris: House mom
- The girls of Zeta
- The girls upstairs
- Colin Hanks: Mr. nice guy
- From song to set: Katherine McPhee
- From tour bus to trailer: Tyson Ritter
- Look who dropped by
- House Bunny style
- Zetas transformed
- Getting ready for a party
- Calendar girls
- House Bunny memories
- (HD) “I know what boys like“ - Music video w/optional introduction by Katherine McPhee
- BD-Live - Access
The House Bunny is a formulaic comedy that doesn’t break any new ground but has entertainment value nevertheless. This is mostly due to Anna Faris who does a credible job in the starring role. Like Anna, this Blu-ray Disc presentation from Sony is easy on the eyes and looks great. The bonus features include BD-Live access and unfortunately are more fluff than substance while being offered predominantly in high definition. If you want to check it out you are better off starting with a rental.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS1x 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
I agree with the suggestion of renting this movie but definitely worth watching. It's entertaining.
Absoultely correct and corrected. Thanks Jack..
p.s. Anna is HOT!!!
NHT speakers, Denon 4520, Panasonic 65VT50, DUAL PSA XS30SE's
I agree. I rented a few days ago and felt the same...
Nice review Ralph!
Chris. My DVD UHD Blu Ray and Blu Ray collection
JVC DLA-X750R (calibrated with calman 5 and c6 hdr meter), ST 100 (100") screen, B&W 803D2s mains, B&W HTM2D2 center channel, B&W 805D2 surrounds, B&W CCMM682s in-ceiling speakers (4), B&W DB1 subwoofer, Marantz AV8802A preamp, Parasound Halo A51+(2xA21)+(2xA23) amps, Oppo UDP 203 player, Roku Ultra and Harmony Elite remote.