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Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
700
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109940&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
78





Studio and Year: Disney - 1997
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 92 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Lisa Kudrow, Mira Sorvino, Janeane Garofalo, Alan Cumming
Directed by: David Mirkin
Music by: Steve Bartek
Written by: Robin Schiff
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 7, 2012







"The blonde leading the blonde"


Film Synopsis:



Big laughs and hot stars make this a can't -miss comedy in the hilarious tradition of Clueless and Dumb and Dumber! Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) are carefree party girls who reinvent themselves for their 10-year high school reunion! With new wardrobes and wild stories of success, they make a big impression until a former classmate blabs their real story to everyone! But that's when Romy and Michele let loose with a surprise of their own and outrageous results!


My Take:



Romy and Michele’s high school reunion is buddy flick about two BFF’s that spent their high school years on the outside looking in at the “A” (cool) group wanting to fit in but not realizing that their uniqueness made them special and unknowingly looked up to by others. At some point I saw this goofy but charming chick flick on home video and recall liking it. I think its premise has an air of relevance for everyone that has graduated high school and looked back either in preparation for a reunion or upon reflection.

Romy and Michele is an enjoyably silly comedy/misfit drama with a heartwarming center that comes off quite naturally thanks to it two stars. Lisa Kudrow has the whole flighty, air-headed but loveable act down and shines as Michele. I can’t quite put my finger on it but there is something that I find appealing about Mira Sorvino. She doesn’t have the comedic chops Kudrow does but playing the sort of straight man opposite of her works well here. There are some great lines along with a few funny bone tickling moments several of which involve Janeane Graofalo who is perfect cast as the scratchy, snarling and bitter Heather Mooney, the high school’s resident outcast turned success story.

Romy and Michele’s high school reunion doesn’t break new ground in the design of its underachieving archetypes or the very familiar situations/people they face upon returning to their high school ten years later. Where it feels fresh is in the chemistry of its leads, the affably rich context of their interaction and the breezy humor that surrounds their attempt at acceptance. All of this is underscored by memorable 80’s music and identifiable social themes that add up to a fairly entertaining way to spend 90 minutes.


Parental Guide:



The rating is for 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.**


Audio: 80

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 76

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699


Romy and Michele’s high school reunion comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 Mbps.

This digitally restored video presentation offers little in the way of highly polished, razor sharp images while presenting the film’s elements with little fanfare. Primary colors are tonally satisfying with punchy highlights and an inviting palette that mates well with the film’s subject matter. Complexions are texturally revealing with natural coloring that varies among the cast. Overall resolution is fair but softer definition leaves the mid level and wide angle views appearing less resolvable in terms of detail. Close ups are more revealing but lack defining clarity. Blacks are above average and contrast fluctuates leaving some scenes appearing flat. Grain is visible throughout and occasionally takes on heavier emphasis that can be a bit of a distraction. I didn’t observe any overt signs of video related noise/artifacts.

This is a dialogue driven film however there are aspects of the presentation that make effective use of the rear channels to expand the soundstage. Dialogue is crystal clear with discerning vocal description and refined texture. The mix relies heavily upon the front three channels. Separation, imaging and directional spacing are excellent as the mix of dialogue, music and recorded sounds are clearly rendered. The LFE channel is used primarily for subtle impact and for upper bass frequencies associated with the film’s music. This DTS-HD MA multi-channel mix compliments the source material and delivers a satisfying listening experience that enhanced my enjoyment of the film.


Bonus Features:

  • Production featurette – 3 minutes

  • Trailer




Final Thoughts:



Romy and Michele is a formulaic but enjoyably silly comedy/misfit drama with a heartwarming center that comes off quite naturally thanks to a decent script and solid chemistry between co-stars Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino. It comes to Blu-ray from Disney featuring unremarkable high definition video, gratifying lossless surround sound and a barebones supplemental offering. If you’re a diehard fan this might be worth an upgrade depending on how satisfied you are with the quality of the 1999 DVD. Otherwise this is best left as a rental.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
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post #2 of 2
Another embarrassing guilty pleasure of mine. And "...can't quit put your finger on it.."? I'm going with the legs. Don't mean to go there, well, maybe I do but nonetheless, the legs are almost a character all their own but maybe that's just me. I need good spacing between viewings of this one but I do find it hilarious most likely because I had my feet firmly planted in the 80's. This one really needs higher video quality given all the color in the movie because anyone from the 80's knows if anything......it was colorful!
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