Booksmart Blu-ray Review

On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night. Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release of Booksmart from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89

Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox – 2019
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 102 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis
Directed by: Olivia Wilde
Music by: Dan the Automator
Written by: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman
Region Code: A

Release Date: September 3, 2019

“Getting Straight A’s. Giving Zero F’s”

Synopsis:

“On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.” – 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

My Take:

Academic overachievers Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high school peers. But on the eve of graduation, the best friends suddenly realize that they may have missed out on the special moments of their teenage years. Determined to make up for lost time, the girls decide to cram four years of not-to-be missed fun into one night — a chaotic adventure that no amount of book smarts could prepare them for.

Booksmart marks the directorial debut of Olivia Wilde and is a fresh, unfiltered modern comedy about the meaningful bonds we create. It’s is a coming of age teen drama that tackles familiar themes, but does so with a refreshing and edgy tone that has an air of nostalgia. Ever the quintessence of an independent film, Booksmart is a slice of life teen comedy that takes a poignant snapshot of two best friends about to undergo an evening of adventure that will bring their relationship and perspective of those that they thought they knew in high school, full circle.

Booksmart turns the coming of age teen story on its ear, spinning a fresh and refreshing yarn filled with sincerity, superb expose and a pair of characters whose friendship transcends labels while defining who they currently are and better yet, who they are destined to become. I loved how the film balances its themes, combining its blend of narrative elements into a wonderfully inclusive and progressive story that is driven by clever and laugh out loud interplay and, a host of meaningful characters that fuel its humor and sensibility.

I loved the performances by leads Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein whose onscreen chemistry is the driving force behind what makes the film tick. Olivia Wilde’s apt direction allows the film’s thematic sense of style and feminine outlook as well as its young cast to shine brilliantly. Booksmart takes aim at the coming of age teen comedy genre and hits the bullseye with a fresh take can be enjoyed by a broad adult audience. Bravo!

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong sexual content and language throughout, drug use and drinking all involving teens.

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: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Booksmart comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This video presentation delivered satisfactory overall quality that included appreciable refinement and subtle degrees of delineation that resulted in a gratifying high definition viewing experience. Colors and fleshtones appear natural with ample saturation and vivid textures. Black levels are respectable and depth of field/delineation during low light sequences is rarely a problem. I didn’t detect any noteworthy anomalies or artifacts.

This DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound track is cracking good, and delivers crystal clear sound that is rich in sonic detail and effortless dynamics. Excellent tonal balance makes pans across the left, center and right channels appear seamless. Bass reproduction is taut and on occasion exhibits a robust low end. The mix makes frequent use of the surrounds to reproduce the discrete and ambient sounds contained within the soundtrack. I enjoyed the enveloping nature of the audio and felt that the integration between the front and rear soundstages was spot on.

Bonus Features:

  • • Audio Commentary by Olivia Wilde
    • Booksmart: The Next “Best High School Comedy”
    • Pliés and Jazz Hands: The Dance Fantasy
    • Dressing Booksmart
    • Deleted Scenes
    • Gallery
  • Digital

Final Thoughts:

Booksmart turns the coming of age teen genre on its ear, spinning a fresh and refreshing yarn filled with sincerity, superb expose and a wonderfully progressive story that adult audiences can connect with. It comes to Blu-ray from Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video mated with a fair supplemental package. Booksmart is perfect for genre fans that revel in something edgy and fun. In that light, it’s highly recommended viewing on Blu-ray.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems