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post #1 of 3 Old 09-07-2014, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Very Good Girls (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

Two New York City girls make a summertime pact to lose their virginity before they leave for college. When they both fall for the same street artist, the friends find their connection tested for the first time.

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



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



Studio and Year: Well Go USA - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Boyd Holbrook, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Sarsgaard, Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin, Clark Gregg
Written & Directed by: Naomi Foner
Music by: Jenny Lewis
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 23, 2014

"When we lose our innocence, we have to find ourselves"

My Take:

Lilly (Dakota Fanning) is quiet, thoughtful and introspective - the product of two conservative parents (Ellen Barkin and Clark Gregg) who keep a tight rein on her. Gerry (Elizabeth Olsen), on the other hand, is free-spirited, uninhibited and slightly caustic - the daughter of a left-of-center mom and dad (Demi Moore and Richard Dreyfuss) who let her do whatever, and go wherever, she pleases. Shortly before they each leave for college in the fall, the girls spend most of their time together, whiling away pleasant afternoons, but soon they both meet and fall for the same boy - artist David (Boyd Holbrook) who sells novelty ice cream bars at Far Rockaway Beach. He decides that he much prefers Lilly to Gerry, and Lilly loses her virginity to him. The affair grows more serious, but Lilly can’t bring herself to divulge the news to Gerry for fear of breaking her heart. Not long after, an unexpected tragedy occurs in Gerry’s family and forces Lilly to reach out in an attempt to console her best friend.

Very Good Girls is a surface level teen drama aimed at a narrow audience while speaking to the bonds of friendship that exist, and according to writer/director Naomi Foner “should exist”, between women. The plot and character design are on the thin side but offer enough to glean the thematic tone and establish a connection to the primary focus which is a weak coming of age story that revolves around a summer, two best friends and a young man. The friendship drama and romance doesn’t rise to heartwarming levels and there are a variety of secondary characters played by the likes of Richard Dreyfuss, Demi Moore, Clark Gregg, Ellen Barkin and Peter Sarsgaard that are unsupported by the text and are wasted. It’s a shame since the cast as a whole is excellent. I would like to have seen what Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen could have done with a stronger script. At the end of the day Very Good Girls is passingly bland and ultimately forgettable.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and sexual content.

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: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA

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

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

Very Good Girls comes to Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.

This is an excellent high definition video presentation that appears to render the film’s elements faithfully. Resolution is notable as images are firmly resolved, with defining sharpness and two dimensional depth. Colors are beautifully rendered with revealing delineation, tonal warmth and vibrant textures. Fleshtones appear descriptive with discernible complexional variety that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast. Blacks are a solid shade of deep black with excellent dynamic range and discernible highlights. Contrast is boldly applied which emboldens brightly lit exteriors but not to the point of whitewashing them.

The lossless audio presentation is quite good and delivers the source elements with high level detail and punchy dynamics. Dialogue is appropriately prioritized and is reproduced with excellent tonal variation and clarity through the center channel. The surrounds are active at times and used to good effect for venue replicating atmospherics and reproducing musical ambience. This presentation as a whole is well suited for the source material and sounds fine.

Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Interviews with writer/director Naomi Foner, Dakota Fanning, and Elizabeth Olsen – 54 minutes

Final Thoughts:

From the mind of writer/director Naomi Foner Very Good Girls is a bland and forgettable coming of age friendship/teen romance drama that fails to make use of a quality cast. It comes to Blu-ray from Well Go USA featuring solid high definition audio/video quality and a middling supplemental offering that consists of a series of dry interviews with the writer/direct and primary cast. Unless you are already a fan Very Good Girls is a pass.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
Follow me on Twitter @RalphAVSreviews

Last edited by Ralph Potts; 09-07-2014 at 12:40 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-08-2014, 01:12 AM
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This film is for more of a female audience, I have seen it several times as it went through distributer roulette. A lot of the older cast is wasted, but Elizabeth Olsen is pretty good in this. It may be worth a rent.

"Espresso is like tequila, when in doubt apply more shots."
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-08-2014, 06:29 AM
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I'll have to see this just to know what a pass is really about. First thing that caught my eye in your review, and where I halted, is on the Written and Directed by:

That is where I picked up my google foo and found some wayback triva to add about Naomi Foner.

Last edited by Woobieizer; 06-17-2016 at 01:31 PM.
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