Night School Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Night School, starring Kevin Hart, as a member of a group of troublemakers that are forced to attend night school in hope that they’ll pass the GED exam to finish high school.

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

Film:

Extras:

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

91

Details:

Studio and Year: Universal – 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13/Unrated
Feature running time: 111/116 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS:X/7.1 Master Audio, English DTS 5.1, French DTS-HD 7.1 HR
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Fat Joe, Romany Malco, Taran Killam
Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee
Music by: David Newman
Written by: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: January 1, 2019

“It’s Never Too Late to Make the Grade”

Synopsis:

“Successful salesman Teddy Walker’s (Kevin Hart, Jumanji, Ride Along 1 & 2) life turns around after getting fired for accidentally destroying his workplace. Forced to attend night school so he can finally get his GED and find another job, Teddy soon finds himself amongst a group of misfit students, a teacher with no patience for grown up class clowns named Carrie (Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip, Uncle Drew) and his high school nemesis-turned-principal Stewart (Taran Killam, Killing Gunther, Ted 2) who will strive to make sure he fails the course. With every rule in the book about to be broken, Teddy and his new friends find themselves in a battle of pranks and wit that you can’t simply learn in the classroom.” – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

My Take:

I generally tend to like the goofball comedy genre and find that in general the success of such films relies on the chemistry of the leads, the quality of the writing/dialog, and integration of whatever situational humor that may be associated with the plot. Director Malcolm D. Lee and co-writer/actor Kevin Hart (and the plethora of co-writers) go for charming with a twist of crassness and romance which results in occasional chuckle worthy moments but, truth be told there isn’t much substance to the writing here.

The plot for Night School isn’t so much the problem as the potential for a solid comedy is there. The screenplay seeks to ply the audience with cheeky humor rather than crafting a solid comedy film that resonates. Be that as it may, there is no denying that Hart and Haddish make for a decent tandem whose chemistry provides moments that could certainly make Night School popular among those that enjoy fast food comedies. As someone that can take or leave these types of films, I took it for what it was, enjoyed the sporadic chuckles, and called it a day.

Universal has included both the theatrical version, which I watched during my evaluation, and the 5 minute longer Extended version.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The film contains crude and sexual content, language, some drug references and violence.

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.**

UHD Presentation: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights: 
  • HDR: Bright Highlights: 
  • HDR: Expanded Color: 
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

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

  • Level of immersion: 
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  • Entertainment factor: 

Night School comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS:X/7.1 Master Audio sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Night School was rendered from digital sources and finished on a 2K DI.

After receiving Night School, I watched it on Blu-ray one evening and Ultra HD the next. Each experience was fresh in my mind which helped when making comparisons. The Ultra HD presentation bests the 1080p version in every respect. With a discernible increase in detail and emboldened chromatic highlights the image appears noticeably sharper when compared to the 1080p version. Primary colors such red and blue are pleasingly rich while whites appear gradational and punchy. This film is rarely lent to low lit environs and dark cinematography, but when present, those aspects looked great, featuring added depth in the grays, blacks and shadows. It should be noted that eye straining dynamic bright elements are nowhere to found. The film’s use of natural and artificial lighting appears very lifelike.

Comparing the Ultra HD rendering to the Blu-ray, I found them to be levels apart, but not compellingly so. I think that much of this is lent to the innate quality of the film’s elements. Fortunately, the Ultra HD version enhances the positives, making for a gratifying viewing experience.

DTS:X:

In listening to the DTS:X surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety that made effective use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a blend of atmospherics and discrete effects. When applied it creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. There are a multitude of set pieces that show off the track’s blend of music and, smaller object sounds that create a wonderfully involving listening experience, that broadens the soundstage. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere as well as the integration of discrete object placement. I think that it complimented the source material and drew me into the film when it mattered most.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
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  • Fleshtones:
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[b]Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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

Night School comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS:X/7.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a high-quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Contrast is dynamic without being overpowering and blacks are 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.

The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (DTS:X Core) sound does a great job presenting the track’s recorded elements. This soundtrack runs the gamut between passages of spoken dialog and music to engaging sequences that deliver enriching surround sound. Dialog rendering is terrific as it holds sway over the front soundstage. Dynamic range is excellent as the active elements within the surround mix resound with superior clarity and palpable deep bass transients. Clarity is first rate which brings out the finely articulated nuance of background elements within the mix. Surround use is prevalent and achieves a high level of envelopment that is appreciably involving as effects are seamlessly blended to create a stable and detail rich sound field. Despite not being crazy about the film itself, I had a great time with this soundtrack and appreciated the attention to detail that went into its design.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Night School Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Gag Reel Extra Credit – NIGHT SCHOOL may be in session but between takes the cast is letting loose. Discover more behind-the-scenes hilarity in this extra credit edition Gag Reel.
  • Extended and Theatrical versions of Film
  • Disc 2: Night School Blu-ray
    • Extended Cut
    • Alternate Opening
    • Deleted Scenes
    • Gag Reel – Prepare to laugh (or cry) yourself silly through this hilarious montage of behind-the-scenes antics performed by the cast of NIGHT SCHOOL.
    • NIGHT SCHOOL’S In Session – Ring the bell as we introduce you to NIGHT SCHOOL’s band of misfits.
    • Who’s the Student? Who’s the Teacher? – Fans were thrilled to see friends Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish starring in their first film together. In this piece, the comedy titans give us their backstory on how they became ride-or-die friends more than a decade ago.
    • Prom Night Revisited – Take a trip down memory lane as the cast of NIGHT SCHOOL looks back at their own high school proms. You’ll never guess who dressed up as a famous movie character and who never made it to the dance at all.
    • Cap ‘n Gown ‘n Giggles – Teddy may deliver a heartfelt graduation speech, but behind the scenes cast and crew were exploding with laughter as Kevin Hart’s speech turned into a full blown standup comedy show.
    • Making of the Dance Battle – Take a sneak peek into the dance rehearsal of the infamous prom night dance battle.
    • Christian Chicken – When Teddy gets a sign from the Lawd to sell precious poultry, it only makes sense that he take it global. Check out this never before seen Christian Chicken commercial that was simply too delicious to air.
    • Game Over – Our favorite misfit, Teddy may be the class clown but he’s not fooling the ladies who keep him in check. Watch as Kevin Hart joins castmates Yvonne Orji and Megalyn Echikunwoke to discuss the complicated relationship between Maya and Teddy.
    • Extended Performance “El Sueno” – Every prom needs a hit song and this extended version of Luis’s original “El Sueno” is sure to make you swoon.
  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Night School is an uninspired goofball comedy that if taken with a grain of salt, or two, has something to offer, especially for fans that can’t get enough of its two stars. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo pack that features excellent Ultra HD video, reference quality high definition audio/video, including a solid DTS:X immersive surround mix, and a decent supplemental package. Unless you’re already a fan, Night School is tough to recommend as blind buy, however, if you’re anxious to see and hear what it has to offer, toss it in your rental queue and take it for a ride on Blu-ray.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready 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
Oppo UDP-203 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