Four lifelong friends have their lives forever changed after reading 50 Shades of Grey in their monthly book club.

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

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


Studio and Year: Paramount - 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 103 minutes
Genre: Comedy

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

Audio Format(s): DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen, Candice Bergin, Craig T. Nelson, Any Garcia, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss
Directed by: Bill Holderman
Music by: Peter Nashel
Written by: Bill Holderman, Erin Simms
Region Code: A

Release Date: August 28, 2018
"Join the Club"
My Take:

Diane (Diane Keaton) is recently widowed after 40 years of marriage, Vivian (Jane Fonda) enjoys her men with no strings attached, Sharon (Candice Bergen) is still working through her decades-old divorce, and Carol's (Mary Steenburgen) marriage is in a slump after 35 years. The lives of these four lifelong friends are turned upside down after reading the infamous "50 Shades of Grey," catapulting them into a series of outrageous life choices.

Book Club brings together four screen veterans and features a story, as told from the female perspective, about mature ladies dealing with romantic relationships in today’s society. It’s a formulaic comedy that literally brings nothing new to the table, but that doesn’t keep it from occasionally being fun to watch. The script is standard fare, incorporating slapstick, situational humor, and one or two heartwarming moments.

I don’t know, this isn’t an especially memorable film, but I didn’t mind watching these screen vets interact as they dealt with their individual entanglements. At times, it all gets a bit silly, and noticeably safe, but remains light, and well within the thematic tone set by the plot. There are a host of cameos, in support of the primary players, that add a bit of fun to the proceedings. When all was said and done, I found Book Club to be exactly what I was expecting.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide: 

The rating is for sex-related material throughout, and 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: 
  • 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: 

Book Club comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Distribution 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.

The audio presentation is solid and like the video renders the elements present in the soundtrack as intended. Dialog is clearly articulated through the center channel as the film’s music holds sway over the front soundstage. Aural perspective is one dimensional and leans toward the front channels however spatial venue replicating effects and diffuse ambience is fed to the rear channels which provide a limited but effective sense of envelopment.

Bonus Features:
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • It All Started with a Book
  • Casting Book Club
  • Location, Location, Location
  • A New Chapter
  • Living in the Moment
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Book Club is a formulaic comedy that literally brings nothing new to the genre, but that didn’t prevent it from having its share of entertaining moments. It comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Distribution featuring solid high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a fair supplemental package. Book Club is the perfect choice when you’re in the mood for something light. Feel free to give it a rent 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” 16x9 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
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc 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