"Easy A" puts on it's best "Mean Girls" face, but the comedy comes up a tad short.
Easy A (2010, Blu-ray)
Directors: Will Gluck
Writers: Bert V. Royal (written by)
Features: VIDEO: 1.85:1 widescreen AVC codec. BD50 disc. *** AUDIO: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 *** SPECIAL FEATURES: Gag Reel, Emma Stone's Audition, Commentary with Will Gluck and Emma Stone, Three EPK Featurettes, Pop-up trivia, BD-Live, movieIQ
Emma Stone ... Olive
Penn Badgley ... Woodchuck Todd
Amanda Bynes ... Marianne
Dan Byrd ... Brandon
Thomas Haden Church ... Mr. Griffith
Patricia Clarkson ... Rosemary
Cam Gigandet ... Micah
Lisa Kudrow ... Mrs. Griffith
Malcolm McDowell ... Principal Gibbons
Alyson Michalka ... Rhiannon (as Aly Michalka)
Stanley Tucci ... Dill
Fred Armisen ... Pastor
Available on Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand and for Download 12/21!
"Easy A" is trying way too hard. The film isn't bad. In fact, it's fairly honest and sincere in spots. And it's often more funny than not. But this is yet another film that's trying to be something else instead of just being it's own thing. In short, "Easy A" really wants to be "Mean Girls."
The basic formula is there. The characters are mostly the same. The evolution from high school nerd to queen bee is intact. There's even the little romantic winks and nods, a token gay character and more. Hell, even the dialogue is following the "Mean Girls" wittier-than-high-schoolers-really-are formula, and Emma Stone has often been hailed as the replacement for Lindsay Lohan, who's career peaked with "Mean Girls."
But, let's be honest -- all films follow a formula, even the ones that try to deviate. With that in mind, the film works -- just not as often as it probably wanted to. And the narrative is a bit too sexed up, often playing more as a balls-out R-rated film than a plucky teenage PG-13 romp.
There are small, subtle metaphors and themes here and there that work really well, though, and watching the characters evolve, or devolve, proves somewhat fascinating, and somewhat tearjerking. Is the film a revelation? Not at all. But it is a fun, poignant, relevant deviation from the usual high school rom-com junk, and that's not bad, either.
Film Report Card:
Entertainment Value: B
Film Value: C
THE BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE:
Here's a clip from the film:
Sony brings "Easy A" to Blu-ray using the AVC codec. There's nothing really extraordinary about this transfer, nor is there anything that stands out as faulty or bad, either. The film has a glossy look to it. Fleshtones are dead-on, and there's a fair amount of depth and texture to the print. The film's 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix boasts a few sporadic moments of inspired liveliness, but it's mostly a front-locked, uneventful affair overall.
Standard DVD and Blu-ray extras include a goofball gag reel, Emma Stone's audition footage, and a fun, insightful commentary with director Will Gluck and star Emma Stone. It's well worth a listen.
Extras exclusive to the Blu-ray include three featurettes. There's a standard EPK making-of piece, a look at '80s teen comedies, and a generic comedy-centric EPK featurette. There's also a fun, and somewhat funny, pop-up trivia track. Pair this feature with the commentary for a great making-of experience.
Sony packs the disc with their usual supplements as well, including BD-Live connectivity, trailers and movieIQ. Sorely missing is a Digital Copy or DVD copy of the feature.
"Easy A" Is a bit clumsy and obvious, but it's fairly amusing and well intentioned. And the Blu-ray boasts a few solid extras, too. The film is, at the very least, worth a rental.
BD Report Card:
HD Content: B
Recommendation: Check it out.
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----R. L. Shaffer