The Duff (2015)

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Due Out for Sale 12-Aug-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Outtakes
Featurette
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 96:45
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ari Sandel
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Mae Whitman
Robbie Amell
Bella Thorne
Dottie Piper
Ken Jeong



Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Teen comedies are generally pretty dire, however I suppose that is the perspective of a 47 year old man with no daughters. Having said that, the trailer for this film made it seem amusing and better than the average teen romantic comedy, so I decided to give it a go. This is an entertaining teen comedy without the crassness that often comes with the genre. It is the first full length film from director Ari Sandel, who won an Oscar for Best Short Film in 2007.

     The story is focused on Bianca Piper (Mae Whitman) who is a bit of a tomboy and doesn't buy into the 'beautiful look' that many girls in her high school go for. She has two very good looking friends she hangs around with Jess and Casey. Her mother, (Dottie Piper) is divorced but has used her experience to become a very successful divorce counsellor. This means she sounds like a self-help book every time she talks to Bianca. Bianca is going along happily being who she is until one day her next door neighbour, Wesley Rush (Robbie Amell), tells her that she is actually Jess and Casey's DUFF. He tells that a DUFF is a Designated Ugly Fat Friend and that Jess and Casey basically only like having her around to make them look better. She is horrified and decides that she needs to change who she is to fit in better and not be a DUFF. She enlists Wesley's help to change her so she isn't a DUFF any more. Of course, there is a bad girl to contend with, who is very beautiful but also a bit of a b****. Her name is Madison (Bella Thorne) and she goes out of her way to make Bianca's life a misery. Bianca is keen on getting into a relationship with the object of her desire, singer/songwriter Toby Tucker but maybe he just wants to be friends with her so he can get to Jess and Casey. As the movie progresses she realises that happiness may come from something else. One of her supporters is the guy who runs the school newspaper, teacher Mr Arthur (Ken Jeong).

     This is an amiable and entertaining teen romantic comedy which has some interesting ideas such as the imagination and dream sequences, however it is pretty obvious in terms of how it will all turn out. The direction is assured, the cast do their jobs and the rest of the production is of good quality. My only real problem with this film is that the person considered a DUFF is really just someone who dresses like a tomboy. Mae Whitman is cute and a hell of a long way from fat. She is not primped and blonde like the others but really the title does not suit the actress particularly.

     As far a teen comedies go, this one is worth watching.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     This video transfer is very good for DVD. The picture is quite sharp and clear. The colour is very good. Shadow detail is also very good. There is no obvious layer change. There are no obvious issues to report. Technically, it is 2.35:1 16x9 enhanced.

     There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired. They are clear and easy to read.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     This is a good quality soundtrack in English Dolby Digital 5.1. The dialogue is generally easy to hear and understand although the subtitles proved useful at times. The music, mostly pop songs, sounds good. The surrounds provide mostly atmosphere and music and the subwoofer is also mostly employed to support the music. There is also an English Audio Descriptive Track in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     Small set of extras.

Menu

     The menu features music and is one of the more interesting ones I have seen lately.

Gag Reel (3:05)

     Improvisation, silliness and mess ups.

The DUFF - Sizzle (3:17)

     Short promotional clip including the red carpet launch.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The US edition seems to be exactly the same. Buy local.

Summary

    A decent and amiable teen comedy.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are very minor.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, August 21, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMR-PWT500, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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