Sorority Boys (2002)

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Released 28-Apr-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-"All The Angles"
Featurette-Boys Will Be Girls
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 89:54
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (74:28) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Wally Wolodarsky
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Barry Watson
Harland Williams
Michael Rosenbaum
Melissa Sagemiller
Heather Matarazzo
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Mark Mothersbaugh


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Icelandic
Dutch
Czech
Hungarian
Russian
Estonian
Smoking Yes, including marijuana
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, extra scene after credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    The plot of Sorority Boys can best be summed up as: Animal House meets Revenge Of The Nerds meets Tootsie, plus lashings of American Pie thrown in for good measure.

    In an unnamed university campus somewhere in America, there is a fraternity called Kappa Omicron Kappa ("KOK" - yes, we all get the joke) filled with rejects from Animal House. They hold wild parties where they invite the beautiful girls from the Tri Pi sorority. Any girl caught sleeping with stud jock Adam (Michael Rosenbaum) gets to do the Walk Of Shame the next day where she gets jeered by frat brothers lining up on the corridor outside Adam's room and her photograph taken for posterity. Ugly girls are not allowed, and there are special teams of "dog catchers" to roust them out.

    Needless to say, all is not well. Adam and his roommates Dave (Barry Watson) - the "smart" one - and Doofer (Harland Williams) - the big and dumb one - are accused of pilfering the frat funds and are expelled from KOK by the snivelling president Spence (Brad Beyer) - who has a weird voice and pompadour hairstyle to give us a hint that he's going to be the bad guy.

    The boys are in trouble, for if they don't belong in the fraternity, then they won't be able to attend the annual Cocktail Cruise where they get to mingle with ex-frat members (in most cases their parents) who have graduated and have since become industry power figures. And if they don't attend the cruise they won't have the opportunity to secure plum jobs using the Old Boys Network and they may be doomed to live lives of obscurity and poverty!

    In desperation, they dress up as girls to sneak back into the fraternity in order to retrieve a video tape which may hold crucial evidence that demonstrates their innocence and identify the real culprit who have stolen the money. Needless to say, they get nabbed by the dog catchers and deposited in front of the Delta Omicron Gamma sorority ("DOG" - yawn).

    DOG contains the female equivalents of nerds and geeks - ugly girls, big girls, girls with loud annoying voices, ethnic girls, ... The president of DOG, Leah (Melissa Sagemiller), takes pity on them and invites them to pledge with the sorority. At first they refuse, but then when they found out they get free lodging and food ...

    The rest of the film are full of jokes involving the guys trying to act as women and survive on campus, bonding with the girls in the sorority, discovering their feminine sides, and finding out that life is not so easy if you are a DOG. All the degrading things they did to DOGs are now being done to them, especially when a young KOK takes a fancy to "Adina" (Adam) and we know that eventually Adam will have to experience the Walk of Shame!

    I liked the premise of the boys discovering their female sides and what life is like for the other sex, and the film certainly had a lot of opportunity to explore some interesting issues. But no, the filmmakers have decided to go for the lowest common denominator and exploited just about every cliché in the genre. In the end, we get something that is tedious and disappointing rather than something original and witty.

    What would have made the film really interesting is if at least one of the boys discovers that he prefers living as a woman (preferably all three), and then the rest of the film could explore how this affects their relationships with each other and the other characters. We certainly come tantalisingly close - one of the boys is on the verge of entering into a lesbian relationship, another has the opportunity to experience a relationship with a man, and the third discovers the the joys of sisterhood bonding. But just as things become interesting, the film backs down and we're all back in Kansas. Oh well ...

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is presented in widescreen in the intended aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced. The film source is a pristine 35mm print, since I did not notice any film artefacts at all.

    I was a bit worried when I saw the over-exposed and under-saturated menu introduction, but fortunately the transfer of the film itself is excellent. Apart from very slight edge enhancement, I did not notice any artefacts at all. Detail levels and colour saturation are superb, and low level detail is acceptable.

    There are a number of subtitle tracks on this disc, including both English and English for the Hearing Impaired, as well as Scandinavian and Eastern European languages. I turned on both English tracks briefly. They seem to be identical apart from presence of non-dialogue/foley transcriptions, dialogue attribution and descriptions of background music, such as "Loud heavy metal music plays".

    This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL). The layer change occurs at 74:28 in Chapter 9 during a brief moment where nothing is happening so it is reasonably well placed.

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

Audio

    There are three audio tracks on this disc: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384kb/s), Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (384kb/s), and Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384kb/s). I listened to the English audio track.

    In general, this is a dialogue driven film, with limited foley effects and therefore opportunity for surround placement.

    The front left and right speakers are used for background music, of which there are quite a lot in this film (mainly of the "college rock" variety). The rear speakers are mainly used for music ambience, although there are occasional half-hearted attempts to use them for foley as well. I remember a back to front pan of a dildo launched at the DOG house. I also remember background conversations being mixed into rear speakers.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times, and I did not notice any audio synchronization issues.

    The subwoofer is used only lightly to supplement the low frequencies of background music.

    As mentioned before, a lot of the background music is of the "college rock" variety. The original music score by Mark Mothersbaugh is not memorable.

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

Extras

    This is currently a rental-only release, but it includes the same (fairly minimal) extras as the Region 1 disc, so chances are the sell-through release will be identical to this.

Menu

    The main menu is 16x9 enhanced and includes animation and background audio. It also features a lengthy introduction (1:19) featuring our three "girls" sashaying around the campus in their finest.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes-"All The Angles"

    This is a rather tedious set of featurettes with the innovation of trying to exploit the multi-angle capability of DVD players to provide four featurettes for the price of one (or one featurette for the price of four depending on your perspective).

    We get a short introduction (1:02) explaining the concept. Four cameras have been attached to four crew members during the filming of two scenes (Scene 210 and 212) and we get to select which perspective we would like to observe the film making concept. Each crew member gives a short introduction to themselves and their role in the process before we jump into the multi-angle segment. To be honest I found the multi angle segments a bit tedious to watch and I don't think I really learnt anything from watching them.

    The four perspectives are:

    The two multi-angle scenes are:

    There is also a fifth angle not mentioned in the submenu which is the "Dailies" angle. Everything is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s).

Featurette - Boys Will Be Girls (2:29)

    This is a very short featurette mainly showing the behind the scenes footage of transforming the boys into girls. It is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s). It also features the "girls" posing for their glamour shots.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 (currently rental only) version of this disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:

    The two versions seem to contain similar features so it's a draw.

Summary

    Sorority Boys feature three college students who have been thrown out of their fraternity and the only way they can redeem themselves is to dress up as girls and join a sorority.

    The quality of the video transfer is excellent.

    The quality of the audio transfer is okay.

    Extras include a short featurette and a multi-angle behind the scenes featurette.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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