The Hot Chick (2002)
Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Sex Education: Becoming Jessica
Featurette-Sex Education: Becoming Clive
Featurette-The Hot Chicks
Audio Commentary-Tom Brady (Director)
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (77:39)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Tom Brady|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Eric Christian Olsen
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German Audio Commentary
Russian Audio Commentary
Arabic Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, outtakes run with the credits (quite boring).|
For this third outing, Schneider has finally managed to get long-time collaborator (in fact, the man responsible for the concepts of all Schneider's movies - he received a story credit on The Animal, but missed out for Deuce Bigalow) Tom Brady into the director's chair. As with his previous two movies, the concept behind The Hot Chick is that of a man (or in this case, a girl) who suddenly finds him/herself in a set of circumstances very different to what they are used to. In Bigalow, the central character was unwillingly thrust into the world of male prostitution, while in The Animal, a slight hop into science fiction produced a not-quite-human version of Schneider. For The Hot Chick, Schneider and Brady have turned to fantasy, and it is a pair of magical ear-rings that initiate the driving comedic force of this movie - the body swap between a beautiful high-school prom queen, and a rather average looking, criminally minded man in his thirties.
Okay, we've all seen body-swap movies before, and it is a fairly good bet that this is not going to be the last, but as always Schneider and crew have come up with a take that is interesting, and more importantly funny, enough to get a look. The movie starts out by introducing the concept of the magical ear-rings from ancient Abyssinia (ahem, yes, I remember that place from my history classes). We then move to modern times and meet beautiful-but-b****y (although with a heart of gold - aren't they always?) Jessica (Rachel McAdams) and her cheerleading buddies including best friend April (Anna Faris sporting a new blonde look that does nothing to spoil her attractiveness). Jessica and the girls talk the deputy principal into letting them skip school (extra cheer-leading practice - *wink wink*), and promptly head to the mall, where Jessica is attracted to an intriguing set of earrings. Earrings that look mighty familiar. After leaving the mall, they head to a gas station (okay, we all know it's a petrol station, but it is their movie after all) for a fill up. It just so happens that this gas station is currently being robbed by a loser named Clive (Rob Schneider), and after some fairly loose plot work, he ends up with one of the earrings, the magic happens, and Jessica is now stuck in Clive's body. Oops. The rest of the movie follows a plot line predictable enough to use in physics experiments, from the discussion of men-vs-women to Clive being able to eavesdrop on the men, to the inevitable re-transformation and conclusion. But who cares if we can see it all coming - if you were watching this movie for the plot, you made a bad choice. It is the way it moves thorough the plot, and the slathering of typical Schneider humour that makes this movie worth watching.
Schneider is, as always, likeable and funny, and gets many laughs this time by essentially playing it straight (which is an interesting thing to do when playing a woman in a man's body). Anna Faris also does her job adequately as the best friend, giving the audience someone to care about, and who cares about Jessica. Without April, Jessica would just be a b****, but it is through April's friendship that we want to see Jessica saved from her predicament. It is difficult to tell if Anna Faris is exceptionally good at playing a "dumb blonde", or if it just comes naturally. It would be nice to see her in a dramatic role (in fact, it would just be nice to see her more often full stop) to find out, but as she seems tied to the Scary Movie franchise until it kills her, that may take some time. The rest of the cast are really just window dressing for the two leads to play out their crazy story, although Matthew Lawrence uses all of his soap training to do a very nicely confused boyfriend - he does heartbroken very well - and Alexandra Holden (think Ross' college student girlfriend from Friends) is noticeable as Lulu (one of the "Hot Chicks") despite very few lines.
This is not high quality entertainment, but it is entertainment. It will have those prepared to eject their brains prior to viewing in hysterics. Bear in mind, however, that if you are someone with a low tolerance for stupidity, then this movie is probably not for you. For all Rob Schneider fans however, this is his funniest movie so far, and his most likeable - make sure you check it out because Rob Schneider is The Hot Chick.
Presented at the slightly cropped aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (the original theatrical aspect ratio is 1.85:1), this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.
This transfer is not particularly sharp, although it is good enough for general viewing - the very fine detail does seem just a little lacking. The fact that there isn't really any grain to speak of makes this lack of sharpness even more of a shame. Shadow detail, on the other hand, is excellent, with the few darker scenes really coming to life. There is no low level noise.
Colour is the biggest problem for this presentation. For the most part it is okay, but on a good many occasions there is excessive blooming of the "hot" colours, and especially whites. There are many occurrences of this, but some examples are at 5:05 and 11:57, and while it does happen less often in the latter half of the movie, there are noticeable occurrences as late as 59:33. The source of the problem is difficult to determine. Having seen the theatrical release of this movie, I do not recall blooming to these levels, however the sporadic nature of the problem does suggest source issues. Unfortunately, the problem is serious enough to detract from the viewing experience while it is occurring, with the only upside being that it does decrease in severity and frequency as the movie progresses. Aside from that problem, colours are generally quite good, delivering the vibrant palette of this film without any further issues.
There are no compression artefacts present in this film, and although the colour problem does cause a posterisation-like effect at times, it does not seem to be related to the compression. The transfer is not entirely free of aliasing, but there are only a few occurrences. By far the worst are the stripes on the shirt worn by "Booger" from 75:12 to 75:24, as every time the character moves, the screen comes alive with shimmering. There is one noticeable instance of wobble that occurs at 77:05. It only lasts for a couple of seconds, but it is very noticeable. There are no film artefacts at all in this transfer.
The subtitles are attractively rendered, almost word-for-word accurate, and are well paced. An excellent job.
This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 77:09 during chapter 10. It is not the best placement of a layer change as it occurs slightly before the end of a scene, and is somewhat noticeable. Fortunately, no dialogue is interrupted.
There are four audio tracks present on this disc, being the original English dialogue and dubs in Russian and German in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (at 448 Kbps for the English and Russian tracks, 384 Kbps for the German), and an English audio commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround (at 192 Kbps). Note that the commentary is subtitled in a number of non-English languages, but not in English itself.
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. This includes many outdoor scenes, and according to the commentary there was almost no ADR work done on this film, so that is a very impressive effort indeed. Audio sync is spot on throughout the transfer and never causes a problem.
The music consists of two components, a score from John Debney and a collection of contemporary songs. The score does its job quite well, delivering a slightly more dramatic nature to this soundtrack, instead of going for all-out comedic, which contrasts nicely against the on-screen goings-on, while the contemporary songs generally get the desired results, with few tunes really sounding out-of-place.
The surround channels are not extensively used, but that is not a real surprise given the nature of the movie. They carry the score on occasion, and some ambient and directional sound, but are never going to set your world on fire.
The subwoofer does a very good job at backing up the contemporary music used in the movie, and the score where necessary. It has little else to do.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is very disappointing, with some very bad colour blooming at times.
The audio quality is far better, delivering all that this type of soundtrack normally would.
The extras are surprisingly numerous, and while the featurettes are not exactly high quality, the plethora of deleted scenes and the audio commentary more than make up for that.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-555K, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||Rochester Audio Animato Series (2xSAF-02, SAC-02, 3xSAB-01) + 12" Sub (150WRMS)|