Material Girls (2006)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-Open Season, Zoom, Marie Antoinette, Raise Your Voice
|Year Of Production||2006|
|Running Time||94:00 (Case: 98)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Martha Coolidge|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Maria Conchita Alonso
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, mmm Dominos|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
The Marchetta sisters (Hilary Duff and Haylie Duff) are two socialite sisters who are living off the estate of their recently deceased father. Their father was an ingenious chemist who made Marchetta cosmetics into one of the leading cosmetics companies in America. Shortly after a buyout offer is made by their father's nemesis, Fabiella (Angelica Huston), their company is implicated in a scandal that besmirches their father and threatens to bankrupt the company. Amidst all this chaos, the girls even manage to burn down their house and have their car stolen by members of the band Good Charlotte. The girls move into the apartment of their ex-housekeeper-come surrogate mother, Inez (Maria Conchita Alonso) and the CEO of their company-come legal guardian (Brent Spiner) goes into damage control. The girls lives may be in ruins, but they are determined to save them with the aid of some new-found friends (Lukas Haas and Marcus Coloma).
I have, to much criticism from family and friends, defended Hilary Duff's movies for longer than I care to admit (look up my past reviews on this site for proof!). As of Material Girls, I quit. I can honestly say that I found nothing redeeming in it. The acting is bad, with the exception of Lukas Haas (whose reasonable performance stands out awkwardly above the rest). The direction and editing is bad, even by the standard you would usually apply to a made-for-TV movie. Worst of all, the whole affair seems shallower than the socialite lifestyle it attempts to parody.
Much of the movie seems like a high school play; bad accents come and go (Brent Spiner sounds like he is auditioning for parody of The Godfather in every other scene, and himself otherwise), the acting is stiff at best, and the whole affair lacks any of the excitement or fun that successful tween movies thrive on. Maybe they had to produce this while on detention?
Even if you are looking for a movie "so bad it's good", only a handful of scenes will satisfy. Material Girls is a chore to watch, regardless of your expectations.
The video transfer is reasonable, but nothing more.
The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, not close enough to its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.
The video is reasonably sharp. There is a modest degree of low level noise visible throughout the movie, but it is only likely to be distracting if projected onto a large display. The colours are quite natural and dark areas quite clear.
The odd film artefact is visible (such as at 53:00 and 78:10) and very mild macro blocking is noticeable throughout.
There are no subtitles available.
This is a single layer disc, so no layer change is present.
The audio provided is quite disappointing (even for a film of this calibre). There is one English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kb/s) audio track available. A rather weak effort, given that the film has a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in other territories.
The dialogue is at an audible level in the mix, but ADR in the film is quite obvious in a few scenes (such as at 7:10).
The surround channels are use occasionally for music, although it is erratically so and makes small patches of the music noticeably louder than the rest, making for a rather irritating effect. A small degree of bass makes its way to the subwoofer.
The score of the film sounds as though it were assembled with stock "wacky" orchestral tracks and is frequently not a good fit to the movie.
|Surround Channel Use|
The DVD opens with several minutes of distributor logos and the annoying anti-piracy trailer, none of which can be skipped. It is then followed by trailers for Open Season, Zoom, Marie Antoinette and Raise Your Voice. These trailers can be viewed from the DVD menu also. There are no other extras.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 Edition is substantially more feature packed than Region 4 and is a clear winner by comparison. Region 1 does not feature the trailers on the Region 4 release, but the Region 4 misses out on:
Material Girls is a tween comedy that cannot be recommended to any audience. There is a complete lack of genuine extras on this disc.
The video presentation is mediocre for a new film - it's quite watchable, but has a number of flaws that will annoy videophiles (such as a mismatch between the 2.35:1 original aspect ratio and the DVD's 1.78:1 aspect).
The audio is audible, but has been given a sub-par 2.0 presentation.
|DVD||LG V8824W, using S-Video output|
|Display||LG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|