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Greta Gerwig
Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera
Writing Credits:
Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach

Barbie suffers a crisis that leads her to question her world and her existence.

Box Office:
$145 million.
Opening Weekend:
$162,022,044 on 4243 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio (US)
English Descriptive Audio (UK)
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Italian Dolby Atmos
Italian Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 114 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 10/17/2023

• “It’s a Weird World” Featurette
• “All-Star Barbie Party” Featurette
• “Musical Make-Believe” Featurette
• “Becoming Barbie” Featurette
• “Welcome to Barbie Land” Featurette
• “Playing Dress-Up” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Barbie [4K UHD] (2023)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 18, 2023)

Since the original doll hit toy store shelves nearly 65 years ago, Barbie’s fortunes have waxed and waned. However, 2023 may bring the plaything’s popular peak due to the massive success of that summer’s theatrical film Barbie.

Every day is perfect when you’re Barbie in Barbieland, a realm ruled by powerful, intelligent Barbies. However, matters change one day when Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) suddenly asks her pals if they ever think about dying.

This sends Stereotypical Barbie into a downward existential spiral – well, for Barbie – that prompts her to go to the Real World. There she seeks answers, all while Ken (Ryan Gosling) attempts to bring the patriarchy to the female-centered Barbieland.

When a female friend in her mid-40s and I saw the trailer for Barbie in spring 2023, she reacted with visceral anger. She viewed the movie as nothing more than crass, cheap consumerism without any potential redeeming value.

Which I got, as most of us felt the same way – when we first heard of the film’s existence, that is. A big-screen Barbie movie sounded like it would probably offer nothing more than a two-hour toy advertisement.

However, when I heard about the cast and crew involved, I figured this became much less likely. Would respected “indie” filmmakers Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach write a piece of cheap fluff?

Would Gerwig agree to direct it? Would a cast with Robbie, Gosling, Will Ferrell, Issa Rae, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon and many others agree to participate in this consumerist propaganda?

That seemed intensely unlikely. Yeah, a nice payday might entice some, but that cast and crew didn’t feel like the sort that would go the total Hollywood Sell-Out route.

Nonetheless, massive skepticism continued. I mentioned all the possible positives to my friend, but she remained unswayed in her view that Barbie would deliver nothing more than toy-shilling crap, and millions of others felt the same way.

Well, score one for me for once! Barbie became a massive hit, with a worldwide gross of more than $1.4 billion, and it earned consistently strong reviews.

Ironically, this meant that a movie so eagerly discredited before its release potentially became overrated after it turned into a commercial and cultural phenomenon. Barbie wound up as such an iconic affair that the film itself struggled to live up to all the excitement.

But don’t take that as real criticism of Barbie. While I don’t view it as a truly great film, it nonetheless becomes a smart and engaging mix of comedy, odd “coming of age” and social commentary.

That latter element caused the most controversy, as Some of a Certain Political Ilk seemed bound and determined to accuse Barbie of severe man-hating tendencies. And to be honest, a superficial view of the film can lean that way, as the Kens tend to exist mostly as the butt of jokes.

However, this perspective requires the viewer to remain stuck in a simplistic rut. As much fun as the movie makes of the Kens, it nonetheless allows them to grow and uses them to demonstrate that not only is the patriarchy bad, but so is the matriarchy.

That becomes the key. Barbieland starts out as a realm in which females rule and men exist as little more than simplistic hangers-on, an obvious satirical inversion of the real world.

The movie easily could’ve stayed exclusively to this “you go, girl” perspective and never veered from that path. Instead, matters eventually find a balance in which the Barbies realize they’ve not given the Kens much of a chance.

Yes, Barbie definitely follows what one might refer to as a “feminist path”. This leads to some heavy-handed scenes such as one in which Gloria (Ferrera) – Barbie’s Real World guide – goes on a rant about how impossible it is to exist as a woman.

However, Barbie largely avoids such Hit You Over the Head moments, and the whole package comes so much inventiveness that I can forgive the occasional clunker segments. Indeed, the film can almost seem too ambitious at times, as Gerwig attempts to pack so much into its 114 minutes.

But hey, I’ll take a movie that shoots for the moon over one that plays it safe. Barbie definitely goes nuts with its characters and scenarios, all of which play out in creative and off the wall ways.

Of course, we occasionally get some iffy gags and easy jokes. For instance, the whole bit where the Kens babble about “beaching” each other off seems too cheap for this movie, honestly.

But again, the hits come much more often than the misses. Barbie packs in so much clever content that we can let the eye-rolling bits slide.

Of course, the aforementioned excellent cast helps, and all do well. Gosling creates a high percentage of the film’s most amusing moments, as he makes Ken the definition of a loveable lunk.

Robbie gets the most challenging role, as Barbie experiences the film’s only real character journey. Sure, Ken grows as well, but not in the same way and not to the same degree.

This requires Robbie to develop Barbie from the one-dimensional character we meet at the start into a fully-developed human being. She pulls this off with aplomb.

Robbie allows Barbie to grow gradually, so we get no sudden shifts in personality. She simply evolves bit by bit, and Robbie allows these changes to seem smooth and natural.

Heck, even Michael Cera – who I normally can’t stand – delivers charm and humor here. Barbie doesn’t quite achieve all its goals, but it hits the mark most of the time and becomes an unusually intelligent and ambitious flick given its origins.

Footnote: some glimpses of real Barbies appear during the end credits.

Also: though all this disc’s extras call it “Barbie Land”, a sign in the film uses “Barbieland”, so that looks like canon to me!

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Barbie appears in an aspect ratio of 2.00:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A true 4K product, the UHD sparkled.

Sharpness worked well. Virtually the whole movie appeared accurate and well-defined.

I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Of course, the movie lacked source flaws.

As expected, pink played a large role in the movie’s palette, especially in Barbieland. That domain boasted a vivid set of hues, but pink did rule the roost.

The Real World went with a more neutral set of hues, though these scenes didn’t opt for any particularly strong choices. Inevitably, the bubbly tones of Barbieland stood out as the most impressive, but all the colors seemed solid, and HDR added impact to the hues.

Blacks appeared deep and dark, while low-light shots became clear and concise. HDR brought range and punch to whites and shadows. I felt pleased with this fine image.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack didn’t impress to the same degree as the visuals. Nonetheless, we got a soundtrack that suited the story.

This meant a pretty strong emphasis on music, as the score and songs filled out the speakers in a bold, involving manner. Effects didn’t get a lot of room to shine, but they still managed to add to the experience.

As expected, the movie’s more action-oriented sequences used the channels in the most involving manner. Others offered general ambience, with some expected exaggeration in Barbieland.

Audio quality satisfied, with speech that seemed concise and crisp. Effects offered appealing accuracy and showed good punch when necessary.

Music felt lively and full. Though not a whiz-bang soundtrack, the mix fit the movie.

Despite the film’s massive success, we don’t find a ton of extras here. Instead, we simply locate six featurettes, and It’s a Weird World launches these.

“Weird” goes for five minutes, three seconds. It involves writer/director Greta Gerwig, hair and makeup designer Ivana Primorac, producers Tom Ackerley and David Heyman, Mettenarrative, Rob Brydon, Tom Stourton, and actors Margot Robbie, Kate McKinnon, Marisa Ablela, and Hannah Khalique-Brown.

Here we look at McKinnon’s “Weird Barbie” role and performance as well as the movie’s other “Alternate Barbies”. It offers some decent notes along with praise.

All-Star Barbie Party runs four minutes, 57 seconds. Here we get notes from Robbie, Gerwig, Heyman, Ackerley, McKinnon, and actors Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Ana Cruz Kayne, Sharon Rooney, Hari Nef, Emerald Fennell, Nicola Coughlin, Simu Liu, Scott Evans, Ncuti Catwa, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Arianna Greenblatt, Helen Mirren, Rhea Perlman, John Cena, Dua Lipa, and Will Ferrell.

We look at cast and characters. Expect lots of fluff and not much else.

Next comes Musical Make-Believe, a nine-minute, 11-second piece that features Gerwig, Robbie, Mackey, Evans, Cera, Catwa, Gosling, Liu, Ben-Adir, choreographer Jennifer White, dancer Maiya Leeke, music producer/composer/arranger Mark Ronson, and stunt coordinator Roy Taylor.

During this reel, we learn about the movie’s musical production numbers. It mixes puffery and insights.

Becoming Barbie goes for six minutes, 29 seconds. It brings info from Robbie, Gerwig, and Primorac.

We examine Robbie’s transformation into Stereotypical Barbie. We find an unusually informative reel here.

After this we find Welcome to Barbie Land. Via this 12-minute, one-second reel, we hear from Gerwig, Robbie, Gosling, Ferrera, McKinnon, Rae, Ferrell, Greenblatt, Cera, Liu, Heyman, Ackerley, director of photography Rodrigo Prieto, production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer.

“Welcome” relates details about sets. Despite some fluff, this one offers a good appraisal of the subjects.

Playing Dress-Up finishes the set. It spans seven minutes, 27 seconds and delivers comments from Gerwig, Robbie, Gosling, Nef, Coughlan, and costume designer Jacqueline Durran.

As implied by the title, the featurette tells us about the film’s costumes. “Playing” covers the topic well.

A massive cultural and commercial hit, Barbie radically exceeds what one would expect from a movie based on a toy. It does not always connect, but it comes so packed with ideas, humor and heart that it turns into a clear winner. The 4K UHD offers excellent picture as well as good audio and a somewhat minor set of supplements. Barbie deserves all its success.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.75 Stars Number of Votes: 8
0 3:
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