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Olivia Wilde
Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams
Writing Credits:
Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman

On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend:
$6,933,620 on 2505 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 102 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 9/3/2019
• Audio Commentary with Director Olivia Wilde
• “The Next ‘Best High School Comedy’” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• “The Dance Fantasy” Featurette
• “Dressing Booksmart” Featurette
• Gallery
• Trailer and Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Booksmart [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 9, 2019)

Over the years, plenty of movies have followed characters as they go through one “crazy night” of shenanigans and adventures. Usually these come from the make POV ala flicks like 2007’s Superbad or 2004’s Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

With 2019’s Booksmart, though, we approach the topic from a decidedly female perspective. We go to Crockett High School and meet longtime best pals Molly Davidson (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy Antsler (Kaitlyn Dever). Both largely ignored social lives as they pursued academic excellence and superior college opportunities over everything else.

On the night before graduation, Molly comes to a stunning realization. As it happens, all the “losers” who she thought wasted their high school years with partying and frivolity got into great universities as well.

This sends Molly into existential crisis mode, as she questions all the decisions she made the prior four years. Determined to make up for lost time, she recruits Amy to party hearty and pack in a high school career’s worth of fun into one night.

That synopsis offers a superficial take on the movie’s plot and makes it look more like a bawdy laughfest than it is. While Booksmart comes with some wild shenanigans and craziness, it cares more about character development than anything else.

Which it does fairly well, though I admit some of that seems superficial as well. Characters can evolve and change only so much across the span of one evening – no matter how long or crazy – so the developments tend to feel somewhat contrived.

Still, I appreciate that Booksmart comes with more substance than the average teen comedy, and the cast adds depth. In particular, Feldstein and Dever form a solid core.

Once you get past Feldstein’s resemblance to her brother Jonah Hill, that is. Those two really do look a lot alike – down to shared facial expressions – and this distracts for a period.

It doesn’t help that Feldstein tends to overplay her role during the movie’s first act. While he developed into a skilled actor, I thought Superbad-era Hill relied far too much on broad shtick, and Feldstein seems determined to follow that path during the film’s early moments.

Happily, Feldstein tones down her routine as the movie progresses and gives her role a more natural bent. This allows her to connect well with Dever and create a likable, engaging lead pair.

Though I prefer them as dramatic actors, I will say Feldstein and Dever lack the comedic sensibilities of Superbad counterparts Hill and Michael Cera. They’re way less annoying than those two, though, and their superior chops allows them to compensate for their less solid comedic skills.

Probably the biggest problem I find here stems from the randomness of the plot. Granted, that’s part of the genre, as these kinds of movies tend to go from episode to episode without great logic.

Still, Booksmart becomes a little too absurd in that domain – or it seems that way because it favors drama more than comedy vs. its predecessors. When a story like this fully embraces ridiculousness, I can let the inconsistencies and illogic go, but because Booksmart tries harder than most to ground itself in the “real world”, these factors becomes a problem.

Even with its lackluster moments, though, Booksmart offers a mostly engaging mix of comedy and drama. It never quite dazzles but it turns into a winning variation on its genre.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Booksmart appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong transfer.

Sharpness looked very good. Only mild softness materialized, which meant a tight, well-defined image most of the time.

I witnessed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the film lacked any print flaws.

In terms of palette, Booksmart went with a fairly amber/orange sensibility, though it threw in some blues as well. Within the stylistic decisions, the hues seemed fine.

Blacks were deep and tight, and shadows looked smooth and clear. This turned into an appealing image.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it opted for a fairly standard “comedy mix” much of the time, though some elements opened up the action at times. Street moments and those with outrageous brought out some dimensionality, and the mix used music as a very active partner.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech seemed distinctive and concise, without roughness or brittleness.

Music was warm and full, as the movie used the songs and score in a bold manner. Effects showed good delineation and accuracy. This ended up as a satisfactory mix for a comedy.

Among extras, we locate an audio commentary from director Olivia Wilde. She provides a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, influences, and other production topics.

Lively and invested, Wilde brings us a fine look at the film. While she offers a lot of praise for cast/crew, she seems to do so from a genuine place, and she helps make this an informative chat.

Three Deleted Scenes span a total of four minutes, 42 seconds. We find “The Full Dance Fantasy” (1:55), “Miss Fine Talking to Herself” (1:12) and “Amy Distracting Cops” (1:35).

Of the three, “Dance” seems the least interesting, mainly because it does just extend the existing sequence. “Talking” and “Cops” add nothing crucial, but both amuse.

Three featurettes follow, and The Next “Best High School Comedy” fills 17 minutes, 47 seconds with notes from Wilde, writer Katie Silberman and Jessica Elbaum, production designer Katie Byron, executive producer Alex G. Scott, and actors Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, Molly Gordon, Eduardo Franco, Jason Sudeikis, Skyler Gisondo, Mason Gooding, Lisa Kudrow, Noah Galvin, Diana Silvers and Will Forte.

“Next” examines story/characters, influences, cast and performances, Wilde’s impact on the production, design choices, and a few scene specifics. “Next” includes some decent thoughts but a lot of it goes with happy talk.

Plies and Jazz Hands: The Dance Fantasy runs two minutes, 24 seconds and brings statements from Feldstein, Wilde, Gooding, and choreographer Denna Thomsen.

As expected, “Hands” covers the dance scene in question. It doesn’t tell us much.

Finally, Dressing Booksmart goes for two minutes, 41 seconds and offers remarks from Wilde and costume designer April Napier. Though brief, “Dressing” gives us a few useful notes about the movie’s costumes.

A Gallery presents 12 shots from the set. On one hand, I appreciate that Fox includes still galleries, as their peers rarely do so. On the other hand, these collections tend to be awfully brief and don’t give us much.

The disc opens with ads for Sorry to Bother You and Stuber. Sneak Peek adds a promo for Missing Link, and we also find the trailer for Booksmart.

A fresh, lively take on the teen comedy, Booksmart works pretty well. A few misfires occur but the movie usually connects. The Blu-ray brings positive picture and audio as well as a few bonus materials. Booksmart becomes an engaging tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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