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John Cameron Mitchell
Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman
Writing Credits:
John Cameron Mitchell, Philippa Goslett

An alien touring the galaxy breaks away from her group and meets two young inhabitants of the most dangerous place in the universe: the London suburb of Croydon.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 103 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 8/14/2018

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director John Cameron Mitchell and Actors Elle Fanning and Alex Sharp
• “Making an Other Worldly Production” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• 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.


How to Talk to Girls at Parties [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 7, 2018)

Despite a title that implies it’ll offer a teen comedy, 2018’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties instead presents a science-fiction effort. Set in London 1977, Enn (Alex Sharp) goes to a punk concert with his pals.

After this show, Enn meets Zan (Elle Fanning), a beautiful, alluring “exchange student”. Enn soon learns that Zan comes from way outside of the UK, as she’s actually from outer space. Thus they enter into an unusual intergalactic romance.

Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s 2006 short story, director John Cameron Mitchell remains best-known as the author of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and I suspect that credit will someday dominate his obituary. His subsequent films haven’t made a huge impact, and the same held true for Parties, a flick that essentially got no theatrical release.

I can’t say this strikes me as a crime. A meandering mess, Parties never goes anywhere.

Whereas Gaiman’s source story focuses almost entirely on the party where the British boys meet the aliens, the movie expands this territory immensely. While I get that a 102-minute film needs to add to Gaiman’s fairly brief text, the adaptation goes so far astray from its origins that it really becomes an entirely different tale.

Gaiman’s work offered a terse, involving little scenario, and its positives seem even more obvious compared to the bloated, rambling film version. The cinematic Parties takes a great deal of license with the characters and circumstances but it can’t add purpose or meaning to any of them.

In addition, Parties often feels like little more than a conglomeration of influences. It comes across like Starman mixed with Splash mixed with 2001 mixed with Sid & Nancy mixed with Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Inevitably, this brings us a disjointed, spotty end result. If Parties narrowed its inspirations a bit, it might’ve been tighter and better told, but as it stands, the tale proceeds without coherence and it never threatens to become an engaging experience.

I do think Fanning offers a good performance, as she brings the right combination of weirdness and innocent charm to Zan. Unfortunately, not much else about Parties works, so it winds up as a messy, self-conscious attempt at a “cult classic”.

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

How to Talk to Girls at Parties appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not great, the image seemed largely positive.

For the most part, the movie came with appropriate delineation. Occasional instances of mild softness materialized – usually during interiors – but most of the flick seemed pretty accurate and concise. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws remain absent.

Colors tended toward a mix of heavy teal, orange and red. A few other hues showed up as well, but these remained the major tones, and the colors appeared fine given those choices.

Blacks were reasonably deep and dense, and shadows were decent. Low-light elements could be a smidgen thick but not to a problematic degree. Ultimately, the movie offered more than satisfactory visuals.

Similar thoughts came with the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. As expected, music dominated the mix, as songs and score came from all five channels. That was a logical choice that added involved to the proceedings.

Effects usage appeared more limited. Much of the track went with environmental information, so outside of the music, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with dynamic usage of the soundfield. Crowd scenes added a little pep but music ruled this roost.

Audio quality seemed appropriate. Speech appeared natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Effects were accurate and full, while music sounded lively and full. The soundtrack made sense for the movie.

The disc’s extras open with an audio commentary from writer/director John Cameron Mitchell and actors Elle Fanning and Alex Sharp. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, influences, music, cast and performances, sets and locations, and connected domains.

Mitchell carries the load here, as the actors offer little substance. Mitchell doesn’t excel as a commentator, but he manages to give us enough information to turn this into a decent chat. The actors’ lack of positive involvement knocks it down a notch, though.

Making an Other Worldly Production lasts 12 minutes, 22 seconds and presents notes from Mitchell, Fanning, Sharp, short story writer/producer Neil Gaiman, producers Iain Canning and Howard Gertler, costume designer Sandy Powell, and actors Nicole Kidman, AJ Lewis, Matt Lucas, Martin Tomlinson, and Ethan Lawrence.

We learn about the original text and its adaptation, story/character areas, cast and performances, costumes, and music. It offers a decent recap of various production areas, even if it never becomes especially substantial.

Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 43 seconds. Three tend toward material about secondary characters, whereas the fourth shows a stage performance by the Discords.

That last one feels more like a music video than a movie scene, while the other three don’t add much. Nonetheless, I’m surprised two of them got the boot simply because they give Nicole Kidman more screen time, and I’d think the film would want to take advantage of her presence.

The disc opens with ads for The Disaster Artist, Under the Silver Lake, Lady Bird, Lean on Pete and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. No trailer for Parties appears here.

A mushy melange of influences without much direction of its own, How to Talk to Girls at Parties lacks momentum or purpose. It cobbles together a sluggish combination of sequences that sort of manage an A to B story by the end, but the journey seems disjointed and pointless. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio along with decent supplements. Parties ends up as a meandering mess.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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