Sorority Boys is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 – it has also been enhanced for widescreen 16x9 televisions.
As expected for a film that was just released in theatres over the summer, the picture quality and clarity is pretty close to perfect. During the feature I noticed no significant defects what so ever. No artifacts, no grain, no speckles – nothing. There’s very little room for complain here. The picture remained crisp and sharp throughout most of the presentation - and I detected only a rare occasion of fuzziness. Overall - Very Nice.
Naturally, Sorority Boys featured a diverse range of colours. Considering the subject matter of the film, there was little surprise in seeing the complete gamete of the colour spectrum. Everything from the excessive use of red rouge and lipstick to the blue eye shadow adorned by our men dressed in drag was perfectly represented. Everything appeared nice and accurate without even a hint of saturation or colour bleeding.
Contrast also showed little cause for concern. Black levels were perfect and at no time did they appear even remotely unnatural. In fact, the only thing preventing me from giving this film a higher grade is the knowledge that most of this picture was filmed indoors and under very controlled conditions. So needless to say, there’s no reason why the picture shouldn’t be great. Now, if it had been filmed outdoors and had this level of clarity, then an A+ would certainly have been in order.
Sorority Boys comes complete with a Dolby 5.1 sound track, it also includes both French and Spanish subtitles.
While the sound was very clear, crisp and intelligible throughout the film, I never really felt impressed with the 5.1 track. For starters, there was very little activity from the rear surrounds. Except for a few effects, which were few and far between, I hardly noticed them at all. Now I understand this is a comedy and that rear surround activity is usually pretty subdued in this type of film – but even when there was music playing, it completely dominated the front end. Most of the time it felt like a typical stereo presentation and seemed to lack the immersion I’ve become accustomed too. I have no complaints about the quality of the sound in general, especially since it was both rich and full, but in the end I just found the 5.1 track to be very lacking and uninteresting.
As is often the case, only the biggest of blockbusters get the heavy supplemental additions. Since Sorority Boys never even came close to that level of stature, it comes to no surprise to discover only a few basic extras.
First up we get Behind the Scenes “All the Angles”. This addition allows the viewer to watch the filming and preparations involved in 2 scenes (not 3 scenes as mentioned in the sequence introduction) from the movie. The 2 scenes can be viewed from any of 5 different camera angles, each conveniently provided by miniature cameras located around the necks of the various crew members.
Scene 210 runs for 4 minutes and 42 seconds, while scene 212 runs for 4 minutes and 25 seconds. Naturally each of these 2 scenes is essentially 5 times as long should you decide to watch each of them, in their entirely, from each of the 5 different angles. Do that math and that’s a total of 45 minutes and 35 seconds worth of behind the scenes footage.
While there are only 2 different moments in time provided - each of the 5 different angles offers a very different perspective of the production process. While switching to the director might show him giving guidance to one of the actors for the next shot, switching over to the make-up artist might show him doing touch-ups on another one of the actors. What you see is entirely dependant of the angle you choose to watch from.
The camera angles for this particular feature are provided by Wally Wolodarsky the director, George Baniker the assistant director, Noon Orsatti the stunt coordinator and Tommy Cole the key make-up artist. A fifth angle, which is not mentioned in the sequence introduction is simply entitled “Dailies”. This particular angle seems to be stationary and essentially shows crew member reviewing the dailies for the scene currently being filmed.
Each of the afore mentioned crew members also provides a few brief comments ranging in subjects from their past to their present duties on the set. Their comments range in time from 1 minutes and 35 seconds to 2 minutes and 42 seconds – for a grand total of 8 minutes and 53 seconds worth of material.
Admittedly this is a cool special feature, but it’s not all fun and games since the crew member don’t always go out of their way to make sure they’re pointing their camera towards something exciting. It’s not uncommon for an angle to become extremely boring for a good chunk of the time.
Personally I would have preferred a good ensemble of footage to be taken from each of the angles and spliced together into one cohesive segment. I have a hard enough time being in the “right place at the right time” in real life - and somehow I figure a montage would have saved me a lot of screwing around. While some people are bound to find this multi-angle feature as fun and enjoyable - I only lost interest.
Second up is a featurette simply entitled – Boys will be Girls. This segment runs for a mere 2 minutes and 27 seconds and provides virtually no information at all. On the whole, hardly a word is spoken. We’re simply treated to a humorous collection of clips. The clips are fairly good for a laugh since they show the films 3 male stars – soon to be female stars - enduring the tortures of womanhood. They’re shown getting into their wigs and other wardrobe, posing for publicity photos and… ouch…. having the hair ripped from their legs. All in all it was entertaining, but too brief to be of any real value.
All in all I found the Sorority Boys DVD to be a bit of a let down. While the film itself contains exceptional picture quality; the sound wasn’t quit up to the level I’ve come to expect from other 5.1 tracks. Combine that with an ambitious, yet ultimately disappointing set of bonus features, and you’re left with little than another generic disc. Still, it’s the film itself that’s important right? If the picture's good and the sound is decent, who cares about the special feature right? Well yaa, but the movie stinks!
While the Sorority Boys DVD is certainly passable in it’s own right, the film itself is undeniably a dimwitted bomb. Sure, I enjoy college fraternity and sorority movies as much as the next guy, but lets face it, most of it has been done before and coming up with something new and original can be difficult. While I don’t personally recall a college film where the guys had to dress up like women, the film still winds up feeling old and uninteresting despite this new idea. This isn’t helped by the fact the most of the movie simply isn’t funny. Sure it’s got a good joke here and there, but most of it inspired little more than an occasional grin on my part. All said and done, the Sorority Boys DVD certainly doesn’t merit a purchase, in fact, it hardly even deserves my recommendation for a rental – unless Van Wilder is all out and choices are running low.