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Girls Trip (Blu-ray Review)

Here’s something to remember: 2017’s most successful comedy was Girl Trip. Made from a relatively low-budget and crossing $100 million domestically, as well as garnering plenty of praise from critics, this was a film that hit big. People can talk about it being a surprise, but that’s nonsense. Make a good comedy with broad appeal (especially when it concerns people you don’t generally see as the leads in a film) and the response will be great. Thanks to this strong cast and a simple comedic premise that doesn’t let up in the laughs, Girls Trip got the acclaim it needed from all and the only question is how much will this success pay off for all involved in the years to come. For now, check out how this Blu-ray stacks up.

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Film:

The story concerns four lifelong best friends who refer to themselves as the Flossy Posse. Regina Hall, Queen Latifa, Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith star as Ryan, Sasha, Dina and Lisa and we quickly learn that time has made it hard for them to hang out together. However, Ryan’s success has led her to be the keynote speaker at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, where she comes up with the idea to bring the Flossy Posse back together for a fun trip. Lots of comedic antics ensue, along with some revelations about their friendship and other relationships going on in their lives.

This is a thin story and writers Kenya Barris (Black*ish) and Tracy Oliver know it. However, director Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man, Undercover Brother) does his best to guide this ship towards frequent hilarity. In the spirit of plenty of other ensemble comedies such as The Hangover, Wedding Crashers or Bridesmaids, this film does little different regarding what kind of humor we are seeing. It’s crude to a point but rooted in the characters. It seems to fall in line with other “girls can too” types of comedies that rival what the men frequently make millions doing, but the film is never mean-spirited. The film works because the cast is so committed.

There’s one standout that I’ll get to, but this is a strong group of characters who work well together. You instantly understand why they are friends, and there is a strong level of investment in this friendship. Regardless of how straightforward the plot may be, it is fun to hang around this group. And at two hours, the film most certainly benefits from keeping things moving and even adding some decent drama surrounding Ryan’s marriage to Luke Cage’s Mike Colter and her friendship with Sasha in particular.

Getting back to the standout, Haddish owns this film. She’s the breakout character and funny enough to make me already question those who quickly jumped to Melissa McCarthy for an Oscar nomination for Bridesmaids but are not making the same leaps here. Haddish gets some hilarious extended monologues to show off what has to be a lot of improvising in addition to being the heart of the group. A scene that shows her bringing in the group for a prayer before heading to sleep keeps you aware that she’s playing a real person that likes to have fun, but seriously cares about her friends.

It would be easy enough to question the logic of this film’s main plot involving Ryan as the next Oprah, but this is a comedy. If there was a standard to be held here, one may as well question all comedies with silly premises, be it joining the army, fighting ghosts or chasing weddings. Girls Trip may be a bit too long for its own good, but the film is very entertaining. It often chooses goofiness over anything else and allows the characters to laugh at themselves, as opposed to making it a movie for us to laugh at them.

This all speaks to why the film was a hit. It’s an R-rated adult comedy starring four black female leads. People can claim how they enjoyed the movie, despite it not being marketed explicitly towards them, but I do have to imagine how many of these same audiences had anything more to relate to with comedies involving schlubby white men in their 30s. This is a film about friendship, having a good time and finding the right moments to laugh. It succeeds, regardless of who is playing what part, but I also can’t deny how gratifying it is to see a film like this succeed.

 

Video:

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity/Detail: Girls Trip comes to Blu-ray with a solid transfer overall. There is plenty of clarity to be found in this brightly lit feature, which makes great use out of the New Orleans location, along with costume design for the for adult women and the rest of the cast. The detail work can be best seen during some of the scenes on the streets, which show off the environment, characters and clothing in a smooth enough way to get an eye on what is being presented.

Depth: Good depth work here, as scenes featuring crowds of characters feel well-balanced, with no blurring.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep enough, quite rich and feature no sign of crushing.

Color Reproduction: This is a very colorful film, thanks to the various outfits all the characters wear, along with sights of the New Orleans streets, the music scenes, food and more. It all pops, as you have a strong handling on this aspect of the film.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones come across quite well, as facial textures allow for an impressive sight of the details found in the characters.

Noise/Artifacts: Nothing of note.

 

Audio:

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish DTS Digital Surround 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: This is a very banter-heavy film, with a variety of musically-based moments that come into play at various points. As a result, this energetic audio track does plenty to satisfy all in a way that makes viewing this film with a bunch of people work much like being in a theater. The jokes are coming fast and heavy and the range on this track plays well.

Low-Frequency Extension: The LFE channel gets some fun moments to shine, as the soundtrack can be pretty aggressive, as mentioned.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a center-heavy track, though the different locations allow for plenty of balance. Moving between streets, concerts, hotels and more, the other channels get a chance to work well for this audio track.

Dialogue Reproduction: Everyone sounds loud, clean and clear.

 

Extras:

There’s a solid collection of extras here. It’s mostly focused on alternate material and misses out on a commentary track featuring the cast, but there is good stuff to be found.

Features Include:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 10:12) – Featuring commentary by Director Malcolm D. Lee.
  • Outtakes (HD, 25:17) – A mix of bloopers and alternate lines.
  • Planning the Trip (HD, 10:12) – A standard EPK that is way too brief. The cast and crew go over coming up with the film and more, but this could have added so much more insight.
  • Outrageous Moments (HD, 5:35) – A look at some of the film’s biggest moments.
  • The Essence of NOLA (HD, 5:45) – A discussion of what it is to film in New Orleans.
  • Extended Performance “Because of You” by Ne-Yo (HD, 2:58)
  • Audio Commentary with Director Malcolm D. Lee ­– I am a fan of Lee’s and he’s a well-spoken man who covers plenty of aspects of making this film. I still wish he had a co-star or two with him, but this is a good track for fans of the film who also like the filmmaking process.
  • Trailers (HD)
  • DVD Copy of the Film
  • Digital HD Copy of the Film

 

Summary:

Girls Trip proved to be the fun summer comedy adult audiences wanted. The film features a solid cast delivering plenty of funny jokes and just enough emotional value to make the film stick. The Blu-ray does a great job of bringing the film home. The technical presentation is excellent and there are enough extras to keep everyone busy as well. For those looking for a good comedy to go along with other R-rated favorites, Girls Trip delivers.

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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