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Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar (Blu-ray Review)

If it hadn’t been for the Twitter super buzz for it back in February, Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar might have flown by on my radar. For some reason, I hadn’t caught wind of it until then, oddly enough. I was going to rent it, but the review copy request came in the very next week and the release date for Blu-ray wasn’t that far away. So I practiced patience and here we are. It arrived on April 6th and comes complete with some deleted material and featurettes for the film. You can land yourself a brand new copy of it on Blu-ray, at the (currently) low price of $14.96 by using the pad Amazon Associates link that follows the review. You don’t really have to if you don’t want to, but it helps the site (and our self esteem) just a hair if you do. Plus, we are saving up to get matching pairs of culottes for the photo for our Why So Blu holiday card we are sending out at the end of the year. And you know you want to see  Gerard in culottes, right?

Film

Take a trip and break out of your shell with Barb and Star. From the gals who brought you Bridesmaids (costars and cowriters Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo) comes Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar. Lifelong friends Barb and Star embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time…ever. Romance, friendship, and a villain’s evil plot—hold onto your culottes!

Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar is a nice bit of female-centric whacky, making for the kind of comedy we don’t see in such high demand anymore. The film feels like a lost Mike Myers script that has been refurbished into what we have now. Aaron Neuwirth mentioned it having a bit of an Anchorman feel to it, and I can see that influence as well. Though, produced by Gloria Sanchez, this film is the brain child of Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo.

This pair really bounce and gel off of one another. In a way, it feels like an SNL bit turned to feature film. Wiig especially gets to have some fun as she plays dual roles in that of Star and the goofy supervillain Sharon Gordon Fisherman. The cast also features a very game turn from Jamie Dornan who fearlessly throws himself out there and even has a pretty dynamite musical number to boot. Many other fun turns come about including the “Talking Club” and “Tommy Bahama”.

Barb and Star have a healthy balance of improv-esque bits mixed in with parody and some clever set ups. One particular bit I liked was when they each go on secret dates with Dornan. Not to spoil, but its presentation is killer. The movie plays very well and has little stupid things I just found giggly as well as stuff that plays well for multiple viewings. There’s no doubt in my mind, as if this isn’t happening already, that this movie will be one referenced and quoted on the regular for the next couple years.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar debuts on Blu-ray with a very bright, vivid image that is to be expected from a modern movie in a tropical setting, shot digitally. Its very sharp, crisp and colorful. Details and textures run quite rampant in the frame. This is both what you probably expect from it and the best you could probably hope for given today’s attention to the home video/physical media department.

Depth:  Depth of field is quite good as to be expected. Big hotels and beaches showcase a good sense of scale as well as some nice spacious relations between foreground material and the happens in the back. Movements are natural and smooth with no noticeable issues regarding motion blurring or jitter from more rapid movement.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty rich and deep in this image. They do good with shadow and are plenty saturated, leaving details quite clean and clear to see in the darkest areas. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are quite bright and very tropical throughout. Its a vivid aesthetic, but no bleeding happens and the colors are finely saturated. The film is a looker, for sure and the colors really come together to make it especially pretty for your eyese.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. With such a vivid look, facial features and textures come through clear as day from any reasonable distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

DynamicsBarb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar provides probably the best 5.1 mix one could ask for. The sound is loose and dynamic with good range and fun design. It is balanced, loud and makes a really good impact. This mix gives the movie an additional source of fun and life to keep you even more engaged throughout.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer is plenty powerful in this mix. Especially during scene focusing on some heavy club music. The bass pounds like you’re in the middle of the dance floor. Explosions, fire, crashing, splashing and more also have some nice bump to them as well.

Surround Sound Presentation:  The room is very well captivated with all 5 channels in this mix. They work in concert to move sound around the room effectively accurate to the scene at hand or in tandem to build a good ambiance for any environment. Even things not on screen are thought out and placed in accordance.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar comes with the DVD edition and a redeemable digital code.

Audio Commentary 

  • With Director Josh Greenbaum, Writer/Actor Annie Mumolo and Writer/Actor Kristen Wiig

Barb & Star: Making Life a Little Brighter (HD, 9:58) – Just a little bit of everything in discussing working on and making the film.

Barb & Star: Casting in Paradise (HD, 10:53) – This featurette focuses on the cast in the film.

Bloopers (HD, 6:16)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 12:41)

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar Fashion Show (HD, 1:29) – The Talking Club featured in the film models off some tropical fashion.

Summary

Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar is the right injection of silly to have right now. Wiig and Mumolo are a terrific pair. Here’s hoping they have other ideas in mind or maybe we just see Barb and Star go to somewhere else. This Blu-ray has a beautiful, vivid presentation and very impactful audio. Extras are plenty decent, making this a really nice pick up.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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