Saturday, April 2, 2011

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde Blu-ray Review

Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Disc Size: 35.5 GB
Film Size: 30.7 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: A
The Video
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde’ debuts on Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Visually the film looks quite good in high-definition, but I wouldn’t say this transfer is as good as I hoped it would be.

Colors are strong, dominantly pink, and black levels are solid throughout. The film looks a bit softer at times than I remembered, but everything looks normal. The issue I had with the video presentation is the dirt and specks which do pop up on occasion, which I didn’t expect.

The specks are not overly present, but enough that makes it worth mentioning. It does give the film a more dated look when it shouldn’t, it does appear the film isn’t being preserved in the best manner possible. It is disappointing, but I understand why they didn’t want to invest to clean it up a bit.

As a whole the film is an improvement from DVD. Detail and textures are notably stronger and overall clarity is great. The specks are truly the disappointment of this release and unfortunately it does affect my video score somewhat, but it isn’t all bad. 7.5/10

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, Castilian and Thai audio mixes are also included. Optional subtitles include English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, German, Italian, Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, Castilian and Thai.

Having been disappointed by the audio mix on a few recent catalog releases I had adjusted my expectations a bit lower for 'Legally Blonde 2.' Fortunately the mix was actually a lot better than I anticipated, presenting everything very nicely.

Dialogue is front and center, but always clear and easy to understand. It has the undeniable upgrade that can only be heard from a lossless track and fans will certainly appreciate it. The film’s music expands nicely to the surround speakers, as do many of the audio effects.

This is not a surround sound experience worth raving about, but it certainly isn’t lifeless either. The mix is as good as one could hope for a film like this. I was quite pleased and surprised, and I think fans of the film will be as well. 7.5/10

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With Jennifer Coolidge, Jessica Cauffiel & Alanna Ubach

Deleted Scenes (9:32) (SD)
Seven deleted scenes are included in standard definition.

Blonde Ambition (2:27) (SD)
This feature serves as the main making of for the film.

Pretty in Pink (6:37) (SD)
We learn ‘Legally Blonde’ was being planned as a television series after the first film, but instead they went with a sequel film. That explains a lot.

Stars and Stripes, Never! (7:36) (SD)
This feature is all about Elle’s wardrobe in the film.

Hair Apparent (6:56) (SD)
This feature is all about her hair styles in the film and the wigs involved.

Elle’s Anthem (7:13) (SD)
This feature is about the orchestration for the film.

Gag Reel (2:40) (SD)
If you loved the film you may enjoy this gag reel.

Puppy Love (2:24) (SD)
Reese Witherspoon talks about the role of Bruiser and the exploration of his sexuality in the film.

Bruiser’s Outtakes (SD)
  • Outtake 1 (1:28)
  • Outtake 2 (1:02)
  • Outtake 3 (0:29)
  • Outtake 4 (0:25)
Music Video (3:41) (SD)
“We Can” by Leann Rimes

Theatrical Trailer (2:12) (HD)
The film’s theatrical trailer is included in high-definition.

The bonus features included for this release are very good. The feature covers many aspects of the production behind-the-scenes and features a collection of gag reels and outtakes. The theatrical trailer in high-definition is also a nice feature. Nothing new was produced, but this is a very strong selection of features. 8/10

The Movie
In 2001 the world was introduced to a girl named Elle Woods who lived her life very pink and very blonde. The film ‘Legally Blonde’ was quite the success grossing nearly $100 million domestically, and reasonably so. While the film was very ditzy, it had a unique storyline which stood out among your average chick flick.

In 2003, MGM thought it would be a good idea to create a follow-up to the hit film with ‘Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.’ It was a good idea for the studio as the film managed to rake in nearly $90 million in domestic box office, but it wasn’t a great film.

There are many issues with ‘Legally Blonde 2’ which was certainly disappointing. In the features on the disc we learn that a television series was in the works prior to the sequel idea and perhaps that had affected the sequel quality.

The film obviously has a big budget with impressive sets and locations, but the writing and storyline certainly aren’t up to par. The lines and scenarios are ridiculous (even by Legally Blonde standards) and a lot just felt like a poorly written episode of a sitcom.Reese Witherspoon is very likable as Elle Woods, but the writing this time around didn’t help. The film starts off with a scrapbook which presents promotional photos from the first film; it automatically cheapened the feel of the film from the start and continued to get worse.

It was interesting that they decided to give her Chihuahua Bruiser a bigger role in the sequel, but it was also quite ridiculous. In the film there is a ‘shocking’ discovery about Bruiser’s sexuality that makes for a significant part of the story, ultimately feeling like they ran out of ideas.

It was especially disappointing after such a strong first film. The first film was dumb, but in a smart way if that makes sense. This sequel tries to capture the magic of the first, but ultimately fails to deliver. We have seen far worse chick flick follow-ups and I wouldn’t rank it among the worst, but it certainly is forgettable. 5.5/10
The Blu-news Summary
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde’ is a disappointing follow up, but you could do worse. The Blu-ray release is good with a pleasing video and audio presentation that are both notable upgrades from DVD. The extras included are very strong and I loved that the theatrical trailer was included in high-definition. The Blu-ray disc itself is definitely ‘Recommended,’ but only if you are a fan of the film.

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