Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
April 2, 2011 by Dennis Amith
The sequel to Reese Witherspoon’s popular film “Legally Blonde” receives its HD treatment and if you are a big fan of the film, it is worth upgrading to Blu-ray for “Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde” for the slightly better PQ and AQ. But if you have never watched the film, by no means is this sequel anywhere close to the enjoyability of the first film.
Images courtesy of ©2003 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde
FILM RELEASE DATE: 2003
DURATION: 94 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Widescreen (1:85:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DTS, AVC @ 34 MBPS, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
COMPANY: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/20th Century Fox
RATED: PG-13 (Some Sex Related Humor)
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2011
Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Story by Eve Ahlert, Dennis Drake, Kate Kondell
Screenplay by Kate Kondell
Characters by Amanda Brown
Producer as David Nicksay, Marc Platt
Co-Producer: Jennifer Simpson, Stephen Traxler
Executive Producer: Reese Witherspoon
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography by Elliot Davis
Edited by Peter Teschner
Casting by Joseph Middleton
Production Design by Missy Stewart
Art Direction by Mark Worthington
Set Decoration by K.C. Fox
Costume Design by Sophie Carbonell
Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods
Sally Field as Rep. Victoria Rudd
Regina King as Grace Rossiter
Jennifer Coolidge as Paulette
Bruce McGill as Stanford Marks
Dana Ivey as Congresswoman Libby
Mary Lynn Rajskub as Reena Giuliani
Jessica Cauffiel as Margot
Alanna Ubach as Serena McGuire
Bob Newhart as Sid Post
Luke Wilson as Emmet Richmond
When Elle (Witherspoon) discovers that her lovable chihuahua Bruiser’s mom is locked in a cruel animal testing facility, she heads to D.C. to fight for animal rights, give Washington a makeover and prove once and for all that America really is the land of the free…and the home of the blonde!
Reese Witherspoon returns as the blonde fashion conscious activist Elle Woods in the sequel to the popular “Legally Blonde” film, “Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde”.
A film from 2003 that did well in the box office with a budget of $45 million, the sequel took home $124 million in the box office. “Legally Blonde 2” is directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld (“The Boxer”, Kissing Jessica Stein”, “Stella”) and a screenplay by Kate Kondell.
Now “Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde” receives the HD treatment on Blu-ray.
The sequel revolves around the popular Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon) who is doing quite well. She works at a law firm and is planning to get married to Emmett Richmond (played by Luke Wilson) and a wedding planned at Fenway Park in Boston.
But for Elle, the wedding would not be perfect unless the parents of her pet chihuahua Bruiser is there and so she hires a private investigator to find his mother. Needless to say, by hiring the best PI, he is able to find her and she can be found at the cosmetic company C’est Magnifique Corporation’s VERSACE lab.
When Elle comes to visit along with her dog Bruiser, she finds out that his mother is being used for make-up testing at the laboratory and can not be released to the public, especially Elle. Putting a hamper on her perfect wedding, Elle will not sit quietly and so she goes back to her law firm to fight against animal testing and since her law firm represents C’est Magnificque Corporation, she feels that they would drop the client if they found out what kind of testing was being done. Unfortunately, her law firm does not agree with Elle and when she tells them that she can’t work for a company that has a different belief than her, they fire her.
Now with no job and unemployed, Elle is now determined to fight animal testing and what best than to work with her good friend Congresswoman Victoria Rudd (played by Sally Field) who hires her get the job done and fight animal testing.
But of course, Elle’s style is met with skepticism by her colleagues who think she is like a “Capitol Barbie!”. Despite the challenges that Elle may face, she is determined to fight animal testing and needs other politicians on her side to support a bill to ban animal testing.
Aided by her best friend Paulette Bonafonte (played by Jennifer Coolidge) and a knowledgeable door man who has catered to the politicians, Sid Post (played by Bob Newhart), can Elle make her goal happen in time before her wedding?
“Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde” is presented in 1080p, widescreen 1:85:1. While the sequel does feature vibrant colors (especially the various colors of the clothes that Elle wears throughout the film), picture quality for the most part is good but I did notice scenes where dust and speckles tend to show up from time-to-time and also scenes that looked as if it has aged on the negative. But for the most part, “Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde” looks much better than its original DVD counterpart and is a transfer worthy of upgrading if you enjoyed the film.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and French 5.1 DTS. There are scenes where you get crowd ambiance through the surround channels such as when Elle is at the House of Representatives or a committee meeting but for the most part, this film is center and front-channel driven. Dialogue is clear and also the music for the film (which there is quite a bit of music used throughout the film). The lossless audio is quite adequate for this film and once again, if you enjoyed the sequel, the upgrade to a lossless soundtrack does sound very good on Blu-ray.
Subtitles are in English SDH, Spanish and French.
“Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – Audio commentary with Jennifer Coolidge, Jessica Cauffiel and Alanna Ubach – An intriguing commentary as you have actress Jennifer Coolidge and two actresses who play Elle’s best friends (which was surprising) in the film. If anything, sometimes you feel as the ladies were playing in character. It’s a commentary that may annoy or amuse listeners.
- Deleted Scenes – (9:31) Featuring a total of seven deleted scenes including the original opening scene.
- Blonde Ambition – (22:27) Director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld talks about the humor and goodwill of the film and also featuring the talent talking about the film.
- Pretty In Pink – (6:36) Production designer Missy Stewart talks about the various sets used in the film and what she wanted to accomplish for the look and feel of the set.
- Stars and Stripes, Never! – (7:35) Costume designer de Rakoff Carbonell talks about the costume designs used in the film.
- Hair Apparent – (6:56) – Anne Morgan, hairstylist for Reese Witherspoon, talks about the various hairstyles that Elle has throughout the film.
- Elle’s Anthem – (7:15) Composer Rolfe Kent talks about the 91-piece orchestra and recording the music for the film.
- Gag Reel – (2:39) The bloopers for “Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde”.
- Puppy Love – (2:24) A featurette about gay dogs.
- Bruiser’s Outtakes – A total of four outtakes with Bruiser in front of the green screen
- Music Video – (3:41) “We Can” by LeAnn Rimes.
- Theatrical Trailer – (2:12) The original theatrical trailer for “Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde”.
If you watched the first film, you pretty much know what you are going to get for the sequel.
The woman who represents all things cute and fluffy, always dressed nicely, always bubbly and despite her having an “airhead”, stereotypical blonde type characteristic, Elle Woods always proves that she’s not an airhead and she has what it takes to get the job done, granted whatever she talks about will have some relation to fashion or female upkeeping.
And so, coming into this film, I wasn’t phased nor was I going to be disappointed because the first film, I found it to be fun but also kitschy.
But can the sequel be better than the first? In the case of “Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde”, the answer is unfortunately, no.
First the positive, When the film focuses on Elle and shows her proving to everyone that she is not ditsy and that she has what it takes to get this bill to stop animal testing, that is when the story is fun and enjoyable. But somehow, the writers wanted to include some of the most ridiculous scenes that undermines the context of the film and it’s humor by bringing it down a notch to audacious and embarrassing kitsch.
We know that her pet Bruiser was a big part of Elle’s life but to see the story about Elle trying to fight animal testing was one thing but the way she gets her Sigma Nu friends involved and getting the female politicians to have boofy/puffy hairstyles and crazy makeup was a bit too farfetched and yes, I’ll say it, it was very lame.
While Reese Witherspoon does a fantastic job of playing Elle Woods and the costume design is absolutely fantastic for this film, especially showcasing hairstyles and fashions throughout different time periods of American fashion couture, Witherspoon was delightful to watch as you know what to expect from Elle (if you watched the first film) and she does it with a high level of efficacy.
And for anyone who knows of Reese Witherspoon’s charity efforts in the public eye, she is nothing like Elle Woods but she is also very active in various charities and events and is a wonderful actress (and deserving of the Oscar in 2006 for “Walk the Line”) and watching her transform to Elle Woods and playing the character so well was fun to watch.
It was also fun to see both Sally Field and Bob Newhart in this film as well. Both did a wonderful job and very different from the type of roles we are used to seeing of both talents. And it was also interesting to see Mary Lynn Rajskub of “24” fame in this film as well.
But unfortunately, while the writers were trying to go for more humor for the film, unfortunately many of the jokes just didn’t feel right and dumbed the film down quite a bit. Sure there is some humor in a conservative Republican trying to accept that his dog is gay or a staunch and strict congresswoman who dislikes Elle suddenly open up and become a cheery person when she finds out that Elle came from the same sorority. But maybe the writers wanted “cheesy” humor in this sequel and if so, then they achieved it.
The Blu-ray of “Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde” contains all the special features from its DVD counterpart and it’s definitely a step-up from the picture and audio quality of the DVD, so for those who did enjoy this film, you’ll enjoy the transfer.
Overall, as much as I enjoyed “Legally Blonde”, the sequel had its delightful moments but more often in certain scenes, I kept saying to myself “oh…why did they do this!” or “oh…that was horrible!”. “Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde” continues the humor of the first film but is it better than the first, unfortunately, not even close.
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