Material Girls (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
March 31, 2011 by Edwin Macaraeg
If you are a Hilary and Haylie Duff fan or if you loved the film “Material Girls”, then you may want to upgrade to your DVD copy to Blu-ray.
Images courtesy of © 2006 Material Girls Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Material Girls
FILM RELEASE DATE: 2006
DURATION: 98 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Widescreen (2:40:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Surround, French 5.1 Dolby Surround, AVC @ 40 MBPS, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
COMPANY: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/20th Century Fox
RATED: PG (Language and Rude Humor)
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2011
Directed by Martha Coolidge
Written by John Quaintance, Jessica O’Toole, Amy Rardin
Produced by Mark Morgan, Guy Oseary, Tim Wesley, Hilary Duff, Susan Duff, David Faigenblum, Milton Kim, Eve LaDue
Executive Produced by Greg Carney, Michael Mendelsohn, Tara Pirnia, Austen Tayler, Gary Hamilton
Co-PRoduced by Mirjana Mijojilic, Brent Emery, Gary Raskin, Troy Rowland
Line Producer: Ronald Colby
Music by Jennie Muskett
Cinematography by Johnny E. Jensen
Edited by Steven Cohen
Casting by Aleta Chappelle
Production Design by James H. Spencer
Hilary Duff as Tanzie Marchetta
Haylie Duff as Ava Marchetta
Maria Conhita Alonso as Inez
Anjelica Huston as Fabiella
Brent Spiner as Tommy Katzenbach
Lukas Haas as Henry Baines
Marcus Coloma as Rick
Ty Hodges as Etienne
Reagan Dale Neis as Jaden
Obba Babatunde as Craig
Henry Cho as Ned Nakamori
Misti Traya as Martinique
Christina R. Copeland as Brigitta
Brandon Beemer as Mic Ronn
Sisters Tanzie and Ava (Hilary and Haylie Duff) have it all — designer clothes to wear, hunky guys to date and millions of dollars to spend. Their life has been one big party since inheriting their dad’s cosmetics company… but the party ends when a product scandal leaves the celebutantes without a penny to their name. It’s a hilarious riches-to-rags tale as the girls go from maximum fun to minimum wage.
In the early 2000’s, there were two famous sisters that grabbed headlines. While the Hilton Sisters were known for being socialites, the Duff sisters were known for being in the entertainment world. Younger sister Hilary Duff was known for her starring role on “Lizzie McGuire” and appearing in various films such as “A Cinderella Story”, “The Lizzie Mcguire Movie” and “Cheaper by the Dozen”. Older sister Haylie is best known for her role as the popular cheerleader Summer Wheatly in “Napoleon Dynamite”.
And on camera, these two sisters were always together and were even voted by E! at #2 for their ranking of “Favorite Famous Sisters”.
And it was no surprise when it was announced that both sisters would appear together in the film “Material Girls”.
The film is directed by Martha Coolidge (“Real Genius”, “If These Walls Could Talk 2”, “The Prince and Me” and features a storyline written by John Quaintance (“Aquamarine”, “Joey”), Jessica O’Toole (“Greek”) and Amy Rardin (“Greek”).
“Material Girls” is about two socialite sisters. Ava Marchetta (played by Haylie Duff) is the party girl dating a popular actor and both will be announcing their upcoming marriage, while Tanzania “Tanzie” Marchetta (played by Hilary Duff) is the younger sister who loves partying but also has a major interest in chemistry and is trying to get into UCLA.
For Tanzie, she misses her deceased father Victor, the owner of the multi-million dollar cosmetics company, Marchetta Cosmetics and often watches his recorded shows on their Tivo machine. Although the sisters are quite young and live at home by themselves, they are taken care of by their housekeeper Inez (played by Maria Conchita Alonso) and their finances are being taken care of by Tommy (Brent Spiner).
One night at an event celebrating their father’s memory, news breaks out that Marchetta cosmetics have been giving several women major skin deformities and because so many people use the cosmetics, word gets out that Victor Marchetta knew about his problematic cosmetics but yet sold it to the public.
Immediately, the company becomes hated and their stocks drop significantly.
As for both sisters, they noticed how people are picketing outside of their home and needless to say, they are unable to leave. While, Tanzie remains sympathetic to their father, Ava doesn’t and begins smoking. Tanzie gets upset with her sister for smoking that she tries to get the cigarette away from her and in the process, the cigarette flies on the floor and the home catches on fire.
The sisters take a few of their belongings and try to go to a hotel but find out immediately that their credit cards are closed and they are broke.
With only their clothes and their convertible car, they head to the only person who has helped them throughout their lives and that’s their housekeeper Inez.
Meanwhile, the two sisters realize how much they lost. Ava’s boyfriend will not talk to her and their agent feels his association with her can hurt his show’s ratings, so she is cut out of the loop and their relationship and marriage is ended.
As they go to talk to their company’s manager, Tommy, Tommy tells them that their father’s cosmetics rival, Fabiela (played by Anjelica Huston) wants to buy the company and essentially, if they sell Marchetta Cosmetics, they will have money to live on. But Tanzie does not want to see her father’s legacy going to his bitter rival and she does not believe the stories that her father intentionally wanted to hurt people with bad cosmetics.
So, the two go to the person they think can help them, a pro-bono lawyer for the poor, a guy named Henry (played by Lukas Haas) who tends to get into arguments with Ava, meanwhile Hayley starts to become interested in a guy named Rick (played by Marcus Coloma) who she thinks is a valet but is actually a lab technician.
Henry’s advice to both sisters is that if they need to find the truth about the women who were allegedly hurt by the cosmetics, they need to do some investigating. But with no money to hire an investigator, both Marchetta sisters decide that they would need to investigate these cases on their own.
Will Ava and Tanzie find out the truth about the bad makeup? And will they find love along the way?
“Material Girls” is presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 2:40:1). This is a more recent movie, so picture quality is pretty good. Watching it on Blu-ray, the details are more apparent. From the materials of the clothing the girl’s wear, to the detail of their makeup. Skin tones are natural, colors are vibrant and blacks are nice and deep. I didn’t notice any edge enhancement, artifacting, DNR or banding during my viewing of the film, but I did notice occasional dust and speckles throughout the film. Not a lot but it’s there. Also, there is a good amount of grain featured in the film as well, which is a good ting.
For the most part, picture quality is very good for the film and if you are a fan of the film and owned a DVD copy, then you may want to upgrade to Blu-ray as you get much more detail and vibrant colors over its DVD counterpart.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Material Girls” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Surround and French 5.1 Dolby Digital.
The film is pretty much dialogue and music-driven. Dialogue is clear through the center and front channels. But because this film doesn’t really feature much action, you will hear some crowd ambiance through the surround channels but the sound that you will mostly hear in this lossless soundtrack is the bass and pop music sung by Hilary Duff.
Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.
“Material Girls” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by director Martha Coolidge – Director Martha Coolidge talks about the characters in the film, setting up scenes and working with the various talent and cost-cutting measures for the film.
- Getting to Know Hilary and Haylie as the Marchetta Sisters – (9:42) Hilary and Haylie talk about working together, answering if they are “material girls” in real life and the message they wanted to get across with this film.
- Cast of Characters: The Making of Material Girls – (9:56) Director Martha Coolidge and the the cast talking about the film and their characters.
- Material Girls Music Montage – (2:21) Scenes from the film accompanied by the music of Duff’s “Material Girls” cover.
- “Play with Fire” Music Video – (3:11) Hilary Duff’s music video for “Play with Fire”.
- Trailer – (2:18) The official theatrical trailer for “Material Girls”.
Are you a fan who loves Hilary Duff, her music and her films? More than likely, you probably enjoyed “Material Girls”, the first film she starred with her older sister Haylie.
With a Hilary Duff film, from what I have watched so far with her as the primary actress, her films tend to be more cute girl, comedy films and for her 2006 film, “Material Girls” continued that direction of films she feels comfortable doing.
First, let’s get this out of the way. “Material Girls” is a film that didn’t receive much love from the film critics and many have panned it and is generally considered one of the worst movies of all time (ranked #46 of 10 worst reviewed films of all of the 2000’s). In fact, even actor Lukas Haas was unhappy with the film and producers have been trying to sell the film and got lucky when MGM picked up the rights to it.
I liken “Material Girls” like watching a Disney Channel youth film. May it be along the lines of “Hannah Montana” to “High School Musical”, the young star in a comedy type of series that younger audiences love, while older audiences tend to look at them quite unfavorably. The same can be said with a starlet film along the same lines of a Jessica Simpson film like “Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous”.
One can say that the film is contrived, the film is your typical rich girls who are not so bright taking on challenges and along the way, they meet guys that they fall for. Yes, there is a banality to films like “Material Girls” but sometimes, there are films where people don’t need anything deep. I’m not going to say I was disappointed because I was expecting a ditzy, cheesy type of film and ended up watching that type of film. Sure, it has its fun moments but it’s one of those films that will appeal to fans of the two actresses or how much you are wanting to see a not-so-deep and involving film. A popcorn comedy film that is not raunchy, mature but is mostly accessible to younger audiences (especially Duff’s “Lizzy Mcguire” fans).
The Blu-ray contains the same special features as the DVD release and if anything, the special feature are upbeat, especially to see how the two sisters are together not just in the film but also in real life.
Overall, “Material Girls” may not be the greatest sister comedy ever made. And while some feel that “Material Girls” is one of the worst feature films ever made, as cheesy as this film gets, it’s not that horrible. In fact…there are films released in the 2000’s featuring music talent that are much, much worse.
In the end, if you did enjoy this film or are a big fan of Hilary or Haylie, then definitely upgrade to the Blu-ray version of this film.
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