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You Again (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 28, 2011 by  



“You Again” is a film that achieves its intended result of being a comedy popcorn flick.  It is contrived, it is embarrassing but yet it can be fun, that is…if you are open to these type of comedy films.

Images courtesy of © Buena Vista Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: You Again

FILM RELEASE DATE: 2010

DURATION: 105 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English, 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

RATED: PG (For Brief Mild Language and Rude Behavior)

RELEASE DATE: February 8, 2011

Directed by Andy Fickman

Written by Moe Jelline

Producer: Andy Fickman, John J. Strauss, Eric Tannenbaum

Executive Producer: Mario Iscovich

Production Executive: Todd Y. Murata

Co-Producer: Betsy Sullenger

Music by Nathan Wang

Cinematography by David Hennings

Edited by David Rennie

Casting by Gail Goldberg

Production Design by Craig Stearns

Art Direction by Charles Daboub Jr.

Set Decoration by Jan Pascale

Costume Design by Genevieve Tyrrell

Starring:

Kristen Bell as Marni

Jamie Lee Curtis as Gail

Sigourney Weaver as Ramona

Odette Yustman as Joanna

Victor Garber as Mark

Betty White as Grandma Bunny

James Wolk as Will

Kristin Chenoweth as Georgia

Sean Wing as Charlie

Kyle Boornheimer as Tim

Billy Unger as Ben

Patrick Duffy as Richie

For Marnie (Kristen Bell), high school was a horror movie, and her brother’s wedding is the sequel when her archrival comes back to haunt her as his bride. Its nice girl versus mean girl in this hysterical reunion with the one person Marnie would really like to forget. And if that weren’t enough, Marnie’s mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) reunites with her own high school nemesis (Sigourney Weaver). Complete with hilarious, neverbefore-seen bonus material, You Again is one crazy comedy that’ll keep you laughing again and again.

Flim clip- Same Dress

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Film clip- Yamaguchi

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From the director of “The Game Plan”, “She’s the Man” and “Race to Witch Mountain”, Andy Fickman returns with his film “You Again”, a comedy written by Moe Jelline.

The film would star Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars”, “Heroes”, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”), Jamie Lee Curtis (“Halloween”, “True Lies”, “A Fish Called Wanda”), Sigourney Weaver (“Avatar”, “Ghostbusters”, “Alien” films), Odette Yusman (“Brothers & Sisters”, “October Road”), Victor Garber (“Alias”, “Milk”, “Titanic”), James Wolk (“Lone Star”) and Betty White (“The Golden Girls”, “The Proposal”, “Bringing Down the House”).  The film would also feature appearances by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kristin Chenoweth, Patrick Duffy and Cloris Leachman.

The film would star Kristen Bell as the character Marni.  Unpopular at school (depicted with her acne-filled face and glasses) and is often treated badly by the cheerleaders especially from the lead cheerleader Joanna (played by Odette Yustman).  While Marni is unpopular and often bullied, her brother Will (played by James Wolk) is the popular basketball player at their high school.

As Marni tried to fit in and become a cheerleader herself, she is made to be the team mascot and one day, she is picked on by the other cheerleaders and pushed around and during a final match where her brother could have scored a point to win the match, she accidentally is pushed to the basketball court and hits her brother before his shot and essentially losing the game.

Despite how Marni is at school, her brother is always there to protect her.  But one day, Joanna and the cheerleaders treat Marni badly by carrying her off while singing Queen’s “We are the Champions” and locking her out of her school.

Flashforward to the present time and Marni is giving a speech at an entertainment PR firm where she works and talking about how she faced challenges but did very well after.  She looks a lot different than she did in high school and she is well-respected at work to the point that she is offered a VP position in New York.

Happy about her promotion, she prepares to go back home for the wedding of her brother and meet the lucky woman that he is marrying.  When she calls her mother Gail (played by Jamie Lee Curtis), Gail is very talkative of how she loves Joanna and tells Marni that it’s interesting that she went to school with her brother’s fiance but never met her.  When Marni asks the name of who is Will marrying, Gail tells her that her nickname and immediately, Marni realizes that Will is marrying Joanna, the girl who tormented her through high school and is angry about it.

While trying to hide her anger, Marni learns that so much has changed at home and how Joanna has become a big part of the family’s life and how they spend more time with her and love her (even the dog that she grew up with loves Joanna and hardly recognizes Marni).

When Marni meets Joanna face-to-face, Joanna doesn’t recognize Marni at all.  While at dinner, Marni (who is very uneasy that her family loves Joanna) learns that Joanna is much different now than she was then.  She learns that after her parent’s death, she became a nurse and has been helping sick people and dedicated to helping people.  Of course, Marni can’t believe that her high school tormentor has changed so much and Gail picks up that Marni doesn’t really like Joanna all that much.

Meanwhile, the family awaits Joanna’s aunt Ramona (played by Sigourney Weaver) and once she walks into the door, Gail has a flashback of when she was in high school and she was pushed into a swimming pool by Ramona).  We quickly learn that this is the first time that Gail and Ramona have met since high school and they were former best friends.  Now Ramona is a very successful business woman who co-owns hotels and is very close to the rich and famous.

In fact, Ramona is doing all she can to make sure that the wedding for Will and Joanna is special by bringing them the most popular wedding planner in the planet and also sharing gifts to impress Gail’s kids, including her husband.  But Gail tries to one up Ramona by showcasing her cheerleading skills back in high school which catches Joanna’s attention and together they perform a cheer.

The following day, Marni still can’t believe that Joanna doesn’t recognize her and she can’t believe her brother has fallen for her enemy.  Especially watching them sing Darryl Hall & John Oates “Kiss on My List”.  But Marni is the first to attack Joanna by bringing up a “rumor” of a cheerleader who had a boyfriend at every nearby high school and dated the vice principal.  And immediately, Joanna gets very defensive and saying that the rumor about that cheerleader is false.  And in return, Joanna changes the music and plays “We Are the Champions” by Queen.  And Joanna looks at Marni with her mirror, Joanna gives her a look to show her that she knew who Marni was all along.

And now, it’s on!

Will Marni try to ruin the wedding or prevent her brother from marrying her high school tormentor?  And what about this rivalry between Ramona and Gail?

Will these women be ready for the wedding or will they tear each other apart?

VIDEO:

“You Again” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1).   The colors are very vibrant for the film.  From the clothing presented in the film, the color pallet used to bring out a character such as Kristin Bell wearing yellow, Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver in their red outfit, everything looks very good and colors do pop.  As for detail, sure you can see the detail of scenes such as a muddy Kristen Bell, a lardy Kristin Bell, pimples and ant bites on Kristen Bell, these are quite detailed in the film but other than that, it’s not extraordinary eye catching in terms of color vibrancy but the film does look very good.

I didn’t catch any banding, artifacting or any other video problems that hinders the look and feel of the film.  There is a good amount of color use throughout the film and the film’s vibrancy is what stands out the most.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“You Again” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48 kHz/24bit).  The film is pretty much front and center-channel driven as it’s mostly about the dialogue and of course, it’s music soundtrack with Queen, Hall & Oates and Britney Spears.  Dialogue is clear but I didn’t hear too much use of the surround channels for crowd ambiance.  Otherwise, for a dialogue-driven film, the lossless soundtrack is appropriate.

Subtitles are presented in English and English SDH.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“You Again” comes with the following special features:

  • FOLLOWING FICKMAN: ON SET WITH THE DIRECTOR: (7:03) Peer into the madcap mind of Hollywood’s wackiest director, Andy Fickman, as he orchestrates the comedy of Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis and Betty White.
  • ASK THE CAST: (1:22) Jaime Lee Curtis, Betty White, Sigourney Weaver and Kristen Bell answer questions from fans asking for advice. Betty’s advise might not be what you expect.
  • FUNNY OR DIE: (3:00) In this behind-the-scenes interview spoof, Jaime Lee Curtis, Betty White, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman and Kristen Bell discuss the movie when things get tense between the actresses eventually boiling over into a cast fight.
  • BLOOPER DANCE PARTY: (5:18) On-set antics abound as the cast dances to their own beat.
  • ADDITIONAL DELETED SCENES: (27:22) Director Andy Fickman provides intros to his deleted scenes (optional). “Good Morning Sunshine,” “Grandma Bunny’s House (featuring Betty White),” “Meet Georgia King (with Betty White),” “Gail’s Shower/Ramona’s Dress,” “The Compost Heap (with Betty White),” “Covered In Lard (with Betty White),” “Bridal Shower (with Betty White),” “After The Fiasco,  “Sharing A Room,” “Photo Album Memories,” and “Riding The Silk.”

EXTRAS:

“You Again” comes with a slip over case and a DVD of the film.  The DVD is presented in widescreen (2:40:1), English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 and with subtitles in English SDH, French and Spanish.

When it comes to filmmaker Andy Fickman, he’s a filmmaker that loves to have fun during the making of a comedy film and knows how to make the talent and crew have a good time while filming.  He brings a family atmosphere behind-the-scenes and I have watched enough “behind-the-scenes” material from his films to know that people love working with him.

And as I have enjoyed his films such as “Race to Witch Mountain” and even “The Game Plan”, “You Again” is one of those films that has that “Mean Girls” type of vibe.  It’s a comedy popcorn flick that you just sitback and enjoy and understand that you’re going to see some crazy moments, kitschy moments and if you enjoy any of the talents in this film, just enjoy it for what it is.

With that being said, the film has not received great reviews.  Many have blasted the film as being contrived, embarrassing and just not cool!

For me, I found “You Again” to be watchable, funny and also quite amusing as I enjoyed seeing Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver together in a film.  It was great to see Betty White once again a comedy film and as for Kristin Bell, sine her appearance on “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, despite becoming a serious actress post-“Veronica Mars”, we are seeing her in films such as “Couples Retreat” and “When in Rome”.   I’m sure she’s a versatile actress but it seems that she has been pigeonholed in comedy films and for the most part, it works.

What doesn’t work is the screenplay.

The film as mentioned earlier has a feel of “Mean Girls 2” and also “Freaky Friday” minus Lindsay Lohan, we get Kristen Bell as Marni as she goes tete-a-tete against Yustman’s Joann.  The same for Curtis’ Blair and Weaver’s Ramona.   And while these rivalries are fun to watch, it’s the little things that are peppered into the story that are just ridiculous.

For one, the storyline of Joann’s ex-boyfriend Tim working with the wedding planner and then going teary-eyed of how he was once engaged to Joann during their marriage ceremony was just ridiculous.  And one thing that even furthers the kitschiness is when Joann and her friends start performing a dance routine to Britney Spears’ “Toxic”.  The routine wouldn’t be so bad if the friend’s weren’t pregnant.   It just didn’t seem right at all.

Also, just the sheer fact that Darryl Hall & John Oates music is a big part of this film (and yes, they make an appearance in the film), the film is about young people who graduated high school in 2002 and are now professionals working careers in 2010.  While, I can see my ’80s classmates going crazy for Hall & Oates, I just don’t see any Generation Y young adults clamoring for Hall & Oates.  Perhaps Flickman was hoping what a TV show liked “Glee” and “Laguna Beach” did for Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”, people would feel the same for Hall & Oates’ “Kiss on Your List”.

But with that being said, having watched Kristen Bell in “When in Rome” and “Couples Retreat”, you come into this film not exactly expecting an Academy Award performance.  If anything, I was expecting to see the cast just come together and have fun and “You Again” does have its moments of fun.

If anything, I know for some critics, the film was painful.  But at the same time, I’ve read one critic who wrote about how the film was an insult to intellectuals.  And if any intellectual was going to see this movie and expect something deep and compleat, well, I suppose they are going to be disappointed.

I have always said in my reviews of similar comedies, especially when it comes to Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell comedy films, these are films meant to get away from reality, enjoy your popcorn and have fun for 90-120 minutes.  The same can be said with “You Again”.  It’s definitely kitschy but it’s also fun.  If you are fan of Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White, you can’t help but enjoy the ride and see where these women are going to take you.

Sure, the Hall & Oates scene may make one feel embarrassed but it’s not different from Jennifer Garner’s Michael Jackson “Thriller” dance in “13 Going On 30”.  Embarrassing as it may be, it’s probably one of the funner moments of the film because if you grew up with the ’80s music, you can’t help but sing along to it and embarrassing your family members while you are singing the song while watching the film at home.

As for the Blu-ray release, “You Again” is fun, especially with the special features and seeing Fickman and crew having fun during the shooting of the film and once again seeing the women of “You Again” just having fun with each other, especially Betty White during the “Funny or Die” special feature.

Overall, “You Again” is a film that achieves its intended result of being a comedy popcorn flick.  It is contrived, it is embarrassing but yet it can be fun, that is…if you are open to these type of comedy films.






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