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January 26, 2011
Easy A Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
16/9/201026/1/2011Sony PicturesWill Gluck
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MEmma Stone

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Not with a Fizzle, but with a BANG!

Emma Stone has finally got what she deserved.
What's that you ask? Well that would be a leading role where she finally carries a movie, and Easy A turns out to be the perfect starring vehicle for her. Sure, she's a bit older then the character she plays, but this low-budget movie was a pretty big hit at the cinemas and is now available on Blu-Ray so we took it for a spin.

Olive (Emma Stone), an average high school student, sees her below-the-radar existence turn around overnight once she decides to use the school's gossip grapevine to advance her social standing. Now her classmates (Amanda Bynes, Aly Michalka) are turning against her and the school board is becoming concerned, including her favorite teacher (Thomas Haden Church) and the distracted guidance counselor. With the support of her hilariously idiosyncratic parents and a little help from a long-time crush, Olive attempts to take on her notorious new identity and crush the rumor mill once and for all.

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Emma Stone stars as Olive in Easy A.
Directed by Will Gluck in his best effort to date, Easy A is your teen coming of age movie, although she hasn't actually done anything which makes this quite the fresh take on the genre. Emma Stone is an actress we've admired for some time now, and this is the first time we can say she's really carried a movie, and she does it quite superbly as well with plenty of heart and humour. It must be said that Emma is very likable and has a great screen presence so it's nice to see her in a role like this. Indeed there are a few comedic moments that will go down as classics including "fake sex" in the bedroom at the party, Olive talking to her mother on the car near the end of the film, and the rather crazy guidance counselor at the school.

Some of the funniest comments in this film come from Olive's parents played by Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci. Although they have limited screen time, they have some of the best on-liners we've heard in quite some time, not least of which when Olive's little brother proclaims "I got an A+ in my spelling test today" to which they cut him down with "That's good honey, but everything has spellcheck these days". There's plenty more moments throughout the film where they're just, well, classic.

This 92 minute movie is kept moving along at a fairly brisk pace with quite a few interesting characters, some great scenarios and plenty of humour. All-in-all this is one of the more enjoyable teen movies we've seen in recent years and gets our highest recommendation.

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This scene in Easy A is classic...
Easy A comes to Blu-Ray in the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio using the AVC MPEG-4 codec and it's a pretty gorgeous transfer with plenty of fine detail and a natural, realistic look to the image. The bitrate is generally fairly high, usually in the high 20Mbps', which gives the image plenty of room to breath. As expected for such a recent release to cinemas this film is free of any blemishes such as dirt or scratches.

If there is one complaint, although this is more likely an issue of the original print - or at least directorial decision - it's that the image appears to have a reddish/warm tone to it. There were also some inconsistency in the black levels in the film with some scenes appearing grey instead of the intended black.

Sonically Easy A was never a movie that was going to set the world alight, but with this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) Sony Pictures have provided a disc that ultimately sounds quite fantastic with clear dialogue, and some great music through a variety of scenes. Being dialogue based the audio is quite front channel heavy, but the surrounds and sub-woofer kick in on occasion. You never really expect to much from a comedy on the audio front but this is a pretty fine effort.

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Checking out one of the guys...
In terms of other audio tracks this Blu-Ray includes and English Descriptive audio encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 640kbps, a Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio (24-bit/48Khz) track which strangely demonstrates a higher bitrate then the English soundtrack (why?), a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps.

Subtitles are provided in English, English SDH, Spanish and Hindi. We sampled the English track which was accurate to the on-screen dialogue. English and Spanish subtitles are also provided for the audio commentary.

This Blu-Ray includes a few extras worth spending your time on although it's not as packed as we'd hoped.

Commentary with Director Will Gluck and Emma Stone: This is a pretty interesting audio commentary in which both the director and star of the movie provide constant talk about the creation of this film with some amusing stories.

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Stanley Tucci makes good use of his limited screen time with Emma Stone in Easy A.
The Making of Easy A (14:35/HD): A fairly short documentary about the creation of this film. It's verging on EPK and lacks and in-depth analysis or behind the scenes details about the making of this film.

Vocabulary of Hilarity (5:01/HD): This brief featurette looks at the teenage language used throughout the film, including how the first script would have given the film a much higher rating before it was toned down.

The School of Pop Culture: Movies of the Eighties (5:08/HD): Here we have a look at how this film took inspiration from John Hughes' teen comedies from the 1980's.

Gag Reel (5:21): Sadly not in high definition this is still a pretty good gag reel due to the participants although there is a little too much goofing.

Emma Stone Audition Footage (19:19): Here we have almost 20 minutes of Emma Stone's audition footage which gives some insight in to some scenes that never made it into the movie, and what an actor or actress needs to do to get the part.

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Emma Stone as Olive in Easy A.
Extra Credit: Pop-Up Trivia Track (HD): This pop-up trivia track is actually pretty good as there's a lot of trivia provided, and much of it is pretty interesting.

Trailers (9:02/HD): Here we have a promotional trailer for Blu-Ray's (1:19), Burlesque (2:31), Grown Ups (2:05), The Other Guys (2:03), Green Hornet (2:29), and The Social Network (1:04).

MovieIQ (HD): MovieIQ returns on this Blu-Ray disc and provides details on the actors, cast and music in each of the scenes in the movie. This feature has really grown on me and will be particularly useful to those who like to know details about characters..

As a fan of Emma Stone for some years now I was pretty keen to see Easy A which actually turned out to be quite an entertaining release. With a great transfer and some decent extras this is a release you'll want to check out and we don't think you'll be disappointed.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Sony Pictures. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.