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September 29, 2015
The DUFF Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
20/2/2015 (USA)12/8/2015Village RoadshowAri Sandel
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD MA 5.1MMae Whitman

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Pick the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend).

Teen coming-of-age high school based movies are a dime a dozen, so it needs to be something special to stand out in the crowd and this Mae Whitman starring film, The DUFF is one film that manages to do that.

Bianca (Mae Whitman) is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body refers to her as 'The DUFF' (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends (Skyler Samuels & Bianca Santos). With her universe turned upside down, she ignores words of wisdom from her favorite teacher (Ken Jeong) and enlists Wesley (Robbie Amell), a slick but charming jock, to help set her apart from the pack and erase her label forever. In doing so, she hopes to land her crush Toby, and find the confidence to overthrow the school’s ruthless label maker Madison by reminding everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s DUFF... and that’s totally fine.

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Mae Whitman is great as Bianca in The DUFF.
While this film is aimed at a female audience, it's one which is entertaining enough to keep males interested during the 100 minute runtime as well. As they even state in the film a DUFF doesn't have to just be female, but can be male as well. Not only is the story believable, but there is plenty of humour as well. If we do have one disappointment it's that some of the characters are a little 'cookie cutter'. Sports jock, good looking bitchy girls, hot guy - they're all there, but I guess they actually exist in real life too.

Mae Whitman (Parenthood TV series, voice of Tinkerbell) probably isn't what many would consider a leading lady but she does a fantastic job in this film as a very likable, personable character while her life long friend is played by Robbie Amell who also lights up the screen.

While all the actors are great in their roles we absolutely loved the faculty staff - Ken Jeong (The Hangover Trilogy) plays Mr Arthur, while Romany Malco (40 Year Old Virgin) plays Principal Buchanan. Credit must also go to Allison Janney who plays Bianca's mum and provides some of the biggest laughs through the film.

The Duff is a fun, teenage comedy that doesn't rely on overtly sexual jokes to capture your attention. With a great cast, great direction and a very likable lead in Mae Whitman this is a film worth checking out.

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Pizza delivery or Pool man in The DUFF?
This film is presented on Blu-Ray in the film’s original 2.40:1 aspect ratio using the AVC MPEG-4 codec and it's a great looking film with natural colours and skin tones throughout with a razor sharp image and detail even in the darker scenes.

The Duff is presented on Blu-Ray with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) track which offers a pretty lively experience with clear dialogue, aggressive surround sound use at times, and plenty of bass during the music in particular.

Besides the main audio track the disc also contains an Audio Description track for the Vision Impaired which is presented in a pretty average Dolby Digital 2.0 track at 224kbps. Descriptive Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired are also included on this disc and seemed accurate to the dialogue from our samples.

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Upset about a divorce...
There are only a few extras on this disc, and very little of any real substance. Here's what to expect...

Gag Reel (3:13/HD): Seen one gag reel, seen them all really, fluffed lines, goofing around on set are all included.

The Duff - Sizzle (3:25/HD): A bit of a sizzle reel with brief interviews, or snippets really, from the actors as they head into the premiere of the film.

I Am The Duff (2:36/HD): Another brief extra that does little other than selling the film with plenty of clips from the film and interview snippets.

The Duff Files (6:58/HD): In this featurette the characters in the film are detailed. Not really much here as you get to know the characters in the film anyway. Characters covered include Bianca (1:09), Wesley (1:28), Jess & Casey (1:12), Madison (1:25), and The Faculty of Malloy High (1:44).

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Ken Jeong is hilarious in The DUFF.
Bringing The Book To Life (2:09/HD): We hoped this may have provided something meaty but alas the interview with the books author, Kody Keplinger, is far too brief to be of use.

Pop Culture (1:59/HD): In this feature the filmmakers and actors talk about how the culture has changed in schools, but the idea of fitting in has never changed.

The DUFF is a fairly family friendly film, albeit with one rather sexual moment, that should entertain most people to varying levels. Mae Whitman is pretty fantastic in the film, the Blu-Ray transfer is solid, and there are a couple of extras worth your time too. The DUFF is out now on Blu-Ray and gets our recommendation.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.