Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Night School 4K Ultra HD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Director Malcom D. Lee’s (Girls Trip, Best Man Franchise) comedy Night School releases on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD on New Year’s Day. The film features Kevin Hart, Rob Riggle and Mary Lynn Rajskub (TV’s 24) as adult students, hoping to earn their GEDs in night school for a variety of reasons. Tiffany Haddish is the teacher who will help them in their journey and Taran Killam is the Principal making it difficult.

Film (2 1/2 out of  5 stars)
Teddy Walker (Kevin Hart) may not have a high school diploma but he has a good life. He is a successful barbecue salesman who has a bright future with the company. While attempting a proposal to his beautiful girlfriend, Teddy accidentally destroys his workplace and is promptly fired. Teddy realizes that future job prospects will require a GED, and he sneaks off to night school rather than tell his fiancĂ©e about the situation.

Teddy has clearly unidentified learning disorders. But the real hindrance to his GED will be Principal Stewart (Taran Killam), who Teddy clashed with in high school. It’s only because the night school teacher Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) is willing to take a chance on him that he even knows the school has a GED program. Carrie seems to be a fair teacher willing to work with her students, but Teddy and his new friends break her rules and test the limits of her patience. It is not smart to test the woman standing between them and their GED and Teddy’s class must learn to act like adults in order to complete the program.

I am admittedly fickle when it comes to comedies. There are some I love and there are many more I do not. This is the type of humor, I generally do not love. Night School is fart-joke level comedy. It’s the slapstick, laughing at a guy falling and breaking his arm kind of humor. It’s flat out gross at times, and it’s definitely just not for me. Kevin Hart, Rob Riggle and Tiffany Haddish all do a great job inhabiting their characters. I can’t imagine that any other actors would have made me like the film any more. Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe on 24) is perfectly cast as the mom who lets it slip that she hates her life. She is the character I enjoyed the most. "Saturday Night Live’s" Taran Killam also does a good job in his role as Teddy’s nemesis. 
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
Night School’s 4K UHD disc offers a sizable improvement over the Blu-ray disc. When the night school gang sneaks around the dark high school, you’ll notice more detail in UHD. Yellow hallways, Big Mac’s yellow sweat shirt and the locker colors are much brighter. Overall the 4K offers improved texture and clarity throughout. The digital noise that is present on Blu-ray remains in the UHD version but it’s still the best way to watch. 
Audio (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The DTS: X audio presentation well surpasses the needs of this comedy. Teddy’s learning disabilities make words and numbers swirl around him. These items whoosh through the living room with directionality. There is more yelling than you’d expect in a comedy and that never requires you to adjust volume. The big explosion rocks your subwoofer. The school alarm rings through your living room. Dialogue is intelligible.  No major complaints in the audio department for this film.
Extras (4 out of 5 stars)
The 4K’s upgraded gag reel is not a reason to purchase the UHD version (the upgraded audio quality is though).  The Blu-ray does included a healthy list of entertaining features.

4K Ultra HD:
  • Feature Commentary – Audio Commentary with Director Malcolm D. Lee
  • Extended Cut
  • Gag Reel Extra Credit – Night School – Enhanced blooper reel.
  • Feature Commentary
  • Extended Cut
  • Alternate Opening (6:30) – With optional commentary by Director Malcom D. Lee.
  • Deleted Scenes (13:28 total runtime) – With available commentary by Director Malcom D. Lee: Pluck Brow; Brick Wall; Border Crossing; Macs Wrestling; The Truth and Flash Cards.
  • Gag Reel (11:05) – On set bloopers.
  • Night School’s In Session (13:33 Total Runtime) – Featurette’s focused on each actor/character available individually or with play all function: Roll Call Teddy; Roll Call Carrie; Roll Call Big Mac; Roll Call Jaylen; Roll Call Luis; Roll Call Mila; Roll Call Theresa; and Roll Call Stewart
  • Who’s the Student? Who’s the Teacher? (2:34) – Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart reflect on their characters and each other.
  • Prom Night Revisited (3:07) – The Night School cast and crew reflects on their own prom experiences.
  • Cap n’ Gown n’ Giggles (2:08) – Graduation day laughs.
  • Making of the Dance Battle (3:45) – The prom dance scene comes together in this bonus feature.
  • Christian Chicken (:40) – A brief look at angels, waffles and wings – everything you’ll find at Christian Chicken.
  • Game Over (1:47) – Maya and Teddy and a hint of why they are at odds throughout the film.
  • Extended Performance “El Sueno” (2:40) – The extended version of Luis’ ballad.
Summary (4 out of 5 stars)
Night School is rated R for “crude sexual content throughout, language, some drug references and violence.  This kind of crude just isn’t for me.  I did enjoy the Director’s other film Girls Trip and I regularly replay one of Rob Riggle’s other film’s The Hangover.  This is just not as funny as I expected and it missed the mark with me.  This is likely one of those films that will grow on me a bit after watching again with lower expectations.  The 4K UHD version of the film offers a significant audio upgrade. The Blu-ray included a nice list of fun extras.

Order your copy today!

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