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Ultra HD : Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: April 30th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2004

Mean Girls (2004) - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

4K UHD Review By: Matthew Hartman
If there is a hell, you might want to go there for a little R&R after going to the worst place on earth - High School! Lindsay Lohan learns things the hard way about making friends and being popular in 2004’s coming-of-age classic, Mean Girls. This film remains incredibly entertaining 20 years later and now it's on 4K! With a fetch Dolby Vision debut, the audio is decent, and a suitable package of extra features. Recommended

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p HEVC/H.265 - Dolby Vision HDR / HDR10
Length:
97
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.78:1
Audio Formats:
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
April 30th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Call me old, but at 42 I aged out of High School a long time ago. My teenage scholastic experiences were already weird enough, but outside of a few 80s comedies and the odd horror picture, I’ve never really felt the urge to revisit that period cinematically. So when “good” high school movies that don’t involve a masked killer come about, I’m generally a tough sell. Much like the classic Superbad, it took a lot to get me to the theaters to see 2004's Mean Girls. But I gotta admit I enjoyed it and having seen it maybe only twice more in twenty years, it holds up well.

For those who missed it, our film centers around the arrival of Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) at her new school. Her parents recently moved back to the States from Africa, and now this once-homeschooled child will have to navigate the turbulent waters of North Shore High. Taken in by social rejects Janice Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and the almost too-gay-to-function Damian (Daniel Franzese), Cady might have found where she belongs. But when Cady is recruited by the superficial and domineering Plastics: Karen (Amanda Seyfried), Gretchen (Lacey Chabert), and the queen bee Regina (Rachel McAdams), this brilliant girl will get a crash course in high school popularity politics and revenge! 

Where I like Mean Girls is its sense of heart and absurdity. Directed by Mark Waters and scripted by Tina Fey, the film feels like it understands how silly the high school popularity drive is and how much being a hormone-addled teen sucks. Friendships come and go, interests change rapidly, and to top it off you’re somehow supposed to decide the course of your adult life in just a few short years. That's a lot of pressure.

Bounced between schools, I was never the popular kid and I was perfectly okay with that. I never needed or wanted attention on that scale that I knew I couldn’t live up to. I was more content with reading my comics and watching movies on my laptop. I never connected with Cady’s drive for popularity, but having seen others go down that treacherous path and become the friend that gets left behind, it’s certainly a relatable third party experience. 

In the last twenty years, I think this might be my third viewing of the film. I was 22 when this hit theaters so it never clicked with me in the way something like Clueless or Disturbing Behavior and The Faculty did. That said, I was surprised to see that Mean Girls holds together nicely all these years later. It’s wild to see a pre-30 Rock Tina Fey again and Tim Meadows is just as funny as ever. If anything I relate more with him than anyone else in the film. Get in the wrong Karen-stuffed line at Target and you’ll want to pull the fire alarm too! 

Like I said at the outset, teen high school comedies aren’t my thing. I have a few I really like and I generally stick to them. Mean Girls was never a first love, one I enjoyed but never felt the need to revisit. Now that I’ve seen it again, I still see why it connected to so many fans out there. Lohan is still as charming as ever, Seyfried and Chabert are still hilarious, and Rachel McAdams is a damn fun villain we love to hate.

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 
2004’s Mean Girls transfers in for its first 4K UHD Blu-ray release from Paramount. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the film is pressed on a BD-66 disc, no 1080p option is included. The disc is housed in a pink 4K case with Burn Book-styled slipcover. There’s a J-Card that wraps over with the title and the tech-spec details on the back. Given the look of the Burn Book, I think it’s a missed opportunity to not have done a SteelBook mediabook package like what Paramount did for Sleepy Hollow. The disc loads to a static image main menu with traditional navigation options.

Video Review

Ranking:

The 2004 Mean Girls celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a new Dolby Vision transfer that is pretty darn good. It’s not an amazing presentation, but it’s a nice upgrade over the old Blu-ray. Since I didn’t own that disc, thankfully my local library had a copy I could compare to. Clarity is nicely improved, especially in closeups and some wide shots. The slow-mo animal fantasy segues are a highlight there. While the extra resolution is a benefit, it also highlights that the film itself just isn’t that visually interesting. It’s pretty flat. Some sequences shine through, but it’s pretty cut and dry. The Dolby Vision grade isn’t overly aggressive or revisionist. Colors are bright and beautiful - which is to be expected considering the pallet this film worked with - while skin tones are healthy. Whites are nice and crisp with some deep inky black levels and shadows. Film grain is present throughout without any aggressive tinkering or bitrate shenanigans. It might not be a stunner, but it’s a welcome upgrade. 4/5

Audio Review

Ranking:

On the audio side, Mean Girls is content with recycling the decent but unremarkable Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. On the plus side, dialog is clean and clear without issue and the film’s many music cues sound great. Bigger active sequences have some dimension and imaging to enjoy. The “however” is that most of the track is pretty flat, front/center focused. Unless it’s an animal fantasy interlude, a big school function, or a very active sequence like the fire alarm or scenes at the gym, there’s not a lot of big immersive surround activity. There are some small bleeds into the extra channels but it’s not a very exciting. Considering the 2024 version earned an Atmos track, this one might have benefitted from some extra attention. 3.5/5

Special Features

Ranking:

Mean Girls 2004 enjoys a nice selection of extra features. Most of what we get here are carryovers from the previous discs, but there’s a new retrospective piece in the mix. It’s less of an appreciation for the original film as it is a selling point for the new film featuring the new creators and cast talking about the original

  • Audio Commentary featuring Mark Waters, Tina Fey, and Lorne Michaels
  • NEW Mean Girls: Class of ‘04 (HD 8:09)
  • Featurettes: (SD 45:46 Total)
    • Only The Strong Survive
    • The Politics of Girl World
    • Plastic Fashion 
  • Word Vomit (HD 5:42)
  • So Fetch - Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary (SD 6:56 Total)
    • Damian Rigs Table
    • 112, Excellent!
    • Mom’s Underwear
    • Shoe Shopping
    • Tonight I’ll Like It
    • Eaten By Cannibals
    • Regina in Bed
    • Norbury’s Car Explodes
    • Cardy and Regina in the Bathroom
  • Interstitials: (SD 1:36 Total)
    • Frenemies
    • New Girl
    • PSA 
  • Theatrical Trailer

I wasn’t in a rush to see Mean Girls in 2004, but it proved to be a fun feature even if I had aged out of high school films. 20 years later, the film is still a relatable enjoyable little coming-of-age comedy. Watching this movie is the perfect reminder that Lindsay Lohan was once an adorable up-and-coming actress with a bright future. Now the film is on 4K and it sees a nice boost thanks to a solid but not remarkable Dolby Vision transfer. The film certainly looks better now than the old Blu-ray, but it’s not a very flashy demo-worthy presentation. I’m more annoyed that the audio, while serviceable, isn’t more dynamic and interesting. If you need it for the collection it’s a solid disc for a very fun flick. Recommended

Order Your Copy of Mean Girls on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray