Mean Girls (2004): 4K UHD Review

For the film’s 20th anniversary, 2004’s Mean Girls arrives on 4K UHD for the very first time, courtesy of Paramount.  While this year’s musical adaptation of Mean Girls was decent, it couldn’t hold a candle to Mark Waters’ original film.  Tina Fey wrote the screenplay based on Rosalind Wiseman’s book Queen Bees and Wannabees. The film stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried, Lizzy Caplan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Tim Meadows. Talk about a stacked cast!

Sixteen-year-old Cady Heron (Lohan) didn’t have a normal childhood. She grew up in the wilds of Africa, where her parents worked. There she was home schooled. When her mom got was offered tenure at a university, the family moved back to the United States and Cady enrolled in North Shore High School, where she would learn with other teenagers for the first time. Cady’s first day was awkward and lonely, but a couple of outcasts, Janis and Damian (Lizzy Caplin and Daniel Franzese) befriended the new girl who they could tell felt lost.

Like almost any high school comedy from the 80’s and 90’s, we see that the students are separated by cliques. There are the nerds, geeks, jocks, stoners and of course the popular kids. This is where “The Plastics” reside. There is Gretchen (Chabert), Karen (Seyfried) and their alpha, Regina (McAdams). Because they find Cady interesting (and that she is pretty), they invite her to hang out with them. Because Janis absolutely hates Regina, she convinces Cady to go undercover as a “Plastic” and report back to her all the dirty information she learns. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before Cady stops pretending to be “Plastic” and actually becomes one of them.

Mean Girls has held up quite well over the past two decades. While watching it, I kept forgetting how old this movie actually is. Fey’s screenplay is razor sharp and maybe some of the humor isn’t as PC as the musical remake, that isn’t actually not a bad thing. Again, I can’t forget the cast. There is a reason that McAdams career took off after this film. She delivers such a memorable high school villain.

Paramount gives us a new 2160p Dolby Vision transfer that looks fantastic. This being a 90’s high school comedy, we get a lot of brighter locations like school hallways, classrooms and exterior shots of the school. The fashion selections really pop here. From the pink tops to the Santa outfits in the talent show. The exterior of Regina’s massive home looks incredibly detailed. As for the audio. There isn’t a new Dolby Atmos mix, but in all honesty, that isn’t needed. The more than adequate Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix has been ported over and I really have no complaints about it. Most of the bonus content has been ported over from the Blu-ray as well, with the exception of the new featurette, Mean Girls: Class of ’04. While the 2009 Blu-ray is still a solid presentation, if you want to punch up your viewing experience a bit, you can order the new 4K release here.

Bonus Content:

  • Mean Girls: Class of ’04—Tina Fey and cast from the new movie look back at the original film and discuss why it became a cult classic. NEW!
  • Commentary by director Mark Waters, screenwriter and actress Tina Fey, and producer Lorne Michaels
  • Only the Strong Survive
  • The Politics of Girl World
  • Plastic Fashion
  • Word Vomit (Blooper Reel)
  • So Fetch – Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director Mark Waters and screenwriter and actress Tina Fey
  • Interstitials
  • Theatrical Trailer

By: Marc Ferman