Mean Girls (2004) review — classic Burn Book, now in 4K

I feel like there isn’t a person left on the planet that hasn’t seen Mean Girls, but that might just be my bias. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine, and I’m not too proud to say it as a 46 year old dude. It’s a beautiful tale of high school chaos and vapid cruelty powered by the combined talent of Tina Fey (the movie’s writer), Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, and Amy Poehler. It’s a classic and it holds up as well today as it did twenty years ago.

If you are one of the three people who haven’t seen this movie, it tells the story of Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) who just recently moved back to the United States from Africa. You see, her parents are zoologists, and they felt like Cady needed a bit of a traditional upbringing, courtesy of the suburbs of Illinois. Facing public school and all the fake, rude, and awful people it contains, she begins to see the parallels between the wilds of Africa and the wilds of the high school halls. She finds herself aligned with a group of cool/cruel girls nicknamed “The Plastics” who spend their time and acerbic wit (not that they could spell it) filling a “burn book” with the awful things they say about the things around them. The funny thing about hanging out with awful people is that you tend to become an awful person yourself…

Mean Girls | "Meet The Plastics" Full Scene | Paramount Movies

The 4K disc comes in a bright pink Burn Book slip sleeve, declaring “First time on Fetch”, despite all attempts to stop “fetch” from happening. Freeing it from the slip sleeve reveals that the normal case is also bright pink, as it should be. Opening the box there’s the disc, of course, as well as the digital redemption slip.

The disc is, as has been the case with most of Paramount’s discs lately, encoded in HEVC/H.265, with HDR10 and Dolby Vision for HDR support and a native 4K (2160p) resolution. The original aspect ratio of the film was 1:85:1 (aka “cinematic wide screen”) and it’s encoded for this disc at 1:78:1 (full 16:9). As a result, the movie fills the entire screen with no black bars on top and bottom. If you’re into that kind of thing, the original was filmed on Panavision Panaflex Millennium, Panavision Panaflex Platinum, Panavision Panaflex Gold, and Arriflex 435 cameras, and this transfer was pulled from a 4K digital source.

it’s like she has espn or something 💖 #MeanGirls

I’m happy to report that the transfer is remarkably clean. Skin tones hold up pretty well with only a few scenes where there’s surface noise. The HDR10 / Dolby Vision HDR transfer brings the bright and shiny Plastics to life, as are the various doodads and whatnots in the foreground and background of the school. The contrast is also well handled with deep blacks in darker scenes, and bright whites in shirts, paper, and other bright objects. The movie is already a fairly colorful movie, and that only gets better with HDR10.

On the audio side, the movie gets a bump up to Dolby TrueHD 5.1. It’s not a movie full of explosions and loudness (other than the bus scene), so the focus was mostly on the front channels, which is good as this is a dialogue-heavy movie. The rear channels don’t get much of a workout, other than some solid bass for the early 2000s soundtrack. Honestly, if there’s anything I don’t like about this movie, it’s the soundtrack (other than Halcyon and On and On by Orbital), but hey – it does sound good! If you need them, there are also subtitles for English SDH, French, and Spanish, though there are no audio tracks to match.

her dad (the inventor of toaster strudel) would like a word #MeanGirls

The movie has many of the same features that the BluRay and DVD version had. There’s a full-length commentary by the Director, Mark Waters, joined by Screenplay Writer / Actress Tina Fey, and Producer and fellow Saturday Night Live showrunner, Lorne Michaels. There are also four featurettes:

  • Mean Girls: Class of ‘04
  • Only the Strong Survive (24:52)
  • The Politics of Girl World (10:33)
  • Plastic Fashion (10:25)

You can tell that these are pulled from the DVD release as they are all standard def. Joining the featurettes is a “Word Vomit” blooper reel (5:44), as well as nine deleted scenes, several short commercials, and the original theatrical trailer. It’s a solid offering, and one that showcases just how much work was done on the film to bring it up to 4K.

Mean Girls continues to be a fan favorite, translated into a Broadway play, and now with a remake that was released on 4K Blu Ray the same day. You can stay tuned for our review of that one – I’m going in blind, and I’m nervous.

Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief | [email protected]

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming.

Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter.

Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 28 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes), and an Axolotl named Dagon!



Mean Girls (2004)

Review Guidelines

Means Girls gets a fantastic 4K upgrade, with a solid forward-heavy punchy audio glow-up. The extra features go in the Burn Book, but the rest is fetch.

Ron Burke

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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