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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $10.94 Last Price: $22.98 Buy now! 3rd Party 3.69 In Stock
Release Date: July 11th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2023

Book Club: The Next Chapter

Overview -

The Mount Rushmore of bookclub is back for another series of misadventures, comedy, and endearing moments as these four amazing actresses jet set to Italy for their sequel Book Club: The Next Chapter. The 1080p HD picture and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio option are both very good. The short, yet fun bonus features are worth watching. Recommended!

 

The highly anticipated sequel follows our four best friends as they take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had. When things go off the rails and secrets are revealed, their relaxing vacation turns into a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country adventure.

 

Special Features:

  • BOOK CLUB: Back in Session – The Book Club is back and better than ever! Sit down with the filmmakers and cast, including our four leading ladies, as they chat about what made the first film such a mega success, why they're excited to be back, and the journey these characters take in the sequel.
  • Still Stylish – Costume designer Stefano De Nardis was overjoyed to take on the task of dressing these legends of fashion and cinema! Learn how each character's style was created and how it melds with the actress portraying them.
  • The Women in Italy – The Book Club is going global and taking the audience with them! Filmmakers and cast discuss shooting in some of the most iconic locations on earth, how the idea of shooting in Italy came to be and what it was like making a movie in Rome and Venice amongst the actual tourists.

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
107
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.85:1
Audio Formats:
English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
July 11th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Five years have passed since those four women made an impact with their book club and now everyone's back for another comedic adventure post-COVID for Book Club: The Next Chapter. Having those impressive women highlight this film is its selling point. Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen, Candice Bergen, and Diane Keaton are four powerhouses in the cinema world. And the chance to see them have a ball overseas with misadventures is a solid, entertaining time that allows the ladies to let loose and just enjoy being with one another. 

Book Club: The Next Chapter takes place after the pandemic where the four leads have been meeting over Zoom calls, but they finally get the chance to meet in person when Vivian (Fonda) lets her friends in on a secret - she's getting married and the bachelorette party and wedding is going to be in Italy. This sends the four women with their new book to the Italian fields and gorgeous landscapes where they take in the finest of wines, food, and men. But the hijinks happen quickly involving theft, missing bags, jail time, and more, which can seem at times like a super-mild Hangover movie. But of course, the audience for Book Club is not the same for The Hangover so the vulgar comedy is dialed down a few notches. 

What sells this movie is its nostalgic faces and beautiful views of Italy. This is one of those films that is a simple pleasure to see these actresses have such wonderful chemistry with each other and have a blast for two months on vacation. Their smiles and laughter are infectious even if the jokes are covered in cheese and full of winks. By no means is the screenplay here for awards, but rather the crew that came back for another round allows his leading ladies to fill the screen with appropriate humor that is featured for their older fans, who will just eat this slice of American and some Italian pie. Again, the views are gorgeous and the performances are endearing and fun to watch these fan-favorites kick back and make each other laugh. It seems like this will be a new franchise film set, so let's hope the four women embark on music festivals or even North Korea soon. 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Book Club: The Next Chapter travels to Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code via Universal Pictures. The two discs are housed inside a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features the four women sitting on a boat in Italy. This is an alleged Collector's Edition, but there's nothing really Collector about it. There is an insert for a digital code. 

Video Review

Ranking:

Book Club: The Next Chapter comes with a 1080p HD transfer, which is odd since this recent movie was shot in 4K and has a 4K master. Perhaps money got in the way of releasing this gorgeous film on Blu-ray only for the time being, but this film is stunning to look at, even in 1080p. The colors are vibrant and bold at all times, even on the Zoom calls to start the film. The natural colors of the interiors of everyone's house look amazing and the bright-colored wardrobe of all the actresses really accentuate the foreground.

Most of the film takes place in Italy so there are exquisite and breath-taking views of blue bodies of water, green pastures, and the ripe, colorful architecture of Venice and the rest of Italy that make this movie a cavalcade of rainbow colors that is extremely pleasing to the eye. The black levels are inky and rich while the skin tones are always natural. The detail is sharp and vivid displaying excellent closeups that reveal makeup applications, individual hairs, wrinkles, and textures in clothing and buildings. If a 4K release with Dolby Vision comes out, that will be the ultimate way to view the film for its picturesque scenery. Until then, this 1080p version is highly satisfying. 

 

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio track that sounds pitch-perfect within its wheelhouse. This is a dialogue-driven comedy so most of the sounds come from the front speakers. Sound effects of vehicles, street vendors, jail cell doors, kitchen cooking, and more all sound robust and well-balanced. The bigger sonic moments come with travel and with the score and song selections that liven up every scene here. The ambient noises of streetwalkers in Italy sound great in the surround speakers. There is a small rumble of bass as well to round the sound design out. Dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow along with, free of any audio problems. 

 

Special Features

Ranking:

Would it kill anyone to have these four women do a commentary track? That would be amazing. Instead, these fun, short bonus features only highlight some of the information and behind-the-scenes stories that went on during production. There are probably hours of footage with this cast and crew that should be shown. Maybe someday. 

  • Book Club: Back In Session (HD, 6 Mins.) - The whole cast and crew talk about the first film along with returning for its sequel and filming overseas. It's too quick to get anything substantial, but the added on-set footage is quite fun. 
  • Still Stylish (HD, 6 Mins.) - The cast and costume designers discuss making the wardrobe for each individual character, complete with behind-the-scenes footage and concept artwork. 
  • The Women In Italy (HD, 6 Mins.) - The cast and crew talk about making the movie in Italy and seeing all the beautiful locations. 

Final Thoughts

Book Club: The Next Chapter is a funny, mild adventure that showcases four amazing actresses having the time of their lives in Italy. Their chemistry is infectious and their comedy is still golden. The 1080p image looks great and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio track sound very good. The bonus features are short, but fun. Recommended!