Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar stars comedy powerhouse duo Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig as two mid-westerners who set out for the beach for the first time and get into some fairly funny misadventures with some Austin Powers-style hilarity sprinkled on top. It's a thrilling and comical ride that allows the two actresses to just have a great time on screen and make everyone laugh. The 1080p HD image looks amazing and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix is stellar. The bonus features are worthwhile as well. Highly Recommended!
The incredible writing duo that gave the world the hit Bridesmaids (Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo) have teamed up again for a brand new comedy of epic proportions with Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar. If there's one thing these two women know well – it’s friendship and it shows in this new movie about two childhood best friends Barb and Star (Mumolo and Wiig). The ladies leave their small town for the first time and descend upon the glorious beaches of Vista Del Mar, Florida. While there, they learn new things about each other, find love, go out on wild excursions, and somehow manage to cross paths with a sinister villain who wants to murder everyone on the island. Most of all, this film is a ton of fun and everyone can see just how infectious Wiig and Mumolo are as real-life friends as they are in this whacky comedy.
Wiig and Mumolo began writing this screenplay and characters years ago and found Josh Greenbaum to direct the film in what turns out to be a kitchen sink of comedy. Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar is like if an early Adam Sandler comedy mixed with Austin Powers featuring two women who are stuck a couple of decades behind everyone else. Barb and Star have been childhood friends and somehow have managed to both become single ladies in their 40s, living together and working at the same retail furniture outlet. These two gals are inseparable and do everything together. After a brush with a friend in town, they are convinced to finally take a vacation to Vista Del Mar, Florida with its fruity drinks, water sports, plentiful sunshine to match their personalities, and even a treasure trove of men at their disposal.
Meanwhile, in an underground lair, lives an albino woman (also played by Wiig), who is hellbent on killing everyone on Vista Del Mar due to a grudge from many years ago. This has all the similarities and comedic elements of Austin Powers’ nemesis Dr. Evil, and it’s played out wonderfully here with a fresh, yet nostalgic take. This villain has handsome henchmen, one of them being Edgar (Jamie Dornan of 50 Shades Of Grey), who is having a ball in this role, singing, dancing, and talking to seagulls throughout the film. As the film progresses, so do the silly and cartoony antics of these two best friends in the vein of visual effects, talking crabs, musical numbers, and hilarious edits and sound effects that complete the checklist of funny, creative essentials to a film.
At the true core of Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar is friendship, and how to maintain that relationship with those you care about most, along with being open to being friends with anyone. It’s a great message that takes its usual twists and turns throughout the story, but it feels fresh and wonderfully funny. In a Napoleon Dynamite sort of way, these two women have not grown with the world around them as they don’t carry any sort of new technology and dress to the nines if it were thirty-plus years ago. It’s just another one of the likable traits to these two new characters, who might have just found themselves in an upcoming franchise of films.
The movie is very self-aware and has no problem one-upping itself with how silly and truly entertaining it can be. Wiig and Mumolo just have the best chemistry on screen and it shines over everything else, however, Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr., and a funny-as-hell cameo from Andy Garcia are fantastic as well. The musical numbers are hilarious and remarkably choreographed (again, much like Austin Powers was), and the visual component of being set along a tropical paradise is very appealing and pretty. Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar is a light-hearted and heart-felt comedy that the world needs right now.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar travels to Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy set. The two discs are housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve, featuring hand-drawn artwork of the two actresses and all the sea life and un they will be having while on vacation. There is also an insert for a digital copy.
Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar comes with a fantastic, shiny-looking 1080p HD transfer in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Colors and detail dazzle from start to finish in this brightly lit carwash of colors that seem to be more popular a couple of decades ago rather than now.
Purples, light blues, greens, yellows, and all shades of pink and red splash over the screen through costumes, locations, sets, and more given the nature and persona of Barb and Star. The beach exteriors are ripe with blue ocean water, perfectly colored sand, and hot neon drinks and lighting to give that tropical image. Inside the resort hotel, tons of blues, whites, and other primary colors stand out nicely too. Black levels are inky and rich without any murky shadows, but again, there's not a lot of darkness in this film.
The detail is vivid that reveals individual hairs from Barb and Star's big hairdos, textures in their swim and tracksuits, along with some fun makeup effects and blemishes. The CGI work is silly but goes along with the tone of the film and is never unbearable. Wider shots also never go soft, but rather accentuate the resort props and other water-front aesthetics. Skin tones are also natural and there were zero instances of any major video problems.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track that is lively, entertaining, and a ton of fun. Sound effects are robust from the wonky noises at the resort and in the villain's lair, along with some fantastic atmospherics of beach life and clubs at posh hotels. Bigger noises such as explosions or blasts pack a nice punch too, giving way to the low end of bass that has a great rumble to it. The thrilling soundtrack of musical cues and score always adds to the funny tone of the film and brings the soundscape to all speakers, creating a fully immersive listening experience with its excellent musical tie-ins. Dialogue is clean and clear and free of any other audio problems.
There are about 42 minutes of bonus material included here, with a commentary track, bloopers, deleted scenes, and some EPK featurettes. The chemistry and comedy between Wiig and Mumolo are infectious, thus it is fun to watch them talk about the film.
Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar is a wonderfully funny movie with some heart and soul, led by two hilarious and amazing writers and actresses. The film embraces its silliness and music, which is a great thing. With top-notch video and audio presentations and some good bonus features, this tropical comedy comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!