Best Night Ever [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Magnolia Pictures
Review written by and copyright: Anthony Arrigo (1st May 2014).
The Film

If there’s one cinematic tool that needs to be cast into the fires of Hell, it’s found footage. The occasional experiment that became a movement that became an entire genre has passed the point of saturation and long since reached a level where nobody is doing it right anymore. So many of the films made using this technique are so bad that it makes you question if the good ones were all that good, given the comparison. It’s lazy. Most filmgoers, if given the option, would more than likely prefer to see a film done proper than having a camera handed off to an “actor”.

The point of this little rant is because when “Best Night Ever” (2013), the latest barrel-scraper from Golden Raspberry award winners Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, begins one of the main characters says “Are you really going to film everything?” as another character hits record on her iPhone. Friedberg and Seltzer are infamous for being one of the least critically successful writing duos of all-time. Truly, every one of their films has been despised and savaged by critics. Yet for some inexplicable reason, audiences have eaten it up enough that studios keep giving them work. Their “hit” list includes “Date Movie” (2006), “Epic Movie” (2007), and “Disaster Movie” (2008), none of which are a GOOD movie. The best thing their names are attached to is the first “Scary Movie” (2000) and you can’t coast on those coattails forever. Hell, those coattails aren’t even much to coast on, but that movie holds up much better than anything else they’ve done as writers/directors.

Friedberg & Seltzer don’t go for low-hanging fruit – that’s too much effort – instead, they prefer to grab whatever is already lying dead and rotten on the ground. This film combines the worst aspects of popular hits like “The Hangover” (2009) and “Bridesmaids” (2011) without including any hilariously memorable moments either film featured. Basically, a group of archetypal, annoying women drive to Las Vegas for a bachelorette party weekend. They’re all game to have a great time, except for the one stuck-up, prudish b*tch of the group. Gee, do you think she’ll be the one to truly cut loose and show her wild side when things begin to unravel? They’ve got a killer suite book at the (not) Bellagio with front row seats to Céline Dion to follow later. The friend footing the bill has her credit card declined, forcing everyone into a crappy motel off the strip which leads to their wild night of random encounters with Vegas’ finest weirdos.

Advice to filmmakers: if you’re going to make a found footage movie, then make sure the concept works throughout the film. There are so many instances where it’s evident the footage is being shot like a normal film that they should have just made a normal film. The camera spends half the movie inside one of the girls’ bag, and we see plenty of camera angles that could only be achieved if that person was holding the bag up high in the air and managing to aim it precisely despite having no visual confirmation on where the lens is pointing. It makes no sense.

Is anything funny? Not really, no. There’s an amusing scene where the girls accidentally kidnap a guy they thought robbed them earlier, tying him up before one of them urinates and defecates on his face. When that’s the pinnacle of your picture, you know the rest must be abysmal. The gags play out in such a way that it’s clear the writers thought up the punchline first and then used extremely lazy writing to get it there. For example, the bride is made to wear a tiara with three flashing penises attached to it, which at one point catch fire on top of her head. Does she rip it right off? Of course not. Instead, she stands there, freaks out, runs around, and finally jumps into the shower and douses herself in water to achieve something that could have been done in two seconds. But who cares? It’s so funny, right? Right?

I believe my girlfriend summed it up best as I tore this film apart scene by scene. She said “Girls don’t care if it makes sense; it’s funny.” While I’m not apt to believe ALL women aren’t bothered by a lack of sense or basic structure, I do believe the audience this kind of film is directly catering to will not.

Video

As far as found footage movies go, the film’s 1.78:1 1080p 24/fps AVC MPEG-4 encoded image could have certainly looked a lot worse. All things considered, it’s a fairly standard HD presentation, looking not entirely unlike something you could have shot in HD with your own iPhone. The only time things look rough at all is when the girls are huddled in a dumpster and the camera switches to night mode, which we all know isn’t a thing an iPhone can do. Colors look natural; there’s an acceptable level of detail throughout. Fine details aren’t apparent, not that anyone watching this is likely to care. Most scenes feature good lighting other than those where the girls have wandered off-Strip and into darkness, so you can see every detail of the puerile mis-en-scene on display.

Audio

There is a lot of screaming in this film, so lower your volume early unless you want the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound track (48kHz/24-bit) to annoy you to death. Despite being a multi-channel track, there is virtually no activity from the rear speakers. If they are adding anything, it’s ambiance so subtle it might as well not be there. The LFE track gets a little boost during the clubs scenes, though it’s never anything remotely aggressive. Nearly every sound on this track comes from the front speakers, which do a solid job of providing a clean, audible experience. Subtitles are included in English for the hearing impaired, Spanish, and French.

Extras

The bonus features on “Best Night Ever” include deleted scenes, interviews, a brief making-of featurette, and theatrical trailers.

A reel of deleted scenes (1080p) runs for 7 minutes and 13 seconds. Many of these are alternate takes, some have new material.

A few interviews (1080i) have been conducted with the following people:

- Desiree Hall runs for 2 minutes and 54 seconds.
- Samantha Colburn runs for 3 minutes.
- Crista Flanagan runs for 2 minutes and 35 seconds.

“AXS TV: A Look at Best Night Ever” (1080i) featurette runs for 2 minutes and 54 seconds. This is AXS’ standard EPK providing a quick overview of the film.

The film’s theatrical trailer (1080p) runs for 1 minute and 21 seconds.

Also included are bonus trailers (1080p) for the following:

- “Journey to the West” runs for 2 minutes and 3 seconds.
- “Alan Partridge” runs for 2 minutes.
- “The Last Days on Mars” runs for 2 minutes and 33 seconds.
- “Big Bad Wolves” runs for 1 minute and 47 seconds.
- “AXS TV promo” runs for 30 seconds.

The disc is also enabled with Magnet’s standard bookmarks feature and a BD-Live link.

Packaging

The single disc comes housed in a Blu-ray eco-case.

Overall

Girls! You’ll probably get a kick out of this and think it’s “cute”. Guys! You will hate this. Prevent your girlfriends from learning of it because they will want to watch it which means you have to watch it.

The Film: D Video: B Audio: B- Extras: C+ Overall: C-

 


DVD Compare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon Europe S.a.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.fr, and amazon.de.