Plot: What’s it about?
Julie (Alexa Vega) is about to enter high school, but she isn’t optimistic about what life in those hallways will be like. She isn’t a popular girl and that means lunch by the dumpsters, a dismal social life, and being absent at the best parties. She has some great friends, but even that is soon to change, as her best friend Hannah (Mika Boorem) moves before school starts. At least she has her slumber party to look forward to, one last time for her and all of her friends to have fun and forget about high school for a while. She is only allowed to have three friends over, so he pegs Hannah of course, another of her good friends, and in a hopeful movie, she even invites Stacey (Sara Paxton), the most popular girl in her class. Stacey turns down the invitation, so in her place Julie asks Yancey (Kallie Flynn Childress), mostly out of kindness. Julie’s mom leaves strict instructions that the girls cannot leave the house, but when Stacey, fresh off a bad experience with her boyfriend, arrives, the rules are tossed out the window. She challenges the girls to a scavenger hunt and if Julie’s friends win, they have the rights to the fountain, the place where all the most popular people eat lunch, while the losers dine by the dumpsters. Julie agrees, but faces all kinds of obstacles, including a brush with romance with the guy of her dreams. At the end of the night, who will come out as the winners and will Julie’s night be a nightmare or a fantasy come true?
A bunch of hot underage girls, a scavenger hunt, and the slumber party to end all slumber parties, what else could we want? Sleepover seems to be aimed at younger females, but the edge on the humor indicates the real audience is in teens, both male and female. This is not a movie in the same vein as The Babysitter’s Club, in other words. All signs would point to a young female as the target audience, but Sleepover has a broader base in mind. No harsh language, naked bodies, or sex scenes, but sex is discussed and nudity is implied, though not shown. So young audiences might not be an ideal choice for Sleepover, but the film is harmless at heart. Yes, we see teens breaking rules, disobeying parents, and talking about sex, but that isn’t a surprise, though in this case, Sleepover was marketed a little off base. Alexa Vega of Spy Kids fame is passable in the lead, but the role could have been better cast. She is fun at times, but lacks the charisma and all out energy to hit the role out of the park. The other girls are well chosen and quite varied, while Steve Carell (Bruce Almight, Anchorman) supplies some random moments of humor. Sleepover isn’t a great movie, but it is fun and has some good performances. I’d recommend this to who want a movie for the entire family, but don’t want to turn to animated features. MGM’s disc is impressive too, so whether you rent or purchase, Sleepover is a solid choice.
Video: How does it look?
Sleepover is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. MGM can do some impressive visual work and this is a top notch transfer, as I could find no flaws worthy of reporting here. The print used looks pristine, as it should and as far as compression errors, I didn’t see a single one in this transfer. The colors look rich and lush here, from the deepest reds to the more natural tones, all of the hues seem flawless here. No issues with the contrast either, as detail is strong and black levels look razor sharp, very impressive indeed. This is as good as it gets, another excellent visual presentation from the folks at MGM.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc uses a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, which really pulses at times and creates a terrific audio atmosphere. The audio is a little conservative at the start, but once things start to roll, the surrounds kick in and drive home a great experience. I was really impressed with the dynamic presence here, as the surrounds see a ton of action and really provide an immersive environment. The musical score also comes across in fine form, very full and expansive here at all times. No issues with dialogue either, which sounds crisp, clean, and well balanced throughout. This disc also includes French and Spanish language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Joe Nussbaum directed the film and provides an audio commentary track, in which he is joined by various cast members. As expected, the session is brisk and light, with focus on stories instead of technical details. That is how it should be in this case however, given the film’s appeal and basic formula. This disc also includes a look behind the scenes, profiles of the young actresses, a guide to the perfect sleepover, Sleepover confessions, a gag reel, some still photos, and the film’s theatrical trailer.