Who's That Girl - Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Apr 4, 2017
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Who's That Girl

Movie: :3stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :2stars:
Final Score: :3stars:

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Making movie stars out of famous athletes and musicians is nothing new. Hollywood has done it for years with O.J. Simpson, The Rock, John Cena, Mark Wahlberg (good ole Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch) and back in the 80s they really wanted Madonna to become a star. I mean, she was the hottest pop star since Michael Jackson and her Lady Gaga esque quirks and bizarre antics meant that she was perfect for the silver screen, right? She originally had some success with Suddenly Susan, but her next few films were box office poison, culminating with 1987’s Who’s That Girl. Although Madonna has come and went in films here and there, she just never made the transition from pop star to movie star, with most of her leading role films falling off the remembrance wagon into distant memory. And luckily, this is where Shout! Studios rescuing of niche and forgotten films comes into play, bringing us a newly mastered variant of the film for the first time on Blu-ray with a few minor extras to spruce it up for fans of the cult flick.

Like most 1980s comedies, Who’s That Girl is an absurdist slapstick take on an action/comedy. An uptight tax attorney named Loudon Trott (Griffin Dunne) is set to marry his boss’s daughter Wendy (Haviland Morris, best known for Sixteen Candles), but is tasked with taking a mysterious convict named Nikki Finn (Madonna) to her bus and make SURE she’s on her way home to Philly. Not knowing why he’s tasked this, Loudon immediately kow tow’s to his soon to be father in law and heads off to the New York prison to make sure he completes his task. Little does he know that Nikki is more than just a newly released jailbird, but a holy terror act of nature itself, and she has her OWN agenda. Hijacking Loudon and his good will, she sets out on a path to clear her name for being wrongfully imprisoned, even if that means wrecking all of New York City to do so.

Who’s That Girl is an extremely silly comedic little blurb that simply dive bombed at the box office back in 1987. I’m not sure whether it was the wrong time, the wrong script, or whatever. But for some reason the 1980s slapstick comedy just fizzled and sputtered most of the time. Madonna basically plays herself (and dresses like she’s on stage), but actually turns out to be rather endearing. Most of the film is ridiculous to the extreme, with mustache twirling villains, bad action sequences, and jokes of about Loudon’s fiancee basically banging every cab driver in New York City. That being said, the film really sparkles with Loudon and Nikki when the two of them are bonding. Madonna is actually really cute when she stops being so brash and over the top, while Loudon meshes well with her once he stops being so uptight.

That being said, the rest of the film is sort of topsy turvy, with moments where it’s actually funny and/or thrilling, and others feeling like they were torn out of a bad 1970s comedy (even though it was 1986, many of the set pieces and gags felt like something you’d see in the late 80s. The film never really catches any breaks, and the momentum created in the first half of the film with Nikki and Loudon going on their adventure just sputters out in the last act which goes full on Peter Sellers on us. Most of the scripted jokes land pretty flat, but the only really great parts actually come from Madonna pulling off her bombshell “Marilyn Monroe” blonde routine.


Rated PG by the MPAA

Video: :4stars:
Like many (most) of Shout! Studio releases, they have advertised that this was a new 2K scan from the 35mm interpositive, and the results speak for themselves. I haven’t seen Who’s That Girl since the old DVD days, and even then, It was at LEAST 15 years ago that I watched it last, so I can’t exactly compare the two. Needless to say I think this will be a solid upgrade over the 480p disc as the image looks quite solid. Skin tones look warm and revealing with only hints of softness to keep it from looking spectacular. Colors are bright a vivid, with an emphasis on black pleather, brilliant whites, and a ruddy tinge that makes the entire film seem just a bit redder than average (an 80s staple). I didn’t see much artifacting of any kind on the disc, with only a brief few moments of banding ,and what looks like some excessive grain when the dynamic duo are going in to open up the safe deposit box.

Audio: :4stars:
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track sounds very much like a 2.0 track converted to 5.1 (which I BELIEVE it was) as the track is distinctly front heavy. Dialog is crisp and clean as can be, and the two mains carry most of the activity (action, songs etc). I did notice some mild to moderate surround activity while the two leads run from place to place in New York, but overall this isn’t exactly an over achieving track in terms of surround activity and bass. Solid mix, nothing spectacular, but still very solid for an 80s comedy.

Extras: :2stars:
• Audio Commentary with film historian Russell Dyball
• Image Gallery
• Theatricl Trailer

Final Score: :3.5stars:

Who’s That Girl is a whirlwind of insanity, culminating in a group of love struck cops chasing a car full of tied up bridesmaid’s, a fencing match at the wedding, and Madonna channeling her own quirky self blended with Marilyn Monroe straight into the credits. It’s silly, stupid, and quite literally NOT a great movie. But it has that 1980s charm and has garnered itself quite the cult following over the years. Shout! Studios release of the film is solid, with good video and audio, but a fairly “meh” smattering of extras (although the commentary is actually not bad at all). Overally a C+ film, but a B+ presentation. Recommended as a nostalgic watch for those wanting a quirky 80s comedy.

Technical Specifications:

Starring: Madonna, Griffin Dunne, Bibi Besch, John Mills, Robert Swann
Directed by: James Foley
Written by: Andrew Smith, Ken Finkleman
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Studio: Shout! Studios
Rated: PG
Runtime: 94 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: July 2nd, 2024

Recommendation: Nostalgic 80s Rental

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