Book Club: The Next Chapter (2023) Blu-ray Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

While the sequel isn't as good as the first film, it still has some funny moments and some sweet, sentimental scenes that will bring a smile to almost anyone's face.

Social interaction, friendship, camaraderie, love, intimacy, etc. are just some of the connections a majority of people crave.  Regardless of age, gender, and/or sexual orientation, humans tend to want to be around other like-minded individuals with similar thoughts, feelings, and interests.  For Diane (Diane Keaton; Annie Hall) Vivian (Jane Fonda; 80 for Brady), Sharon (Candice Bergen; Sweet Home Alabama), and Carol (Mary Steenburgen; Las Vegas) that includes a monthly book club, and if you saw the first movie, you will remember they chose to read Fifty Shades of Grey which had them re-evaluating their lives.  

In the sequel, Book Club: The Next Chapter the four friends embark on the journey of a lifetime, culminating in a wedding in the Italian countryside.  Released in theaters this past May, Book Club: The Next Chapter, didn't fare as well as its predecessor did back in 2018.  However, this coming week it is heading to retail stores on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital and will hopefully earn back more of the cost of making the film.

When Vivian reveals she and Arthur (Don Johnson; ) are getting married, the ladies decide to take a "girls" trip to Italy. Diane, Vivian, Sharon, and Carol, all in varying stages of the relationships they found in the first film, head to Rome, Venice, and Tuscany but, of course, things don't end up quite as they planned when their luggage is stolen and they end up getting arrested because Vivian thinks the police officer they encounter is really a male stripper (spoiler alert: he isn't).  Eventually, all's well that ends well as the ladies realize their latest book choice, The Alchemist, aligns with where they are currently in their lives.

The original Book Club brought together some of the best heavy hitters in the acting world (who are of a certain age) and the result was incredible, not only from an entertainment standpoint but from a financial one as well.  These four ladies are consummate professionals who have terrific chemistry, giving their relationship an air of authenticity.  While their male counterparts are there to help move the plot along, they too are veteran actors who are great as supporting cast members.  Unfortunately, The sequel didn't do as well both critically or in ticket sales.

It is interesting to note that while the movie was most likely filmed in 4K, the home release is only presented in 1080p resolution.  The picture quality is still excellent and with much of the movie set in Italy, it has a pretty fabulous backdrop.  The colors are rich and warm and the details are sharp and clean.  

The DTS Master Audio 5.1 doesn't have all that much to do but the dialog is crisp and the soundtrack flows nicely through the speakers only interrupted occasionally by ambient sounds.  There are only a few extras included in this release totaling a little over twenty-five minutes worth of material which is not completely unexpected but is mildly disappointing.  Besides the DVD, Digital Code, and slipcover, you get: Book Club: Back In Session, Still Stylish, and The Women In Italy.  

Book Club and Book Club: The Next Chapter have a specific audience in mind and both films cater to the demographic in question.  Knowing the audience is perhaps one reason Universal Pictures decided not to release the film in 4K as how many of us know post-menopausal women with 4K Blu-ray players? 

While the sequel isn't as good as the first film, it still has some funny moments and some sweet, sentimental scenes that will bring a smile to almost anyone's face.  The actors are the main draw as the plot is predictable and falls back on the usual tropes so put on some comfy pajamas, pop a big bowl of popcorn, pour a nice glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy.

Grade: C

Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 107 minutes
Distributed By: Focus Features

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For more information about Book Club: The Next Chapter visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Book Club: The Next Chapter images are courtesy of Focus Features. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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