Why I've decided to review this film at this point is beyond me; I suppose I thought director Bob Spiers (famed from the hilarious Brit comedy Absolutely Fabulous) could do something fun with the one-hit(er, ok, three or four hit) wonders the Spice Girls. The film doesn't have much of a plot to it - nor did I expect it to - it mainly focuses on the giggly girl group and a couple of days in their life.
Some of it is more entertaining than it probably should have been - the plot has them preparing for a huge concert with rehersals, promotional stops and more. But the more songs are played, the longer the film seems to get - also, the less it seems like a film and the more it seems like an extended commerical. A few particularly stupid scenes occasionally pop up - one with the girls signing autographs for aliens. The film also contains a number of cameos from celebs like Elton John and others, but the roles don't really do anything. They seem more like a revolving door - celebs go in, celebs go out, never really leaving an impression or doing anything for the film.
The film is a loss, but it would have been a total loss had the girls not been suprisingly relaxed performers; they aren't given agressively tough acting roles, but they aren't half bad. They're backed up by pros like Alan Cumming, George Wendt and Richard Harris.
An honest documentary about the girls made on a more basic budget may have been quite interesting to see their reality. Obviously, this isn't a documentary (or "mockumentary") as much as it is simply a promotional item - and the constant songs begin to reveal it as such. This could have been an interesting look at fame for both adults and the group's young audiences, but oh well.
VIDEO: Tristar does extremely strong work with "Spice World", one of their earlier titles, showing that they have always been doing solid efforts. The film's rainbow color palette is obviously the most striking visual element of the film, and it looks extremely good here. Colors are rich and well saturated without any problems at all. Sharpness varies at times; there are a few moments now and then that slip into slight softness, but this may have been intentional. Detail is good, and clarity is strong with the exception of a couple of sequences that seem the slightest bit hazy.
There are some slight problems that distract from the picture. Shimmering does appear a few times throughout the movie, and I noticed some extremely minor instances of pixelation. The print used is nearly perfect, with only a couple of very minor speckles. Definitely strong work from the studio.
SOUND: I suppose that the young audience for the film isn't really that concerned about a great audio presentation, but that shouldn't have let the filmmakers get away with such uninspired sound. With the near constant music (almost an infomerical for the band's music) playing throughout the movie, the audio really could have called for a full-scale presentation from all sides, instead of the majority of the music coming from the front - and without much bass behind it. Only a couple of scenes such as the one with the girls at a club about an hour and eight minutes into the film illustrate the kind of bassy, enveloping presence that the music should have had for the rest of the film.
Surrounds are used, but could have stood to be used further for both music and effects. Audio quality is generally fine, and dialogue is clear. Passable, but could have been a lot better.
MENUS:: Bright, colorful non-animated main-menus; it would have been nice if the music from the film would be playing in the background.
EXTRAS: The trailer and song that wasn't used in the movie - "Mama".
Final Thoughts: Fans of the group will enjoy the film, but I doubt anyone outside that audience will take much of a liking to it.
The Film C-
Video 90/A- = (360/400 possible points)
Audio: 85/B = (355/400 possible points)
Extras: 72/C = (216/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 80/B- = (240/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: C-
DVD GRADE: B