The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2012
MPAA Rating: R/Unrated
Feature running time: 113/114 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Jason Biggs, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Tara Reid, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge, Alyson Hannigan, Dania Ramirez
Written & Directed by: John Hurwitz & John Schlossberg
Music by: Lyle Workman
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 10, 2012
Get ready for "flat-out hilarious, raunchy fun" (Box Office Magazine) as the whole American Pie gang returns to East Great Falls for the first time since their legendary senior year to turn their reunion into the most unforgettable weekend since high school. Old friends will reconnect, old flames will reignite, and everyone will rediscover just how much fun you can pack into one outrageous reunion.
It was summer 1999 when four small-town Michigan boys began a quest to lose their virginity. The story picks up with everyone ten years after graduation as they focus on preparing to head back for their 10 year reunion. Jim and Michelle are going through the pains of toddler rearing as it relates to having little time to focus on their relationship, specifically their physical one. Oz is a semi-celebrity who hosts a sports talk show on a local LA based networked. His celebrity status received a shot in the arm when he appeared on a celebrity dance show although the outcome isn’t exactly as he would have liked. Kevin is happily married but worries about seeing Vicky and any old feelings that may resurface as a result. Finch is still a bit of an enigma and Stifler refuses to grow up and continues to cling to the good ole days.
I am most decidedly a fan of the first American Pie film. The two sequels the followed seemed to get worse as they went along. American Pie 2 was barely tolerable and American Wedding was abysmal. While I didn’t really care for the last two films themselves I still enjoyed the chemistry among the cast/characters and upon hearing of American Reunion had hopes that the script would provide a better platform for that interaction. This installment fails to live up to the freshness and fun of the original but has nostalgic moments that capture its essence thanks to a script draws upon the strengths inherent in the previously mentioned chemistry among the cast/characters. The buffoonery and over the top slapstick is exactly what you might expect but is offset nicely by the integration of a little romance drama and meaningful interplay. Each of the primary characters (and where appropriate sets of characters) is given their moment (s) and everything comes together in a conventional but satisfying way, especially if you’re a fan. Other than a few well placed cameos there aren’t any real surprises.
I found American Reunion to be better than the two films that preceded it. It starts off slow but picks up and provides the sort of silly inanity and buddy flick goofiness that makes for laughs when the guys are over for a few beers. If you enjoyed the first three films this latest installment is another helping of warm apple pie that should go down easy. This Blu-ray release contains both the theatrical and unrated version which runs about a minute longer.
Both versions of the film contain crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, language, brief drug use and teen drinking.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
American Reunion comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.
This a solid high definition video presentation that offers satisfying refinement during close ups and discernible definition within objects/backgrounds during mid level camera pans. The color range sets the film’s thematic tone and offers bright, eye catching hues. Rendering is clean and depth is appropriate. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and have a slightly balmy but natural quality. Spot on contrast yields crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable but elevated which leaves them appearing less dynamic and occasionally flat. I didn’t see this as a problem based upon the visual style of the film. Other than some minor aliasing I saw no overt signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.
The DTS-HD MA soundtrack renders clear, articulated dialogue that maintains a position of prominence across the front three channels. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere from time to time. The mix is well balanced and reproduces sounds at the right levels and places them appropriately within the acoustic environment. Detail is notable which attenuates lesser environmental cues, and subtle vocal inflections. There is sub deep bass associated with the sound track but bass response appropriately reinforces low level detail in support of the music.
- Feature commentary with co-writers/directors Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
- (HD) 7 deleted/13 extended scenes
- (HD) Alternate takes – 4 minutes
- (HD) Gag reel – 3 minutes
- The out of control track – Interactive in-film feature where Jason Biggs, Sean William Scott, Alyson Hannigan and other cast members pop up on-screen to laugh at, comment and even cut on their fellow cast members.
- (HD) The “Reunion” Reunion: RE-launching the series – 10 minute featurette
- (HD) The best of Biggs: Hanging with Jason B. – 3 minutes
- (HD) Lake Bake – 4 minute featurette
- (HD) Dancing with the Oz – 2 minutes
- (HD) American Gonad-iators: The fight scene – 4 minute featurette
- (HD) Jim’s Dad – 2 minute featurette
- (HD) Ouch! My balls – 2 minutes of “painful” onset pranks
- (HD) American Reunion Yearbook – An interactive yearbook of all of your favorite characters from the American Pie franchise. Select a character and get an overview of that character from the films with “Where Are They Now,” cast discussions about the characters, their most embarrassing moment and their favorite activities. A virtual yearbook of who’s who, what’s what and, most importantly, who did what to who!
- BD-Live enabled
- pocket BLU
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
- Digital Copy
- Bonus DVD
American Reunion represents the fourth installment in the American Pie film franchise. It doesn’t hold up to the original but it has enough going for it to outshine the two middle films. It will probably appeal more to fans but casual viewers may find themselves chuckling aloud at its typically goofy situations and appreciative of its light sentiment and buddy flick style chemistry. It makes its way to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition video, crystal clear DTS-HD Master Audio sound and a host of bonus supplements that include Blu-ray Exclusives. If you’re a fan this is worth picking up otherwise give it a rent when you’re in the mood for a little crass entertainment.
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