The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated/R
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Jason Biggs, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Tara Reid, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Shannon Elizabeth, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge, Alyson Hannigan
Directed by: Paul Weitz
Written by: Adam Herz
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 13, 2012
"There's something about your first piece"
American Pie takes a hysterical look at four high school friends who make a pact to lose their virginity by prom night. Follow the raging hormones of four teenage boys and their girls as they gear up for the most important night of their lives.
You'll never look at warm apple pie the same way again! American Pie is a hysterical look at the goal set by four unlucky in love high school friends who make the ultimate pact: lose their virginity by prom night. As they try to manipulate their way into the ...hearts of some of their classmates, their plans often backfire with hilarity. One fails to score with the sexy foreign exchange student and then makes a last ditch effort with a band member who has an interesting way with her flute, while another is so desperate he actually hires someone to give him a reputation. Follow the raging hormones of four teenage boys as they gear up for the most important night of their lives...the prom?
Not quite in the league of the classic Fast times at Ridgemont High, American Pie is one of the my favorite coming of age teen comedies. For me it was the first over the top teen flick that since has spawned a host of similar films, some equally good, some not so much. It's one of those highly quotable, outrageously funny and (at the time) fresh feeling comedies that have excellent replay value. I am not sure how many times I have seen it but I always find myself laughing at the same moments. Its depiction of the trials tribulations and awkward teen angst associated with boy/girl interaction and the loss of virginity is a hoot. The characters are perfectly drawn as pieces that comfortably fit into the film's narrative puzzle. There are aspects that are easily identified with especially when harkening back to those years in high school when all that mattered were friends, thoughts of college and the importance placed on things that within only a few short years afterward seemed trivial. The ensemble of fresh (at the time) young talent hits the ground running with pitch perfect chemistry that capably supports writer Adam Herz's funny bone tickling banter, and variety of off the rails situational humor. When I first saw American Pie I was well past the age of what would seem to be its target audience. I found it to have a timeless appeal in that its subject is relevant and its characters are relative regardless of when you went to school etc. Outside of its fan base American Pie is hardly considered classic cinema but if you let your hair down and give it half a chance it's really lots of fun.
The popularity of American Pie led to two sequels, American Pie 2 and American Wedding with the core cast returning to reprise their roles. Personally I didn't find that either lived up to the original but their fans seem loyal to the franchise. In that light in April 2012 Universal Studios is releasing American Reunion the fourth installment in the series. It catches up with the characters 10 years after high school graduation, bringing them together for the reunion. Here is the link to the American Reunion website where you can view the trailer and read more on the film: American Reunion The Movie. In addition to American Pie Universal is releasing American Pie 2 and American Wedding on Blu-ray. I am pleased that they are being offered separately and am happy to now own the original, which includes both the theatrical and unrated versions in high definition.
Both versions of the film contain strong sexuality, crude sexual dialogue, teen partying, and language.
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 Pie comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8 Mbps.
This is a high bitrate encode that may not be as strong as the best looking catalog titles I have seen on Blu-ray, but it still makes for a definitive improvement over any previous home video release. High definition detail is notable as images are primarily resolute, with defining close ups and two dimensional depth during long range camera pans. Colors are beautifully rendered with revealing delineation and tonal warmth. Fleshtones appear descriptive with variable depth that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast. Blacks are a solid shade of deep black with excellent dynamic range and discernible highlights. Grain is visibly moderate and appears to be well preserved.
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 no deep bass associated with the sound track but bass response appropriately reinforces low level detail in support of the music.
- Theatrical and Unrated Versions
- Deleted scenes - 6 minutes
- Outtakes - 2 minutes
- American Pie revealed: The complete story of all three comedies ( 7 primary segments with 18 branching segments covering all three films)
- (HD) American Reunion: A look inside
- Casting tapes - Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas
- Spotlight on location
- From the set: Photographic montage with filmmaker commentary
- Tonic You wanted more music video
- Tonic live performance
- Poster concepts
- Audio commentary with director Peter Weitz, producer Chris Weitz, writer Adam Herz, Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, and Eddie Kaye Thomas
- Theatrical trailer
- My scenes bookmark feature
- pocket BLU
- Bonus DVD - American Pie Unrated version
- Digital Copy
Back in 1999 American Pie, at least for me, was the first over the top teen comedy that let it all hang out (literally in some instances). I never seem to tire of its highly quotable lines, funny bone tickling banter, and variety of off the rail situational humor. It makes its debut on Blu-ray featuring gratifying high definition audio/video quality and a plethora of bonus content that presents a revealing behind the scenes perspective. Outside of its fan base American Pie is hardly considered classic cinema but if you let your hair down and give it half a chance it's really lots of fun. I am pleased to replace my aging Unrated Collector's Edition DVD with this solid Blu-ray offering from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
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