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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2012

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"American Reunion" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

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Synopsis

Thirteen years after graduating from high school, Jim (Jason Biggs), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), and Stifler (Seann William Scott) come back to East Great Falls for a reunion weekend that no one will forget.   Faced with the pressures of real life, the boys must take a deep look into themselves in order to grow into the men that they want to be.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 2012, Color, Not Rated, 1 Hr 54 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jennifer Coolidge, and Eugene Levy
  • Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
Rating
  • Entertainment: 
  • Video: 
  • Audio: 
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

In my opinion, the “American Pie” series fell a bit flat after the first film.  While the two sequels were funny (in a gross-out sort of way), they just didn’t have the heart that the original had.   “American Reunion” brings that emotional connection back to the franchise.  Maybe it is because I’ve recently gone through a similar stage of life myself, but I instantly connected with this film.  The acting was much better than in the prior three movies and I even found myself enjoying Oz’s character.  Even more surprising, this is the first time I thought Kevin actually added something to the movie.  Overall, the combination of a better script, better direction, markedly better acting, and a much more believable story line made for a sequel at least the equal of the original.  The raunchy humor was toned down slightly, which fit in well with characters trying to “grow up,” though there were still some gag-inducing moments.   If you enjoyed the original, this is definitely worth your time.

Technical

The picture quality on this disc is merely average.  The picture is sharp for the most part, but a few too many scenes seem to be a bit soft.  Film grain is kept to a nice level, though I don’t know if this was added during post-production or if they actually used film when shooting.  Color tone is my biggest complaint, with a bit of an orange/yellow cast to many scenes.  For the life of me, I can’t understand why so many directors/cinematographers shoot with this yellow/orange cast.  Do they think it looks good?  Black levels are about average, with some scenes elevating black into more of a dark grey.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is pretty standard, with clear dialogue and a good soundstage from the front three channels.  The surrounds are used sparingly and the LFE kicks in mostly during the late 90’s/early 00’s soundtrack music. 

Extras

Included on the Blu-ray disc are extended scenes, deleted scenes, a gag reel, alternate takes, a feature commentary, a making-of for the Oz dance scene, a “pop-up” video commentary with the cast, a reunion yearbook, and featurettes on Jason Biggs, Jim’s dad, the “reunion,” and “Lake Bake.”  Last but not least is the “Ouch! My Balls!” featurette.   There is also a DVD copy, Digital Copy, and Ultraviolet download included in the package.