Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on June 28th, 2004
Tormented by the tyranny of SAT scores, which will determine university acceptance andfuture opportunities, six high school students band together to steal the answers to the dreadedtest. Personalities clash, but their common need unites the unlikely band (mixing basketball star,cynical rich girl, class brain, stoner, and so on). The night comes for the big heist, and by the nextmorning, everyone will have learned Valuable Life Lessons.
The Perfect Score trip… along at a good pace, enlivened by some good dialogue anda few sharply funny moments. The cast is unbalanced, with Scarlet Johansson blasting everyoneelse off the screen, and Erika Christensen’s underwritten good girl so simpering that she operatesin a sympathy-free zone. The last act is a depressing descent into After School Specialmoralizing, and it goes on so long that we are made to feel guilty for the fun of the previoushour.
The 5.1 track is clear, but unspectacular. Environmental creation is minimal, with surroundeffects relegated to a decidedly minor role. Given that this is a teen-oriented film co-produced byMTV, it is surprising that the music sounds so weak, lacking in bass, volume, and rear-speakerpresence.
The anamorphic widescreen picture is blessed with fine colours and contrasts, giving the filma particularly warm look in the night scenes. The blacks are very solid as well. There is nograin or edge enhancement. The image is reasonably sharp, but there is still room for a bit ofimprovement.
The commentary, by director Brian Robbins and co-writer Mark Schwahn, offers plenty ofopportunity to read between the lines, as one has a sense of the film having been forced intodirections neither man entirely wanted. The making-of featurette is the usual promotional piece.The theatrical trailer is here, along with a gaggle of other previews. The menu is basic.
An entertaining piece, but one that is divided against itself.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Making-of Featurette