At West Valley High (how generic a name is that?), homecoming week is marked by a special challenge: can you perform ten outrageous dirty deeds in twelve hours. The record is eight. Zach (Milo Ventimiglia) has no interest in any of the school traditions, but when the younger brother of the girl he is sweet on volunteers to take the challenge, Zach steps in to save the boy from certain doom and do the deeds himself, in the process taking down the king of the jocks a few notches.
Wha… follows is fairly flat. One deed after another is performed (steal a dead body and put on it display in front of the school, do something unmentionable to a package of sliced bread in a supermarket, and so on), after which Zach and the jock glare at each other, then we’re off to the races again. There’s nothing hugely funny about the pranks – they come off like just another night shift job – and the intervening scenes are flat and fat with clichés. The one saving grace is Ventimiglia. This is an actor to watch. The look in his eyes is one of consummate intelligence, and he makes his scenes and his dialogue seem much smarter than they actually are. In fact, he almost makes the movie watchable.
The 5.1 track is very industrious. The music is very loud and active in all speakers, but in this instance this can be too much of a good thing: the rear speakers are so loud they drown out the front, and what are the vocals doing coming from there? On the other hand, the environmental effects are very strong (though again, they are so prominent that any technical error in the movie’s sound design becomes very obvious). There is a tiny bit of buzz that sometimes besets the dialogue.
The picture is very strong. The colours are rich and strong, and the contrasts are excellent. Blacks and skin tones are also spot-on. There is no visible edge enhancement, there is no grain, and the image is nice and sharp. The aspect ratio is a widescreen-TV-friendly 1.78:1 anamorphic. A handsome-looking transfer, then, making the movie look more sumptuous than it really is.
Not much here. The cast and crew interviews mentioned on the case amount to nothing more than the usual promotional featurette. There’s something else here called “Soho House Party,” which I think is footage of the film’s premiere, but the disc under review is flawed and the feature froze about 20 seconds in, so I’m just guessing here. The trailers also seized up. The menu’s main screen is animated and scored.
Another bastard child of American Pie. Zzzzzzz. Good performance by the lead, though. This is the PG-13 version of the film. There’s an unrated one out there, too.
Special Features List
- 2 Featurettes