Overall | American Pie: Collector's Edition (1999) | American Pie 2: Collector's Edition (2001) | American Pie: The Wedding (American Wedding) (2003) | American Pie Revealed (Bonus Disc)

American Pie: The Threesome Collection (1999)

American Pie: The Threesome Collection (1999)

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Released 25-Oct-2004

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Overall Package

       The American Pie trilogy punched well above its weight. They were relatively cheaply made films, which started out with unknown actors and directors, that went on to become stand-out films in the coming-of-age sex-teen-comedy genre. With a hilarious combination of gross-out humour, adorably sweet characters and good old fashioned sentimentality, the American Pie trilogy was much funnier than it should have been, and certainly far more lucrative than the producers, distributors, exhibitors, cast or crew expected.

    American Pie - The Threesome is a four disc DVD set containing the American Pie trilogy, plus an extras disc entitled American Pie Revealed. This extras disc presents a collection of extras relating to all three films, and fans of the movies will find most of the content interesting, and at times entertaining.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Other Reviews NONE
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Overall | American Pie: Collector's Edition (1999) | American Pie 2: Collector's Edition (2001) | American Pie: The Wedding (American Wedding) (2003) | American Pie Revealed (Bonus Disc)

American Pie: Collector's Edition (1999)

American Pie: Collector's Edition (1999)

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Released 14-Feb-2000

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Spotlight On Location (10:05)
Audio Commentary-P Weitz (Dir), C Weitz (Prod), A Herz (Writ),et al
Outtakes-(2:33)
Music Highlights
Production Notes
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
DVD-ROM Extras-Web Site
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 91:25
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Paul Weitz
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Jason Biggs
Chris Klein
Natasha Lyonne
Thomas Ian Nicholas
Tara Reid
Mena Suvari
Eugene Levy
Case Brackley-Trans-No Lip
RPI $36.95 Music David Lawrence


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, very much
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    American Pie falls squarely into the coming-of-age genre. These are all pretty much the same plot-wise, which is not necessarily a bad thing. A group of high school boys attempt to lose their virginity come hell or high water, encountering seemingly insurmountable obstacles along the way. American Pie is no different to the multitude of similarly-themed movies before it, such as Porky's, Risky Business and Can't Hardly Wait. Can't Hardly Wait, by the way, is actually my favourite movie of this genre, and pretty much a sleeper movie - it didn't exactly break box office records and isn't all that well known, but I loved it.

    I actually wonder about the target audience of these movies. I suspect the studio executives think that these movies appeal to a teen audience, which is why many of them are toned-down in content. My belief is that these movies actually appeal to the thirty-somethings, who aren't quite too old to remember the awkwardness of their "first time" and the rampant hormones of their youth, and who can relate to the misfortunes that the lead characters inevitably go through. Indeed, these movies are always ensemble pieces, allowing us to follow the trials and tribulations of a group of friends, usually with parallel story lines.

    Enough philosophizing! American Pie was deliberately made for an "R" rating in the US, rather than aiming for a "PG" rating. That means more bad language, and more explicit sex (or lack thereof) scenes. That can't be a bad thing. Rather than naming all of the ensemble cast members and describing their relationships with the other cast members, I will simply say that four very horny teenage virgin boys make a pact to lose their virginity by Prom night. Throw in a few peripheral male characters who help the story along, and a number of teenage girls of varying degrees of experience and horniness, cable TV, an (infamous) apple pie, stir, and you have American Pie.

    The mix works well once you get the main characters sorted out in your head, which takes some time, as they are introduced at a break-neck speed at the start of the movie. I felt that the start of the movie was a tad cruder than it needed to be, in a somewhat blatant attempt to shock its audience, but once we get into the movie proper, after the pact has been made, the movie picks up considerably and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Of particular note is Eugene Levy, Jim's father, who plays his role to perfection and had me in stitches every time he was on screen.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is very good, but I have seen better, and there are some negative aspects to this transfer.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of precisely 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. This is a trend that I have noticed more and more recently, and it is to be applauded - more and more movies on DVD are being presented in their precisely correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio rather than having their matte slightly opened to 1.78:1 which was the case earlier with DVD. It is still not happening nearly enough, but Fox certainly seem to frequently do it, and Universal appear to be following suit.

    The transfer was sharp and clear, but one of the problems with this transfer was the excessive use of edge enhancement. There was many a time when a clear white or black halo surrounded the actors' heads in quite a noticeable fashion. If you've never seen what edge enhancement looks like, or don't know exactly what it is, take a look at 33:08 - 33:29 and look at the white outline around Chris Klein's head. This is not the only example of edge enhancement in this movie - it is frequently present to an excessive degree. Whilst edge enhancement will make a DVD look better on small or mis-adjusted TV sets, it detracts from the image on larger and properly calibrated display equipment.

    Another problem with the early part of the transfer was that it was very dark, a little too dark in my opinion. The white level returns to a more satisfactory level about 20 minutes into the transfer.

    Shadow detail is good, as is to be expected from contemporary film stock and a contemporary DVD transfer.

    There is no low level noise.

    The colours were a tad muted in the early part of the film, which as mentioned previously appeared a little too dark, but picked up after this point and were perfect from there on in.

    There was some very minor MPEG artefacting during the end credits, most likely a direct result of the excessive use of edge enhancement. Film to video artefacts consisted of the odd segment of moderately severe aliasing, particular of the venetian blinds in Jim's room. Film artefacts were extremely rare, with the only significant one coming just before the end credits roll.

    The packaging for this DVD indicates that the disc is dual layered. It is not.

    Finally, in regards to the video transfer, conspiracy theorists will be intrigued to know that the Xing software DVD player cannot play this DVD, showing the typical visual signs of failure to decrypt the CSS encryption, so it seems as if the Xing DVD player key has been removed from this DVD. This is actually an appalling anti-consumer action on the part of the DVD authors - legitimate Xing DVD player owners are unable to play this DVD - I wonder about the outcry this should and will cause. Imagine the outcry that would occur if the DVD Copy Control Association were to remove the keys for other more popular players from the DVD specification. A player that you paid good money for is suddenly rendered useless for future DVD releases. The precedent that this sets is frightening.

Audio

    This is quite a nice soundtrack overall, without being exemplary.

    There is only a single audio track on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 5.1. The overall level of this soundtrack was a little on the low side, and you will enjoy it more if you crank it up a notch.

    Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand. This was in fact a high point of the audio transfer, as dialogue was frequently competing with significant ambient sound, and was always mixed perfectly so as to be completely understandable at all times.

    Audio sync was ever so slightly out for the first 18 minutes or so, and then settled down to be perfectly in sync. I suspect that the average viewer of this DVD will not notice any audio sync problems, but I have become hypersensitive to the slightest hint of an audio sync problem as of late.

    The score by David Lawrence struck quite a chord with me, and I enjoyed it immensely. It is relatively laid back and features a goodly amount of guitar work which made for very pleasant listening. It was nicely tied in to the on-screen action, augmenting the emotions created by the actors.

    The surround channels were used moderately for music and ambience, and helped to involve you in the movie.

    The .1 channel was used moderately to support the music in the soundtrack and remained subtle and pleasing in its integration with the overall mix of the soundtrack. An appropriate (and MA-rated) main menu animation helps to maintain the overall tone of the movie.

Extras

    There is an excellent selection of extras on this DVD.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    American Pie is available in two versions in Region 1, one R-rated and one unrated. The unrated version adds a small amount of footage into the movie itself which did not make the theatrical cut. The Region 4 version of American Pie is the equivalent of the Region 1 rated version. For those that are interested, the Region 1 unrated version adds the following very brief scenes (warning spoilers ahead - highlight with your mouse to see them);     Comparing the R-rated Region 1 version to the Region 4 version of this DVD shows that the Region 4 DVD misses out on;     To be honest, the additional scenes added into the unrated Region 1 version seem trivial to me, and I can't see them adding anything significant into the movie. In fact, they smack more of a marketing ploy by Universal to sell more copies of this movie in Region 1 than anything else. Likewise, the missing other trailers and music video fail to impress me.

    I would declare that the Region 1 and Region 4 DVDs are equivalent in this case.

Summary

    I enjoyed American Pie, and would rank it quite highly within its genre, as a very pleasant and amusing way to spend 90 minutes.

    The video quality is good, but excessive edge enhancement does mar the transfer somewhat.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras are excellent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Friday, February 04, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDStart SD2010VNK, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderDenon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
Amplification2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
SpeakersPhilips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Steve K
DVDownUnder - Paul J
NZHT - Damon B
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Kevin S
The DVD Bits - Vincent C
Michael D's Region 4 DVD Info Page - Dean M (Don't talk about my bio. We don't wanna know.)
impulsegamer.com - Tory Favro

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Overall | American Pie: Collector's Edition (1999) | American Pie 2: Collector's Edition (2001) | American Pie: The Wedding (American Wedding) (2003) | American Pie Revealed (Bonus Disc)

American Pie 2: Collector's Edition (2001)

American Pie 2: Collector's Edition (2001)

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Released 18-Jun-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-The Baking Of American Pie 2
Audio Commentary-J.B. Rogers (Director)
Audio Commentary-Adam Herz (Writer)
Audio Commentary-J Biggs (Act), M Suvari (Act) & T Ian Nicholas (Act)
Audio Commentary-Eddie Kaye Thomas (Actor)
Outtakes
Deleted Scenes
Music Video-Be Like That-3 Doors Down
Featurette-Your Favorite Piece Of Pie (10)
Featurette-Classic Quotes (15)
Music Highlights
Theatrical Trailer-with Jason Biggs intro
Production Notes
Biographies-Cast & Crew
DVD-ROM Extras
dts Trailer-Piano
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 106:10
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:42) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By J.B. Rogers
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Jason Biggs
Shannon Elizabeth
Alyson Hannigan
Chris Klein
Natasha Lyonne
Thomas Ian Nicholas
Tara Reid
Seann William Scott
Mena Suvari
Eddie Kaye Thomas
Eugene Levy
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music David Lawrence


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes, Mrs. Stiffler of course.
Annoying Product Placement Yes, everyone drinks Pepsico drinks.
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The Hollywood sequel is an interesting beast. There are some that are genuine stories in themselves and stand separate from the first - such as Aliens to Alien - while there are others that are made to have sequels - such as the fantasy series of Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings. Then there are the movies that simply demand sequels through their own success. There have been a few recent examples of these, such as The Matrix and The Mummy, but none was more obvious, nor cheaper for the studio than American Pie. All they had to do was throw a few of the original cast members back on the screen together, and the audiences would come pouring in. It was not as if the original movie was renowned for its brilliant story or great script, it simply did what no one had done for a long time - fill a movie full of p**** and fart gags, add a dash of nudity (courtesy of the rather well-endowed Shannon Elizabeth), and mix it all together with enough gross-out elements to make most people squeamish at least at one point, and voila - a brainless teen comedy. The original of course spawned a number of copycats - from the very good Road Trip to the very bad Tomcats - and most of these starred at least one of the original Pie cast, and most had at least moderate success.

    Fortunately, for what could have been a very lame effort at simply getting bums on seats for minimal effort, American Pie 2 goes all out to give its audience exactly what they want. It has been criticised for being unoriginal and a watered down clone of the original - but that is what the audience wanted the first time, so why not give it to them again? Certainly, the comedy is slightly more mature this time around, relying a lot more heavily on slapstick (Jason Biggs it seems is a fairly accomplished physical comedian) than on gross-out elements, but then the audience for the original Pie have grown up a bit since then, too. There is certainly still enough here to keep the pre-to-mid teens interested as well (the "lesbian" scene being an obvious hook), but the story has moved on from "get laid" to deeper themes like finding the meaning of friendship, and working out what you truly want.

    In a movie like this there is no real reason to do a plot synopsis - it is as predictable as a train on a track, and any slight deviations to what could be considered a certainty are flagged so far out as to be completely unsurprising when they eventuate, but for the sake of completeness, here it is. The time is a year after the events of the first American Pie, and this time the guys have all just finished their first year of college. They return home to find that while everything looks the same, things are somehow not the same. So, thanks to some advice from Kevin's brother, they all decide to head off to the lake (Lake Michigan) for the summer. There are a few complications of course. Oz (Chris Klein) and Heather (Mena Suvari) are still together, but Heather is off to Europe for the summer. Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) is back in America and is coming to see Jim (Jason Biggs) at the end of the summer - which of course has Jim terrified that he will repeat the performance of their previous sexual encounter. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and Vicky (Tara Reid) meet again for the first time since the prom of the previous year, and must deal with what their relationship is. All this drama of course simply sets the scene for some very funny moments, with the highlight being Jim's trip to Band Camp to find Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). The guys also take a summer job as painters, but that is not really explored except for the two occupants of the house they are painting.

    The simple fact is that the obvious crafting of movie to exactly match expectations works. American Pie 2 is a far more watchable movie than the first (and that is not solely because Alyson Hannigan has a larger part), and it does not pale with multiple viewings, unlike the first that was really a one-trick wonder. The reason it works is that Universal did something that is almost unprecedented for a sequel - managed to reassemble the entire primary cast from the first movie - that's 11 members. On top of that, there are a number of more minor characters from the first film, such as The Shermin-ator (Chris Owen), the MILF guys (John Cho and Justin Isfeld), and Stiffler's little brother (Eli Marienthal). This really helps to give the movie a feel that it is a continuation of the first movie, and just as the actors have been able to go back to characters they created the first time around, the audience has been able to journey along with them again without first having to get to know them.

    What we have here is the "unrated" DVD. Of course, you can't actually have "unrated" content in Australia - that would be illegal - and this version in fact obtained the same rating as the theatrical version. Despite that, it does include extended scenes involving people in various stages of undress, but most are of the harmless variety, simply re-introducing some scenes that were taken out of the theatrical version for pacing reasons. As such, this is more of a "directors cut" than an extra-raunchy version a la the original and Road Trip.

    So the question becomes - should there be an American Pie 3? Personally I would have to say no (well, that is unless they decide to put Alyson Hannigan's character in every scene), but then again, I would not have recommended making a second. In the end, the enormous box office success that was American Pie 2 will pretty much guarantee a sequel of sorts is made - whether the feat of reassembling the entire cast can be achieved twice remains to be seen, but if they do we may all be sitting down in a couple of years to see what Jim, Kevin, Oz, Stiffler, Finch, and the girls are up to. Maybe American Pie 3 - Jim Gets a Job?

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    There is really only one word to describe the transfer presented for American Pie 2 - superb. It has easily the most consistent video transfer I have ever encountered. That is not to say that it is totally perfect - but this is about as near as it can come without actually being perfect.

    Presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio - cropped from the theatrical ratio of 1.85:1 - this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

    This transfer is extremely sharp. There is not a single scene that could have benefited from a sharper transfer. There was a constant presence of background grain, but it never broke out sufficiently to become a problem, and was only noticeable if specifically looked for. Shadow detail was also very good, although the almost complete lack of dimly-lit scenes in this movie almost makes that a non-issue. There was no low-level noise detected.

    Colours were very good, displaying the vibrant sets and locations in vivid detail. While this film could never be accused of containing any set design or shot composition that could be described as detailed or intricate, what there is shows up more than nicely.

    There were no compression artefacts at all in this transfer. The only aliasing present consisted of a very few minor instances - and would most likely have gone unnoticed if not specifically looked for. The worst offender, and it is quite innocuous, is on Alyson Hannigan's flute at 93:54. Film artefacts were present, but very rare. When they did show up they were only momentary, and quite small. The largest occurs at 99:29, and is a vertical black line in the bottom left of frame. As this is the worst, the film artefacts cause no problems.

    The subtitles are very attractively rendered, very nicely paced, and are quite accurate. During the sample I checked, there were no instances where the impact of the dialogue was reduced by the difference between the subtitles and the spoken dialogue.

    This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 66:42 during Chapter 13. While it is not the best placement possible for a layer change, it is not too bad as it breaks no dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer presented here is merely adequate, and is hampered by a few sequences of very bad audio sync on the DTS track.

    There are six audio tracks present on this disc. These consist of two English dialogue tracks, one a Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 384 Kbps, the other a half-bitrate DTS 5.1 track at 768 Kbps, and four commentary tracks, all in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround at 192 Kbps.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. The mixing levels were spot on, as dialogue, score and general audio all combined very well to produce a natural sound.

    Audio sync is where the biggest problem with this transfer lies - and the problem is worst in the DTS track. On a number of occasions, the audio sync goes out by a fair margin. By far the worst example is the sequence between 20:31 and 21:50, but there are a number of other occurrences scattered throughout the film. What is strange is that while the Dolby Digital track only gives a slight impression of being out at these times, the DTS track is very obviously out.

    So to the music, and again we encounter the standard teen comedy fare - a combination of score music (provided in this instance by David Lawrence) and a collection of contemporary numbers. In this case the score is quite good, doing its job well and generally staying unnoticed - certainly David Lawrence is not going to win any Oscars with this one, but neither is he likely to be out of work. The contemporary numbers are more of a hit and miss affair - when they work the familiarity can quite easily lift a scene, but some really seem to jar with their placing, brining down the scene. Overall however, the music in American Pie 2 is very well done.

    As far as surround sound goes, this is another disappointing aspect of this transfer. For the most part, the soundfield is very frontal. Across the fronts, the separation is quite good, but I had to get up on a number of occasions and check my surround speakers simply to ensure that there was sound coming from the surrounds. Unfortunately, neither the DTS nor Dolby Digital tracks are better than the other in this regard, so we are saddled with an extremely front-heavy soundtrack. The only times the surround channels come to life are for the occasional ambient noise, and then they disappear after that scene only to reappear many minutes later for a short period of time. This uneven approach is quite disturbing, and makes for a very disappointing soundtrack.

    The subwoofer is not used extensively, but does a good job of adding punch to the score - and there really are no other opportunities for it than that.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This disc is well-and-truly packed with extras, providing many more than a film of this nature deserves. In some instances it shows, as the content becomes stretched quite thin on the ground (whoever decided that this title absolutely needed four commentary tracks should have their head read).

Menu

    Animated, 16x9 enhanced, themed around the movie and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 audio backing, the menu is decent enough, although the locking of switching between audio tracks in the main feature means crawling through three levels of menu to switch between them.

The Baking Of American Pie 2 (24:03)

    Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 audio this is a standard behind-the-scenes marketing documentary. There is little information of real value to be gleaned from this collection of interviews and clips from the movie, but it is still good fun to watch.

Audio Commentary - J.B. Rogers (Director)

    Director Rogers has a decent amount to say about the movie, but there are still a number of gaps in his commentary.

Audio Commentary - Adam Herz (Writer)

    The screenwriter goes into quite a bit of detail about the process of writing a script, both in general and in terms of a comedy, and the restrictions placed on writers by the studio system. While Herz has quite a bit to say, there are still a large number of gaps in his commentary, and I can't help but think that this commentary should have been combined with that of J.B. Rogers.

Audio Commentary - Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari, Thomas Ian Nicholas (Actors)

    This is the least worthwhile of all the commentaries, as it features almost no interesting information. It is simply the three actors laughing and giggling among themselves over memories. About the only interest here is the slight b****iness between the actors (Thomas Nicholas mentions that some of his lines were taken from him and given to Jason Biggs, while both the men hassle Mena Suvari about a bracelet that she breaks during the commentary), and getting to hear Mena Survari burp (the joys of taking three spoiled stars and throwing them together without control). This is also full of long gaps where all three sit back and admire their work. A wasted effort.

Audio Commentary - Eddie Kaye Thomas (Actor)

    A much better commentary by a lonely Eddie Kaye Thomas. The things he has to say are quite interesting, including dissing the major sponsor's product (I'm sure Pepsico are thrilled), and telling us of the kinds of establishments frequented by the male cast.

Outtakes (5:29)

    The title that runs as this starts is "Gag Reel", and from there we get to see around five minutes of fluffed lines, behind the scenes goofing off, and general production problems. Presented in letterboxed 1.85:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Deleted Scenes (10:47)

    These are a collection of scenes excised from the final print of the movie. Presented in letterboxed 1.85:1 (with timing information outside of the letterbox), not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Music Video: Be Like That - 3 Doors Down (4:13)

    This is, well, the music video for Be Like That from 3 Doors Down. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Your Favourite Piece of Pie

    This section presents the "Viewers' Top Ten Scenes" (the R1 includes an explanation and introduction from Sean William Scott for this) from both American Pie 2 and the original American Pie. The scenes are as follows:     The scenes from American Pie 2 are presented at 1.78:1, are 16x9 enhanced and feature Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The scenes from American Pie are presented in letterboxed 1.85:1, are not 16x9 enhanced, and feature Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. The change of aspect ratio between the two is extremely annoying.

Classic Quotes

    This section presents (via branching, I presume), 15 of the more memorable quotes from American Pie 2. Since you can see these quite easily by just watching the movie, I don't really understand this inclusion. These are presented at 1.78:1, are 16x9 enhanced, and feature Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Music Highlights

    As with the Classic Quotes section, this takes you to the section of the movie in which the listed song (there are 30 to choose from) is played, then brings you back to the menu when done. Again, I really have no idea why anyone would use this section (especially as the part of the movie you are taken to still includes all other audio - it is not isolated music). Presented at 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Theatrical Trailer (3:15)

    This is in two sections - the first is a humorous introduction by Jason Biggs, the second is the actual trailer. The introduction is presented in 1.33:1, is not 16x9 enhanced, and features Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. The trailer itself is presented in letterboxed 1.85:1, is not 16x9 enhanced, and features Dolby Digital 2.0 surround audio.

Production Notes

    This is 10 pages of text giving some very brief background to the movie. The DVD-ROM production notes are far more extensive, and if you have access to them then forget about these.

Cast and Filmmakers

    This section presents very brief biographies for the principal cast and crew. The crew (or "filmmakers" as this disc calls them) biographies in the DVD-ROM section are far more extensive, but the cast biographies are quite limited both there and here.

DVD-ROM Content

    This is a section that includes bios for each character, the actor that plays them, stills from the movies, short interview clips, and some sound bites. Unfortunately, it is all very much fluff, so those without DVD-ROM drives need not be worried.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     In terms of the video and audio, the two discs are identical, but the addition of the extra behind the scenes footage and screen tests on the R1 disc make it the narrow winner.

Summary

    American Pie 2 is a very funny movie that is a shining example of crafting a movie to be exactly what the audience wants. It is presented on a brilliant DVD.

    The video quality is superb, with only a very few minor blemishes keeping it from getting full marks.

    The audio quality is a little disappointing, being a very front-heavy soundtrack that is not without audio sync issues.

    There are an enormous quantity of extras present on this disc. While the quality and value of many are questionable, between them all there is certainly enough here for many hours of viewing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Monday, April 22, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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Overall | American Pie: Collector's Edition (1999) | American Pie 2: Collector's Edition (2001) | American Pie: The Wedding (American Wedding) (2003) | American Pie Revealed (Bonus Disc)

American Pie: The Wedding (American Wedding) (2003)

American Pie: The Wedding (American Wedding) (2003)

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Released 19-Jan-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Introduction-Adam Herz (Writer / Producer)
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Featurette-Stifler Speak
Featurette-Enter The Dominatrix: Inside The Bachelor Party
Audio Commentary-Jesse Dylan (Director) and Seann William Scott (Actor)
Audio Commentary-Actors
Featurette-Grooming The Groom
Featurette-Cheesy Wedding Video
Featurette-Nikki's Hollywood Journal
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 99:09
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:27) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jesse Dylan
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Jason Biggs
Seann William Scott
Alyson Hannigan
Eddie Kaye Thomas
Thomas Ian Nicholas
January Jones
Eugene Levy
Molly Cheek
Deborah Rush
Fred Willard
Angela Paton
Eric Allan Kramer
Amanda Swisten
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Christophe Beck
Andrew Dorfman
Damon Gough


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    When I looked at American Pie 2 back in April of 2002, I finished by musing on a couple of points. Firstly was whether or not a sequel would or should be made - the conclusion being that after the enormous box-office windfall of Pie 2 the likelihood of a third movie in the series was rather good, while personally I thought it would only be worthwhile if Alyson Hannigan was in every scene. The first part turned out to be exactly correct, while the second was pretty much close enough, as Hannigan is now the leading lady of this franchise. The second point of musing was whether the producers would succeed in pulling off their incredible feat of re-uniting the entire 11-strong major cast for a third time. As we now know, that didn't happen, but you would never notice. There is an interesting comparison to draw between those who did and didn't return - of the male characters, only Oz (Chris Klein) did not return, while of the women only Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) did return. Fortunately with all that is going on here, and with the new characters, you don't at all miss Oz, Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), Jessica (Natasha Lyonne), Vicky (Tara Reid), or Heather (Mena Suvari). This is not all that surprising when the structure of Pie 2 is considered, in that all the girls bar Michelle were really only minor characters (in fact Heather was seen for only a minute or two of screen time), while the strait-laced Oz was always overshadowed by his more outrageous companions.

    This third instalment in the Pie series (interestingly enough entitled simply American Wedding in the US, rather than the longer American Pie: The Wedding used virtually everywhere else) is set three years down the track from the second film. This catches us up to "real time" as the second film, while released two years after the first was only set one year later. The story is ostensibly about the wedding of Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle, but as with any other Pie film, this is merely an excuse to run from one joke to the next, with the obvious hook of the bachelor party to fulfil the movie's nudity quota. There have been some new characters added to fill the holes left by the no-shows, most notable of these being Michelle's parents Mary (Deborah Rush) and Harold (Fred Willard), her sister Cadence (January Jones in what is possibly her most mature role yet), and the somewhat effeminate Bear (Eric Allan Kramer). Of these Bear is the only one to generate any real comic interest, as Michelle's parents are far too clichéd (that is - stuck up) to be particularly amusing, while the entire purpose for Cadence is to be the object of desire for both Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Stiffler (Seann William Scott).

    When the story is not covering Jim and Michelle's wedding, it is pausing to allow Stiffler to, well, be Stiffler. As much as the official focus of this film is the wedding, the real comedic drive is the amped up antics of Steve Stiffler. This is not the character remembered from the first two films - it is the essence of that character taken and distilled until it is many times as pure, then placed on steroids - essentially it is just a license for Seann William Scott to try anything and everything to get a laugh, and scarily enough it works most of the time. The film's major comedic highlights are all provided by Stiffler, from the gay-club dance off (pretty much the funniest thing in film this year) to the "chocolate truffle" sequence, Scott demonstrates a combination of physical comedy and pitch-perfect delivery that will leave you in stitches.

    By the time the film is winding to an end however, it is time for the wedding to progress, and unlike many other films of this nature, the very emotional wedding scenes are pulled off with the perfect blend of comedy and respect for the characters. This works for the most part because these are characters we have come to know over the passage of four years and three films. The very fact that this is the third time we visit them makes it all the more like it is catching up with old friends - you tell the funny stories, and then you enjoy each other's successes, which in this case is getting married. Even the least romantic person will be hard-pressed to keep a smile off their faces (and not from laughing) during the bridal waltz (which, interestingly enough, also acts as a callback to Pie 2 and the party dance).

    Tonally, this film is almost identical to the second instalment in the series. While the first movie was "get laid now", the second and third have had more mature themes, focusing on love and finding your place in the world. By marrying off the lead characters from the second film, the series grows up just like its audience has. The original mid-to-late teens that watched the first movie in late high-school or early uni have now moved on. They are now in their early-to-mid twenties, already with jobs, or at the very least contemplating their future. Like the characters in this film many are starting to think of what they are going to do with their lives - it is no longer about partying and getting laid, it is about finding someone special. This sort of film will always have a very close connection to its audience - just as some of the classic teen comedies from the '80s have left an indelible impression on those who experienced them at the right time in their lives, American Pie and its sequels will be remembered by a new generation as the films they grew up with.

    So - to the musings that completed my review of Pie 2 - should there be a sequel and if so which cast members will be involved? Well, as American Pie: The Wedding was not quite as spectacular in terms of box office as its predecessor, a sequel is not guaranteed. That isn't to say it wasn't successful - it still raked in over $US100 million in the US alone - but the diminishing returns will probably cause some to wonder. Personally, as with the second film, I really don't see where they could take a fourth Pie film (excluding the sequel made 20 years from now with the children of the characters all coming together). The romantic conflict between Jim and Michelle has effectively been ended by their wedding, and while making a Pie film without them would probably succeed it would lose its heart. On the other hand, dropping Kevin would be no loss, while all the new characters are just that - new - so would not necessarily be all that useful to another film. Having said that, if the money men decide there is enough room, no doubt a fourth movie will be made and we will get to see how life treats these characters. Maybe the next one will be the high-school reunion version?

    As a final note, the version of the film we have here is what is known as the "unrated" cut in the US (where films can actually be released without passing a censor first). This differs from the theatrical version of the film shown here (which was the same as the US theatrical version) by around 7 minutes. Most of this is at the bachelor party - this time we get more nudity, more dirty talk, and generally more gags (most of which fall flat, but there is one pearler worth the extra chaff). In addition, scenes have been added throughout the movie, reintroducing gags, and expanding character arcs. For the most part they are an improvement. The only downside (if you care about it anyway), is that the original theatrical version of this film is not available (at least here in Australia).

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer presented for American Pie: The Wedding is very disappointing, but only for two reasons - contrast balance and shadow detail. If not for those two issues it would be excellent.

    Presented at the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced. Note that this is a change from the first two films that were both shot at 1.85:1 - possibly a further metaphor for the maturing of the characters and the story.

    Sharpness is quite good, displaying a pleasing amount of fine detail. Despite that, the image is still quite smooth, making for a very film-like effect. There is almost no grain present, with only a very occasional area of background making any visible at all. The real let-down however is shadow detail. It is extremely poor, with every scene taking place in anything but bright light being affected. Vast areas of screen disappear into impenetrable murkiness, giving the feeling that the film is being watched with dark glasses on. It removes almost all depth from the image, making it look very flat, and not at all pleasant to watch. For a brand new film this is a disgrace, and hopefully not one caused by the desire to get it to market quickly following the theatrical release. There is no low level noise present.

    Colours are also a major problem. It is quite possible these were affected by the very poor shadow detail, but it is as if in an attempt to overcome the shadow problem, colours were simply boosted. The results are that lighter colours are very often (especially in scenes with a good number of shadows) blown out, bringing what is almost certainly a very unintentional look to the film. Hopefully this transfer will be re-visited again in the future, because it would be a shame for this representation to be the one remembered through time.

    Compression artefacts are non-existent, and there is not one blemish on the print to be found. Aliasing is also kept to a minimum, with only a few obvious subjects causing problems, such as the grille of the bus at 8:58, the benches in the gym from 38:45 to 38:54, and Stiffler's shirt from 55:27 onwards. Fortunately, none of these are major, and cause little distraction. There is also a fair amount of edge enhancement, but in rather fluctuating doses - some scenes really dial it up, while in others it is non-existent. This will annoy those with large projection displays, and at times is even obvious on TVs.

    The subtitles are close to word-for-word accurate, and never miss a beat. They carry the humour as well as can be hoped (where intonation is important, they try gallantly, but usually fail), are well paced, and attractively rendered.

    This is a dual layered disc with the layer change taking place at 72:27 during Chapter 18. It is reasonably well placed, although still obvious due to the audio drop-out.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Unlike the video, the audio transfer has no flaws, however its relatively sedate delivery can only be described as average, leveraging very little of the potential of a surround soundtrack.

    There are three audio tracks present on this disc. The first is the original English dialogue, presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 384Kbps), with the other two tracks being English audio commentaries in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (both at 192Kbps).

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. There are never any issues whether it be from Foley effects, score or other characters.

    Audio sync is unfortunately a different matter. There are a number of occasions where it seems to be ever-so-slightly out. Those sensitive to this sort of thing will find it a little off-putting, but it is close enough to normal that most will never notice it.

    The music provided for this movie comes in two flavours - the score provided by Christophe Beck, and a (very) large number of contemporary songs. There really isn't all that much work for the score here - it is simply filling the gaps between the "real" songs, more than the other way around. When it is present, it is cleverly composed so as to sound not too dissimilar to the songs it is bridging, never really drawing the audience's attention to it, but allowing them to enjoy the songs. The songs themselves are also considerably more effective here than in many other movies that use a similar amount of contemporary music. They drive the story as much as the score, and have been chosen to fit well with those used during the original American Pie, despite the major change in prevailing popular music tastes since that movie's release (over four years ago now!).

    While this is technically a surround soundtrack, it seems someone forgot to remind the sound engineers, as the surround channels sit dormant for virtually the entire length of the movie, only coming to life for a very brief bit of ambient surround sound with a bare few seconds to run in the film. A very disappointing effort.

    Thankfully the subwoofer receives a larger dose of care, although this track is by no means going to set any bass-usage records. The subwoofer fortifies most of the songs and some score, meaning it is active for a large portion of the movie, but in a way that never threatens to knock walls down.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    As is almost expected by now for a Pie film, the selection of extras presented is extensive. For this third film they are somewhat reduced in number, but as a result more focused and far more interesting - there are no quotes or "favourite scene" sections to be found here, only true featurettes and behind the scenes interviews and footage. Probably the only thing missing here is a commentary from writer Adam Herz. It is quite obvious that he is the force behind these films, and to not hear from him is quite disappointing. Unfortunately the smaller number of extras does give rise to speculation that the other types of extras (and maybe a couple more commentaries) are being held back for a future release - or maybe the studio executives have simply realised this type of film doesn't need four separate commentary tracks?

Menu

    The menu is 16x9 enhanced, and themed around the film. It features animated introductions and transitions but for the rest is static and silent. Annoyingly it is one of those menus that features time-outs. If you don't select a sub-menu item in time it will take you back to the main menu, then if you don't select a main menu item in time it will start the movie. Very frustrating.

Deleted Scenes (22:10)

    This section presents 12 deleted scenes, all with introductions from either writer/producer Adam Herz or actor Seann William Scott. Once again, it is easy to see from this that the introduction method of presenting deleted scenes is far more watchable than the optional commentary. The scenes presented here range from additional jokes to character development, and explanations for some of the major plot-holes (and for why the film progresses virtually straight from engagement to wedding). Most would not have been out of place back in the film, although the four and a bit minutes of Seann William Scott making out with a blow-up doll is quite disturbing and not something that most will enjoy watching. The scenes are 2.35:1 but not 16x9 enhanced (the introductions are 1.33:1), and feature Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Outtakes (6:07)

    This is basically six minutes of goofing off, flubbed lines, and a lot of extra swearing. Sometimes amusing, sometimes embarrassing, and sometimes boring, it is still worth watching. Presented at 2.35:1 (with an annoying "Outtake" banner across the bottom the entire time - just for those who forgot which menu option they selected), not 16x9 enhanced and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Featurette - Stiffler Speak (7:16)

    This featurette looks at how writer Adam Herz and actor Seann William Scott approach the dialogue of Stiffler. It is quite an interesting look at how a character is created, and well worth watching. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Featurette - Enter The Dominatrix: Inside The Bachelor Party (9:48)

    A look behind the scenes during the filming of the bachelor party, "hosted" by actress Nikki Schieler Ziering (Officer Crystal), whose breasts are probably more well known to this film's audience than her face. At almost ten minutes, this runs slightly too long, but for the most part actually covers details about production, and an amusing look at the prop-list from the shoot - as well as some clips that were shot but not included as deleted scenes or re-cut back into this "unrated" version of the film. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Audio Commentary - Jesse Dylan (Director) and Seann William Scott (Actor)

    This commentary is not bad. There are a few too many gaps, and it seems that director Jesse Dylan is almost hero worshipping Scott, but the two cover quite a comprehensive range of subjects. It is particularly interesting towards the end where Dylan prompts Scott about his thoughts on the series as a whole, and the effort that he has put into the character of Stiffler becomes apparent.

Audio Commentary - Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and Thomas Ian Nicholas (Actors)

    This commentary is a total waste of time. Early on the four participants reveal that they have not actually seen the movie in its entirety until the recording session, which results in many large gaps as they simply sit back and admire their own work. The men in particular come across as juvenile and spoiled (Eddie Kay Thomas's biggest revelation is that he spent a majority of the shoot drunk, and he seems to be proud of it), while Alyson Hannigan switches between useless comments as to what is on screen ("Doggies!") to vain attempts at trying to focus the men into making more useful comments. To be fair to her, she is quite overwhelmed here by the men (and in facts comments at one point that she wishes January Jones was present so she didn't have to be the only girl), and does seem a little frustrated with their behaviour. All in all, this commentary should be removed from the disc completely.

Featurette - Grooming The Groom (6:35)

    A behind the scenes look at - of all scenes - the pubic hair shaving scene. Actually more interesting and less gruesome than it sounds, the amount of technical effort required to pull off a simple scene of Jason Biggs shaving his pubic region is rather scary. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Cheesy Wedding Video (3:00)

    Shot and edited in the form of a "real" wedding video this is runs like an excerpt from any number of wedding videos out there, only this time it's for the wedding of two fictitious characters. Why it was made I'm not sure, but the romantics will probably get a kick out of it (okay, so it had me smiling too...) Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Featurette - Nikki's Hollywood Journal (9:55)

    This featurette is a "day in the life" of Nikki Schieler Ziering (a.k.a. bachelor party stripper Officer Crystal) as she prepares for the premiere of the film. Not particularly interesting, it does however give us the unique opportunity to see Ziering with her clothes on. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version of this disc is to be released in not one, not two, not even three or four, but five different flavours - Rated (widescreen and "standard"), Unrated (widescreen and "standard"), and as a "gift set". The Region 4 version is the equivalent of the Region 1 "Unrated" (in fact our menus still say "unrated" even though distributing video content in Australia without first letting the censors have their say is illegal) widescreen edition. As the Region 1 version is not due out until the new year, preview reviews have yet to appear, but based on preliminary specs, it should be similar, possibly lacking only a "script-to-screen" feature and seamless branching to view the US theatrical cut. When the disc is released in the US and details are available, this section will be updated.

Summary

    American Pie: The Wedding is a fitting "conclusion" to the adventures of Jim, Michelle, Stiffler, and the gang. These characters have been with us for four years now, and each time they have appeared on screen they have grown up just a little - not unlike the film's audience. A funny comedy, more in the vein of the second movie, that easily incorporates the emotional wedding scenes, leaving fans beaming from ear-to-ear, and wanting more.

    The video quality is extremely disappointing. The shadow detail is terrible, and possibly in an effort to combat this problem the colour has been boosted on scenes with much in the way of shadow, which only leads to a very unnatural contrast between burnt out colours and murky dark patches.

    The audio is merely serviceable - this really sounds more like a stereo soundtrack than a surround soundtrack.

    The extras are still extensive - if not as many as for the previous entries in this series - but this time they are of a higher quality, and are worth the time to investigate (well, apart from the totally useless cast commentary).

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Monday, December 15, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-555K, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersRochester Audio Animato Series (2xSAF-02, SAC-02, 3xSAB-01) + 12" Sub (150WRMS)

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Overall | American Pie: Collector's Edition (1999) | American Pie 2: Collector's Edition (2001) | American Pie: The Wedding (American Wedding) (2003) | American Pie Revealed (Bonus Disc)

American Pie Revealed (Bonus Disc)

American Pie Revealed (Bonus Disc)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 27-Oct-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Introduction-Begin The Journey, With Eugene Levy
Featurette-The Recipe For Pie -Necessary Ingredients,The Guy Behind Pie
Featurette-The Inspiration For East Great Falls, Casting The Gang,
Featurette-Jim's Dad, Add Notecards And Stir
Featurette-The First Piece -The Baking Of American Pie, Sex Comedy Pie1
Featurette-Bodily Functions in Pie 1, Learning Lacrosse,
Featurette-Tour The Real "Pie House", Dancing For Nadia
Featurette-The Aftertaste - The Test Screening, Fame!, Backlash
Featurette-The Second Helping - Making Pie 2, The M.I.L.F.
Featurette-Uneaten Pieces:The Lost Storylines, Bodily Functions In Pie2
Featurette-Sex Comedy In Pie 2
Featurette-One Last Piece - Making An American Wedding
Featurette-The First Read-Through, Sex Comedy In Wedding
Featurette-Bodily Functions in Wedding, Tour Of Jim's Room
Featurette-A Visit To The Prop Truck, That's A Wrap
Featurette-The Reunion Dinner
Featurette-FAQ
Credits
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 195:43
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (135:40) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Eugene Levy
Jason Biggs
Sean William Scott
Alyson Hannigan
Case ?
RPI Box Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Varies Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    American Pie Revealed is the extras disc which accompanies the American Pie trilogy, contained within the American Pie - The Threesome Four Disc DVD Box Set.

    The American Pie trilogy contains the films American Pie (1999), American Pie 2 (2001), and American Pie: The Wedding (2003). I, like this Extras DVD, am ignoring American Pie Presents Band Camp (2005), which I have not seen, and I understand was a direct to Video/DVD release.

    American Pie Revealed is divided into a number of different sections, but there is a "play all" option entitled "Eat the whole pie". The DVD's content contains a lot of interviews with cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, outtakes, uncut dailies, and letterboxed clips from the films. The DVD's content is as follows:

Introduction-Begin The Journey, With Eugene Levy

   Eugene Levy, who plays Jim's Dad, introduces the DVD and the menu structure.

Featurette-The Recipe For Pie -Necessary Ingredients

    Featuring Producer Chris Moore, this featurette features the cast and crew presenting the basic elements of the films, and its gross-out humour

The Guy Behind Pie

    The film's producers and directors discuss Adam Herz, who provided both the original story and scripts for the films. Herz mentions his inspirations, including his own school and college experiences, and films such as Porkys and Flying High (Airplane).

Featurette-The Inspiration For East Great Falls

    Here we meet the Assistant Principal of Herz's school, and some of Herz's school buddies, who all discuss their recollections of Herz. Some of these buddies inspired the characters in the trilogy.

Casting The Gang

   A look at the auditions for the cast, and a discussion of the main characters in the films.

Featurette-Jim's Dad

    A look at the character of Jim's dad (who never gets named in any of the films). I found this interesting, as Levy changed the dialogue and character of Herz's script, and created his own, which proved to be far more successful than what Herz had written. It seems that all the father son chats, which are some of the best parts of these films, are improvised by the two actors.

Add Notecards And Stir

    Herz walks us through his script writing process, which involves arranging, and then re-arranging the film's scenes, written on note cards and pinned to a board.

Featurette-The First Piece -The Baking Of American Pie

    A look back at a young cast and crew, working on a low-budget film that was to change all their lives.

Pie Sex

    A look at 'that' scene from the first film, featuring actor Jason Biggs and an apple pie.

The tube sock

    A look at Jim's masturbation scene from the first film, and what became known as the "cock prop".

The tongue tornado

    Featuring actress Tara Reid, this is a discussion of the cunnilingus scene from the first film.

The Bible

    The producers discuss where the idea for "the Bible", a book with a collection of sexual techniques, came from.

Nadia Vision

    A look at the small, but memorable, role played by the beautiful actress Shannon Elizabeth, who had her very large boyfriend (now husband) Joe Reitman (who makes a cameo appearance in the second film), on set to watch her.

"Say my name b****"

    A look at Jim's love scene, and how actors Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan improvised their dialogue. This classic line from the film seems to have just popped out of Hannigan's mouth in one take, and made it to the final cut.

The infamous pale ale

    Actor Sean William Scott, whose character Stiffler unintentionally drank semen in the first film, urine in the second film, and ate dog excrement in the third, explains how the pale ale is made. Apparently egg whites double for semen in the beer.

Shitbreak's s***break

    Actor Eddie Thomas who plays Finch discusses his character and the laxative scene.

Learning Lacrosse

   Actors Sean William Scott and Chris Klein recall how their characters played lacrosse, but neither of them knew how to play. They provide an anecdote of their steep learning curve.

Featurette-Tour The Real "Pie House"

    'Ben', the owner of the real house used in the films provides a tour of his Long Beach house, including the kitchen where the pie scene takes place. He provides a funny story of how when his family returned to the house, after filming, they discovered a pie in their fridge, but were unsure if they should eat it (they didn't).

Dancing For Nadia

    Outtakes from Jason Biggs' improvised dancing scenes.

Fame!

    The cast and crew reflect on their surprise as to the success of the first film. There are also some red carpet scenes following the film's original theatrical opening.

Backlash

    A look at some of the films' detractors, including film critic John Douglas and surprisingly, President Bill Clinton, who all publicly attacked the film. Apparently, privately, Clinton loved it. There is also some discussion about the fact that this is an R-Rated film, yet it was openly marketed to a teenage market.

Featurette-The Second Helping - Making Pie 2

    A new story with a new director, the gang was all moved out to the beach for some fun in the sun.

Lesbians

    A look at the famous scene from the second film. There are plenty of outtakes, especially of Jason Biggs and Sean William Scott kissing.

Band Camp

    A look at the fictitious Tall Oaks Band Camp, and how these films apparently sent real enrolments in band camps through the roof.

Pee Scene

    Outtakes of the Stiffler drinking urine scene. We also meet the film's Prop Masters who walk us through the pee props and the pee SFX.

Bonding with Jim

    A look at Jim's super glue masturbation scene. We also see behind the scenes Jason Biggs' bruising physical comedy.

Back Story

    I found it very interesting that following test screenings the second film was extensively re-shot with some of the film's main characters either removed, or given entirely different scenes and dialogue, just weeks before the film was due to be completed. Despite this, the second film actually works well.

Back to East Great Falls High

    Some nostalgic outtakes, inspired by the film American Graffiti.

Stiffler's Dad Moves In

    A sub-plot that was removed from the second film. Actor Chris Penn played Stiffler's dad, who was a sort of 'Super Stiffler'. Indeed, he referred to himself as "the big stiff". Following screenings to test audiences, the film was completely re-written without this character.

Stiffler has a baby

    This is a joke - there is no content here.

Finch's great orgasm

    Another scene removed from the second film, where Stiffler's dad unwittingly provides a tantric Finch with his great orgasm.

The Fight

    In another scene removed from the second film, Finch faces Stiffler's dad in a fight at the beach house to remove him from their beach party.

Stiffler's dad meets Jim's dad

    In another scene removed from the second film, the two characters meet accidentally in a book store, where they discuss fatherhood. As always, Eugene Levy (who plays Jim's dad) steals the show.

Bringing the pieces together

    Due to the odd way in which American Pie 2 was made, there was no linear script, but a collection of comic set pieces. Here, the filmmakers reflect on how they created a successful film without a coherent storyline.

The M.I.L.F.

    A look at Stiffler's mum, and how this term was made popular by this film. Herz admits he didn't invent it, but heard his brother use it once.

Making An American Wedding

    Despite the haphazard way in which American Pie 2 was made, it was even more popular than the first film. This in turn lead to another sequel, American Wedding (released as American Pie: The Wedding in Australia). Two comic set pieces were to dominate this third film, the bachelor party, and the wedding itself.

Featurette-The First Read-Through

    Sean William Scott explains what the First Read Through is, and there is footage of this taking place. Some of this behind the scenes footage is then compared to the final scenes in the film.

American Dogs

    The director of American Wedding, Jesse Dylan, hosts a behind the scenes look at the casting and training of the "humping dogs" in American Wedding.

The chocolate truffle

    Sean William Scott reflects on how his character, Stiffler, unintentionally drank semen in the first film, urine in the second film, and ate dog excrement in the third. There is a behind the scenes look at the chocolate truffle scene being filmed, and we get to see how the prop makers create fake dog poo.

Tour Of Jim's Room

    Jason Biggs provides us with a tour of the set that is his bedroom in the trilogy. He also points out a few in-jokes, such as a copy of the DVD How High which sits on his table. The film was directed by one of the trilogy's directors.

Featurette-A Visit To The Prop Truck

    Prop Masters Dave and Scott happily show off their fake erections, fake poo, and collection of dildos.

That's A Wrap

    A behind the scenes look at the last scenes of American Wedding being filmed. Herz reflects on it being the end of an era.

Featurette-The Reunion Dinner

    Key cast and crew from the trilogy meet in the same restaurant where they met for the first time, five years ago, for a nostalgic dinner and chat, filled with plenty of back slaps and anecdotes.

Featurette-FAQ

    Herz answers the most frequently asked questions over the last five years. For example, did he make up the term M.I.L.F?; and is Finch's nickname S***break or S***brick? (as incorrectly appears in the subtitles); and why aren't all the characters in American Wedding?

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Obviously a variety of source material has been used in these featurettes, ranging from uncut dailies and behind the scenes home video to recent interviews shot on DV tape. However, overall, the transfer quality is acceptable.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with the clips from the films presented letterboxed. Some material is presented pan and scan.

    The sharpness, black level, shadow detail, and colour of the recent footage, such as the interviews, are mostly fine, as these segments are usually well-lit and shot. But some of the interviews are under-lit, such as at 139:15. As expected, some of the DVD's contents are limited by the condition of the source material, and some of the behind the scenes and video footage lacks detail, such as the night footage at 104:15.

    I did occasionally notice some problems with MPEG artefacts, and sometimes the backgrounds in particular were a little pixelated. Some of the content is also very grainy.

    Film-to-video artefacts appear in the form of aliasing, such as the slight shimmer on the pick-up truck at 82:57, or the shimmer on Jim's dad's striped shirt  at 127:30.

    As expected, there are various film artefacts appearing in a lot of the footage, due to its origin.

    Only English subtitles are present, and they are accurate.

    This is a dual-layered disc, with the layer change placed at 135:40. The content is divided into 55 chapters.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one audio track offered: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). Considering that the content of almost all the featurettes is 'talking heads', this is acceptable.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are fine throughout.

    While there is some incidental use of music, understandably there is no score per se for this DVD. Interestingly, despite the many featurettes included, none relate to the trilogy's score or many songs used throughout the trilogy.

    Obviously, as Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, there is no surround presence or LFE activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    With this DVD, the 'extras' are the content.

Menu

    There is a Main Menu Introduction, and a series of animated sub-menus, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as I can tell, the American Pie - The Threesome box set was released in the US as a "Limited Edition" in 2004, but is no longer available in R1. In the US they currently have a three-disc box set containing just the three movies, without the extras disc.

    However, American Pie - The Threesome has been released in R2, and our versions, including this disc, seem to be the same.

Summary

    This disc is a collection of extras for the trilogy, and aimed squarely at fans of the movies.

    The video quality depends on the source material, but is usually acceptable.

    The audio quality is limited, but also acceptable.

    The collection of extras are genuine.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Monday, May 08, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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