On Blu-Ray: American Reunion
Written and Directed by: John Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy
At some point in a movie franchise everything goes sideways and the law of diminishing returns kicks in. Fortunately for American Reunion that didn’t happen.
I love the American Pie movies. Well, at least the theatrical movies. Those straight to dvd “sequels” are crap and the producers of American Reunion apparently agree. The last time we saw Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) they were getting married, fast forward nine years and they have a house and a kid and not enough time to spend with each other. After receiving an invitation to their high school reunion (it’s been more than ten years since they graduated but the script takes care of this plot point with ease) they decide that this weekend will be just what their marriage needs. Of course going back to East Great Falls means seeing the old gang and more awkward but touching moments with Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy), all the stuff we like to see in the American Pie movies.
We learn that life has been a mixed bag for everyone. Oz is a successful sports caster who had a memorable appearance on a “Dancing With the Stars” type show. Kevin is married and a work from home husband while Finch is a world traveler. Then there’s Stifler and things are not going well for him. So naturally he tries to re-live some of those high school good times with his best buds while they’re in town. And hilarity ensues.
The thing about the American Pie movies is that they have a heart. Sure started out being billed as teen sex comedies then just as “gross out” films. But in the end they always come down to friendship and the ties that bind. In this movie we find out that Jim’s mom passed away a few years ago and his dad has had a hard time coping with being single again. Jim wants his dad to be happy and not be alone. The relationship between Jim and his dad (Eugene Levy) has always been the glue that holds these movies together. No matter how awkward the situation or how embarrassing the gaff Jim’s dad has been there for Jim with life advice even if Jim didn’t want it.
At the reunion we also catch up with the other members of the Class of ’99 including Nadia, Jessica and the Milf Guys. It’s fun to see how everyone has changed in the last thirteen years and it’s also fun to see how many actors broke out of the original American Pie. I thoroughly loved this movie and I think that any fan of the original would find American Reunion a pleasant watch.
The Video and Audio
This is a blu-ray + dvd combo pack. The blu-ray is presented in 1080p HD widescreen in a 1.85.:1 video aspect ratio and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DVS 2.0. The dvd is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 and Dolby Digital 5.1. Everything looks and sounds great on blu-ray. As far as the dvd, it’s hard to go back once high definition has entered your life.
The Packaging and Special Features
Unless you get an ultra special edition of a blu-ray release the packaging is pretty standard with the requisite transparent blue clam shell case and American Reunion is no different. Now, as far as the special features go this thing is packed. Of course the usual commentary tracks, deleted scenes and gag reels are included but we also get extended scenes and alternate takes as well as behind the scene featurettes. The blu-ray has some exclusives like The Best of Biggs: Hanging’ with Jason Biggs and Dancing With The Oz. I’m not a big fan of having exclusive content for a single format but I have to give credit here for giving a lot of content on both releases.
This is a great way to end this franchise (please, let this be the end!!). Revisiting old friends is always tricky in the film world but the writers gave us a perfect bookend for the East Great Falls class of ’99.
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10
The Movie 8/10
The Video and Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Special Feature 8/10
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10