American Pie Presents The Naked Mile appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though not spectacular, this was a perfectly satisfactory transfer.
Colors usually came across well. A few scenes displayed slightly mushy tones, but the majority of the movie offered nicely delineated and bright hues. Blacks seemed dark and full, while shadows were reasonably smooth. Some interiors came across as a bit dense, but those instances weren’t problematic.
For the most part, sharpness seemed fine. Occasionally I thought the image was a little ill-defined, especially in some wider shots. Still, the flick was usually accurate and concise. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement was minor. No source flaws marred the presentation. While the visuals rarely excelled, they always remained satisfying.
Similar thoughts greeted the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Naked Mile. Examine the audio of pretty much every other comedy of this sort and you’ll know what to expect from the soundfield. It was a front-heavy affair that usually didn’t offer much more than general ambience. However, the band performance sequences added a little more zest than usual, and they filled out the spectrum well. Just don’t expect action-movie material from this restrained mix.
No issues with audio quality occurred. Speech was consistently distinct and concise, and I detected no problems with edginess or intelligibility. Effects played a minor role and never taxed the system. They displayed decent accuracy, though. Music was a more prominent participant. The track boasted good life and definition to the various tunes, as those showed solid clarity and depth. This was an unexceptional soundtrack, but it was good for this sort of film.
A mix of extras rounds out this DVD. We start with an audio commentary from director Joe Nussbaum, writer Erik Lindsay and actors Steve Talley, Jake Siegel, John White and Ross Thomas. All six sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion. The chat looks at casting, characters and performances, locations and connected issues, the script’s development and real-life inspirations, and various technical challenges.
Don’t expect a particularly serious commentary. Though not as chaotic as I worried it would become, the track can be a bit disjointed at times, especially as it progresses. Apparently the participants imbibed while the watched, so they get rowdier as the movie continues. Overall, the commentary doesn’t tell us a whole lot, but it’s a painless experience.
A featurette entitled The Yoga Guide to Getting Girls fills three minutes, 38 seconds. Jessy Schram acts in character as Tracy. She narrates as we watch a luckless loser try to pick up yoga babes. It’s meant for laughs but doesn’t achieve them.
The Bare Essentials goes for four minutes, 24 seconds as it looks at how some of the male cast members prepared for their nude scenes. That’s right – no naked women appear here, so it’s worthless for any thrill value. Instead, we see nauseating sequences such as guys getting their asses waxed. Ugh.
Eight Deleted and Extended Scenes appear. The whole set lasts six minutes and seven seconds. These offer some scene extensions and minor character bits. Nothing particularly memorable pops up here.
Up next we get two minutes and 42 seconds of Outtakes. It includes nothing more than the standard goof-ups and giggles.
Little People, Big Stunts lasts six minutes, 56 seconds. We get notes from Nussbaum, Lindsay, White, producer Keith Border, and actors Jordan Prentice and Mika Winkler. The program looks at the movie’s depiction of “Little People” and their work in the flick. We get some decent behind the scenes shots, but this comes across more as a self-congratulatory discussion of the film’s depiction of “LPs”.
For the final featurette, we find the 16-minute and 50-second Life on The Naked Mile. It features Nussbaum, Lindsay, Schram, White, Siegel, Border, Talley, and actors Daniel Petronijevic, and Christopher McDonald. The piece discusses the story along with various aspects of the shoot. There’s enough female nudity to make the behind the scenes elements compelling, but don’t expect a lot of useful information otherwise.
The DVD opens with some ads. We get promos for Saturday Night Live Season One, The Office, Universal HD-DVD, Hot Fuzz and Balls of Fury.
For the fifth installation in the American Pie series, we get a real stinker. The Naked Mile suffers from a surfeit of flaws and very few positives. The DVD gives us decent to good picture and audio along with fairly mediocre extras. Unless you’re absolutely obsessed with the world of American Pie, skip this dreadful film.