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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Jesse Dylan
Cast:
Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan
Writing Credits:
Adam Herz

Synopsis:
It's the wedding of Jim and Michelle and the gathering of their families and friends, including Jim's old friends from high school and Michelle's little sister.

Box Office:
Budget
$55 million.
Opening Weekend
$33,369,440 on 3172 screens.
Domestic Gross
$104,565,114.

MPAA:
Rated R/Unrated.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 108 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 11/30/2010

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Jay Roach and Editor Jon Poll
• Audio Commentary with Director Jay Roach, Producer Jane Rosenthal and Actors Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller
• “Spotlight on Location” Featurette
• Outtakes
• Deleted Scenes
• “De Niro Unplugged”
• “The Truth About Lying” Featurette
• “Silly Cat Tricks” Featurette
• “A Director’s Profile” Featurette
• Trailer


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RELATED REVIEWS


American Wedding [Blu-Ray] (2003)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 9, 2021)

Back in the summer of 1999, American Pie turned into a pretty big “sleeper” hit. Two years later, American Pie 2 did even better.

Inevitably, this success spawned another sequel, and American Wedding arrived in summer 2003. As the title implies, this one looks at the impending nuptials of two main characters.

In this case, we find Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) and Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan) on the cusp of marriage. After Michelle accepts Jim’s proposal, this leads to plans for the wedding – and Jim’s bachelor party.

Jim doesn’t want old high school frenemy Steve Stifler (Seann Wlliam Scott) to know about the event, as he fears “The Stifmeister” will ruin matters. Along with pals Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas), they attempt to make matter proceed as smoothly as possible.

And fail, of course, as the movie’s attempts at comedy come from the ways Jim bumbles and stumbles. Ever since Jim banged that eponymous baked goods in the first movie, he’s been the primary butt of various jokes, and that doesn’t change much here.

In the original film, we got a “coming of age” story that focused on four high school seniors: Jim, Finch, Kevin and Chris 'Oz' Ostreicher (Chris Klein). Each one got plenty of time for his story to develop, and Stifler offered nothing more than a supporting character.

However, Stifler and Jim turned into the movie’s breakout characters. As such, when Pie 2 arrived, it rode Jim and Stifler hard for its story and comedic elements.

Did Finch, Kevin and Oz get decent screentime? Sure, but Pie 2 turned them into ancillary roles, really, as it cared much more about Stifler and Jim than anything else.

Unsurprisingly, that trend continues here. Oz doesn’t appear at all, and we lose primary female characters Vicky and Heather as well. Don’t expect an explanation for their absence, as the movie doesn’t bother with that.

Which seems bizarre. Okay, the absence of those female roles doesn’t require clarity, as they existed as girlfriends of the leads more than anything else.

But Oz acted as one of Jim’s longtime best pals. If such a major character doesn’t come to his wedding, the movie should tell us why. Such a reference would take 15 seconds and eliminate confusion.

As was the case in Pie 2, neither Kevin nor Finch receive substantial narrative involvement. Sure, the flick gives them some development, but like Pie 2, this remains the Jim and Stifler show.

While it included broad comedy, the original Pie worked mainly because it boasted heart as well. The movie mixed laughs with warmth, and that allowed it to stand out from the crowd.

Pie 2 largely jettisoned that attitude, and Wedding deviates even more from the believable, natural feel of the first flick. Instead, we find one idiotic, contrived gross-out moment after another.

Really, any true connection to the original seems gone here, as the characters turn into cartoons. Of course, Stifler existed as an exaggerated stereotype, but given his prominence in the second and third movies, you’d think he’d develop in some ways.

Nope, though Wedding pretends to allow Stifler to grow, as it forces him to “mature” by the end. This feels utterly phony, and the rest of the time, Stifler comes across as even more obnoxious and less human than ever.

Jim now exists just to produce embarrassing comedic moments, and poor Michelle becomes completely stripped of personality. Whereas the first movies painted her as an appealing nerd, Wedding eliminates almost all her quirks and leaves her as borderline superfluous.

Wedding can’t even explore various themes in a creative manner. For instance, some of the “comedy” revolves around Jim’s attempts to ingratiate himself to Michelle’s parents (Fred Willard and Deborah Rush).

Unfortunately, the film finds no way to explore this topic beyond elements that rip off Meet the Parents. The movie completely wastes the great Willard with its sub-Three’s Company shtick.

Expect a lot of that in Wedding, as it goes for one contrived “comedy” scene after another. Not only do none of these amuse, but also they run far too long and extinguish any theoretical potential for laughs.

While I didn’t like Pie 2, it looks like a classic compared to Wedding. Pointless, witless and insulting, the third chapter flops.


The Disc Grades: Picture D/ Audio B-/ Bonus

American Wedding appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Gah – what an awful presentation!

Softness ran rampant here, as virtually every aspect of the movie looked mushy and ill-defined. Sure, some scenes seemed a bit more precise than others, but nothing here even came across with appropriate delineation.

Instead, we found a bland, dull presentation. Though some grain emerged, I suspected noise reduction behind a lot of the absence of detail.

Whatever the case, Wedding seemed painfully, distractingly soft. At least this meant no moiré effects or jagged edges, but edge haloes cropped up on more than a few occasions. Print flaws stayed minor, as I saw a few specks but nothing more.

In terms of colors, Wedding opted for a heavily amber tint, with some teal tossed in on occasion. These hues tended to seem a bit heavy and flat, as the amber impression could feel oddly oppressive at times.

Blacks came across as inky, while low-light shots provided decent clarity. This became a depressingly bad image.

When we got to the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Wedding, we found audio that served as low-key support for the action. As one might anticipate, the sound stayed mainly focused in the forward channels.

Occasional use of the surrounds occurred in scenes at parties, but don’t expect much material from the back speakers. The channels added decent ambience.

Audio quality was fine. Speech always sounded natural and crisp, and I noticed no issues connected to edginess or intelligibility.

Music came across as reasonably dynamic and lively, though the score and songs never really stood out as stellar. Effects played a minor role but they created accurate elements with acceptable range. There wasn’t anything exciting on display here, but the sound did the job it needed to do.

The disc includes both the film’s theatrical (1:36:28) and unrated (1:43:24) cuts. Most of the added footage revolves around the bachelor party. The longer edition works no better than the “R”-rated one.

Two audio commentaries appear here, and the first comes from director Jesse Dylan and actor Seann William Scott. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, aspects of the trilogy, cast and performances, editing and cut scenes, sets and locations, music and other domains.

Though the commentary touches on these topics, it mainly looks at the actors, with a not-illogical emphasis on Scott. He manages some good notes about his work.

However, much of the track feels general and oriented toward happy talk. Both joke around, laugh at the movie and fail to provide us a ton of insight. While not a bad commentary, this one lacks consistency and much substance.

For the second commentary, we hear from actors Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Thomas Ian Nicholas. All four sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion of their roles/performances as well as sets and locations.

As flawed as the Dylan/Scott commentary might be, it seems terrific compared to this awful track. The actors tell us nearly nothing of note, as they prefer to joke and make crude remarks. This becomes a pretty terrible stab at a commentary.

12 Deleted Scenes span a total of 22 minutes, nine seconds. That total includes introductions from screenwriter Adam Herz, though Scott offers a lead-in for two of them.

In these cut sequences, most give us additional time with Michelle and secondary characters. The last pair deliver more slapstick with Stifler, including a long sequence where he fools around with blow-up dolls.

The Michelle scenes probably should’ve made the movie, as they expand her negligible role in the final flick. The rest seem superfluous or worse – especially the monotonous Stifler stuff.

A collection of Outtakes goes for six minutes, seven seconds. Expect the usual goofs and giggles from this blooper reel.

With Stifler Speak, we get a seven-minute, 15-second featurette that involves Scott, Herz, Biggs, Dylan, and actor Fred Willard.

“Speak” looks at Scott’s performance and choices related to his role. It mixes some good notes and footage from the set with praise for the actor.

Inside the Bachelor Party spans nine minutes, 47 seconds and features Herz, Willard, Scott, Thomas, Dylan, and actors Eric Allan Kramer, Nikki Ziering and Amanda Swisten.

As expected, this show lets us get a closer look at one of the movie’s big comedic set pieces. It offers a decent view of the production, though the second half comes with a lot of blooper material.

Next comes Grooming the Groom, a six-minute, 34-second reel with Biggs, producers Chris Moore, Chris Bender and Craig Perry, prop makers “Dave and Scott”, and special effects director Ron Trost. “Grooming” examines the sequence in which Jim shaves his pubes. It becomes another mix of facts and goofiness.

Cheesy Wedding Video goes for two minutes, 59 seconds and presents a montage. It attempts to show the movie’s nuptials ala a real wedding video. It’s kind of a cool extra.

After this we get Kevin Cam, a three-minute 34-second piece that focuses on “a day in the life of an actor”. We see samples of Nicholas’s time on the set in this decent piece.

Nikki’s Hollywood Journal takes up nine minutes, 55 seconds and gives us more from Ziering. Like “Kevin Cam”, this follows Ziering through the day of the movie’s premiere. It’s not especially interesting.

Finally, A Look Inside American Reunion spans three minutes, 58 seconds and offers notes from Biggs, Scott, Thomas, Nicholas, directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, and actors Mena Suvari, Chris Klein, Tara Reid and Eugene Levy. It offers a basic promo for the fourth movie.

After three films, American Wedding showed a franchise totally devoid of creativity. It offers nothing more than cheap gags and insincere drama. The Blu-ray brings adequate audio and a nice collection of bonus materials but picture quality looks awful. This becomes a problematic release for a genuinely bad movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main