Coyote Ugly appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the widescreen image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. While mostly positive, the transfer was inconsistent.
Sharpness appeared strong throughout most of the film. Some shots came across as a bit filtered; I wouldn’t call them soft, but they lacked terrific definition. Nonetheless, the majority of the scenes were accurate and concise. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement remained minimal. Print flaws were also minor, though they seemed somewhat excessive for a 2000 release. Intermittent white speckles cropped up through the movie, and I saw a little black grit as well.
Colors looked nicely bright and vibrant throughout the film. The movie often favored some stylized colors similar to those found in music videos, and the hues always came across as accurate and clearly saturated. More natural tones also seemed rich and clean. Black levels looked very deep and dark, while shadow detail appeared appropriately heavy but never excessively thick. Ugly featured more than a few low-light sequences, and these always looked fine; even during scenes in near-total darkness, the images were nicely visible. Ultimately, the slight gauziness and source concerns knocked down my grade to a “B”, but this was usually a nice transfer.
Also strong were the soundtracks of Coyote Ugly. We find Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 mixes here, both of which seemed pretty similar. As usual, the DTS track appeared somewhat more rich and deep and it portrayed a moderately broader and better-placed environment, but as a whole, the two mixes were very similar. I’d give the DTS track the edge, but not to a significant degree; both were quite satisfying.
The soundfield mainly focused on the mix of pop music heard throughout the film, and these tunes and showcased neatly. The songs spread clearly across the forward speakers and they also receive strong reinforcement from the rears; during the “action” sequences in the bar, the music really takes over the mix to nice advantage. Effects also benefited from the broad and engaging soundfield, though to a lesser degree. This wasn’t the kind of movie that used lots of positional audio, but the sound designers were able to create a fairly involving presence for a variety of effects, and they appeared to pan across channels smoothly.
Audio quality seemed solid. Dialogue always appeared distinct and natural, with no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility. Effects came across as clean and realistic without any distortion. Music remained the star of the show, and the songs appeared bright and bold. The tunes displayed fine clarity and boasted nice bass response; the soundtrack cleanly represented the original tracks. All in all, the audio added a positive dimension to the film.
Truth in ratings: if you compare my grades for this release with those I gave to the original 2001 DVD, you’ll notice differences. Instead of this one’s “B/B+” for picture/sound, the prior set received “A-/A-“. Does that mean the old one’s superior in those areas? To be honest, probably not. As I looked over my old comments, I thought the two discs seemed very similar and I simply had different standards for grades back then. After all, I reviewed the original disc more than four years ago, and I’ve refined my “system” quite a lot since then. What looked/sounded like an “A-“ then might not be that high now.
If I still had the old DVD, I’d re-write the original review. Unfortunately, I don’t, so I can’t update my prior article. Because I couldn’t actually screen the 2001 release, I didn’t feel comfortable changing my grades. However, I seriously doubt that the old DVD looked or sounded better than the new one; based on my written impressions, I believe the two discs are likely virtually identical in both picture and audio categories.
This new “Unrated Special Edition” of Coyote Ugly differs from the old one in only one major way: the cut of the film itself. Instead of the theatrical PG-13 version, we get an unrated one. The DVD’s publicity materials claim the unrated one includes “an additional seven minutes of never-before-seen footage including adult-related content”. What’s “adult-related content” - shots of John Goodman as he balances his checkbook?
Actually, you’ll find a bit of extra sex in the new cut. We get a love-making scene between Kevin and Violet that offers quick shots of Garcia’s butt and longer images of Perabo’s body double’s breasts.
Other than that sequence, I was hard-pressed to notice much new. There’s one bit where some bar customers speculate on whether one woman’s “muff” is shaved; that might have been in the original, but such a comment sounds pretty racy for a “PG-13” flick. Since I’ve not seen the theatrical cut for more than four years, I couldn’t identify other altered or added footage, but the sex scene is definitely new to this edition.
Every other extra on the DVD repeats from the original release. We start with a running audio commentary from the Coyotes themselves. Yes, that means we get remarks from the sexy young actresses involved: Piper Perabo, Tyra Banks, Maria Bello, Bridget Moynahan, and Izabella Miko. This track was somewhat screen specific, though the topics varied a lot, and seemed to mostly have been recorded in one session with all of the ladies present. However, it sounded like some of the statements - especially those from Bello and Banks - may have come from a separate taping.
Nonetheless, it’s clear that the women gathered together for much of the commentary, and this fact makes the track much more fun than one might expect. The actresses provide no terrific revelations, but their spunky energy is contagious and they gave me a perspective that usually doesn’t get covered. It’s not a fantastically informative piece but it was very entertaining and charming, and I definitely enjoyed it.
Whereas the original DVD presented information from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director David McNally as “mini-commentaries”, the new one packages their remarks in the full-length track. That’s fine with me, as their notes fill some of the piece’s dead spots. The men provide a few mildly interesting statements but don’t tell us much of substance, mainly due to the brevity of their pieces; each one speaks for only about five minutes each.
Most of the rest of the disc’s extras consist of video snippets connected by a common theme. Happily, these areas also include the “Play All” option, so I didn’t have to constantly return to menus to check out the next part. Since the various bits are pretty short, this was a very useful feature.
Search for the Stars uses three mini-pieces to look at how the various actors got their roles. The first takes on Perabo, while the second examines the other Coyotes and the last one discusses Garcia. These run a total of 10 minutes and 48 seconds and rarely go beyond the kind of material you’d find in the usual promotional featurette. Best of the bunch is Perabo’s area, if just because it includes parts of her screen test. Ultimately the clips are watchable but unspectacular.
Next up is Inside the Songs, a three-minute and 35-second section that looks at the movie’s lame music. Schlockmeister extraordinaire Diane Warren composed most of the tracks, and we hear from her, singer LeAnn Rimes, and various cast and crew. The excessive praise of Warren nauseated me, but otherwise the piece was decent. Most interesting to me was the fact Rimes did all of Perabo’s singing in the film - as Johnny Carson used to say, I did not know that!
Coyote 101 gives us three more mini-features, all of which concentrate on the work the actresses had to do for their roles. These run a total of six minutes and 40 seconds. As with the other pieces, the clips are moderately interesting but nothing especially compelling.
Additional Scenes features five different deleted clips. These last a total of six minutes and 55 seconds. For the most part, these expand upon some of the characters; Melanie Lynskey’s Beth receives the most attention. None of them were especially great scenes, but it’s nice to see a little excised material.
Less useful is Action Overload. A similar feature appeared on Gone In Sixty Seconds; we find 65 seconds worth of the movie’s “action clips”. It seems kind of pointless to me, but if it interests you, have fun!
Lastly, we discover the film’s theatrical trailer and the music video for LeAnn Rimes’ version of “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”. Yes, it’s another craptacular tune from Diane Warren, and the video conveniently consists entirely of snippets from the movie. We see Rimes’ end-of-the-film performance of the song interspersed with the usual array of different shots from the flick. It’s nothing special, but it’s not terrible.
As is typical for DVDs from Buena Vista, Coyote Ugly includes ads for some other releases. In the Sneak Peeks area, we get promos for The Pacifier, Scrubs and Home Improvement.
Coyote Ugly won no awards, but that doesn’t make it a terrible film. Though it was formulaic and predictable, the movie portrays its subject with enough spark and energy to make it worth a look. The DVD offers good picture and sound plus some semi-superficial but fun extras. Coyote Ugly may not be a classic, but it’s a fairly charming diversion.
The big question: should fans who own the old DVD check out this new one? The big answer: probably not. It doesn’t seem to look or sound any better than the old release, and it also doesn’t include anything new other than a few minutes of footage reintegrated into the film. Is it worth a repurchase for seven minutes of clips? Unless you’re just totally nuts about Ugly, I’d say no. However, if you don’t have the prior DVD, this is the one to get.