American Pie: Ultimate Edition

American Pie: Ultimate Edition (1999)
Universal Home Video
Cast: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari
Extras: Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Featurette, Trailer, Photo Montage, Music Videos, and more

Just in time for the theatrical release of ’American Pie 2’, Universal Home Video is unleashing The ’Ultimate Edition’ 2-disc DVD set of ’American Pie’. This new version only offers a few new features which weren’t found on the original DVD release for the film, and you can see an overview of those original features here, in my review for that first DVD.

Of the newly added extras, found on Disc One, the most impressive are ten deleted scenes, one featuring an additional appearance by Casey Affleck and another showing a hilarious scene with Stifler’s brother. Most of these scenes are brief and were apparently cut to speed up the film. Next, we have a 7-minute audio excerpt from an interview with ’American Pie’ creators Paul and Chris Weitz, which is accompanied by production stills from the film. The Weitz’s discuss the origins of the film and how they came up with the characters. On the musical front, there is a live performance from the band Tonic, who contributed to the film’s soundtrack. In this 11-minute feature, they perform two songs, ’Future Says Run’ and ’Mean to Me’, while also talking about their ’first time’. For you art fans, there is a still gallery featuring nearly 100 movie-poster concepts for ’American Pie’, most of which bear the film’s original title, ’Great Falls.’ To tie in with the release of ’American Pie 2’, there is a 5-minute behind-the-scenes sneak preview of the new film, as well as its theatrical trailer, which is letterboxed at 1.85:1. Strangely, the menus are exactly the same as the original release.

As for the video, it appears to be the same anamorphic widescreen transfer of the unrated version of the film, which appeared on the original DVD. Also, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is basically the same. The only new addition here is the inclusion of a DTS 5.1 channel soundtrack. As this is a dialogue-motivated comedy, the DTS track doesn’t differ much from the Dolby track and are literally unnoticeable.

The second disc in the set contains the full-frame version of the unrated version of ’American Pie’ (but why would we care about that?). Strangely, Disc Two only contains a handful of the special features, which are offered on the first disc.

As for the film itself, ’American Pie’ is one of those movies which I like more every time that I view it. As I pointed out in my original review, the film isn’t nearly half as raunchy as its reputation would have you believe, and the dramatic parts are become more effective with subsequent viewings. The truly interesting thing about ’American Pie’ is to see how far the young stars of the film have gone in the short time since its initial release, especially Seann William Scott, who was hilarious in ’Evolution’ and Chris Klein, who is becoming an action hero with ’Rollerblade.’

Clearly, ’American Pie’ is a comedy that I recommend even more now than when I originally reviewed it, as its laughs and heart appear to have an enduring quality. As for the new ’Ultimate Edition’, is doesn’t offer many new items, but DTS enthusiasts, Casey Affleck completists, and those who are true fans of ’American Pie’ may want to check it out.