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American Pie: Ultimate Edition

Writer Adam Herz and director Paul Weitz turn the "getting laid" genre on its ear with a teen sex comedy that actually dares to be funny and succeeds in hilarious style. The plot is a genre standard: four high school buddies make a pact to lose their cherries before the end of their senior prom in three weeks' time. But a great young cast and a keen eye for comic detail (and even a subtle touch of bittersweet reality) more than make up for the unfortunate foray into laxative humor that these films can't seem to live without. American Pie bravely manages to be both smart and base, and it winds up as one of the best teen comedies in a currently overstuffed genre. Jason Biggs is terrific as a desperate young buck "familiar" with a certain freshly baked pastry, and the women in this film (as the all-male commentary panel points out with some frequency) are knockouts, especially Shannon Elizabeth as foreign exchange student Nadia. Alyson Hannigan also makes a hilarious appearance as Jim's band-dork prom date. Amidst all of this quality, Eugene Levy stands out as Jim's bumbling dad. Universal's two-disc "Ultimate Edition" replaces their previews "Collector's Edition." Disc One features the film in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen (the neglible second disc carries the full-frame, 1.33:1 version of the film, but beyond that is only different in that its extras menu is slighter). Audio is available in both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1. Features includes a commentary track with director Weitz, writer Herz, producer Chris Weitz, and cast members Biggs, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and Seann William Scott, as well as an outtakes reel, 10 deleted scenes, trailers, music highlights, behind-the-scenes EPKs, videos, concert footage and interviews with the band Tonic, promos for American Pie 2, and textual supplements. DVD-ROM content includes behind-the-scenes material and script-to-screen. Dual DVD digipak with semi-transparent folding cover.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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