Monday, December 21, 2009

American Pie Presents: The Book of Love Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 45.3 GB
Film Size: 21.2 GB / 20.7 GB
Film Rating: Unrated / R
Region: Free

Video
The Book of Love comes to Blu-ray with both the unrated and R-rated cuts of the film. Why they included both cuts is beyond me, since neither version received any form of release prior to the Blu-ray. Also, who would watch an American Pie film and select the 'cleaner' version of the film? Regardless, each 1080p VC-1 video presentation looks very good, especially considering it's a direct-to-video release.

The biggest issues with the video presentation come with the special effects in the film, one effect being a moose that looks to be from the same effects team as Without A Paddle: Nature's Calling. There do not appear to be any technical issues with the transfer itself, just cheaper production.

If you are going to watch American Pie: The Book of Love, the quality improvement from DVD is absolutely clear from beginning to end. There is also quite a bit of pop and depth that comes with the Blu-ray release, everything just looks sharp and clear. While the transfer is not going to be demo material, it is quite good for a direct-to-video release. 7.5/10.

Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and sounds fine. I wasn't expecting too much from a direct-to-video comedy, and what we get is about most would expect. The entire track is front heavy, with dialogue being key throughout the film. Dialogue is presented front and center, which is always easy to understand.

The film's effects and music are front heavy as well, but music does expand more into the surround area in certain scenes. The track is not impressive at all, but at least I can say I was not disappointed at all by the high-def mix. 7/10.

Extras

Deleted Scenes (11:22) (SD)
Deleted scenes are presented in standard-definition.

Gag Reel (4:00) (SD)
A pretty stupid gag reel from very stupid actors.

From the Set (19:23) (SD)
Ass Alias
27 Ways to Say "Get Laid"
Girl Train
Alumnia Revisited
Can Crushing Sequence
"Condom Race" Sequence
Pop Toppy
Jacuzzi Frolicking Sequence
Mike Elliott Moments
"Naked Hula Hooping" Sequence

On the Set of American Pie Presents: The Book of Love (8:07) (SD)
Some good behind-the-scenes footage from some great scenes in the film.

Just the Tips: The Love Manual (5:50) (SD)
The cast talks about The Book of Love and their own sex, relationship and love tips.

American Pie Trivia (8:57) (SD)
Kevin Horton goes around the set asking cast and crew about American Pie trivia.

American Pie-cons (6:52) (SD)
About all the cameos featured in the film, quite impressive for a direct-to-video production. Who wouldn't want to hear Peter Brady from the Brady Bunch talk about sticking fingers up specific body parts, right? right?

My Scenes (BD-Live enabled)
Save your favorite scenes and share them with your friends via BD-Live.

Extras are pretty stupid to be honest and are presented in standard definition, most likely because the BD50 is quite packed due to providing both the R-rated and unrated cuts of the film without seamless branching. 7/10.

Blu-news Summary
American Pie Presents: The Book of Love was much better than I expected, and believe me, my expectations were beyond low. I have actually had the disc on-hand for a couple of weeks, but put off viewing the Blu-ray release as long as I could. Before you get too excited, it's not great whatsoever, and surely would have been one of the worst rated theatrical releases of the year had it been released that way.

The film just fits the stereotype of teen sex comedies, but I thought some things did help the film rank decent among the majority of them. The film is a stupid teen comedy, it's clear that is what they were going for, I don't think anybody was playing their part in hope of Oscar buzz....'Best Pictures goes to.....American Pie Presents: The Book of Love."

It's clear everyone wanted to do a funny teen sex comedy about losing their virginity, and that I can appreciate a bit. Many jokes and scenes have been done over and over again, but the film has some very funny moments and lines that I can't imagine any fan of the American Pie series not laughing at.

The casting for the film was actually pretty strong and everyone fit their intended stereotypes just fine. The douche jock played the douche jock just perfectly. The cheerleader whore played a perfect whore, until you find out she's a misunderstood whore with heart towards the end. The film also landed some pretty random but funny cameos which I will not list as it's part of the surprise in the film. The main star of the film is Bug Hall, an actor you may remember played Alfalfa in The Little Rascals from 1994.

American Pie Presents: The Book of Love is not something I would recommend you purchase at all unless you are a huge fan of the American Pie series, meaning you already like your share of dumb films like I do from time to time. The Book of Love would actually make for quite the decent rental if you are into this type of film, because it can be very funny and beyond expectation. It's a dumb movie, but at least it will make you laugh. 6/10.

The Blu-ray release is quite good, featuring a strong video presentation with an expected average audio track. Extras are pretty dumb but at least they included a wide selection for those who enjoy bonus features. Overall the Book of Love is 'A Solid Rental' for those curious about the film.

Additional Screenshots:

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