05/04/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

On 'Formation' World Tour, Beyonce Through 'Lemonade'-...
Nyle DiMarco's attitude on DWTS is annoying everyone ex...
Ripa's return to 'Live!' is all smiles following Straha...
10 Juicy Lyrics From Beyonce's New Lemonade Album That ...
Prince's last days: What we know ...
Jason Bourne Trailer and Poster Released!...
Why I quit 'Game of Thrones'...
Stephen Colbert teaches Hillary Clinton the proper way ...
'Jungle Book' ensures it: Parade of Disney-classic rema...
Captain America: Civil War reactions ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Universal Studios Home Video presents
Fast Times at Ridgemont High: SE (1982)

"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."
- Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn)

Review By: Dan Heaton  
Published: November 09, 2004

Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Brian Backer, Robert Romanus, Ray Walston
Other Stars: Eric Stoltz, Forrest Whitaker, Anthony Edwards, Nicholas Cage, Scott Thomson, Vincent Schiavelli
Director: Amy Heckerling

MPAA Rating: R for (language, nudity, sexual situations)
Run Time: 01h:29m:35s
Release Date: November 02, 2004
UPC: 025192544521
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+BA- A-

DVD Review

Long before they starred in award-winning serious dramas and big-budget romantic comedies, a cast of young unknowns participated in a groundbreaking cult favorite that remains popular today. Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, and many others helped to create success for a picture that studio heads considered a waste of time. Its frank treatment of teen drug use and sexuality nearly earned the film an "X" rating from the MPAA. Considering the ratings system of modern cinema, that fact seems a bit surprising, but in 1982 teen films concerning adult issues were a rare occurrence.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High originated with the book by journalist Cameron Crowe, who spent a year masquerading as a high school student for research purposes. Director Amy Heckerling took Crowe's insightful screenplay and crafted an entertaining, yet unconventional comedy that still surprises teenagers in 2004. The clothes, music, and settings definitely match the early '80s time period, and some appear ridiculously out of style, but the themes are universal for teens of many generations. The young characters behave like adults in terms of sex, but they possess few ideas about the more emotional aspects of the activity. They must learn the hard way about these issues and face difficult situations because of their behavior.

The description above might prepare you for a somber film, but that is very far from the truth. This story is often lighthearted, and that element is embodied by the surfer Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn). His lines and mannerisms have been copied by numerous films, but he still stands out as the original drugged-out slacker. His conflicts with the authoritarian Mr. Hand (Ray Walston) are some of the movie's best scenes, as both characters test the other's mettle consistently. Spicoli's buddies are played by two actors who would eventually become major stars, Eric Stoltz and Anthony Edwards. In their first roles, the actors barely make an impression, but their inclusion is indicative of the talent assembled.

Much of the story revolves around the plight of Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh)—a 15-year-old girl learning about sex more quickly than she would like. Posing as someone four years older, she is picked up by a studly 26-year-old for a slightly creepy encounter at "The Point." Her attention is better focused on Matt "Rat" Ratner (Brian Backer), the "nice guy" totally smitten with her during biology class. But further complications will ensue for Stacy that will cause her to grow up very quickly. Rat spends much of time with the smooth ticket scalper Mike (Robert Romanus), whose claims about his prowess with women may be exagerrated. The story includes an array of other worthy supporting actors, including the stunning and very young Phoebe Cates, and Judge Reinhold, who acts as goofy as always.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High does appear a bit dated today and falls a bit short of being a "must-add" to your DVD collection. However, Crowe and Heckerling definitely struck a nerve with their depiction of high-school kids that has rarely been repeated in teen films of the past 20 years. The film is full of classic moments, including Forrest Whitaker going crazy in a football game, Cates owning the screen at the pool in a steamy fantasy sequence, nearly every scene involving Penn, and many others. Even given some silly outfits and music cues, this story still has plenty to offer for both adults and the teens of today.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Fast Times at Ridgemont High includes a solid 1.85:1 widescreen anormphic transfer that presents the story in clear fashion. However, it does contain a decent amount of grain and minor defects that keep its rating below many other current releases. The images have been remastered from their initial format, but the attention to detail does not appear as strict as you might expect. That said, the overall product is still acceptable throughout the feature.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes
DTSEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: This disc provides an audio presentation that improves considerably over its image transfer. You may choose between both DTS and Dolby Digital transfers, and neither option is a bad choice. The numerous musical cues spring well from both the front and rear speakers, leading to an enjoyable listening experience. These tracks could be slightly clearer, but that negative is very minor and does not distract from the film.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Happy Gilmore/Billy Madison DVD, Quantum Leap: Season 2 DVD, Seed of Chucky
Production Notes
1 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director Amy Heckerling and Screenwriter Cameron Crowe
Packaging: custom cardboard cover with sl
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Music highlights
  2. Hangouts of Ridgemont High map
  3. Cast and filmmakers list
  4. Classic quotes (easter egg)
Extras Review: Fast Times at Ridgemont High receives the "special edition" treatment, and the result is not disappointing. The highlight is the 40-minute Reliving Our Fast Times at Ridgemont High—a new collection of interviews and film clips that shows many of the actors (including Sean Penn) and crew recalling their experiences. Notable by their absence are Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, and Cameron Crowe, but this feature still includes plenty of interesting material. Most of the actors have aged well, though Scott Thomson does have very scary eyes. They all seem proud of their accomplishments, which brings a nice energy to the piece. Luckily, Crowe does appear for a feature-length commentary with Amy Heckerling that offers even more background into the production. They both speak in a fun, conversational tone that never grows too technical and keeps you listening until the very end.

Additional supplements direct you to specific moments within the film. Viewers wondering about specific songs will enjoy the countless '80s music highlights, which list the band and title while linking you to the scene. The "Cool Hangouts of Ridgemont High" map also showcases the different settings and connects you to the film. Several easter eggs can be located easily by clicking on the footprints at the top of the screen. They lead you to classic quotes (many be Jeff Spicoli) and also send you into the movie. The remaining extras include decent production notes, the original trailer, and a list of the cast and filmmakers. Several other previews also appear in annoying fashion prior to reaching the menu.

Extras Grade: A-

 

Final Comments

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is being offered by itself and as a two-pack with Dazed and Confused, Richard Linklater's look at partying high-school kids from the '70s. Both films cover much-different time periods, but the common thread is an honest look at kids and how they really act. I prefere Linklater's picture for its more timeless qualities, but both deserve a strong recommendation.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

music, beyonce, crazy in love, lemonade, sorry, donÕt hurt yourself, daddy lessons, television, dancing with the stars, nyle dimarco, bruno tonioli, carrie ann inaba, len goodman, live! with kelly and michael, kelly ripa michael strahan, beyoncˇ, jay z, rachel roy, cheating, prince, little red corvette, purple rain, linus and lucy, movie, the bourne supremacy, the bourne ultimatum, matt damon, alicia vikander, vincent cassel, tommy lee jones, julia stiles, paul greengrass, hbo, game of thrones, sansa, ramsay bolton, theron greyjoy, reek, petyr baelish, cersei, jaime, stephen colbert, hillary clinton, carnegie deli, the late show with stepen colbert, jungle book, disney, neel sethi, bill murray, rudyard kipling, captain america: civil war, captain america, iron man, black panther, scarlet witch, the jungle book, virtual productions, avatar, gravity, jon favreau, fantasy, james cameron, avatar sequels, avatar 2, christmas 2018, movies, tribeca film festival, the first monday in may, andrew rossi, justin bieber, anna wintour, met gala, 38 interactive and virtual-reality exhibits, the bomb, the meddler, j.j. abrams, chris rock, tom hanks, john oliver, elvis & nixon, mtv movie awards, dwayne johnson, kevin hart, warner bros. studios, will smith, suicide squad, jared leto, margot robbie, cara delevingne, kiss, freedom to rock, 35 date tour, july 7, caleb johnson, dead daisies, kiss online, merle haggard, died, okie from muskogee, sing me back, mama tried, the bakersfield sound, country music. willie nelson, waylon jennings, gram parsons, eric church, hungry eyes, jimmy fallon, melissa mccarthy, the boss, brand new key, x gonna give it to ya, miles ahead, don cheadle, miles davis, rock and roll hall of fame, ewan mcgregor, michael stuhbarg, lakeith lee stanfield, house of lies, finding dory, ellen degeneres, finding nemo, albert brooks, hayden rolence, animation, celebrity, robert de niro, vaxxed, dr. william schaffner, vanderbilt university medical school, autism, cannes film festival, woody allen, cafe society, kristen stewart, blake lively, reality, the voice, alicia keys, miley cyrus, blake shelton, adam levine, marvel, georgia, gov. nathan deal, anti-gay, chad griffin, lollapalooza, chicago, red hot chili peppers, radiohead, lana del rey, ellie goulding, major lazer, dance competion, jodie sweetin, kim fields, sasha farber, paige van zandt, erin andrews, ariana grande, dangerous woman, a cappella, sxsw, drake, fader fort, know yourself, legend, energy, jumpman, hulk hogan, gawker, sex tape, florida jury, $15 million, melissa rauch, the big bang theory, the bronze, captain america: winter soldier star sebastian stan

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store