03/02/2015  
FirePower (Limited Edition) on Blu-ray & DVD Mar 10The Imitation Game download on Mar 20, DVD & Blu-Ray on Mar 31Something Wicked on DVD Mar 17Believe Me in Blu-ray & DVD Mar 3NFL Super Bowl Champions XLIX: New England Patriots on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Mar 3The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 available on Digital now and Blu-ray/DVD Mar 6Wolfcop on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Video Mar 10

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

FirePower (Limited Edition) on Blu-ray & DVD Mar 10...
Passage: Leonard Nimoy...
The Imitation Game download on Mar 20, DVD & Blu-Ray on...
Oscars 2015: Lady Gaga sings for 50th anniversary of 'T...
Something Wicked on DVD Mar 17...
Meryl Streep, Peter Fonda celebrate Women in Film...
Guide to Academy Awards programming on TV...
Believe Me in Blu-ray & DVD Mar 3...
NFL Super Bowl Champions XLIX: New England Patriots on ...
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 available on Digi...



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

action, star trek, sci-fi, television, leonard nimoy, human-alien first officer, star ship enterprise, music, kelly clarkson, brandon blackstock, terry smith, american idol winner, drama, oscars 2015, lady gaga, the sound of music, julie andrews, scarlett johansson, film, movies, oscars, comedy, sports, abc, the view, delores & jermaine, whoopi goldberg, horror, taylor kinney, heart-shaped diamond, saturday night live 40, rachel dratch, tom hanks, alec baldwin, melissa mccarthy, billy crystal, documentary, jimmy fallon, justin timberlake, paul mccartney, paul simon, miley cyrus, kanye west, 60 minutes, bob simon, car accident, manhattan, dance competition, dancing with the stars, mark ballas, valentin chmervoskiy, witney carson, comedy central, the daily show, jon stewart, the colbert report, the nightly show with larry wilmore, john oliver, bill maher, movie, spiderman, avengers, sony pictures, amy pascal, marvel films, kevin feige, biography, grammys, garbage, shirley manson, kenye west, beck, morning phase, nbc nightly news, brian williams, stars and stripes

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
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