American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile
R1 - America - Universal Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Noor Razzak and Stevie McCleary (18th January 2007).
The Film

Usually, if someone can't cook, their fifth attempt at a culinary masterpiece will usually be the best. They'd learn from the mistakes of the past and include the accidental delights of the previous tasteless wonders. Now if someone starts off well, with an enjoyably passable and bordering on classic effort, you'd expect that with each subsequent taste-test that you'd find yourself with better and better results.
Or, alternately, some guy sticks his dick in a pie and they make four sequels. Y'know, whatever floats your boat.
"American Pie Presents The Naked Mile" is the fifth instalment (and second direct-to-DVD) in the "American Pie" franchise. We are treated here to the adventures of high schooler Erik Stifler (John White) who, unlike the other Stiflers who seem to be everywhere, is not an ignorant and sexually perverted jackass. He's a pretty nice guy actually. So, after he kills his grandmother with a load of semen, his friends decide they should go check out a college party-specifically a big naked run through the streets. After re-reading that last sentence it may not seem like he's a nice guy, but he just makes mistakes like any of us. Apparently. Anyhoo, Erik's main problem is that he has the perfect girlfriend, Tracy (Jessy Schram), who isn't-wait for it -ready to have sex yet. So while she is all respected for not being a slutty hussy, he gets derided for being a virgin, since there's nothing cool about being a guy virgin at high school. Luckily for Erik, her friends convince her that she needs to put out in order to keep him. Good friends. Shockingly though, it doesn't go to plan though and she decides that it's not a good idea. Of course, her concept of a good idea is to then grant him a "Guilt-Free Pass" for his weekend away, where he can do whatever he wants with whoever he wants, so he can get it out of his system. Yes, because that's how men work. Boy, we sure don't need sex once we've found out what sex feels like. Those crazy high school girls, they sure know us well.
The rest of the movie ambles along with the various usual hi-jinks. Y'know, shot contests, muddy midget football, four hour boner ring toss, girls who love deflowering inexperienced guys, and double ended electronic dildos...the list goes on and on of things that are part of everyone's basic college experience. Thank God we have the "American Pie" crew keeping it real.
My favourite part is when Tracy's friends realise what she's done, and give her advice. See, they tell her that if Erik has sex with someone else then the playing field will never be level with them again, because she's still a virgin. So, is their advice to go find Erik and catch him before he consummates with someone? Of course not. It's to find someone, like her ex-boyfriend who cheated on her because she wouldn't put out, and get him to deflower her. Y'know, because that will fix everything. I totally miss high school right now. My other favourite bit was finding out so many high school/college girls have obviously fake breasts. Learning is fun, kids.
This may sound picky, but it does apply to the nature of this type of film, so bear with me: Where are the hot women at? There is not a single highly attractive woman in the whole film. The main girl sure is cute but she's much more interesting in the doco about Yoga, which came with the DVD, than in the actual film. Most of the non-silicone ladies have nice bodies too, but the faces…again, I'm not trying to be cruel, but the bar was set high in the previous films, and teen-comedies are known for giving sex-starved kids something nice to lust over. Considering that good acting is not a big requirement for these types of films, I don't know what was going on here. It may sound dumb, but it sort of stuck out.
I can see they'll keep this franchise going as long as there is a Stifler they can create to base the film around. This one has two Stiflers, so obviously they were going all out here. The cast all seem like fun people too, but it comes out more in the extras than in the movie. Currently I can only remember what Tracy looked like, and that's simply because she reminds me of an old flame. If we ever see any of these people in anything again, I won't remember that they were in "The Naked Mile". This may be a good thing for them, depending on how they felt about the film. Well, except for Eugene Levy, whose cameos here are just random and uninspired. I love 'Jim's Dad' as much as the next guy but let it rest. His character just happening to show up when needing to give advice is just hackneyed and helps to lessen the previous enjoyment Levy brought in previous instalments. As sequels go, it's not in the running for worst one ever. The worst sequel nominations still contain "Highlander 2: The Quickening" (1991) and "The Blair Witch Project: Book of Shadows" (2000). Considering both those films cause instant Ebola-like symptoms, resulting in a quick yet painful death, the bar would need to be raised much higher here to get that nod. "The Naked Mile" is certainly is funny at times, with several funny running gags. And while I can't be certain that the movie actually deserves to exist, I've seen far worse and it proved a decent time killer. Some simple things could have made it a lot better, but what are you going to do? When Hollywood can just make money from recycling old concepts, why try harder? Like I said, it'll pass the time. Especially if you're male, watching with a group of friends. Past that, you're not missing anything.

Video

Although the package states the film is in 1.85:1 it's actually closer to 1.78:1, this anamorphic widescreen presentation is very good, the image is sharp and crisp, the colors are natural especially skin tones, blacks are bold and the only problem I could find with this transfer is very minor compression artefacts but you really have to look hard to find them as it's generally a fine transfer and presents the film well.

Audio

Three audio tracks are included all of which are in Dolby Digital 5.1, they are in English, French and Spanish. For the purposes of this review I chose to view the film with its English soundtrack and pretty much got what I was expecting, this isn't a rich dynamic track, after all this is a teen sex comedy. As a result the dialogue is clear and distortion free, some ambient surrounds come into play occasionally and music is well mixed throughout the sound space making the party scenes rather immersive, otherwise it was an average 5.1 mix that doesn't impress or disappoint.
Optional subtitles are included in English, English for the hearing impaired, French and Spanish.

Extras

First up we have a feature-length audio commentary with the film's director Joe Nussbaum, screenwriter Erik Lindsay and cast members Steve Talley, Jake Siegel, John White and Ross Thomas. This is essentially a fun track to listen to, it's clear that this lot became very good friends over the course of making this film simply by judging the tone of the track. They remain mainly screen specific and comment on various aspects of the performances, backgrounds, and provide some inside information regarding various aspects of the production as well as share some funny stories from the set among other things, even if you didn't really like the film or though this wasn't a great comedy the commentary is still worth listening to because these guys are funny together and keep the track interesting and certainly entertaining.

Next is "Yoga Guide To Getting Girls" a featurette that runs for 3 minutes 38 seconds, this clip includes cast member Jessy Schram telling guys what to do and what not to do while at Yoga class in an effort to pick up some ladies. While not laugh out loud hilarious this clip does contain some good tips if you happen to be a sexually perverted jackass that just so happens wants to pick up girls in yoga class.

Following that is the "Bare Essentials" featurette which runs for 4 minutes 24 seconds and is quite possibly the one featurette I dread the most and takes a look at the cast getting their asses waxed and then joking about afterwards...if you're into seeing a bunch of dudes get hair removed from their ass cracks then this is the feature for you.

Next up is a reel of 6 deleted and extended scenes that runs for 6 minutes 7 seconds, in these scenes we see more from the Stifler family at dinner, Ryan tries to pick up a girl at a party, Erik is disappointed that his friends want to leave after only one day at the College campus, Brandy talks about the guilt free pass with Erik while they dance and also his virginity, Cooze gets wax dripped on his chest, Dwight Stifler's buddy drinks the 'dick beer' from the buckets, two random guys talk about how crazy Stifer is and we also get some the day after pillow talk with Erik and Tracy.

An outtakes reel follows and runs for 2 minutes 42 seconds. This reel features line flubs and unusable footage and that's about it, nothing here is worth repeated viewing.

Another featurette is included entitled "Little People, Big Stunts" which runs for 6 minutes 56 seconds and takes a look at the 'LP's' or 'little people' on the film, hoe their characters are portrayed and how much cooler they are than regular height people. This clip features some interviews with the cast and key crew as well.

An EPK featurette follows and is entitled "Life On The Naked Mile" which runs for 16 minutes 50 seconds, this clip includes all the usually stuff, plot synopsis, interviews with the cast and crew, behind-the-scenes footage of the filming of key scenes and provides a concise understanding about the production and that's about it.

Rounding out the extras are a collection of start-up trailers that can be skipped, they include:

- "Saturday Night Live: Season One" which runs for 37 seconds.
- "The Office" spot which runs for 30 seconds.
- "Universal HD-DVD" spot which runs for 2 minutes 50 seconds.
- "Hott Fuzz" which runs for 41 seconds.
- "Balls of Fury" which runs for 1 minute 5 seconds.

Packaging

This DVD is packaged in an amaray case that is housed in a cardboard slip-cover.

Overall

The Film: C Video: B+ Audio: B- Extras: B- Overall: C+

 


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