American Dreamz (2006)

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama
Universal || PG13 - 108 minutes - $29.98 || October 17, 2006
Reviewer: Chris Gonzalez || Posted On: 2006-10-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Paul Weitz
Writer(s): Paul Weitz (written by)
Cast: Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Coolidge, Marcia Gay Harden


Theatrical Release Date: April 21, 2006


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Directory & Actor Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Center Stage: Sally Kendoo
  • Dance Dreamz


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Note: Images are not taken from DVD.

As a huge fan of American Pie, About a Boy, In Good Company and political/cultural satires Paul Weitzís new film American Dreamz is a huge disappointment. Making statements about terrorists, President Bush and Americaís obsession with shows like American Idol, the film has such a strong foundation and such a great variety of subjects to criticize its staggering the amount of missed opportunities there are.

A good cast featuring Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Willem Dafoe, Chris Klein, and Marcia Gay Harden canít elevate this thing even through their best efforts. The plot doesnít unravel or progress in the way or pace that would seem natural, the characters never expand beyond their superficial exteriors and the climax after all the build up is utterly ridiculous. American Dreamz didnít even need to be smart or insightful, it just needed to be amusing and enjoyable. Instead it ends up being a lot of nothing.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Deleted Scenes - Lasting a total of 13 minutes it starts off with 3 different takes on the shows contestants performing on their audition tapes. There are a few alternate versions of scenes and a few new scenes that actually could have benefited the film if they were left in, which is rare. Also included are more musical performances and the best joke of the trailer, which was cut out of the final product, which is sad. Theyíre all presented in non-anamorphic widescreen except for the first three, which are fullscreen.

Center Stage Sally Kendoo - This self referential featurette plays like a 4 minute behind the scenes feature if the show was real. Itís a completely superfluous special feature and something about the actual movie could have suited much better. This just expands the uninteresting character of the film.

Dance Dreamz - A 7-minute behind the scenes featurette about the dancing in the film, which is intentionally awful, and it contains interviews from the actors, director, and choreographer. Since the dancing in the film plays next to no role in the film itís almost a complete waste of time.

Commentary from Director Paul Weitz and Actor Sam Golzari: Listening to this track youíd hope to gain some insight into what Weitz had in mind for certain messages and themes, but unfortunately the two stay very quiet at times and donít provide as much insight into the film as youíd hope. They also clearly think the film is smarter than it is. A useless commentary.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

A relatively solid 1:85 transfer. Itís a very cleanly shot film and that comes through in the transfer. That said, there are compression problems. In the final shot when silver confetti is spewed onscreen a good amount of compression artifacts appear. Something tells me not too many people are going to mind. Itís a fine transfer that wonít insult anyone or have others calling to tell others about.

Basically the same sentiments can be expressed for the audio as I said for the video. There arenít any great opportunities for great surround effects, but the voices and music is always crystal clear, which is something to be grateful forÖI guess. And those who wanted to experience this in French of Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital sound are in luck! The disc provides it, as well as English, French and Spanish subtitles.



.::OVERALL::.

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