American Pie: Band Camp (2005) - Unrated Widescreen Edition

Genre(s): Comedy
Rogue Pictures || Unrated - 95 minutes - $29.98 || December 26th, 2005
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-12-24


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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: Steve Rash
Writer(s): Adam Herz (characters), Brad Ziddell (written by)
Cast: Tad Hilgenbrink, Arielle Kebbel, Jason Earles, Crystle Lea Lightning, Jun Hee Lee, Chris Owen, Ginger Lynn Allen, Eugene Levy, Tara Killian, Lauren C. Mayhew, Angela Little, Rachel Veltri


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Band Camp Dirty Diary
  • Band Camp's Dirty Secrets
  • Rover Cam Uncut
  • Band Camp Girls: Music Video
  • Poolside with the Band Camp Girls
  • Unrated Love Lessons with Ginger Lynn


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Synopsis (from DVD back cover): This time around, the bad-boy antics of Stifler's younger brother Matt get him sentenced to a summer at... Band Camp! Join the fun as the "Stiffmeister" legend reaches outrageous new heights with hot camp counselors, ultra-steamy hidden cameras and a stimulating encounter with a certain musical instrument.

When I first saw American Pie in 1999, I honestly wasn't a big fan. But after a few more viewings on DVD over the years, I've come to appreciate it and, remembering my own high school days (in fact, I graduated in '99), it also connected with me. Two years later, the inevitable sequel, American Pie 2 and two years after that, American Wedding were released. As with most sequels, both had the same basic plot but substitute one bodily fluid for Stifler to drink with another; replace one embarassing situation for Jim with some even more so... And while the writers were following the same formula, it still worked. I felt that all three of them, through the disgust and what not, still had a heart behind the story. It also helped that the films featured, for the most part, the main cast members like Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Seann William Scott.

Now, Scott's Steve Stifler, while obnoxious to the nth degree, still was damn funny. Well, since Wedding was easily the lowest grossing flick of the Pie 'trilogy', it seems Universal decided to make a fourth one, but releasing it directly to DVD with only threads connecting it to the previous three. One of those threads is Eugene Levy back as Jim's Dad, who is the "M.A.C.R.O." or Morale And Conflict Resolution Officer. Previous summers, the MACRO position was filled by Tall Oak's own, Michelle Flaherty Levenstein who, surprise surprise, is pregnant...

Despite a cameo-like appearance from Eugene Levy as Jim's Dad, Band Camp felt flat from the beginning. Unlike the previous three films, this one doesn't seem to have the heart and it's because of the main character. Where Jim was a loveable loser many could root for, I had a tough time respecting Matt Stiffler (even after the inevitable redemption). The humor overall wasn't great, though to be fair, I did laugh a couple of times (I guess some of my immature nature got the best of me).

On the positive side, the performance by Tad Hilgenbrink, in his feature debut, has the Stiffmeister facial expressions down, easily making me believe they're related. There are also some lovely ladies including Arielle Kebbel, who reminded me of Julia Stiles and has a certain charm that, if given a proper script, might have a career.

Overall, American Pie Presents: Band Camp is an OK movie, but certainly needless. It seems that Universal is making the "American Pie" name like "National Lampoons", releasing movies directly to DVD, which is pretty sad. Also, they reuse much of the music from the previous three films... Perhaps because they already own the rights or somehow want another thin connection with the franchise.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

I realize this is a direct-to-DVD release, but a commentary with the cast members would've been fun.

Outtakes - Even though these are sometimes dumb, I can never get enough of seeing actors flub their lines or a prop breaking down. In this set, one of the actors calls the other by their real name, another a piece of metal falls down, etc. Very funny stuff (and funnier than the movie itself).

Deleted Scenes - There are 11 scenes in total, running around 12 minutes. Aside from one scene, in which Jim's Dad explains to two ladies why Stiffler is the way he is (remenescent of his talks with Jim), the others are mundane and worthless.

Band Camp Dirty Diary - This 17-minute video diary comes from cast members Tad Hilgenbrink, Arielle Kebbel and Jun Hee Lee. These three young actors have a good time using a camera, making jokes, giving tours of the set, etc. Some of it is dumb, but it does give an inside look into one of their bigger studio film (this is actually Tad's first).

Poolside with Band Camp Girls - Actor Jason Earle (in character), interviews the two ladies. Obviously this isn't insightful stuff but the two are very entertaining (especially the blonde who seemed to be especially ditzy...).

Band Camp's Dirty Secrets - The two perky poolside chicks give a personal tour of the set, from the fake building fronts to other Hollywood magic moments. Personally, I could care less about the tour, seeing these two (again) was nice enough.

Rover Cam Uncut! - Easily the dumbest of the features. I don't know if this was deleted footage or stuff filmed for the DVD, but, part for a couple chuckles, I found this to be a waste. Believe it or not, it goes on for close to 15-minutes.

Band Camp Girls: The Music Video - Set against Sir-Mix-A-Lot's classic, "I Like Big Butts" song, using footage of the hot Tall Oaks ladies, with some key shots of their... assets. The video runs around a minute and a half in all.

Unrated Love Lessons with Ginger Lynn - Uses footage of Jason Earle using the rover cam, watching Ginger giving some key sexual lessons using fruit for the body parts. She goes over how to kiss to where to insert the... well, you get the picture.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.78 aspect ratio) and looks crystal clear, with all the gross wonders of seaman and spit. Likewise, the movie sounds just fine with the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, which is nice having the band music and all. Although it's not noticable, it's better than having a subpar 2.0 mix (which you can definitely tell).



.::OVERALL::.

As a DVD, there isn't much in terms of features. The film itself is below average when it comes to quality and, as stated before, was not needed. I'm not saying it's a horrible flick or anything, but it seems this was made for a quick buck while the studio decides if they're going to greenlight American Kid.