The Girl Next Door (2004) - Unrated Version [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Romance
Fox || Unrated - 109 minutes - $29.99 || September 1, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-09-10


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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

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Luke Greenfield
Writer(s): David T. Wagner & Brent Goldberg (story), Stuart Blumberg and David T. Wagner & Brent Goldberg (screenplay)
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant


Theatrical Release Date: March 27, 2004


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Select Scene Commentary
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot: High-school senior Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch) has his whole life in front of him, and not a lot of living behind him... until the girl of his naughtiest dreams (Elisha Cuthbert) moves in next door and gives him some experiences heíll never forget! But when he discovers that sheís a runaway porn star and that a devious producer (Timothy Olyphant) is on a mission to get her back. Matthew will have to prove his devotion... by going all the way!

The Girl Next Door is that teen sex movie that came along thanks to American Pie which came out 1999 (and subsequent direct sequels in 2001 and 2003). But this film is no American Pie with a script that never quite clicks despite a good performance from its leads, Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert, not to mention a fun, if not clichťd, villainy performance from Timothy Olyphant.

In any case, the film hasnít really held up all that well throughout the years but for a few funny scenes (especially the finale) and the lead performances, The Girl Next Door may be worth re-exploring, though itís not a teen sex comedy classic as some seem to think it is.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There's a commentary track from director Luke Greenfield who stays on topic and avoids telestrating the film and instead tells why he loved the script so much, why these young actors were perfect for the roles (he especially focused on their eyes as they, in one scene, gaze at each other). This is one of the better single-manned commentary going along the lines of Peyton Reed on the Bring it On DVD. Also, it's nice to listen to a commentary for the unrated DVD so that they can point out what's new in this version, which Greenfield thankfully does.

On the flip-side of the disc are scene specific commentary from the two young stars, Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert who provide their own commentary for about 7 or 8 scenes (separately). Each of these scenes maybe last a few minutes and don't really provide much information. I will say that this is a better system than just splicing their comments with the regular commentary.

The Eli Experience: This is one long practical joke that takes place at the porn expo in Vegas where Eli manages to get some of the visitors to come behind the camera and be in their own porn movie. Also included is the big man trying to get a man to kiss (I guess you've got to see it...). A pretty funny skit that you might see on "SNL".

"A Look Next Door": Ah, the obligatory 'making-of' featurette where the cast and crew can kiss some ass and promote a film that's not destined to be anything but another sex comedy. This goes through each character, which they are, where they come from and why they're important to the plot. Although I'm not a big fan of these superficial features, I get even more pissed if it's not even there at all (they just can't win, can they?)

Deleted/Extended Scenes: There are 16 deleted or extended scenes that, as is in most cases, were cut because of pacing issues. However, there was a scene or two that could've been placed such as where Eli continues to bug Matt (after he finds out the girl next door was a porn star). Other interesting scenes include: "Regrets" where Matt wishes he never had met girl; an extended cut of the love in the limo as well as the original ending where Matt is seen walking out of Capital Hill (he's now a high profile politician).

Other features: Gag reel where the actors make flubs (always a fun thing to watch) and movie trailers (an unrated one for The Girl Next Door).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The Girl Next Door is presented with a 1.85 aspect ratio and in 1080p ďhigh-definitionĒ (AVC codec). I put that in quotes as itís pretty damn hard to tell itís actually an HD transfer. Instead, it appears Fox used an old master because this is one of the poorer video transfers Iíve seen in a while. The picture just looks... old. Itís dirty, not very sharp with not too much detail levels one expects from a film that is only 5 years old. It could be due to a number of reasons (budgetary most likely), but thatís no excuse to release this when the DVD version will probably suffice.

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is adequate but nothing outstanding. You get that typical comedic score and some choice teen angst songs mixed in with dialogue levels that are sufficient and understandable. But thatís just it; this is just a so-so audio track.



.::OVERALL::.

The Girl Next Door, in retrospect, is a half-way decent teen sex comedy that is not a classic in my book but I can see why others may love it. The Blu-ray itself has a good amount of features to offer considering this was not a box office success (how many people knew this was even out?) and the commentary from director Greenfield is fun to listen to. Unfortunately the video is shockingly bad and the audio isnít anything special either so you might as well hold on to your DVD copy (or pay the $5 for a new copy at Wal-Mart).