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Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dazed and Confused
Ultimate Party Two-Pack
Review by Mr. Stinkhead

We received this two-pack, and I'm going to give you a rundown on these two new releases before we give away a set, of both films to a lucky winner.

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Dazed and Confused Flashback Edition
You've most likely seen this movie. This is one of the films on my short list for I'm-too-hungover-to-think-or-work-Sundays. Other films on this list include Tommy Boy, Black Sheep, and Blue Crush. In college, at least two weekends out of any given month had a showing of Dazed and Confused somewhere along the line.

I leave college and buy a copy of D&C on DVD to relive old college memories. It's a nice DVD, but there were no extras. Along comes the new edition. We have a good number of add-ons here. First off are the Nine deleted scenes. These aren't stuck back into the movie, you can flip through each one in the Bonus Features section at your leisure. Though no major plot points were removed in the editing of this film, it's cool getting some additional insight into the characters and their conversations. I love the new scene between nerdy Tony and Sabrina. Even without fine editing and music tracks and a polished print, the connection between these two characters, a testament to the gifts of director Linklater, is evident. There are also some joining scenes for Ben Affleck's O'Bannion, and a funny take between Joey Lauren Adams and Parker Posey.

In addition to that are some sweet-ass vintage or retro PSAs. The vintage PSAs include the classic V.D. Is for Everybody, which will chill you to your mortal coil. And the unflappable Crying Indian spot that has been often spoofed. [Ed note: Did you know that actor, Iron Eyes Cody, was in Ernest Goes to Camp?] There's also a pretty hip retro-styled "Anti-Marihuana" (that's how they spelled it) ad put together from tons of footage from old 1950s and 60s film reels. Great work. After watching the movie, it's fun going through and checking these out.

The only thing I missed was a commentary. I used to love when DVDs came with commentaries, and I watched all of them. As you know, that's retarded, and now, most commentaries make me want to pee in my eyes. [Ed note: Wouldn't that be ears?] However, I'm a big fan of writer/director Richard Linklater, and had hoped to get some more insight on his inspiration and directorial choices. Amazon listed this movie as having a commentary track, but there isn't one.

Overall I'm greatly pleased. I own the original Dazed & Confused that came out on DVD a few years ago, and I would pick this one up for the extras. Ofcourse I also skimp when it comes to simple things like food and bills. But as far as a rerelease goes, this is worth it.

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Fast Times at Ridgemont High
This is another one of my all time favorites. I love the humor, the character development, the unknown actors (at the time) that are now big box office super stars, I love the nudity, and I love all the great quotes. I don't think any one of us need to point out the Phoebe Cates emerging from the swimming pool scene, or recognize it as one of the high points in contemporary American cinema. Every man knows this. We don't quite know when we exactly become aware of it. But even people haven't seen the film know they're missing something monumental. That being said, I love how there is a screen off of the main menu that lets you skip right to that scene, all the way through to the Doesn't anyone ever knock anymore? line. Classic.

This DVD is packed with extras. You have a commentary with writer Cameron Crowe and director Amy Heckerling, and I know I just trashed on commentaries, this is a good one. There is also a look-back with some of the film's secondary characters, and a video tour of some of the shooting locations. I also mentioned that there are "Easter Eggs" (not really hidden, per se) that jump to well known quotes and scenes.

If you're reading this, and you own the Collector's Edition DVD that came out a few years ago, you're probably thinking, well I already have all this stuff. Well it's true. I popped in my original DVD, and they're exactly the same. All new packaging, same content. It's a great DVD. One of my favorites. But if you already own it, you're not missing anything with this new edition. And speaking of missing anything, I guess this means we won't be getting the extra scenes that are commonly shown on the TV version of this movie. Ah well, they're just a bunch of Surf Nazis!!

This review is © 2004 and can not be reproduced without permission.

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