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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » An American Werewolf In Paris
An American Werewolf In Paris
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted June 23, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

"An American Werewolf In Paris" is, has and always will stand as one of the worst major horror films of the past several years. The only element of the film that's the least bit entertaining is that all of the characters are so incredibly stupid that things become unintentionally entertaining. The movie opens with Andy (Tom Everett Scott), Brad (Vince Vieluf), and Chris (Phil Buckman), three Americans who are on a tour of Europe. They stop in Paris and climb the Eiffel tower late at night with a little bit of alcohol and a plan to bungee jump. Already, not terribly smart.

Before Andy can make his jump, he spots Serafine(Julie Delpy), who's about to make a jump herself - only without cord. Andy jumps after her and barely saves her life, but gets a nasty bump on the head for his good deed. He's fallen in love with her, though, and sets off to find her. After he finds her and sees several very odd signs, he still manages to persue her. Late one night, she saves him from a club full of folk who are actually werewolves themselves. He's too dopey to realize what's going on - she throws a rock at him and in a deep, booming voice that is clearly not her own, warns him to run. He sits there and practically goes, "was it something I said?". A few minutes later, Andy gets bitten himself.

And, thus begins his decent into werewolf-hood. Andy finds himself in some pretty serious trouble with the local authorities and has to find a cure before they find him. But really, who cares? The movie, with its silly, one-dimensional characters and goofy dialogue, is pretty terrible. You'd think that the one place that the film could at least perform decently is the special effects, but you'd be wrong. The CGI werewolves are actually pretty awful, looking completely phony.

Performances are weak across the board, with only an exception or two. Tom Everett Scott, who was once a very promising performer with movies like Tom Hanks' directorial debut "That Thing You Do", took a few wrong moves with pictures like this one. The only real bright spot in the film is Julie Delpy, the wonderful performer from films like "White" and "Before Sunrise", who attempts to make something more out of her character than what's asked. It's a minor positive in a film full of negatives.


The DVD

VIDEO: "An American Werewolf In Paris" is one of Buena Vista's earlier titles and, as such, it's not anamorphic. Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, this is a decent, if unremarkable presentation - some of the studio's other early titles looked better. Sharpness and detail are generally very good throughout the movie. Some of the darker scenes looked rather murky and soft, but most of the film looked at least crisp.

Problems occured infrequently, but caused some distraction when visible. A few instances of noticable pixelation and edge enhancement came up, and there were some print flaws, including a couple noticable marks and scratches. A scene or two also displayed light grain.

Colors usually looked fine, if unremarkable. During some dimly lit sequences colors appeared a little bit smeared, but I didn't notice any terrible problems. This is a watchable presentation, but with this movie, why would you want to watch it?

SOUND: "An American Werewolf In Paris" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and it's a pretty decent audio presentation with some occasional good jolts of surround sound to underline the "scarier" moments. There's some interesting use of the surround speakers as they come alive when Andy wakes up after getting hit on the head after the bungee jump. Voices and other sounds come through the surrounds. During the more agressive action sequences, the surrounds come into play heavily for the various sound effects with some instances (such as when Andy begins to realize that he can hear far more sharply than ever before). Some of these instances are effective, but none of them really are as strong as the sound design for a picture like "The Haunting", where sound design almost completely made up for lack of scares. Almost. Dialogue suprisingly didn't sound great for a newer film, as it didn't sound very well-integrated and was occasionally thin sounding.

MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with very basic film-themed images serving as backgrounds.

EXTRAS: The trailer.

Final Thoughts: It's a pretty awful picture, and although the audio/video quality is halfway decent, there's nothing much to talk about on the DVD. Not recommended.

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