Clueless BD Review
not a typical teenage flick and it doesn't even make any presumptions
such a thing. It belongs in the small category of genuinely great
surrounding those unbelievable teenage years. The potentially-brief
includes another film directed by Amy Heckerling (writer/director of Clueless and all around extraordinaire),
the Cameron Crowe penned modern classic Fast
Times at Ridgemont High. Imagine Jane Austen's Emma as
a teenage-comedy: it is set in the 90's, with a surplus of
fashion and the same basic sensibilities of the original Austen
such a thing translate well or would it be a transformed
work that couldn't hold up over the distance of some time?
The first possibility seems to be the case: Clueless
manages to be just as engaging today as it was seventeen years ago.
didn't begin writing the
script for what would eventually become Clueless
with that concept in mind but somewhere along the course that is
sort of thought process that began to formulate. As she has described
on some subconscious level she already had formulated ways in which to
some of Austen's original ideas into a new and exciting cinematic
On every level, Heckerling succeeded.
story focuses on Cher (Alicia
Silverstone). She is at first-glance a self-centered girl with an idea
everyone is in need of her help on the popularity scale. She's one of
popular girls in her school and she has close friends she likes to
gossip with. Dionne (Stacey Dash) is her best friend, and the pair
everything from boys, grades, and fellow class-mates to fashion. Tai
Murphy) is a new student who Cher decides needs to receive a total
beginning with the way she dresses in shabby real high-school life
Cher receives poor grades she also decides that the way to resolve the
is to establish debates with her teachers and argue her grade up rather
have earned those grades. In the eyes of her powerful, rich father Mel
Hedaya) that is every bit as good. Fortunately, Cher has a close friend
(Paul Rudd), who works for her father, and has looked out for her
when she is in need.
viewers might be quick to
consider Cher a selfish and self-centered person. This isn't exactly
cares a lot about herself, certainly, but she actually is a
passionate person who cares for her friends and family. Her decision to
the popularity concerning others in her school is misguided, but she
to help. And her father is repeatedly demonstrated as being in
she watches out for him and his dieting. Despite appearances, Cher is
than just your average looked-down-upon teen. Heckerling wisely
being a teenager means many things and that there are intelligent
there, including some with style and wit, as Cher demonstrates.
many regards, it's hard to
believe today that this film almost wasn't produced. When the
first distributed out to studio executives and to others involved in
Hollywood filmmaking machine, the overwhelming response to the script
there wasn't interest in making "yet-another-teenage-movie", a saying
fails to understand Clueless.
these executive folk looking
at some long laundry-like list of their teenage-comedy duds while
of their eyebrows raised, stiff knuckles, and expressions of deadpan
The executives had no idea of what could happen to pop-culture if the
given the green-light and some studios missed out on this future hit as
dramatic impact on popular culture. From the young cast of
fashion (which made an especially noticeable impact on youth of the
the many words that became common usage: Whatever
and As If being towards the top
(though without actually even scratching on the surface of the film's
referential script). Despite having a title a typical moviegoer might
with a stupid film, Clueless is anything but: The first thing to
that it is intelligent. Everything about the film oozes quality
character development, and the necessary ingredients for grade "A"
Amy Heckerling tapped into youth culture while making a highly-stylized
that is every bit as meaningful today.
knows how to release a catalog movie on Blu-ray. Clueless has
rather impressive 1080p High Definition Blu-ray release utilizing a AVC
Like some other recent Paramount releases, the bitrates on this disc
incredible, and not to be overlooked. Releases of 90's films are not
faithful to the source as this release is: The 1.85:1 framed transfer
the original theatrical aspect ratio, has good color saturation, and a
sampling in a rather filmic appearance. Releases of catalog titles with
mbps transfers are quite rare and yet that's exactly the kind of
English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation is more than adequate. In
scenes, the film seems to lack the kind of depth and bass you'd hope to
Directionality seems minimal. However, the clarity is respectably good
although this is more of a front-heavy audio track, things are quite
and robust when need be. Spanish, French, and Portuguese 2.0 audio
also been included. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish,
Portuguese, and English SDH (for the deaf and hard of hearing).
the extras are brand new here (all of them are ported over from a
Special Edition) but all of the extras are well worth checking out. I
impressed by these supplements. However, I was still a tad disappointed
lack of involvement by Alicia Silverstone. That is both unfortunate and
the trailers for Clueless (both of which are presented
in High Definition) all of the extras are in Standard Definition:
or False Trivia Game -
This is an optional game in which
trivia plays over the movie while you watch it, during various scenes.
a fun if inessential inclusion.
Class of '95
(18:31) is a making-of behind the
scenes and interviewee documentary. Expect interviews from most of the
several production members, except Alicia Silverstone has seemingly
missing from being interviewed.
(9:39) is primarily about how the
film and script was written. This piece talks about the process of
film made from the concept to execution.
(10:46) is all about the fashion
on display in Clueless and the efforts of the film's costume designer.
(8:09) is a fun supplement that
covers the unique language of the film's script; noting how the
impacted pop culture to this day.
'N Blow": A Tutorial
(2:47) is a brief piece on a game
played in the film in which cards are passed from one to another by
(3:49) is mostly a reflection
piece about the freeway scene and the experience of it being filmed.
(8:52) takes a broader look at
the various cultural and film influences and impact resultant of the
Theatrical Trailer (2:39)
essentially a masterpiece of 90's film: something that works beyond the
of just being a "teenager's movie". Clueless
was well-made in almost every way imaginable, and with characters
an audience of all ages could relate. The foundations for all of this
lies in Heckerling's
brilliant screenplay and it is truly a joy to see just how well she
the script and all of its potential with her noteworthy direction. The
PQ/AQ is aces, and the fine extras make this a necessary purchase. You
purchased this release already? Whatever.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.