Clueless is a timeless classic that even 17 years later is still relevant today as it was then even when styles and lingo changes. The movie features some great performances especially from Silverstone who probably deserved more award recognition than she got. As for this Blu-ray, if offers up the same features as the 10-year anniversary DVD and some decent video and audio upgrades.
Paramount | PG13 – 97 min. – $22.99 | May 1, 2012
Directed by: Amy Heckerling
Writer(s): Amy Heckerling
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer, Dan Hedaya
Theatrical Release Date: July 19, 1995
Features: Featurettes, Trailers
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
Plot Outline: Teenage bubblegum princess Cher (ALICIA SILVERSTONE) is a popular, but superficial, high school girl who spends her time planning her outfit combos, make-up, chatting up best friend Dionne (STACEY DASH), and, of course, boys. But she has no interest in the guys at her high school because of their style and upkeep and instead is into older guys. At the high school, she also gets her way by negotiating better grades from her teachers, which in a way she learned from her litigator father (DAN HEDEYA).
Also amongst the circus of people in her life is: Dionne’s boyfriend (DONALD FAISON from “Scrubs”); ex-step-brother Josh (PAUL RUDD) who, even though his mother and her father divorced, still sticks around much to Cher’s chagrin; and new girl in school, Tai (BRITTANY MURPHY), who is a bit homely but Cher decides to take her under her wings. Unfortunately doing so, and thanks to a “near death” experience, catapults Tai to a new stratosphere and eventually supplants Cher as high school queen while Dionne and rival Amber ELISA DONOVAN) become Tai’s BFF’s while Cher is demoted to a mere follower. Following this, she also experiences failures in her romantic life as well…
Note: This review contains spoilers.
Quick Hit Review: Released in 1995, and originally conceived as a television series (which it later got and ran for 3 seasons), Clueless is yet another irreverent look at high school life from writer/director Amy Heckerling who directed the timeless high school flick, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (although Heckerling managed to also provide the world with European Vacation and Look Who’s Talking…). Between Fast Times and Clueless, she has directed two of the best movies about high school that, although a bit hyperbolized in some situations, had more than a grain of truth at its core. For Clueless is looks at the vapid West Coast boys and girls with the Valley lingo and styles. While I don’t think it’s as specifically rapid today, the ideas still hold true about the youth of America.
Outside of the writing and direction, the movie also succeeds because of a star-turning performance from Alicia Silverstone who provides the right balance between the bubblegum personality that slowly develops into a person of substance, a transformation that’s not quite subtle, but fluid and natural. Silverstone’s co-stars are also well rounded even in limited roles from Breckin Meyer as the guy interested in the new girl, Dash as the best friend and Paul Rudd, who does have a larger role, as a potential love interest that develops as naturally as Silverstone’s transformation (if that makes any sense).
Despite being now 17 years old (yikes), Clueless is just as relevant today as it was in the mid-90s. The styles and lingo have changed but the ideas remain the same, just switch things out with cell phones and other electronic devices and we’d get a remake (which sadly probably isn’t too far away). In any case, if you haven’t seen the movie, or if it’s been a while like it was for me (I hadn’t seen it in probably a decade), now’s a good enough time to watch it again.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
The Blu-ray comes with a glossy, embossed slip cover and all the features have been ported over from the “Whatever! Edition”, so there’s no need to hold onto your hold DVD.
Clue or False Trivia Game is an interactive game where you answer questions while watching the movie and rack up points. I would’ve preferred a commentary track over this…
The Class of ’95 (18:31; SD) is a retrospective featurette that has interviews with the cast (Breckin Meyer, Brittany Murphy, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, et al) and various members of the crew as they recall making what would become a cult classic. The only thing we get from Silverstone is an on-set interview from 1995.
Creative Writing (9:39; SD) examines how the movie got made and includes more “new” interviews with Heckerling and others.
Fashion 101 (10:46; SD) takes a look at the fashion of Clueless and tackling the outfits for the different characters.
Language Arts (8:09; SD) is about the lingo or slang created/re-incarnated from the past for the film that permeated the culture from Beverly Hills outward in the mid 90s (even referenced in Scream). “What-Ever!”
We also get a couple short features including: Suck ‘N Blow: A Tutorial (2:47; SD) about the game played in the movie; Driver’s Ed (3:49; SD) covering the freeway freak-out scene; and We’re History (8:52; SD) on the significance the movie has had over the years.
The disc also has the teaser (1:59; HD) and theatrical trailers (2:39; HD).
VIDEO – 3.75/5
Clueless shops its way onto Blu-ray with a nice looking 1080p high-definition, although it is a bit uneven especially in one noticeable scene where it seems Paramount couldn’t find the original negative (it looks like it was culled from a VHS copy or something). The movie is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio (originally 1.85) and while there are some noticeable film grain and noise, and although not abundant, I did notice a few specs of dirt here and there. But even with the flaws, it is a fair upgrade over the 7-year-old DVD (not to mention the 1998 release).
AUDIO – 3.5/5
The disc comes with a decent, albeit subdued, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. While it’s a tad more balanced over the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track from the DVD, it’s not as big of an upgrade by comparison. Of course, the movie is almost entirely dialogue driven with some moments of choice songs from mid-90s that provide some limited depth from the other channels. Also, the bass rarely if ever turned on so even there it’s minimal.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, Clueless is a timeless classic that even 17 years later is still relevant today as it was then even when styles and lingo changes. The movie features some great performances especially from Silverstone who probably deserved more award recognition than she got. As for this Blu-ray, if offers up the same features as the 10-year anniversary DVD and some decent video and audio upgrades.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.