American Teen (2008/Paramount DVD)
Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C Feature: C
how Nanette Burstein’s American Teen
(2008) tries to be a more serious look at teen living today and promise
something more than type of story and release before, it cannot exceed being ‘reality
TV’, but slightly less exploitive. The
people focused on are not as handpicked as those pretentious TV messes, which
makes them more natural and likable, but this is edited in a way that undercuts
the lives of all.
is partly doomed simply because this is territory that is played out, tired and
unless risky, cannot break through feeling like formula by default. This is the High School Senior Year story yet
again, as we guess the earlier years and grades are never as interesting, yet
they are so unexplored. Some of the
moments ring true, but on the whole, this should have been longer (see the cut
scenes) and had a different approach.
For instance, why does one of the girls decide she wants to be a filmmaker? That was too sudden and epitomizes the way
the chronological order flattens things and never builds this up properly. Still, you could do worse.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is a little soft and has motion blur;
typical of such productions today. The
Dolby Digital 5.1 mix just spreads out the location sound which is stereo at
best, but with music added by Michael Penn that helps. Extras include those deleted scenes,
character trailers, Hannah Blogs and Pop Quiz: Cast Interviews.