- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Director Amy (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”) Heckerling’s 1995, coming-of-age teen comedy gets rereleased in the high definition format, on a disc embedded in a metallic case no less, but Clueless: 25th Anniversary Steelbook Edition (Paramount Home Entertainment, Rated PG-13, 1.78:1 aspect ratio, 95 minutes, $29.99) offers nothing new for devoted fans of the movie and franchise.

Loosely based on Jane Austen’s novel “Emma,” the movie takes viewers into a 1990s Beverly Hills and exposed to the randomly meaningful existence of wealthy, attractive and surprising smart high schooler Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone).

The selfish Valley Girl devotee, skilled in matchmaking and mall shopping, mainly enjoys injecting herself in others’ lives such as her best friend Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash), new friend Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy) and resident burnout Travis Birkenstock (Breckin Meyer).

She battles a small gantlet of issues in her life including dealing with her strict but well-meaning father Melvin (Dan Hedaya), having a crush on ex-step brother Josh Lucas (Paul Rudd) and negotiating grades with a curmudgeonly debate teacher named Mr. Wendell Hall (Wallace Shawn).

The cartoony characters and plot are worth a few laughs, and the 2012 high definition, screen-filling transfer remains sharp and colorful, especially when highlighting the 1990s fashions.



However, the music soundtrack always shines led by such classics as No Doubt’s “Just a Girl,” the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ “Where’d You Go?” (they actually appeared in the movie at a school dance), and the Muffs offering a grungy version of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America.”.

Overall “Clueless” never delivers the emotional weight or real character dive of one of John Hughes’ classic teen comedies but finds enough humor to appreciate through its exaggerated look at the 1990s high school experience.

Best extras: The disc is exact to the 2012 Blu-ray release. That’s not necessarily bad for new viewers as it offers a varied collection of bonus content.

The highlight is an onscreen true-or-false trivia game played while watching the film.

Use a few buttons on the Blu-ray controller to answer “classic” or “as if” on questions such as whether Miss Silverstone’s first feature film was “Crush” co-starring Marcia Gay Harden or whether she honestly did not know how to correctly pronounce Haitians in an opening classroom scene, or if Mr. Shawn has lent his vocal talents to more Pixar films than any other actor.

Quiz takers get 10 points for correct answers on a game that pulls no punches and does its best to trick a contestant with oh-so-close statements.

Viewers also get, ported from the 2012 release that was culled from the 2005 DVD “Whatever” 10th anniversary edition, roughly 60 minutes of the film’s production history broken into seven  featurettes.

They cover Miss Heckerling dissecting her cast choices with comments from actors and crew, the origins of the film and TV series including the adaptation from “Emma,” fashion choices, the movie’s legacy and a look at some unusual 1990s teen slang including the introduction of some news words (i.e. a Baldwin is a hot guy).

Now as far as a 25th anniversary release was nobody really available to offer some fun memories about the film or Paramount could not have thrown together a filmmaker perspective like it has done with its “Paramount Presents” line?

Owners also get a yellow, plaid steelbook case to hold the disc with a colorful collage of Polaroid photos from the film inside the covers.

The only big upgrade is a code in the package to watch the film on the iTunes or Vudu streaming services.

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