"AMERICAN TEEN" received some decent coverage prior to its short theatrical run, so this reviewer looked forward to reviewing it on dvd. The "documentary" focuses on 5 specific students, during their senior year in high school in the small town of Warsaw, Indiana. Intending to capture "different" perspectives, "AMERICAN TEEN" examines the interactions, struggles and lives of "the pretty girl," the "nerd," the "jock,"etc. Get the picture? There are some very entertaining moments, but the one cloud that the film can't escape from, lies in the fact that it all seems completely staged! At least when the first season of "THE HILLS" began, one could believe some of the footage was reality. Not so, in "AMERICAN TEEN." Things manifest and kids act in ways, that are at complete odds with what anyone at any age could perceive as natural. It's not a small problem for this kind of film either, because it's hard to enjoy a film that could otherwise be entertaining, when feeling taken advantage of!
"AMERICAN TEEN" could've worked well, had it been presented as a simple film, and nothing more, never suggesting it was a documentary. Regardless, the younger "high-schoolers" viewing the film with adults, did enjoy it.
PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 16:9 enhanced dvd. Grain pops up sporadically, but should be expected for this kind of low-budget and locations. Colors vary in intensity, but are generally solid. Blacks are never deep and darker scenes lack detail typically found on bigger releases. Still, appears to be on par with the original theatrical presentation.
PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Surrounds are barely noticeable, with separation focused on front speakers. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion. Nothing here of any note, but the mix does what it needs to.
Extras include interviews with cast members, notably older in appearance, as well as deleted scenes, wisely left out.