AMERICAN GRAFFITI: SPECIAL EDITION
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
I’m not a gearhead, and I didn’t grow up in the early 1960s, so a lot of the charm of “American Graffiti” is lost on me. I can understand why people love this film, but it’s not my cup of tea. Still, it’s an American cinematic classic and worth watching at least once in your life. The story follows a group of high school kids on their last night before college. Anyone who has spent their teenage years cruising up and down Main Street will connect with the film… which is part of the reason I didn’t. Still, there’s some fantastic elements of the teenage culture of that era captured in this mosaic. It’s not a plot-heavy film but rather an assembly of pieces that bring back certain memories of its audience – from hot rods and drive ins to rock and roll music and general teenage shenanigans.
Considering the stars who were featured in this movie at an early age, it’s impressive… especially coming from director George Lucas who hasn’t helmed anything after this that wasn’t a “Star Wars” movie. At least this special edition didn’t include a CGI creature shop, though it’s been enhanced by his team.
The Blu-ray includes a picture-in-picture commentary with Lucas and a U-Control spotlight on the soundtrack. There’s also DB-Live and Pocket Blu access. Features not exclusive to the Blu-ray include a feature-length documentary “The Making of American Graffiti” and original screen tests from the stars.