Clueless appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Much of the picture looked fine, but enough problems manifested themselves to create some distractions.
Sharpness usually came across acceptably well. Softness crept into a mix of shots, but those remained fairly minor. The majority of the flick looked pretty good. No shimmering or jaggies showed up, but some edge enhancement became apparent. As for source flaws, I noticed occasional examples of specks and marks, but these weren’t too prominent.
Colors were decent but not better than that. At times, they took on nice signs of brightness and definition. However, they also could be a bit flat and drab. Too many daytime outdoors shots looked a little bland for me. Black levels appeared deep and rich, while shadow detail was decent. A few shots seemed somewhat dense, but mostly the low-light images were appropriately delineated. This transfer ended up as pretty average.
As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Clueless, it seemed fine but it didn’t excel because of a lack of ambition. Like most comedies, the movie featured a limited soundfield that strongly favored the forward channels. It showed very nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides.
Panning was decent, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement. A few scenes opened up better, though, especially in the parties. Heck, a couple of sequences even offered some pretty solid split surround material, such as when a helicopter floated around one outdoor sequence. These were the exceptions to the rule, however, as most of the movie stayed with limited imaging.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score and songs showed decent dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B-“ but didn’t particularly impress.
For this “Whatever!” edition of Clueless, we find a collection of extras. Most of these come in the form of featurettes. The Class of ‘95 goes for 18 minutes, 30 seconds as it presents movie clips, archival elements, and interviews. We hear from writer/director Amy Heckerling, associate producer Twink Caplan, casting director Marcia Ross, director of photography Bill Pope, and actors Breckin Meyer, Alicia Silverstone (in 1995), Brittany Murphy, Stacey Dash, Donald Faison, Paul Rudd, Dan Hedaya, Justin Walker and Wallace Shawn. “Class” looks at casting, characters and performances. We get a very nice overview of the different personalities and learn a lot of fun notes in this useful little piece.
For the nine-minute and 38-second Creative Writing, we find remarks from Heckerling, Caplan, and Pope. We learn about the flick’s development and story ideas, the film’s take on Beverly Hills and high school, various influences, issues getting a studio to back the flick, visual design, and a few other production elements. “Writing” becomes a bit scattered, as its focus flits around in different ways. Nonetheless, it includes more interesting information and keeps us occupied.
Fashion 101 goes for 10 minutes, 46 seconds and includes Faison, Caplan, Heckerling, Dash, Murphy, Meyer, Walker, makeup artist Alan Friedman, actor Elisa Donovan and costume designer Mona May. As implied by the title, “Fashion” looks at the movie’s clothes. We learn how the outfits were adapted for the different outfits and get info about what May hoped to achieve with her designs. It’s another fun and fact-packed show.
During the eight-minute and eight-second Language Arts, we get comments from Silverstone (1995), Heckerling, Faison, Murphy, Caplan, Walker, Meyer, Donovan, and Dash. The featurette looks at the movie’s slang. We find a good overview of how the flick’s distinctive dialogue emerged and also get a glossary of what some of the terms mean. It’s an entertaining segment.
For Suck ‘N Blow – A Tutorial, we get a two-minute, 47-second piece. It takes us to the set for the “suck ‘n blow” scene and we see aspects of its creation. A few decent snippets appear, but it’s fluffier and less substantial than the other programs.
Driver’s Ed lasts three minutes, 49 seconds and features Faison, Heckerling, Pope, and Dash. We see the filming of the clip where Dionne ends up on the freeway. Some raw footage adds to the piece, and we find some good details about this sequence.
Finally, We’re History fills eight minutes, 50 seconds with notes from Heckerling, Pope, Shawn, Faison, Caplan, Donovan, Walker, Meyer, Murphy, Hedaya, and Dash. We hear about working with Heckerling as well as reactions to the film and its reception. A few decent notes pop up here, but it feels a little more self-congratulatory than I’d like.
Inside the Trailers area, we find the flick’s teaser and theatrical promos. A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for Airplane!, Charmed, Mad Hot Ballroom, Laguna Beach, The Brady Bunch and Tommy Boy. These also appear in the disc’s Previews area.
Back in 1995, Clueless offered a surprisingly taut and funny little teen comedy. In 2007, it remains just as effective – much to my surprise. The movie’s aged quite well, largely thanks to crisp writing and nice performances. The DVD offers acceptable picture and sound along with a mix of short but generally interesting extras. While I can’t call this a great release, the movie is a lot of fun, and with a very reasonable list price of less than $13, it’s a good DVD to own.