"American Pie: The Book of Love" is the 7th installment in the franchise (not sure if anyone could have predicted a movie about a pie would reach #7, but there are already reports an 8th film is coming next year), as filmmakers somehow manage to put another spin on the formula. This time around, it's 10 years after the events of the original movie (and, actually, it is 10 years after the original movie) and a new trio of characters - Rob (Bug Hall), Nathan (Kevin M. Horton) and Lube (Brandon Hardesty) - become the focus.
Once again, the guys can't manage to score with various girls at East Great Falls High. However, they believe that they have found the answer to all their problems in "The Bible", a book of sexual tips that has been compiled by students of years past (which I believe was an item seen and briefly discussed in the first film.)
There's a problem, though: an accidental fire ruins the book, leading the three on a quest to try and rebuild the damaged portion. However, there's quite a bit of movie before that - largely the guys screwing up and (not really) learning from their mistakes with the opposite sex. Quite a few cheap jokes and even more humiliation occurs.
Of course, one of the main authors of the book was author Noah Levenstein (Eugene Levy, who continues to be tied to this franchise), the father of the Jason Biggs character from the original trilogy. There's also a new member of the Stifler family seen (played by John Patrick Jordan), as well as an appearance by the cousin of the Nadia character from the original trilogy.
The direct-to-video films since the original trilogy have not been great cinema, but they have been watchable due to reasonably decent casting, some amusingly crude situations and a couple of films that managed to focus on other members of the Stiffler clan.
The 7th film (again: really? 7?) does manage some crude laughs, but falls a little short, as it doesn't make enough out of the book subplot, and the characters seem like carbon copies of the original group. Those who have made it this far in the series and are looking for some mindless fun and nudity may find this latest entry in the series amusing, but this more uneven than a couple of the prior direct-to-vid entries in the franchise.
Both the rated and unrated versions are included.
VIDEO: "American Pie: The Book of Love" is presented by Universal in 1.85:1 (1080p/AVC). The presentation quality was quite nice, as the picture looked consistently crisp and well-defined, even in some of the darker interiors. While some slight edge enhancement and artifacting were noticed in a few scenes, neither issue was much of a distraction. Colors remained bright and nicely saturated, with no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: The film's DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack is just fine for this sort of material, using the surrounds nicely to deliver ambience during the party scenes, but otherwise remaining a front-heavy mix. Audio quality was fine, with crisp dialogue and bassy, punchy music.
EXTRAS: 11 minutes worth of deleted scenes, a gag reel, "making of" documentary, on-set featurettes, a featurette with the cast offering their tips on love, a featurette on the cameos in the film and "American Pie" trivia.
Final Thoughts: Those who have made it this far in the series and are looking for some mindless fun and nudity may find this latest entry in the series amusing, but this more uneven than a couple of the prior direct-to-vid entries in the franchise. The Blu-Ray edition boasts very nice audio/video quality, as well as an assortment of minor extras. Rent it.
The Film C