Fast Times at Ridgemont High

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Criterion;
Comedy;
$29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R.’
Stars Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, Phoebe Cates, Ray Walston, Forest Whitaker, Vincent Schiavelli.

The Criterion Collection’s new edition of the 1982 comedy classic Fast Times at Ridgemont high includes a sparkling new transfer of the film that goes a bit beyond the typical restoration.

The new 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Amy Heckerling, goes so far as to restore a scene of full-frontal male nudity of Robert Romanus during his sex scene with Jennifer Jason Leigh that was trimmed from the original version in order to avoid an ‘X’ rating. It’s not a new scene added back into the film — the theatrical version simply zoomed in to avoid showing off too much of Romanus. The Criterion cut simply restores the original framing.

In addition to a printed essay booklet by film critic Dana Stevens with an introduction by screenwriter Cameron Crowe, the primary new extra on Criterion’s Blu-ray is a 35-minute interview about the film with Heckerling and Crowe moderated by actress and filmmaker Olivia Wilde, who discuesses how much Fast Times influenced her in making Booksmart.

The Blu-ray also includes the television edit of the film, which adds in a few deleted and alternate scenes to run about five minutes longer than the theatrical cut.

Legacy extras carried over from Universal’s earlier home video releases include a 1999 commentary from Heckerling and Crowe; the 40-minute “Reliving Our Fast Times at Ridgemont High” retrospective from 1999, featuring interviews with cast and crew; and a 47-minute audio discussion with Heckerling conducted at the American Film Institute in 1982.

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Fandango Survey Finds Women Increasingly Interested in Movies Employing Women Onscreen and Off

In honor of International Women’s Day March 8, Fandango has released surveys of two different samples of more than 1,000 female moviegoers (conducted in March 2018 and again in March 2019) and found increased interest in movies employing women onscreen and off.

Among the findings:

  • In 2018, 85% women identified themselves as the decisionmakers when picking movies for family and friends. In 2019, 87% say they are the decisionmakers.
  • In 2018, 75% of women wanted to see more female ensembles on the big screen. In 2019, 85% would like to see more female ensembles.
  • In 2018, 57% preferred female-driven stories presented by female filmmakers/writers. In 2019, 63% prefer female-driven stories told by female filmmakers/writers.

“It’s clear from our survey that more female moviegoers want to see women-driven stories told by female filmmakers and directors,” Fandango correspondent Alicia Malone said in a statement. “There are so many talented filmmakers deserving opportunities to make their movies. With growing conversation and demand for representation in the film industry, I’m excited to see more diverse offerings in the future.”

In celebration of Malone’s new book, The Female Gaze: Essential Movies Made by WomenFandangoNOW, Fandango’s TVOD service, is highlighting a curated selection of classic movies cited in the book, including Penny Marshall’s Big and A League of Their Own, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, Gurinda Chadha’s Bend It Like Beckham, Chloe Zhao’s The Rider, and Amy Heckerling’s Clueless.

Fandango is also hosting two South by Southwest Film Festival panels with Malone March 8 and March 11 to discuss the evolving images and views of women’s representation on the big screen over the last few years.