'The Girl Next Door (Unrated Edition) [Blu-ray]'
(Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert, et al / Blu ray / R / (2004) 2009 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Eighteen-year-old Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch) is a straight-laced overachiever who has never really lived life - until he falls for his hot new neighbor (Elisha Cuthbert). When Matthew discovers his perfect "girl next door" is a former porn star, his sheltered existence spins out of control.
DVD Verdict: Risky Business II? Sure, it's a typical attempt to remake Risky Business, with a young, charismatic young man getting involved with a beautiful, mysterious young woman; however, there are enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.
Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch) is the typical over-achiever in high school. He's in all sorts of clubs, AP classes, and never seems to have the care-free fun that the rest of his fellow seniors are having. He's even gone so far as to start a fund to bring a Cambodian, teenage genius to America. His whole world changes when Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) moves in next door.
In a matter of no time it becomes clear that Danielle is a former porn star - discovered by Matthew's porn-obsessed friend Eli (Chris Marquette) - and she has a world of experience and knowledge that are going to broaden Matthew's horizons on more than one level.
Danielle wants out of the porn business, but her sleazy producer Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) wants the exact opposite. It's soon a battle of influence, as Matthew tugs at Danielle's heart-strings, while Kelly tugs at her through the type of power typically given to those who would dominate over another psychologically. It's only when Kelly gets involved that the predictability disappears. Each and every scene with Kelly is a scene stealer and an adventure. Whereas we all pretty much know what's going to happen in most teen comedy movies, The Girl Next Door gives a fresh take on the genre.
The climax at the prom (pun intended) was a brilliant way to conclude the movie, squeeze a few gorgeous women into the movie (Sung Hi Lee cameo), and provide a combination of comedy and real drama.
'The Girl Next Door' hit theaters in April of ’04—a mere five years ago—but judging by the film’s 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer, you might think the film was shot anytime between 1994 and 2000. Simply put, the movie looks older than its years, as it’s neither as sharp, clean, nor detailed as you’d expect a post-millennial film—even a modestly budgeted comedy—to be.
It would be a travesty if I didn't mention the fact that the "Eli Experience", the eventual producing empire formed by Eli as part of a whirlwind surprise ending, is clearly my favorite part of the movie. His persona and control of the AV dork "minion", his ability to run with a brilliant idea, his response to learning about Danielle's past, his actions during a porn expo, and his abrupt response to a smarmy question provided tons of laughs throughout. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the Special Features of:
Commentary by Director Luke Greenfield
The Eli Experience (SD, 7:57)
“A Look Next Door” (SD, 9:59)
Gag Reel (SD, 2:47)
Deleted and Extended Scenes (SD, 10:58)
Scene Specific Commentary by Emile Hirsch (SD, 8:47)
Scene Specific Commentary by Elisha Cuthbert (SD, 12:47)