Blu-Ray Review: Coyote Ugly

Coyote Ugly

Somewhere around 2001, I discovered the unsung beauty that is Piper Perabo. It all began, as you can imagine, with Coyote Ugly, arguably her most popular film. For a moment there in 2000, Piper was the centerpiece in one of the sexiest movies around.

Sexy is probably the best way to describe it, ultimately. In fact, Coyote Ugly is one of those movies that stuffy, pretentious film critics jump on – they are never short on ways to knock down the often shallow, but still entertaining works of Jerry Bruckheimer. Personally, I have always been someone who would rather be entertained – and sexy women dancing on a bar with a cliché love story and some cheesy dialogue is certainly entertaining, to say the least.

Thankfully, the folks at Touchstone must have read my subconscious, knowing that it was time for me to rediscover Coyote Ugly, this time in glorious high definition on Blu-ray. In this “Double Shot Edition”, the film gets turned up a notch to the unrated version, which is always a suspect claim. Too often I pick up the “unrated” or “extended” edition to find that the feature itself has had a few deleted scenes and maybe one or two harsh curse words added back in – but Coyote Ugly separates itself by throwing in the lost nude scene. Yes, you read that right – the Piper Perabo/Adam Garcia sex scene in the middle of the movie was cut for the family audience (to obtain the PG-13 tag, I’m sure) in the original theatrical version. In the unrated extended edition, we get the sultry scene, complete with more of Piper than we hoped to ever have, in full 1080p resolution. At that moment of my viewing, I was sold on this release – finally, a Blu-ray release that I can really get behind.

Other than that, I didn’t notice much else that was added, but do you really need anything else? I was satisfied. And sure, some of you might still be sitting on your pretentious laurels, thinking that this is a blitz of T&A layered over a poppy soundtrack, all strapped to the bar with a big leather belt – but I don’t think it was ever intended to be anything more. If you are like me (someone who is ok with having a little bit of fun), then you know that you can pick this one up, pop it into your Blu-ray player and enjoy yourself, just the way you did when you saw this film back the first time – only this time, it is in high definition.

Special Features

Like most Blu-ray discs that I have reviewed since the inception of the format, Coyote Ugly falls short when it comes to giving us something new in the bonus features. It is a frightening trend that often leads me to doubt the fate of the format – because eventually consumers will get wise and realize that movies from the late 90s in 1080p ain’t all that and a bag of chips. This release even had me digging out my original copy of the standard DVD, purchased in 2001, to see what had changed. I came to find out that while my DVD from 2001 was barren, the Special Edition released in 2005 included all of the special features that I found on my Blu-ray copy. So you would imagine that they would at least bring the special features up to speed by putting them in high definition, right? Not exactly. As my friends on the web would say, that is a major fail.

The High Definition Experience

As I mentioned before, it was great seeing the flashy, sexy film that I remember from 2001 back on a bigger screen in beautiful high-resolution glory, but the big draw here was the extended cut of the film. But while this film enamored me, I would have been okay seeing it in standard definition if it means saving a few bucks, especially considering the fact that all of the special features are in 480i resolution.
As well, I did experience some problems with the menu system – it was unnecessarily clunky and slow. At first, the menu would not load on my Sony BDP-300. I was forced to upgrade my firmware to version 3.8 in order to get it to load, adding about a half hour to my movie watching experience. Should you decide to pick this one up, make sure your player is updated or you will be cursing out some unwitting customer service rep at your local retailer the next day.

The Final Word

While I have already expressed my affection for this film, I don’t think I am too high on the Blu-ray experience that has been delivered unto me by this release. The menu problem was a bother, but hot women dancing on a bar took away the sting rather quickly. Had the special features been in high definition, it would be an easy recommend – but they weren’t, so its not. If you are a die-hard fan of the film and already have the previous DVD releases, there is really no need to run out and pick this up. But for those with Blu-ray players that have not discovered this wonderful guilty pleasure, I say take the chance – I wasn’t overly impressed, but I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy myself re-discovering this film.

Grade: C-

On the Side: Michael Bay makes a cameo in the film as a photographer for the Village Voice. See if you can pick him out.

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