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on 1 October 2012
I was keen to watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High, because whenever I read anything about a teen high school comedy, Fast Times is always referred to as the template to all the films that followed. Admittedly the genre itself isn't anything to write home about but, I was extremely curious what the mould that spawned oh so many awful cheap imitations would be like to watch, would it be any good? More to the point, why is it so fondly remembered by a certain subset of the movie going public who saw it when the film first arrived in 1982?

The first thing I noticed about fast times is how many now famous faces were in this film, it is truly amazing! The slew of current day icons include Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage (in a very minor blink and you'll miss him role) and Forest Whitaker

I was born the year after this film was released so I'm not that far removed from the culture of it but I can see how Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a product of its times, and so may seem hopelessly out of date to a newer generation raised on facebook and other attention deficit disorder producing media, but after seeing it now for the first time some 30 years after its release, the film is still surprisingly engaging and often pretty funny, if undeniably somewhat dated.

While Fast Times at Ridgemont High is very segmented and anecdotal, the anecdotes themselves are filled with little character moments which are fascinating, compelling, and most importantly, emotional. Even the stoned out lunacy of Sean Penn's character, Spicoli is oddly truthful in its own way, and Penn's completely amazing performance simply knocks it out of the park with the tiniest moments of insight behind the completely believably intoxicated eyes.

For a comedy the film has a rather serious subtext as the characters of the film find themselves on the cusp of adulthood without all of the necessary tools to effectively make the transition.

The director also deserves major kudos, aided and abetted by a keen cast, many of whom, I imagine, were just beginning their professional careers, the film is able to move swiftly along at a somewhat manic pace that is always stays more or less under control.

Unlike some other films of the time, Fast Times at Ridgemont High has aged surprisingly well. Saturated with some fantastic performances by a group of young people who would go on to pretty much define acting for a whole generation, with some equally strong direction, this is a film with obviously modest ambitions that has transcended it's modesty and is somehow surprisingly refined and actually rather profound at times.
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on 12 October 2001
This is Sean Penn as you've never seen him before. He plays the role of Jeff Spicoli with such conviction! Jeff is a low-life, easy going weed toking high school guy. He has some pretty funny one-liners in this flick. Hard to believe Penn doing comedy, but it's true. As an American myself, I watched this as a teenager and thought it was funny then. It's still just as funny. There are a few other inter-woven storylines as well. It's witty and gives a real inside look into the scary decade that was the big hair, topsiders & new romantic era. The soundtrack is pretty good, too!
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on 10 October 2008
Fast Times At Ridgemont High is one of my favourite teen comedies of all time! My favourite character has to be Spiccoli (played brilliantly by a young Sean Penn), the dumb surfer dude who's life is consumated by surfing, getting high & surfing.
In my opinion all those teen sterotypes are all tracked back to this film, every Californian stoner in a movie is based on Spiccoli.
The mian character is played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, a sexually active fifteen year old who is unfortunately best friends with Phobe Cates' legendary character (OMG! I'd die for a body like hers!) Then there's the nice guy, who finds it hard to make the first move & Leigh's older brother, juggling relationship troubles with a job.
Okay so there's not much depth & you probably won't care much about any of the characters but this is an exceptional teen movie, if you're looking for depth & a storyline go for anything but this movie, as a matter of fact don't bother with any teen movie if thats what your looking for (with an exception to The Breakfast Club that is).
If you want a fun, fast-paced teen comedy Fast Times should be your first pick. If you don't like teen comedies you're an idiot for even considering watching this in the first place.
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on 17 April 2009
A MUST SEE for Sean Penn's fans -and not only- as his performance as the eternally-stoned surfer is superb and hilarious, already showing the intensity, focus, talent and passion that this great artist is going to bring to cinema and life.
The overall movie is nothing special, might have been new at the time but now the characters are a bit of a clichè.

Penn is the key.
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on 11 February 2013
I have owned this on DVD for years now, and while its certainly not one of my favourite 80s teen flicks, its always been an enjoyable movie, so this review is not based at all on the movie as I am sure most people buying this will already be aware of what this one is about. This review is about the blu ray itself.
The extras on the blu ray, seem to be the same as on the DVD although the blu ray doesnt seem to list the Hangouts of Ridgemont High extra feature, but I havent gone through them yet to see if its there or not.
The man reason I have given this such a low score is the transfer. The colours are brighter its true, but the transfer is horribly grainy on a good number of the scenes, with some discolouration on the things like skin tone etc.
I know this isnt a new movie, but I own enough blu rays of films older than this, dating back to the 60s and early 70s that have picture transfers head and shoulders above this.
I dont understand why some companies make so little effort in their transfers.
When they get the transfer right, it looks amazing, which is why the grainy scenes are so annoying.
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on 11 December 2006
An Absolutely fantastic film.has some of the best actors of the 80's generation,especially the great Sean Penn and the very hot Pheobe Cates.Even if you weren't lucky enougth to remember the 80's,this film shows you what you missed.A must watch film!!!!!!!!!!
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on 16 May 2010
Bringing you back to the 80's, with one of the best class scene with Sean Penn's debut as an actor.
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on 31 July 2014
Classic 80's movie, fillled with stars to be!
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on 18 October 2015
Nothing wrong with product. Always get charged I feel to much when 2 dvds In one packet. Yet my fellow housemate gets charged for just the one when he gets 2 dvds.
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on 6 April 2015
Classic film i remember seeing it when i was in school. I later on found it on Netflix but i wanted my own coy to keep before Netflix takes it off.
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