REVIEW: American Reunion

11 08 2012

Was I really dying to know what happened to the characters of the “American Pie” series once Jason Biggs’ Jim Levenstein tied the knot with Alyson Hannigan’s Michelle Flaherty?  To be honest, no.  The ridiculous high school pals that love to talk about sex, sex, and … oh yeah, sex, are fun to spend an hour and a half with, yet they really aren’t worth a moment’s thought once the credits begin to roll.

But for all those who really need to know what has become of East Great Falls High’s graduating class of 1999, “American Reunion” exists.  Surprise – no one has changed all that much!  If you took five minutes to think about what the most likely life trajectories would be for all the characters, congratulations, you have the same IQ as the screenwriters.

Jim is still as horny as ever, and thankfully the film is able to justify some of his exploits by raising the stakes and amplifying the embarrassment (translation: some very uncomfortable Biggs full-frontal nudity).  Seann William Scott’s Stifler is still a jerk (and his mom is still busty as ever); Thomas Ian Nichols’ Kevin and Chris Klein’s Oz are still struggling with their feelings for the lovely Vicky (Tara Reid) and Heather (Mena Suvari), respectively; Eddie Kaye Thomas’ Finch is still an enigma to the rest of the group and to us.

If “American Reunion” really wanted to shock us, the better option would have been to have some of these characters fundamentally change.  Compared to seeing Jason Biggs’ penis smushed under the lid of a pot, a script that dared to challenge the notion that people aren’t doomed to keep reliving new version of their high school problems would have registered much higher on the Richter scale of shock.

Instead, we get to see the old archetypes thrown into a rerun of the good old days, forcing the characters we once loved to act out the plot of Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups.”  How much that can entertain you depends on how much you liked these characters in the first place.  C

Advertisements




WTLFT: April 2012

12 03 2012

Hard to believe April is almost upon us.  It feels like 2012 has just begun, and now we’re in the vamp-up month for summer tentpole season!  Let’s see what this year’s crop looks like…

April 6

I would normally be skeptical of a four-quel that comes 9 years after the last installment and touts itself as a reunion … but “American Reunion” does look some kind of funny.  We’re all allowed some exceptions, right?

The weekend’s other big release is a re-release, “Titanic 3D.”  No thanks, James Cameron, unless you have an alternate ending planned … I’m still upset that Kate Winslet didn’t let Leo on the big door.

“Damsels in Distress,” starring the creepy babysitter/amateur pornographer from “Crazy Stupid Love,” looks like it has some potential to be funny.  That is, if mumblecore queen Greta Gerwig doesn’t sourpuss it all the way down to the core.

Looking to capitalize off of “The Hunger Games”-mania for Josh Hutcherson (hoping he will become the new Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner, I assume), his star-vehicle “Detention” hits theaters just two weeks later.  This SXSW 2011 horror-comedy looks like it might have some potential barring it isn’t stupid beyond belief.

April 13

I’ve never been a Joss Whedon fanboy, but I understand that there’s a significant portion of the Internet that is.  So they can rejoice at their appetizer for May’s “The Avengers,” his horror-comedy “The Cabin in the Woods.”  I, on the other hand, will still try to figure out what it is that has the Web so enamored with this man’s work.

Poor Guy Pearce needs to get his game face back on.  After bursting onto the scene with “L.A. Confidential” and “Memento,” he’s faded into obscurity.  He pops up here and there in Best Picture winners “The Hurt Locker” and “The King’s Speech” … and also in Adam Sandler’s “Bedtime Stories.”  Maybe “Lockout” will get him back on track.  But more likely not since any movie where you share the screen with Maggie Grace and Peter Stormare holds little promise.

The Farrelly Brothers need another “There’s Something About Mary” to revive their career because “Hall Pass” sure wasn’t going to do it. Maybe “The Three Stooges” will be better than the trailer, but from that, I’m sensing an epic disaster as two distinct comedy styles butt heads.

Word on the street is that Michelle Yeoh “coulda been a contendah” for the Oscar as Aung San Suu Kyi in “The Lady.”  Looks baity, no?  For a real Oscar nominee, see Best Foreign Film nominee “Monsieur Lazhar” from the exotic lands of Canada.

April 20

Think Like a Man” should be retitled “Tyler Perry’s All-Star Team Presents Steve Harvey’s Think Like a Man.”  Then I think it would outsell “The Hunger Games” for sure.

The Lucky One” should be retitled “An Actual Nicholas Sparks Adaptation: The Lucky One (Zac Efron Might Get Naked).”  Then it would double the receipts of “The Vow.”

Chimpanzee” should be retitled “The Real Planet of the Apes.”  Then it might stop the downward slide of DisneyNature movies off a box office cliff.

In other news, if you are interested to see just how far Diane Keaton can fall from “Annie Hall,” the answer awaits you in “Darling Companion.”

April 27

I have zero shame in saying that the April release I’m most excited for is “The Five-Year Engagement.”  It’s beyond guilty pleasure territory.  Jason Segel and Emily Blunt together in one movie, plus Chris Pratt, plus a very interesting concept that might actually move beyond the cliches?  Count me SO in.

There’s also an indie winner of the week, “Sound of My Voice.”  It stars Brit Marling, star of last year’s Sundance bust “Another Earth,” although she’s totally absent in this WTF-worthy trailer.  But rather than being turned off, I’m very intrigued.  This ought to be good.

Someone should have told Aardman that the pirates fad was over in 2007 … but since no one did, we get “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.”  And thanks to “The Raven,” Edgar Allen Poe just got a lot scarier than reading him in high school English.

Also, is it just me or is Jason Statham this decade’s Steven Seagal?  When the narrator for “Safe” said the most wanted girl was 12 years old, I just started bursting out laughing.  Now Statham is wading into straight-to-video territory, let’s all kick back and enjoy.

So, what are YOU looking forward to in April?  Sound off in the comments or vote in the poll!