American Reunion

One of the biggest complaints people had coming out of Ridley Scott’s epic in scope sci-fi spectacle Prometheus was that it raised more questions than it answered. Well, today brings good news for those of you looking for closure. It turns out Scott knew what he was doing all along: he raised a bunch of questions about the origins of humanity, got us on the hook for wanting answers, and now he’s going to sell us all tickets to a sequel. Pretty clever, movie industry. Confirmation of a Prometheus 2 comes from THR, who have published a comprehensive look at which of the big movies from this summer are likely to spawn sequels. In addition to the Prometheus confirmation, they reveal that movies like Ted, Magic Mike, American Reunion, and Snow White and the Huntsman are all likely to be given follow-ups as well.

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This Week in Blu-ray

Brits running for the glory of the Empire, a fourth helping of Pie, an insanely brilliant racing hero and a few absolute bummers. That’s the company we keep This Week in Blu-ray as we take a look through the likes of American Reunion, The Flowers of War, Cherry Bomb, Spawn and Senna making their Blu debuts. It all begins, of course, with our pick of the week. Chariots of Fire Warner Bros. was able to kill two birds with one remaster this year. Not only are we getting this classic story of faith and fitness in a glorious Blu-ray release, but they’re also giving it a renewed theatrical showing in the UK in honor of the 2012 London Olympics. It’s all perfectly timed, as Chariots does tell the story of two Olympians, a Jewish man who runs to battle prejudice and a devoutly Catholic Scottish man who runs despite his dedication to his faith and its missions. Together, they brought glory to Britain in the 1924 Olympics. The result is a timeless convergence of sportsmanship and cinema showmanship, a well-acted, thoroughly emotional experience at the hand of director Hugh Hudson. The score, most notably the synthesizer heavy opening theme, is the stuff of pop culture legend. It will live on long beyond the memory of those who know where it originates, from the Academy Award winning score of Vangelis. The choice to go 80s synth instead of big, sweeping orchestral work for a triumphant story of national heroism in the 1920s was a bold one, […]

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Drinking Games

Thirteen years ago, the small film American Pie revolutionized teen sex comedies. It didn’t necessarily do anything different, but for the first time, the teen sex involved the internet. Now, more than a dozen years later, the cast crawls from their (mostly) languishing careers to attend their 13th high school reunion. And they made a movie of it, not-so-cleverly called American Reunion. Anyone who has been to their own high school reunion knows that these things shouldn’t be attempted without at least a little bit of alcohol. That’s the best way to enjoy this film, but not too much, unless you want to miss Ali Cobrin’s best moments in the film.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Lots of solid releases this week including the first season of Adventure Time, Fatso, the latest seasons of The Glades and iCarly and more. Also out today? The obviously terrible American Reunion and the inexplicably lauded Margaret. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Flowers of War The Chinese city of Nanjing has been invaded and occupied by the Japanese, and one of the many traumatic stories unfolding in this crumbling urban jungle involves a group of prostitutes and another of schoolgirls who hole up together in a church for safety. They’re joined by an American (Christian Bale) pretending to be a priest to save his own skin who’s struggling to balance his self interests with the need to protect others. Director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) crafts some stunning battle scenes alongside a truly heartbreaking narrative. Seriously, my eyes may or may not have been leaking profusely at the final scenes. Check out my full review. [Extras: featurettes]

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The Reject Report - Large

A chimpanzee, Zac Efron, Steve Harvey, and Katniss – Not Jennifer Lawrence – all have their palms on a brand new Dodge Challenger. Hemi. The last person with their hand on the car wins it, and, unfortunately for Katniss – Still not Jennifer Lawrence – who could afford 10 Dodge Challengers right now – the game’s been going for four days straight. She’s exhausted. The other players are all fresh, and a few of them have heavy fan support. Who will walk away with this magnificent car or the claim of #1 at the box office if you’re into the whole analogy thing? One things for certain. The chimpanzee was already distracted by a low-hanging branch. Let the contest begin.

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Culture Warrior

Way back in the summer of 2004, on the heels of the great success of I Love the 80s and (later) I Love the 70s, VH1 tested the bounds and justifications of the nostalgia market by releasing the initial ten-part I Love the 90s. Instead of simply reflecting upon the most memorable and oft-canonized popular culture products and national news events of the 1970s and 1980s (two decades whose iconography had become ever more apparent, stylized, and parodied during its reappropriation in late 90s/early 00s pop culture), VH1 instead attempted (perhaps unsuccessfully) to create a trend rather than merely follow the typical, perhaps “natural” cycle of nostalgia. Because I Love the 90s aired only a few years after the actual 90s ended, VH1 situated the early 21st century – a time that ostensibly marked a major temporal shift but (save for 9/11) had yet to be self-defined – as a time that uniquely necessitated an immediate reflection on how to understand the 20th century, even the years of that century that were not so long ago. The experiment was both engaging and bizarre. By 2004, the early 90s had come into stark, VH1-friendly self-definition. Yes, we could all collectively make fun of Joey Lawrence, Pogs, oversize flannel, and Kevin Costner’s accent in Robin Hood, and share in the memories and irony-light criticisms therein with Michael Ian Black and Wendy the Snapple Lady. However, by the time the show reached 1997-99, I Love the 90s seemed less like a program banking […]

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The Reject Report - Large

The 1990s are so 13 years ago. At least, that was the attitude this weekend when two films with roots in the last decade of the 20th Century came, saw, and had their proverbial butts kicked by something that is very much 2010 and beyond. The Hunger Games made this third weekend in release its bitch, pulling out another $33.1m and breaking past the coveted $300m mark, tying with Revenge of the Sith as the sixth fastest film to do so. The Lionsgate film was also able in its third week of release to surpass every film in the Twilight franchise, but comparisons between the two were dead, buried, resurrected, and staked in the heart about two-and-a-half weeks ago. With an additional $157.1m in foreign markets – Australia and the UK rank highest with $16.7m and $15.7m, respectively – The Hunger Games if officially a worldwide, cinematic phenom, nearing the half billion mark. The “is he or isn’t he” game Gary Ross and Lionsgate seem to be playing for the sequel, Catching Fire, isn’t stopping audiences from packing theaters, and why should it. Uwe Boll could helm the follow-up, and it’d still bring in record-breaking coin. That’s getting way ahead of ourselves, though, so let’s back-track to the film that’s currently killing everything else in release. Literally killing them. Okay, not literally.

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The Reject Report - Large

Happy Easter, everybody. It’s the time of year for giving, for hollow, chocolate bunnies, and for Stifler to make some crude remark just before ingesting something disgusting. That’s right, it’s time for a reunion with the American Pie crew, and, like it or not, the movie is going to come out on top. It doesn’t matter that Katniss and her Hunger Games are still shooting strong. Never mind that the 2nd biggest movie of all time is getting a 3D update. All that’s moot when it comes to the financial strength behind dick jokes and bare breasts. So grab a chair, and heat up that warm, apple cobbler, check out this week’s Reject Report, and never let go. Not like Rose, though. She totally let go.

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It’s easy to deride American Reunion for being a needless sequel or cash grab. After all, we’re thirteen years on from the first film and in that time we’ve had bad direct sequels, trips to band camps, and straight to DVD spin-offs (which honestly aren’t as bad as you think they’d be). Fortunately, writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are at least somewhat aware of the uphill battles they face in making this movie palatable to both new audiences and those of us who remember MILFs and pie sex from the good old days of ’99. For example, the film takes place in 2012 and their 13 Year Reunion. There’s a joke about missing the tenth, which is just a fun little nod to the absurdity of revisiting this franchise now. Returning in large roles is the entirety of the male cast: Jason Biggs as Jim, Seann William Scott as Stifler, Chris Klein as Oz, Thomas Ian Nichols as Kevin, Eddie Kaye Thomas as Finch, and Eugene Levy as Jim’s dad. Also returning in various capacities are Alyson Hannigan as Michelle, Mina Suvari as Heather, John Cho as MILF Guy #2 and…yYou know what, pretty much everyone is back, okay?

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I know that there’s been a million straight to video abominations with the American Pie name attached to them, but we shouldn’t hold that against American Reunion. This sequel has all of the original cast members of American Pie in place, and this time it seems that enough time might have passed since their senior year of high school for there to be new, worthwhile stories to tell with them. Actually, when the first trailer for this film hit, it felt pretty dang nice to see the whole gang back together again, and I don’t think that I’m the only one who felt that way, because since then I’ve seen numerous people showing it off to friends on smart phones and laptops in public. Nostalgia is a very powerful thing. Now there’s a second trailer for the film out, and call me crazy, but doesn’t it seem like the magic is already wearing off? The first trailer seemed to focus a little more on the fact that the characters were now married, had children, and were struggling with new responsibilities. That looked kind of interesting to me. But this new one seems to be much more focused on raunchy wiener and poo-poo jokes and, from where I’m sitting, watching Seann William Scott wear a Hawaiian shirt and playing the loud-mouthed, prankster hornball while being old enough to be a dad several times over comes off as really…depressing. Maybe even as depressing as your actual real high school reunion.

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Although the real question keeping Hollywood awake in 2012 is “Does Winston Wolf clean up dead hookers on Yom Kippur?”, the fine folks over at HitFix have put forth a handful of queries of varying importance which filmmakers, studios and fans might have on their minds this year. It’s their 15 Questions Keeping Hollywood Awake in 2012. With concerns from Lindsay Lohan’s possible last chance to Joss Whedon’s first real shot with The Avengers, it’s an intriguing list that might prove 2012 to be both an endlessly fascinating and completely irrelevant year in the stories behind the movies. Will Smith, Found Footage, Hunger Games, Dark Knight Rises and more. HitFix has questions, and here are the answers:

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How do you score beach partying high school girls (played by 25-year-olds)? Pretend to love everything Twilight. These and other important life lessons are brought to us all by the new trailer for American Reunion. I was as surprised as anyone to see that their teaser trailer was, no joke, actually funny. It had a sense of humor and nostalgia about what made the comedy work, and proved that it could work even though we were all way past the awkward adolescence. At least numerical. The first full (bro-centric) trailer offers a look at getting the band back together, and it’s honestly kind of nice to see (most) everyone back in their old element. Writer/directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg have clearly instilled some life into an otherwise empty cash grab, but there’s also something hauntingly desperate about going back to the well that’s mirrored by going back to your high school cafetorium to drink bad punch and get jiggy with people of the past.

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The biggest question raised by American Reunion is whether a teen sex comedy can be translated to the world of adults. The second biggest is whether a tired franchise that’s been treated like a ten-cent prostitute can redeem itself. In the most surprising of ways, this teaser trailer proves that both have an odds on chance. It’s more of a set-up/punchline style short film delivered in a little over a minute, and it’s unclear if any of this will actually be in the movie, but the fact that Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg have created something this funny with a sock is a great omen for the rest of the project. Check it out for yourself:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s just a nightly movie news column that wants its rug back, man. We open tonight with a first look at Charlize Theron playing what we can only expect to be an emotionally stunted character in Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, his second collaboration with writer Diablo Cody. Please excuse whatever sarcasm came out of that first sentence — I have liked every bit of Reitman’s previous work and this one includes Patton Oswalt, so I see no reason why it won’t be excellent.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s not getting on that horse, that’s for sure. Instead it is here to bring you the big and the small, the best and the worst, the interesting and not so interesting movie news of the day. Then it will get on that horse and ride off into the sunset. Tonight’s lead image is actress Ruth Wilson. Get a good look, as you’ll soon be seeing her again. This star of BBC’s Luther and Masterpiece Theater’s latest version of Jane Eyre beat out the likes of Jessica Chastain and Abbie Cornish to win the leading lady part in The Lone Ranger opposite Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s here! And it is completely creeped out by the image above. It still loves Eugene Levy, and will continue to deliver all the best movie news and tidbits from around the web, but know that it is now uncomfortable. We begin tonight with a first look at Eugene Levy and Jason Biggs on the set of American Reunion. Over at the ad-riddled site Collider, there are a number of photos of the cast as they get back together for yet more Pie. I suppose we should be excited about this.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that will soon be shot almost exclusively in IMAX. What this means for you is that you’ll need to get a bigger monitor, as this column will only appear to those whose monitors are at least 70 feet tall. We feel that’s the only way to read it. We promise to make it worth your while. According to a handy press release from Warner Bros., we can now confirm that production has begun on Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. For those who have not heard of this project, it’s the third in Nolan’s somewhat popular series of Batman movies. But wait, there’s more: “Christopher Nolan is utilizing IMAX® cameras even more extensively than he did on The Dark Knight, which had marked the first time ever that a major feature film was partially shot with IMAX® cameras.” Oh yes!

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that refuses to turn its back on Michael Bay and Doctor Who, but also wants to keep you interested. With that in mind, tonight is only half text. The rest if videos and pictures, sights and sounds. Only the best for your ADD-afflicted minds. The news is out, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is now being closely linked to another episode in the Terminator franchise. He and director Justin Lin are attached to a project that, for all intents and purposes, has studios like Universal, Sony and Lionsgate pulling out their big daddy checkbooks. In unrelated news, we aren’t sure that movie studios still use checkbooks. They may have moved on to direct deposit for price tags over $25 million.

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The American Pie franchise has been ridden hard and put away wet. The brand name has been slapped on no fewer than four atrociously average teen sex comedies that took low-budget laughs and tacked on a semi-emotional ending. There’s nothing wrong with those movies, but they’re a dozen rungs down the ladder from what American Pie was. Now that there’s an American Reunion in the works for the entire main cast, there’s now a rumored (spoilery) plot and character synopsis out there. It would be easy to call it moronic. Instead, it’s more interesting to notice how the nostalgia of the first film has been swapped out for pop culture references.

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Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari, Jennifer Coolidge. That list of names is eerie. The adults have their own long, strange comedy trips, but the rest of it sounds like a Where Are They Now roster. Not one young actor made it out of the American Pie movies alive? Seann William Scott comes the closest to surviving, but everyone else is relegated to middling indie work or complete obscurity. Hell, I’m not even sure tabloids will run topless pictures of Tara Reid anymore. That’s how bad it’s gotten. Context aside, all of those names will most likely come together for another installment in the American Pie franchise – a franchise that seems to have 3 movies in it, but really has 7 counting all the direct-to-video content with the brand’s name on it. All of this to point out the obvious: that bringing these characters back is tired. According to The Hollywood Reporter, American Reunion has got Paul and Chris Weitz in producer jobs, and sees Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay team Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg writing and directing. That’s all solid talent, so it’ll be interesting if they can take meat that’s been sitting out for a week and make a meal out of it. Hopefully it hasn’t turned rancid before it hits the pan. It also might be an oversight, but I can’t help but notice Alyson Hannigan and Shannon Elizabeth’s names missing from the […]

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