Casper Van Dien

Casper Van Dien in Noobz

As it turns out, Casper Van Dien is a pretty cool guy. At the very least, he’s the kind of actor that has a sense of humor about himself and his Starship Troopers-based legacy. In Noobz, he gets to stretch his talents by playing himself — a role he found challenging because of the lack of depth to the character. The movie focuses on four friends who are on a roadtrip to a major video game competition but have to deal with the world’s worst hangover and other obstacles blocking them from victory. It’s available on DVD and VOD as of today, and while Rob wasn’t too impressed, at least this behind-the-scenes video is a bit endearing. Team Van Dien for life. Only $30 for an autograph? Sold.

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The Starship Troopers franchise is a bizarre animal. Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 original was overlooked by many as a bloody sci-fi blockbuster; little more than dull buggery. Point of fact, Starship Troopers is, true to Verhoeven form, a biting satire that takes skillful aim at the military industrial complex, fascism, and the price of patriotism. It is a film that is actually far smarter than a cursory glance would reveal. It is also far too good a film to suffer the indignities of two middling to poor direct-to-video sequels. However, the third film in the series did have the distinction of being directed by effects icon Phil Tippett, to date his only feature film. Starship Troopers 3: Marauder also brought back Johnny Rico himself, Casper Van Dien. For this fourth film, Van Dien is now a producer and the series has ventured into animated territory. Japanese director Shinji Aramaki brings us the story of a requisitioned spacecraft, a treacherous, but familiar member of the Federation, and more of the beloved insect carnage we’ve come to expect. It’s hard not to lower one’s expectations for a fourth film within a franchise, particularly when dealing with an entirely new medium. However, Starship Troopers: Invasion manages to maintain one of the progenitor film’s principle strengths: action. The action sequences here are intense, well-edited, and impressive. The computer-generated animation style proves to be of major benefit to these sequences as the bugs have full range of motion and their speed is perfectly frightening. Aramaki obviously […]

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Starship Troopers Invasion

Citizens, prepare yourselves for an all new onset of bug attacks. This is not a drill. After three feature films, it turns out there is still more violent man-on-insect combat to explore within the Starship Troopers universe. An all new animated feature, Starship Troopers: Invasion, enjoyed its North American premiere at this year’s Fantasia Film Fest. A full review is brewing, but in the meantime, who better to introduce the movie and talk about the inner workings of this fourth installment of the franchise than Johnny Rico himself, Casper Van Dien. Though not lending his voice to the antecedent Rico in ST:I, Van Dien did serve as a producer on the film. His intro was certainly lively and drew raucous reactions from Starship Trooper fans. Would you like to know more? Check out the video below:

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The Coroner

Horror films with hauntings and malicious ghosts at their center have been around for ages, but the last couple years have seen an odd trade-off happening onscreen. Movies like Insidious and the Paranormal Activity series have successfully increased the number of scares per minute while losing ground in other areas like narrative or character development. The PA films have some brilliantly executed scares, but none of the characters are memorable in the slightest. And Insidious is scary as hell and loaded with fun moments, but the story takes a giant dump on the audience in the final few minutes. The Pact is a far lower profile release than either of those, and as such it takes a step back from their more bombastic approaches and instead finds a real balance between the scares, the characters and the story. Nicole and Annie (Caity Lotz) are grown siblings whose overbearing and abusive mother has recently died. Annie reluctantly agrees to help her sister go through and clean up their mother’s house, but when she arrives Nicole is nowhere to be found. Their cousin arrives and she too soon disappears leaving Annie alone with a potentially malevolent presence, a mysterious walled-up room and a deadly secret in her family’s past. Oh, and Detective Casper Van Dien is breathing down her neck too…

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Back in the late 90s, expert director of schlock Paul Verhoeven took a stab at adapting one of legendary sci-fi novelist Robert Heinlein’s most popular stories, “Starship Troopers”, and the results were something that resembled Heinlein’s far-looking, satirical tale less than it did a B-level genre piece that was far more…well, schlocky. Starship Troopers was all about bad acting, big explosions, disgusting amounts of bug goop, and exploitative co-ed naked shower scenes. It may not have been an adaptation with a tone that was true to its source material, but it had its own kind of charm, you know? And since it was just made in the 90s, and it’s got special effects that actually hold up pretty well, you wouldn’t think there would be any need to revisit the material again. But you would be wrong. Or at least producer Neal Moritz thinks you’re wrong. You may have heard Moritz’s name before, he’s the Sony Pictures bigwig responsible for another recent remake; the upcoming and Colin Farrell-starring Total Recall. The similarities between these two projects are endless. The original Total Recall was also a Paul Verhoeven movie, it was also (very loosely) adapted from a story by a legendary science fiction writer (Philip K. Dick), and it was also something that nobody really thought needed to be remade. That film hasn’t hit theaters yet or anything, but Moritz must be really happy with what he’s seen of it, because with this new take on Starship Troopers he’s pretty clearly […]

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; if this is your first time, you have to fight. Despair all ye who accidentally stumbled upon this column while searching for information on junk bonds, food poisoning, and/or Cinema Paradiso. Instead you found the weekly internet column that celebrates the cheesiest, the corniest, and the hammiest that Hollywood has to offer. Every Friday I serve up a not-so-great movie and pick apart its faults until only the greasy carcass remains. But then I fashion that carcass into an unsightly headdress which I then don as an embarrassing testament to my love for said movie. As if this weren’t obnoxious enough, I will then pair the film with an appropriately terrible-for-you snack that will wreak havoc upon your insides as the movie cannibalizes your IQ. This week’s treat: Starship Troopers

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vandein-rico1

You’ve probably noticed a trend in past Daily Diversions in that they’re usually entertaining videos designed to be watched, enjoyed, and then immediately forgotten. Well that changes today. You’ll still watch it. You’ll still enjoy it. But you’ll carry it’s message with you forever as you march onto the battlefield, gun in hand, and take aim…

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The Coroners Report

The bugs are back and The Coroner has set his scalpel upon Casper Van Dien and “Starship Troopers 3.”

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Where did this come from? Don’t you have to make #2 before you can make #3? Oh yeah, they did make a second one…

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