Jason Biggs

Over Under - Large

The 90s were a dark decade for fun stuff aimed at teens and tweens. Grunge music and gangsta rap ruled the airwaves, and young people were into acting sullen and disturbed. Any entertainment that could be considered kiddie or corporate was rejected outright in favor of culture stuff that was gritty and dark. But, by 1999, change was in the air. The prevailing trends of the decade had run their course, boy bands and Britney Spears started showing up on the radio, and the first movie that attempted to bring back the raunchy teenage sex comedy, American Pie, became a runaway success that launched a long-lived, multi-film franchise. Kurt Cobain was dead, long live Stifler. In 2005 Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale got a lot of attention in the world of indie and art films, much of it due to the performance of its lead actor, a young kid named Jesse Eisenberg. Over the next few years Eisenberg’s fame rose as he accrued another handful of indie credits, and eventually his career hit a peak when he anchored a mainstream horror comedy in Zombieland, and then got to work with one of the biggest directors in the business, David Fincher, on The Social Network. After Eisenberg played Zuckerberg it was official, the guy was a bonafide celebrity. But, despite his fame, one of his earliest films, 2002’s Roger Dodger, still hasn’t been seen by very many people, and very rarely gets brought up even in film geek circles, […]

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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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We’re still months away from Election Day in November, but already the country is in the throes of full-scale campaigning, complete with mud-slinging, flip-flopping, and back-biting. Ah, politics! Nothing like them! But if you’re already sick of the machinations of the 2012 campaign, Stephen Gyllenhaal’s new film, Grassroots, just might be the right antidote. Based on a true story, Grassroots pits a starry-eyed newcomer (Joel David Moore) against a big dog city councilman (Cedric the Entertainer) in a 2001 political race. Moore’s Grant Cogswell has one dream, one platform – a new monorail for the city (shades of Singles here). Cedric’s Richard McIver is old school, resting his mass transit ideas on a ground rail train that’s so poorly thought out that Grant is convinced it will destroy the entire city. It doesn’t sound like Grant is going to get anywhere, but then Jason Biggs‘s recently-fired reporter pops up to run his campaign and then the volunteers start rolling in and then…well, you’ll just have to see the movie. We’re pleased to premiere the first poster for Grassroots, one that makes equal use of Moore and Bigg’s offbeat tactics, the beauty of Seattle, and the film’s well-rounded cast. Check out the full poster for Grassroots after the break, especially if you’re in need of some political maneuvering with an actual sense of humor.

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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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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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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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This is about to get very specific to my own personal tastes, so bare with me. Today brought us two separate reports that, when combined, put two people that I enjoy watching immensely into the same film. DC Pierson, of Derrick Comedy and Mystery Team fame, and Cobie Smulders, of How I Met Your Mother fame, have both joined the upcoming Stephen Gyllenhaal directed political comedy Grassroots.

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My Best Friend\

We here at Film School Rejects are huge fans of comedian cum actor Dane Cook. Well, sort of. So you can imagine our joy when we saw that he is going to be in another movie…

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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