Nostalgic ‘American Reunion’ nothing but cash grab
Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan star in “American Reunion.”
- “American Reunion”
★★ 1/2 (out of four)
2012, Dirs. John Hurwitz and
Hayden Schlossberg, U.S., R
“American Reunion” is rated R for obvious reasons.
- New films
‘The Lucky One’
Director: Scott Hicks.
Starring: Zac Effron, Taylor Schilling.
The plot: A Marine travels to North Carolina after serving three hours in Iraq and searches for the unknown woman he believes was his good luck charm during the war.
‘Think Like a Man’
Directors: Tim Story.
Starring: Chris Brown, Garbielle Union.
The plot: Four friends conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey’s relationship advice against them.
- Film roundup
“THE HUNGER GAMES”
★★ (out of four)
I enjoy exploitation as much as the next red-blooded American, but if I’m gonna wallow, I gotta wallow in style. Unfortunately, “The Hunger Games” is devoid of such style, with Ross preferring constant and inexplicable close-up shots, even in the most inappropriate moments. The action scenes (which come at a brisk clip once the maddeningly detailed expository scenes are through) are incoherent blurs of motion — somewhat understandable, given the difficulty inherent to depicting 12-year-olds being wantonly butchered, but still presumably avoidable with a competent artist in the director’s chair.
“21 jump street”
It is not a work of art. Clearly, it will not be winning any awards. But I will say this for it: When I walked into the theater, I had endured a particularly rough day full of sorrow and pity and pretty much every other bad emotion you can imagine, and the absolute last thing I wanted to do was watch yet another awful adaptation of an equally awful ’80s television show. Two hours later, I walked out of the theater smiling, lightly chuckling to myself in remembrance of some of the movie’s funnier gags, and generally just feeling a lot better about life and my place in the universe. The experience bordered on the spiritual.
I was going to give the movie a fair shake and — gasp! — actually grant it the consideration of a review. And why not? Because it’s a “found footage” comedy about teenagers partying? Because its sense of humor is base and degrading to society as a whole? (Oh noes! For the love of God, will somebody please think of the children?!) Nuts to that. At a time when roughly 97 percent of mainstream movies are assembly-line productions adhering to a rigid template of ineptitude, I’m willing to take a shot with something like “Project X.”
“THE WOMAN IN BLACK”
For “The Woman in Black,” based on Black’s old-school gothic ghost story published in 1983, is not merely a moderately interesting genre diversion, as I had assumed. It’s a fully formed, carefully crafted horror movie in the classical Hammer Films sense, bursting with style and atmosphere and an unrelenting sense of dread. I’m left to wonder if there has been a more entertaining or frightening ghost story released in the past decade, but for now I’m coming up blank.
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012 8:03 am
Updated: 1:44 pm, Fri Apr 13, 2012.
“American Reunion” this week. “The Cabin in the Woods” next week. Some manner of nonsense for a couple weeks after that. Summer can’t come soon enough.
I remember first seeing the trailer and experiencing the hype for “American Pie” more than 13 years ago. These days such projects are commonplace, with studios wedging as many creatively vulgar sex gags as humanly possible into anything and everything. But back in the more innocent times of the late ’90s, the prospect of an unapologetically crude teen sex comedy seemed fresh and bold.
Friday, April 13, 2012 8:03 am.
Updated: 1:44 pm.