Opening Everywhere: American Reunion, The Hunter. [See also: This week's guide to DVD and streaming]
Returning to Theaters Because James Cameron Got Jealous of George Lucas Re-releasing Movies and Making Another Absurd Fortune: Titanic (in 3-D!)
FilmDrunk Suggests: Honestly, I haven’t even thought of it, because I’m busy trying to organize a new year-end feature – The Worst Weekends To Be Alive In 2012.
Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 49% critics, 89% audience, 100% me with chains, a few hundred flamethrowers and 50 one-way plane ticket vouchers
Gratuitous Review Quotes:
“The fact that the whole gang has returned for the big reunion — Natasha Lyonne and Shannon Elizabeth found time in their busy schedules to drop by — doesn’t provide the generational high producers thought it would; this isn’t exactly the cast of ‘American Graffiti.’ The guys mostly fake-laugh at their pals’ ribbing as the girls look peeved at all the immaturity. (Reid’s squawky, last-bar-call bleating is especially grating.)” – Joe Neumaier, NY Daily News
“Like many real-world gatherings of former high school classmates, ‘American Reunion’ is sometimes awkward and uncomfortable, caught between nostalgia for the old days and relief that they are gone forever. It has some good moments, but it goes on too long, and not enough happens that is likely to create new memories. Remember ‘American Pie’? If you do, this movie is redundant and sad. If you don’t, it’s irrelevant.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times
Armchair Analysis: I’m sorry, I don’t mean to seem like I’m bagging on a movie this hard before I’ve even seen it, but this franchise deserved to be left alone for good. It’s one thing if the original trio – and I refuse to even acknowledge the existence of the wretched spinoffs – had actually been great films, but they weren’t. Don’t get me wrong, I know they were money in the bank for the studio, as each of them grossed over $100 million, and they never pretended to be more than they were as gross-out frat boy comedies. But they don’t have a legacy, and they don’t hold up to the original generation, because that’s me and I thought the original was hilarious when it came out and now I can’t watch two minutes of it, because it is a bad movie.
And I hope I’m wrong in believing that Reunion won’t be something new, but I’ve seen the trailer and the commercials and it’s not. It’s the same damn movie, just 9-13 years later, and the problem with that is so many better, more hilarious movies have been made since then. I don’t know a single person who has thought at any point since American Wedding hit theaters in 2003: “Man, I really wonder what Jim and the gang are up to these days.” That said, I’m sure those people exist, and plenty will see this movie and it will gross a ton. I just wish they’d watch the original first and ask themselves, “Am I really willing to spend $12 to see Chris Klein act again?”
Also… WHO THE HELL HAS A 13TH REUNION??? Nevermind, I’m sure they’ll have some hilarious explanation that involves drinking bodily fluid.
[Vince's Note: I'll have a review up next week when people are actually around to read it, but you can hear Brendan and I discuss American Reunion on this week's Frotcast. Chris Klein is Brando compared to Thomas Ian Nicholas. And his (apparently real) Mamma Mia audition video is one of my all-time favorites:]
[At least the guy has a sense of humor about himself.]