New to DVD: 'American Reunion'
The "American Pie" boys -- Thomas Ian Nicholas, left, Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein and Eddie Kaye Thomas -- return for "American Reunion."
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2 stars = Mediocre
No surprise here, but "American Reunion" aims low at times as it reunites the characters from "American Pie" 13 years after graduation. The fourth time out, it's not going to turn into a model of sophistication, and fans of the franchise probably wouldn't have it any other way.
Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are the friends with kids -- technically just one, a 2-year-old son. The sexual fire in their marriage is going out, and Jim tells his wife, "We need to have more fun together."
They aim to make that happen when they return to East Great Falls and the home where Jim's father (Eugene Levy), now a widower, still lives. Jim reunites with Oz (Chris Klein), a successful sportscaster and celebrity dance contestant; Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), a man who watches more than his share of reality TV with his wife; Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), a self-described world traveler; and Stifler (Seann William Scott), a temp working for a demeaning boss.
Jim finds himself smack in the middle of the sort of fantasy that might be featured on the X-rated websites he visits: The girl next door, a child he once baby-sat, is turning 18, and darned if she isn't infatuated with him.
"American Reunion," written and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who created the "Harold & Kumar" comedies, mines the awkward sweetness that always has existed between Jim and his dad.
The actual reunion is a huge letdown, although the sequel has a few funny, fleeting moments, some involving Oz's televised dancing. It also delivers tasteless reminders that no matter how many times the boys talk about how old they feel, they still can act like it's 1999.
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"The Three Stooges": Moe, Larry and Curly are left on the doorstep of the Sisters of Mercy Orphanage as babies in this Farrelly brothers comedy, which keeps the Stooges' finger pokes to the eyes, hammers to the skull and lobsters down the pants style of humor. Starring Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos.
"Lockout": Guy Pearce is a falsely convicted ex-government agent whose only chance at freedom means rescuing the president's daughter (Maggie Grace) from rioting convicts at an outer space maximum security prison.
"Friends With Kids": Romantic comedy about a circle of friends that starts to unravel when some begin to have children and one pair pursues having a baby without romantic entanglements. Cast includes Adam Scott, director Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm and Maya Rudolph.
"The Deep Blue Sea": Rachel Weisz is a woman who leaves a privileged life with her husband (Simon Russell Beale) to live with a young ex-RAF pilot (Tom Hiddleston). But their relationship is far from idyllic in Terence Davies' adaptation of Terrence Rattigan's play.
"The Lucky One": Zac Efron is a U.S. Marine sergeant who returns from a third tour of duty in Iraq with a photo he credits with keeping him alive -- that of a woman he doesn't know. Once he learns her name, he shows up at her door in this adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel.
"Footnote": Tragicomic look at a father and son who have devoted their lives to Talmudic studies, with differing results.
"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax": Animated adaptation of the tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. With voices of Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Betty White.
"The Raid: Redemption": Martial-arts fusion of "Die Hard" and "Assault on Precinct 13," set in the heart of Jakarta. Reteams director Gareth Huw Evans with Iko Uwais, star and fight choreographer of the cult sensation "Merantau."
"Chimpanzee": Disneynature documentary about the bond between a 3-year-old orphan chimp and the female chimp who adopts him and helps him find a home.
"A Separation": Story of a woman who files for divorce from her husband in contemporary Iran and sets off an avalanche of challenges, changes and complicated questions about guilt and innocence. Oscar winner for best foreign-language film.
"The Five-Year Engagement": Director and writer-star of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" reteam for a comedy about an engaged couple (Jason Segel and Emily Blunt) who keep getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle.
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits": Hugh Grant tackles his first animated role as a bearded pirate captain, an enthusiastic but less than successful terror of the high seas who commands a ragtag crew. Based on Gideon Defoe's book, "Pirates in an Adventure With Scientists."
"Think Like a Man": Based on Steve Harvey's best-selling book, this movie follows four interconnected and diverse men whose love lives are shaken up after the ladies they are pursuing buy Mr. Harvey's book and start taking his advice to heart. Large ensemble includes Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart and Taraji P. Henson.
"Safe": Jason Statham plays a second-rate cage fighter on the mixed martial arts circuit who lives a numbing life of routine beatings and chump change until he blows a rigged fight. The Russian Mafia murders his family and promises to kill anyone he gets close to.
"The Cabin in the Woods": Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Darned if bad things don't happen in this horror film written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and directed by Mr. Goddard.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
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• "Margaret": A teen's life is altered after witnessing a terrible accident.
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• "Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series": Animated series that you will dig.
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• "Mexico: The Royal Tour": Peter Greenberg and Mexican President Felipe Calderon tour the country.
• "Father Dowling Mysteries: The Second Season": Tom Bosley plays the inquisitive Father Frank Dowling.
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-- Rick Bentley, McClatchy Newspapers
First Published July 12, 2012 12:00 am