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American Reunion [aka American Pie: Reunion] Review


Grim
Call this a missed opportunity. While there's plenty of scope to have fun with these characters as they hit 30, this script is simply not up to the job. It's never very funny, has no sense of momentum and only comes to life due to the endearing characters and the likeable actors who play them.

It's the class of 1999's 13th reunion (huh?), so the entire gang returns to East Great Falls. Jim and Michelle (Bigs and Hannigan) now have a 2-year-old son, which has interrupted their sex life; Oz (Klein) is a B-list TV star with a supermodel girlfriend (Bowden); the now-married Kevin is worried about rekindling his high school romance with Vicky (Reid); Finch (Thomas) is a world traveler who clicks with Michelle's band camp pal Selena (Ramirez). And then there's party-boy prankster Stifler (Scott), who hasn't changed at all and leads them into all manner of trouble.

Continue reading: American Reunion [aka American Pie: Reunion] Review

Final Destination 5 Review


OK
This film series has a fairly inescapable formula, but the filmmakers find a couple of ways to breathe new life into this fifth chapter. Of course, the main point is to keep us laughing even as things get increasingly gruesome. And they certainly do that.

On a corporate outing, Sam (D'Agosto) has a horrific premonition that a suspension bridge will collapse. He escapes the doomed bus with six colleagues and their annoying boss (Koechner), but Death isn't letting them get away that easily. Soon they start dying in complicated freak accidents. A federal agent (Vance) questions Sam ("That looks premeditated to me!"), while a coroner (Todd) says they can escape if someone dies in their place. So while Sam tries to get his ex (Bell) back, his friend Peter (Fisher) looks for a way out.

Continue reading: Final Destination 5 Review

Picture - Craig Perry Hollywood, California, Thursday 27th August 2009

Craig Perry Thursday 27th August 2009 The Los Angeles Premiere of 'Final Destination' held at the Mann Village Theatre - Arrivals Hollywood, California

Craig Perry

The Final Destination Review


OK
With a plot that's virtually identical to parts 1, 2 and 3, this fourth movie has one new gimmick that makes it worth a look: it's in 3D. And the filmmakers have a lot of fun with it, gleefully revving up the grisly carnage.

While attending a car race, Nick (Campo) has a vision of impending disaster and drags his girlfriend Lori (VanSanten), womanising pal Hunt (Zano) and Lori's best friend Janet (Webb) out just in time. But of course, Death won't let them off so easily, and everyone who escaped is killed in outrageous freak accidents in the order they should have died. So these four young people, with the help of an equally doomed security guard (Williamson), try to break the gruesome chain.

Continue reading: The Final Destination Review

Cats & Dogs Review


Weak
I have officially reached my quota for the year of talking animal movies. Dr. Dolittle 2 pushed me to the edge, and the animatronic animal flick Cats & Dogs has pushed right over it, into a giddy oblivion where I now firmly believe purple dinosaurs can communicate with humans through song and dance.

Cats & Dogs is ridiculous and harmless, a Mission: Impossible for the animal world. For years, a secret high-tech espionage war has been waged between the feline and canine races, right under the noses of ignorant humans. The spark of this high-tech war came about as the result of the dog race overthrowing the then-dominating cat race during ancient Egyptian times (they even ruled the human race). Man's best friend re-established the humans as the dominant race and has protected that balance for years. And a breakthrough for dogs is approaching, as one human, Professor Brody (Jeff Goldblum), is on the verge of discovering an allergy vaccine which will enable all humans and dogs to co-exist in peace. The only problem is that the diabolic Mr. Tinkle (voiced by Sean Hayes), a furry white Persian with the attitude of Richard Grant's character from Hudson Hawk, and his small army of pesky felines have "cat-knapped" the family dog Buddy, who has been guarding the Professor and his family from the tuna-breathed fiends. The bodyguard job then falls on the shoulders of a Beagle pup named Lou (voiced by Toby Maguire) -- who is mistaken as a secret agent dog by an Anatolian Shepard named Butch (voiced by Alec Baldwin).

Continue reading: Cats & Dogs Review

Final Destination 3 Review


Unbearable
Just from the marketing you can tell Final Destination 3 is scraping the bottom of the film franchise barrel. With a tagline like "This ride will be the death of you" you can almost hear the cheesy jokes coming. And with a poster that looks it's shilling for Cedar Point, you get a glimpse of the misguided campiness of the movie.

With Final Destination 3, first impressions are good impressions.

Continue reading: Final Destination 3 Review

American Pie 2 Review


Excellent
The gang from American Pie is back in American Pie 2, or, I Still Know What You Screwed Last Summer. The immortal pie, of course, is gone, but there are plenty of foreign objects and luscious ladies to occupy the genitalia of the entire cast for a full hour and a half.

After reinventing the sex comedy in 1999's American Pie, AP2 had a high bar to live up to, and miraculously, it has done so. It actually outdoes the original (by a mile) when it comes to juvenile and crude humor. And the sex gags... jeez, the dick jokes come rapid fire, one every minute. It ain't Woody Allen, but damn if it isn't utterly hysterical.

Continue reading: American Pie 2 Review

American Wedding Review


OK
That wacky American Pie crew is back -- er, a handful of them, anyway -- for a lackluster third and undoubtedly final outing with sex, pie, and ice cream. Okay, there's no pie or ice cream.

Picking up three years after American Pie 2, we find pastry-loving Jim (Jason Biggs) and band-camper Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) graduating from college and still in love. A wedding is deemed in order, which brings back Jim's pals Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Stifler (Seann William Scott) to plan the blessed event. Of course, any married man knows that no wedding in history has ever been organized by three hapless guys, and when the crew drives three hours to Chicago to buy Michelle a wedding dress (huh!?) you know we're in for an old-fashioned round of Spot the Plot Device.

Continue reading: American Wedding Review

Final Destination Review


Weak
"I'm never going to die!" yells one character at a memorial for 39 fellow French-class students who died in a plane crash that, by all rights, he should have died on too. As incredibly laughable as this line is, it provides the big flaw in the basic premise behind Final Destination... making a horror movie about people cheating death does not have much potential. Since you can't kill Death, destroy Death, or send Death screaming back to its home planet, you have a no-win scenario in front of you. No matter what is said or done, everyone ends up getting it.

This is not to give you a spoiler and to say that everyone gets it in the movie. This is simply to point out the fact that no matter which way they go, they're screwed. Death is a no-win scenario. If you're going to make a movie about escaping death, make it a la Fearless, where we focus on the human element. But since it's a horror film the ball is in the court of Director James Wong to provide us with something that will keep us interested for an hour and forty minutes of inevitability.

Continue reading: Final Destination Review

American Pie Review


Excellent
This is certainly the year for comedy, with South Park, Austin Powers 2, and now American Pie making the last month alone nothing short of a gut buster.

With all the sophistication of Porky's 2, American Pie is a teen sex comedy (and was originally titled as such) that leaves taste and sophistication at the door and goes straight for the comedic jugular. The highest-of-concepts plot is simple: Four high school virgins vow to lose their virginity by the end of school, and the prom is only three weeks away. Plots and schemes are hatched out the yin-yang.

Continue reading: American Pie Review

Cats & Dogs Review


Weak
I have officially reached my quota for the year of talking animal movies. Dr. Dolittle 2 pushed me to the edge, and the animatronic animal flick Cats & Dogs has pushed right over it, into a giddy oblivion where I now firmly believe purple dinosaurs can communicate with humans through song and dance.

Cats & Dogs is ridiculous and harmless, a Mission: Impossible for the animal world. For years, a secret high-tech espionage war has been waged between the feline and canine races, right under the noses of ignorant humans. The spark of this high-tech war came about as the result of the dog race overthrowing the then-dominating cat race during ancient Egyptian times (they even ruled the human race). Man's best friend re-established the humans as the dominant race and has protected that balance for years. And a breakthrough for dogs is approaching, as one human, Professor Brody (Jeff Goldblum), is on the verge of discovering an allergy vaccine which will enable all humans and dogs to co-exist in peace. The only problem is that the diabolic Mr. Tinkle (voiced by Sean Hayes), a furry white Persian with the attitude of Richard Grant's character from Hudson Hawk, and his small army of pesky felines have "cat-knapped" the family dog Buddy, who has been guarding the Professor and his family from the tuna-breathed fiends. The bodyguard job then falls on the shoulders of a Beagle pup named Lou (voiced by Toby Maguire) -- who is mistaken as a secret agent dog by an Anatolian Shepard named Butch (voiced by Alec Baldwin).

Continue reading: Cats & Dogs Review

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