American Reunion

April 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan
Directed by: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (“Harold & Kumar” series)
Written by: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (“Harold & Kumar” series)

Slice it any way you want: “American Reunion,” the fourth theatrical installment of the “American Pie” film franchise, is the same expected dish that’s been served to moviegoers for years. There’s no whip cream dollop or vanilla ice cream scoop or streusel topping to sweeten the deal. The sequel does, however, feature the entire original cast for the first time since 1999, which proves valuable for those fans who enjoy nostalgia and want to see the series wrap up fittingly. Unless there’s a compelling reason to shoot a fifth movie and call it “American Funeral,” “Reunion” should satisfy that expectation.

Ignore the fact that the characters are rallying together for their 13-year reunion (“they missed the 10-year by a couple” is the unconvincing reason given about why they didn’t get together in 2009) – the crop of sexually charged, baby-faced teens from the ’90s are all grown up with real responsibilities. With the exception of everyone’s favorite douchebag Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott), the gang has also become a lot more mature. Besides keeping the baked good safe from penetration, this little leap into adulthood turns Reunion, even more than 2003’s “American Wedding,” into the Stifler Show.

Scott, who along with actor John Cho (“Star Trek”) has had the most successful career of all the cast members post-“Pie”, owns his character, which is probably why a majority of the jokes and gags involve him in some smutty way. Stifler hasn’t evolved much, and no one wants him to. All will be right with the raunchy-comedy world if at the age of 80 Stifler has advanced into the dirty-old-man stage.

There are plenty of other mainstays to consider if searching for more thoughtful character development, like lovable loser Jim (Jason Biggs), who is trying to be a respectable husband and father, and Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy), who is now a widow. It’s a sentimental departure by directors/writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (the “Harold & Kumar” trilogy) that occasionally works well when combined with some funny memories and set pieces from the kids’ high school days.

But again, it’s the scene-stealing Stifler who commands the screen for better or worse. No matter how old he gets, he’s exudes the frat boy variety of misogynistic tendencies, which don’t seem to bother anyone since he’s such a moron. Lose him, and there would be no reason for this franchise to exist. What would Tara Reid do then?

Jason Biggs – Eight Below

February 21, 2006 by  
Filed under Interviews

Actor Jason Biggs, who is widely known for his role as Jim Levenstein, the teenage pastry lover in the “American Pie” film series, now stars in the new family adventure “Eight Below.” In the film, Biggs plays Cooper, a cartographer, who is working with a science research team and a group of lovable snowdogs in the depths of Antarctica.

You’re originally from New Jersey, so does that mean you adapted to the cold a bit easier than someone like Paul Walker, who is from California?

I would imagine I am a little bit more adaptable when it comes to snowy and colder conditions. But I’ve been living in L.A. for awhile, and it sounds so trite but you’re blood really does thin out because I go back and I’m like, “Man, this is pretty extreme.” But I love it. It’s a nice change of pace. I love to snowboard, so I’m up in the mountains a lot.

Did you get a chance to snowboard at all while you were filming in Canada?

Actually, I did. There was one Saturday where this great storm came through and I didn’t have to work. They didn’t need me so I got some “powder turns” in. It was actually awesome.

So, are you watching the Winter Olympics now?

I haven’t watched a ton of it, but at night before bed I’ll throw it on or I’ll check online. I like to see the U.S. snowboarders are continuing to dominate, which is cool.

You get to work with Siberian Huskies in “Eight Below.” Are you a dog person?

I’m a dog person. I have two dogs – a Beagle mix named Edgar and a miniature Pincher named Harry. The mint pin, we just got about a month ago. He’s a new addition to the family.

In the film, your character is not a big fan of dog licks. In reality, are you okay with a pooch’s passionate kisses?

I’m into the passionate kisses, closemouthed of course unless I’m a little drunk and it’s a weekend night, but not on the first date. But if things are comfortable and relaxed I’m open to the idea of a little mouth. I’m just kidding, of course! Actually, what really grossed me out in the movie was not the dog licking my face. It was the stuff they had to smear on my face so they could get the dog to lick me. It was like this chicken/liver gelatin crap. It was gross. It really got the gag reflexes going. Ugh!

Did you get a chance to see the Japanese film that “Eight Below” is based from, “Nankyoku Monogatari?”

No, but I hear that it is pretty intense. I hear they actually, like in that scene with the dogs and the leopard seal, let the dogs go and attack a leopard seal. I’m curious to see it, but a little afraid to see it.

Did you learn anything about the Husky that you did not know before?

I hadn’t met too many Huskies. I thought they were much bigger to be honest. They are small dogs, incredibly powerful, really smart and worked really well together.

How much time did you spend in the snow and what was the most difficult part of working in those conditions?

We were up in Canada for about six weeks. The most difficult part was when the wind would come in and it was biting cold. But we were dressed for it and we were a bunch of spoiled Hollywood kids so we would get hot chocolate brought in.