DVD Review: Audition

Ôdishon
 
Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has a fun evening. In true Halloween spirit, I decided to review one of my favorite horror movies; Japanese 'Audition.'
 
Shigeharo Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) is a widower who takes up an offer from a friend to hold "auditions" for a new wife. Of course, the girls auditioning think they're going for a movie role and one girl catches Shigeharo's attention. She's the mysterious Asami. (Eihi Shiina) Too bad Asami is not what she seems.
 
This is what I tell everyone who's about to watch the film for the first time: Stay with it. It starts off really, really slow. When you get to a scene of our two main characters on the phone, THAT is when the film grabs you and takes you down a path of "ohh what the fuck" for the rest of the film. The last 20 minutes are probably some of the most intense minutes I've ever experienced watching a film. Audtion may get off to a rough start, but the pay off in worth it, and the suspense is killer.
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "Deeper...deeper.." - Asami

DVD Review: Kaboom

I know this sounds nuttier than squirrel shit..
 
I'm slightly confused with director Gregg Araki. On one hand, he makes this beautifully done, tragic film in Mysterious Skin, and on the other he makes totally random shit like Smiley Face. Kaboom falls more into the latter category.
 
Our main character is Smith. (Thomas Dekker) He describes himself as sexually "undecided." He hooks up with London (Juno Temple) on a regular basis, but he also lusts after his straight roommate Thor. (Chris Zylka) His best friend is snarky Stella, (Haley Bennett) who ends up in a strange relationship with witch Lorelei. (Roxane Mesquida) There's lots of bold colors, lots of sex..LOTS of sex. Seriously, these kids get around. Things start to get weird when Smith realizes that Loereli has been in a reoccurring dream of his.
 
Kaboom feels like an acid trip. Like everyone was on drugs when they shot it. It's not a bad thing, it's fitting for the style they were going for, but it just wasn't all that interesting. The film takes too long to get to the big secret, and when we get there it sort of feels like a cop out. To compare it, it's like when you are trying to explain the plot of a movie to someone and you do it kind of vaguely, but you still give enough information to catch all the major details. That's what this film did. The entire thing it builds up to is told in conversation in a car. It has a ballsy ending, I'll give it that. I just expected a bit more substance from Araki.
 
Recommended: No


Grade: C
 
Memorable Quote: "It's a vagina. Not a bowl of spaghetti." - London (Juno Temple)


Indie Gems: Rory O'Shea Was Here

Inside, I'm dancing.
 
Michael (Steven Robertson) is a man with cerebral palsy that can barely speak. He lives in a home for the disabled, his life is routine. Then he meets Rory O'Shea, (James McAvoy) a young man with muscular dystrophy that can understand Michael. He convinces him to live his life on his own terms. They move to Dublin and hire Siobhan (Romala Garai) to assist them.
 
Robertson and McAvoy give strong performances. The subject matter could easily end up in inappropriate territory, but it does not. The film changes tones very quickly. It starts off quirky, happy, full of hope, then ends up in completely depressing territory. That's life, and it made the film feel very real to me. I've been a fan of McAvoy for awhile, and I'm a little ashamed that it took me so long to see him in this. He's fantastic. Prepare to cry like a baby.
 
Grade: B-
 
Memorable Quote: "You have the future, Michael." - Rory (James McAvoy)

Review: The Master

Lancaster Dodd doesn't care about your opinion.
 
Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) has just returned from service in the Navy. He suffers from PTSD and is an alcoholic. He's not above drinking gasoline or house hold cleaners to get a little buzz either. He drifts from job to job and eventually comes across Lancaster Dodd, (Philip Seymour Hoffman) his wife Peggy (Amy Adams) and their family. Lancaster is a leader in a practice (or cult) that uses special exercises to clear emotions, and possibly to look in to past lives. It's all very strange, but Freddie becomes intrigued. Will it save him?
 
Many reviews I've read rave about Phoenix's performance. While he was good, playing a drunk isn't really a stretch for him. Especially if you saw I'm Still Here. This film, in my opinion belongs to Philip Seymour Hoffman. He's perfect as Lancaster. He's inviting, charismatic, and at times horrifying. He's a man that's unwilling to defend his beliefs and makes you wonder if he really is making it all up as he goes a long. Director Paul Thomas Anderson once again delivers a lengthy, but always interesting film. The booming score accompanied it perfectly. My only real gripe with The Master was that the ending fell a bit short. I sort of expected a more shocking of an ending. For example *spoiler for previous PTA films* Daniel Plainview going ape shit on Eli at the end of There Will be Blood. Or Dirk Diggler whipping out his package at the end of Boogie Nights. The end of The Master just felt like it drifted by. It fit nicely with the tone of the film, but I was expecting a bit more.
 
On a side note, there were three little old ladies in the theater that were laughing at just about everything and it made me laugh too. There's a jail scene that's particularly hysterical, then the little things like Kenny from The War At Home playing Lancaster's new son-in-law and the simplicity of Ambyr Childers jumping up and down and cheering for Freddie and Lancaster riding motor bikes that just seemed more amusing than they should've been. It's amazing how contagious laughter can be.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: B+
 
Memorable Quote: "I believe, in your profession, it's called... 'Nostalgia'." - Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix)

Things Horror Movies Have Ruined For Me

I love horror movies, and I started watching them at a very young age. Young enough for the simplest of things to scare the crap out of me. Actually some of these I saw as adults, so I can't really blame all of these on age. When I look back on it now, I find it pretty funny, but here's 10 things horror movies have "ruined" for me at one point or another.



1) Candyman ruined parking garages.
Being in a parking garage late at night is creepy in it's own way, but even being in them in the middle of the day makes me feel uneasy. All because of "Heeelllen...Heeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllleeeeeeeeeennnnnnnn." Creepy bastard.

2) Candyman (also) ruined park bathrooms.
I'm a lady, so obviously I don't have the exact fear of what happened in that film, but seeing that poor boy lying on the floor in a pool of blood, screaming for his mother is heartbreaking.

3) The Poltergeist ruined Clowns.
Most people say the movie It is what made them afraid of clowns. I thought It was incredibly cheesy even as a kid. I'm not afraid of clowns, I just don't find them amusing. Mostly because of that stupid clown toy in The Poltergeist.

4) Tales of the Crypt ruined my sister's apartment.
I wish I could remember the name of the episode I watched. All I remember is a guy shooting another guy from behind a pillow in an apartment complex that looked nearly identical to the one my older sister lived in at the time. Right down to the furniture. I hated visiting her after watching that. I thought some bat shit crazy psycho was going to burst through the door and kill us all.

5) Faces of Death ruined water skiing.
Thankfully I suck at water skiing, because seeing that "home video" of the dude water skiing right into some boat propellers was enough.

6)Murder-Set-Pieces ruined IMDb posting for awhile.
I used to be a massive IMDb poster for years. I think I activated my account in 2004? Anyways, I used to aimlessly browse the message boards over and over looking through random films. When this extremely low budget feature came out, someone decided he was going to spam every single IMDb board for a horror movie saying that this was the scariest most goriest movie ever and that it needed to be seen. That was annoying. I never participated in any of the arguments about them, but holy crap they were everywhere. I bet it was effective though, I wouldn't know about that film if it weren't for IMDb.

7) Rob Zombie ruined..well, Rob Zombie.
He has an eye for horror and I didn't hate his remake of the first Halloween as much as everyone else did. However, he cannot write a screenplay to save his life. I'm all for Zombie directing horror films, just not writing them. When every other word is a curse word or something sexual, it just gets redundant. I'm all for swearing and sex jokes, but space them out.

8) Salo ruined my entire day.
I never had any intention of watching this movie. My friend was trying to download a torrent of Cannibal Holocaust (not something I care to see either) and she got Salo instead.We had never heard of it. I think we made it through about 15 minutes of it before I begged her to turn it off. That was just awful, and I don't even want to know what happened next. Fuck that.

9) Martyrs ruined my French horror movie marathon.
My friend and I saw High Tension in theaters years earlier, and upon re-watch we decided we'd make a marathon out of French horror films we could find. Well, one of them was Martyrs and I seriously wish I could un-see that movie. This film's violence/is the violence really necessary ratio is seriously off.  You know what I should never have to do during a scene where a woman is getting punched in the face over and over? Check my watch because it's gone on for far too many minutes.

10) Pet Sematary ruined the name "Gage."
Over the past few years, I've came across a number of people who have named their kids Gage. While I admit it sounds cool, HOW CAN YOU NOT THINK OF PET SEMATARY? Honorable Mention goes to the name Malachy from Children of the Corn.

Did any horror movies ruin anything for you at one point or another?

*credit Tumblr for that gif*

Review: Argo

Argo Fuck Yourself.
 
In 1979 the American embassy in Iran was invaded. All inside were held hostage, but six managed to escape and seek refuge at the Canadian Ambassador's residence. The CIA needs to get them out of the country and their best "bad option" is suggested by Tony Mendez: (Ben Affleck) He will go to Iran and they will pose as a film crew scouting locations for their upcoming desert sci fi flick. They enlist the help of some reputable Hollywood contacts. (Played by Alan Arkin and John Goodman) While Jack O'Donnell (Bryan Cranston) stands by at the office, Mendez goes to put this crazy plan in motion.
 
The funny thing about this film is how suspenseful it felt even though I already knew how it would end. I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time. As if Affleck was going to pull a Tarantino and re-write the end of history. The true story Argo is based on was always an uplifting one. A perfect example of the U.S and Canada working together. (aww) The group of people that play the refugees here are not just random faces, they all get us to feel sorry and scared for them. They make the audience care about their well being. Bryan Cranston stood out the most for me in this film. Even though he wasn't in Iran with the rest of them, his performance often going from subtle to in your face angry is just another reason why I love Cranston so much. He is the one who knocks. Arkin and Goodman provide quite a bit of comedy for a film like this. Affleck gives his best performance in years. Normally the one thing I say that the one thing I don't like about Affleck's directing is that he casts Affleck the actor. I can't say that here, he was wonderful.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: A+
 
Memorable Quote: "No, I'm shouting his name because I'm fucking him." - Unknown. (Seriously, I don't remember the name of the character that said that, but that line was hilarious and needed to go here.)

Indie Gems: Tomboy

A simple lie.
 
Ten year old Laure (Zoe Heran) and her family have just moved in to a new neighborhood. Her hair is short, she prefers boys clothes to dresses and her favorite color is blue. She decides to spend her summer as a boy, and introduces herself is Mickael to her new friends.
 
I can only guess what is going through Laure's head when she eventually gets caught up in her lie. This young actress displays it well on her face. One thing I really liked about this film was the parental approach to a transgender child. Laure's parents are more upset with the fact that she lied versus the fact that she prefers to be a boy. They accepted her for who she was, and that's how it should be. 
 
Tomboy is a short film, barely 80 minutes, but it works well with the story. At times, I felt Jeanne, (Malonn Levana) Laure's little sister was a bit unbelievable for her age, but that's just a minor complaint. All and all, a great little French film that's currently available on Netflix Instant, and is worth checking out.
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "Mickael is my favorite." - Jeanne (Malonn Levana)

DVD Review: The Other Woman

Shitty People: The Movie
 
Let me start out by saying that all of the main characters in this movie are completely miserable. Also the word "bitch" is going to be overused in this review. Fair warning.
 
Emilia (Natalie Portman) is a schemer who happens to fall in love with a married man, Jack. (Scott Cohen) He's in a loveless marriage to Carolyn (Lisa Kudrow) They have a young brat son named William. (Charlie Tahan) Eventually Emilia and Jack fall pregnant. Jack gets a quickie divorce, they have a quickie marriage, and then their baby tragically dies 3 days after she is born.
 
I give this film major props for telling the story from 'The Other Woman's' point of view, and also for trying to sympathize with her. I didn't completely write off Emilia as nothing but a home wrecker. In my opinion, she's the only person in this entire movie who's bitchiness is actually justified. She lost her baby, if I were in her shoes, I'd be a raging bitch as well. It doesn't help that her husband is a complete wuss who doesn't know how to punish his smug child when he says something inappropriate, and trust me, William doesn't have any redeeming qualities until the very end of the film, and then it's too little too late. Don't even get me started on Carolyn. Sure, in a way she deserves to be mad over losing her marriage to another woman, but can you blame Jack for leaving her? She's a crazy, overbearing, coddling bitch. There is absolutely nothing to like about her character. Even when she has her "redemption" scene later in the film, it's still done with no heart whatsoever. She's mean, cruel, and never gives us a reason to feel sorry for her for being cheated on. Basically, she's a bitchy coated bitch with bitch filling.
 
Then there's a subplot about Emilia not getting along with her father for his fuck up of a marriage to her mother, it hints at things more than it explains. So more excuses for people to act like bitches. There is not a single likable character in this film (apart from Emilia's friend, but she's barely in it.) There's just "less bitchy" and "too bitchy." Plus all this talk of dead babies is insanely depressing.
 
Recommended: No
 
Grade: D
 
Memorable Quote: "I know the difference between here and gone." - Emilia (Natalie Portman)

Review: Being Flynn

Another bullshit night in suck city.
 
That was the name of the memoir this is based off of. I think it would've been an awesome title, but I see why they changed it.
 
Nick Flynn (Paul Dano) isn't quite sure what he wants to do with his life. He wants to be a writer, but for now that doesn't pay the bills. Nick's father, Jonathon (Robert DeNiro) has been absent his entire life. He only writes letters. Jonathon thinks he's one of the best writers that America has to offer and that publishers desperately want his novel. When Jonathon abruptly makes contact with Nick, he's not so sure what to do. Later, as Nick works at a homeless shelter, his father shows up and becomes a resident. Obviously, this isn't easy for Nick.
 
I'm surprised at how limited of a release this film got when it's easily one of the best things DeNiro has done in a long, long time. Jonathon is erratic, preachy, racist, unpredictable, delusional, and DeNiro plays him perfectly. One minute he's kind, the next he is yelling, and pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth is pure bullshit. Dano, in another wonderful performance plays Nick subtly. He's the main narrator, though DeNiro narrates a bit himself, and it's easy to see Nick's struggle. His mother committed suicide when he was 22 and it still pains him. It's like he's drifting, and his father showing up and subsequently making things harder for him is what really kick starts Nick into his successful career. Being Flynn has a great supporting cast as well in Julianne Moore, Olivia Thirlby, Chris Chalk, and Thomas Middleditch among others. Being Flynn is a film that needs to be seen.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: B+
 
Memorable Quote: "We were put on this Earth to help people, right?" - Nick Flynn (Paul Dano)

Review: The Perks of Being A Wallflower

We are infinite.
 
Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a shy freshman that is not looking forward to high school. He has a hard time fitting in and he's haunted by troubles in the past. He takes a chance and approaches a flamboyant senior, Patrick. (Ezra Miller) Patrick introduces Charlie to his music loving step sister, Sam (Emma Watson) and their circle of friends. Charlie finally starts to feel accepted, but he's torn between his crush on Sam, the relationship he's gotten himself into with Mary Elizabeth, (Mae Whitman, who if you remember was bi-furious in Scott Pilgrim vs The World) and the fact that all of his senior friends will be graduating while he's still stuck in school.
 
Logan Lerman is really starting to shine in his best role to date. While Emma Watson, like in the Harry Potter films is the weakest acting link, the show really belongs to Ezra Miller. His character ranges from being the life of the party to broken hearted and Miller easily pulls it off. He commanded attention previously in We Need To Talk About Kevin, and he does so here as well.
 
I've never read the book on which this movie is based on, so the ending surprised me for sure. I can appreciate the places this book/film was willing to go to show how some teens cope with trauma. Even though the message is dark, Perks still manages to have a few laughs and a lot of catchy songs throughout.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "...that's fucked up." - Patrick. (Ezra Miller)

Indie Gems: Puncture

It's about saving lives.
 
Mike (Chris Evans) and Paul (Mark Kassen) are two young personal injury lawyers who take on a tough case. Nurse Vicky (Vinessa Shaw) contracted AIDS a few years back when she was accidentally pricked with an infected needle in the ER. A man named Jeffrey Dancort (Marshall Bell) has now invented a one time use needle that could save millions of lives, but no one will buy it. Mike, who is a struggling addict himself is determined to win this case, but he has a lot of hurdles to leap through.
 
This film is based on a true story, and an intriguing one at that. It's sad that so many needles are being reused around the world when one exists that would prevent disease from spreading. Chris Evans really nailed this in my opinion. This movie could've easily come off as a longer episode of Law and Order, but his performance saved it from being just that. He's really growing on me as an actor and not just as a piece of eye candy.
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "Was she wearing white shoes? He hates white shoes." - Mike Weiss (Chris Evans)

On a side note: This is Indie Gem #100 for Rambling Film!
 

DVD Review: The Artist

Pressure?
 
I finally got around to watching The Artist. Last year during awards season, I attempted to see this a couple different times. Every time I was ready, I'd change my mind. As much as people raved about it, I had no interest in seeing it. Even now, I feel like I'm obligated to see it because it was a Best Picture winning.
 
George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a famous silent movie star. One day, he randomly bumps into vivacious Peppy Miller ( Berenice Bejo) and after their picture appears in the papers, everyone is wondering "who's that girl?" Eventually Peppy makes it big into the film business, and the silent screen is dwindling and being replaced by "talkies." George doesn't want any part of this, and slowly goes in to a downward spiral.
 
Maybe I was too cynical going in, but I couldn't really find anything to like about George. He makes so many poor decisions all because he won't evolve with his industry. When he finally does come around, it feels like he's really just taken Peppy for granted. It's not to say the leads weren't fantastic, because they were. Both gave great and lively performances. The score also stood out. I don't think The Artist is a bad movie, I think it's simply okay. Nothing I'd want to watch again, and ultimately forgettable. (aside from the tap routine at the end of the film. I loved that) How did this win Best Picture at the Oscars? Did it seem like the cool thing to do to vote for the silent film?
 
Recommended: No
 
Grade: C
 
Memorable Quote: "Perfect!" - Al Zimmer (John Goodman)
 


Director Quotes Relay

 
 

David from Taste of Cinema started a relay race we share some of our favorite quotes from filmmakers. Stephanie, from On Page and Screen has passed it on to me. This was definitely tough! My comments will follow in green. Here it goes..

 
 
Here's David's explanation of the relay race: People love wisdom from great minds. As a cinephile, I prefer director quotes more than words from any other group of people in the world. Their thoughts on cinema not only provide insights into a deep understanding of cinema, but also open the window to their own films, their genres, and their filmmaking methods, thus the need to receive more exposure as their films did.

The rules have been altered, but basically the one rule is simple: Replace one director and their respective quote with one of your own.

Here’s who's participated in the Relay Race so far:David at Taste Of Cinema
Chris at Movies And Songs 365
Alex at And So It Begins...
Josh from The Cinematic Spectacle
Stephanie at On Page and Screen
 
 

“I steal from every single movie ever made. I love it – if my work has anything it’s that I’m taking this from this and that from that and mixing them together. If people don’t like that, then tough titty, don’t go and see it, all right? I steal from everything. Great artists steal; they don’t do homages.” – Quentin Tarantino



“Unlike all the other art forms, film is able to seize and render the passage of time, to stop it, almost to possess it in infinity. I’d say that film is the sculpting of time.” – Andrei Tarkovsky.




“Why make a movie about something one understands completely? I make movies about things I do not understand, but wish to.” – Seijun Suzuki



“An essential element of any art is risk. If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before?” – Francis Ford Coppola



“I don’t like the idea of ‘understanding’ a film. I don’t believe that rational understanding is an essential element in the reception of any work of art. Either a film has something to say to you or it hasn’t. If you are moved by it, you don’t need it explained to you. If not, no explanation can make you moved by it.” – Federico Fellini




“When I make a film, I never stop uncovering mysteries, making discoveries. When I’m writing, filming, editing, even doing promotional work, I discover new things about the film, about myself, and about others. That is what I’m subconsciously looking for when shooting a film: to glimpse the enigmas of life, even if I don’t resolve them, but at least to uncover them. Cinema is curiosity in the most intense meaning of the word.” – Pedro Almodovar





“All my movies are about strange worlds that you can't go into unless you build them and film them. That's what's so important about film to me. I just like going into strange worlds.” - David Lynch



“Either I did away with that fear through writing, or in the course of writing, I discovered it was no longer so intrusive or threatening. The bottom line is, it’s gone.” – Ingmar Bergman





"You make films to give people something, to transport them somewhere else, and it doesn't matter if you transport them to a world of intuition or a world of intellect...The realm of superstitions, fortune-telling, presentiments, intuition, dreams, all this is the inner life of a human being, and all this is the hardest thing to film...I've been trying to get there from the beginning. I'm somebody who doesn't know, somebody who's searching." – Krzysztof Kieslowski


 
I wonder whether my bleak-o-meter is set differently from other people's. I have such passion for what I do that I can't see it as bleak. When people use that word, or "grim" or "gritty," I just think, "Oh, come on, look a bit deeper." My films don't give you an easy ride. I can see that. The sense I get is that people have quite a physical experience with them. They feel afterwards that they've really been through something. -- Andrea Arnold
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I remove: “A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.” – Stanley Kubrick
All of the quotes on this list are fantastic, and it's hard to pick one to let go, but I'll go with Kubrick. I don't disagree with what he is saying here, but this quote made me think of Terrance Malik's Tree of Life. That film felt a lot like a progession of moods and feelings, but it never came together.




 
 

I'm adding: "Truth is hard to tell! And you have to be willing to be criticized for it." - Lee Daniels
I actually had a Christopher Nolan quote in here originally, then I thought to myself "Of course you'd pick Chris Nolan." So I deleted it. Then I came across this. It's short and sweet, yet to me it says so much. I have a ton of respect for Lee Daniels as a director because he tells it like it is, even if it isn't pretty, and he doesn't apologise for it. Precious, for example does not sound like a movie that you'd want to sit through if you just read the synopsis. But Precious moved me to tears, it was so powerful.
 
I am passing this to John Gilpatrick of John Likes Movies

Indie Gems: Battle Royale

As if 9th grade wasn't hard enough.
 
In Japan, a 9th grade class is picked at random to fight in a Battle Royale. All 42 students are fitted with an explosive collar, given a bag with one random weapon, a map, and some food rations and sent off on an isolated island. Their objective? They must kill each other one by one in 3 days time. There can only be one winner. If more than one person is still alive by the end of the 3rd day, they all die. The film spends time with the different students. We learn who they are and where they came from. Not everyone is meant for this game.

I first heard of Battle Royale when The Hunger Games came out. Many accused the film/novel of ripping Battle Royale off. Really, there's only a few similarities. The biggest being there's kids killing kids. Battle Royale is much more brutal. Not just the gore factor, but the fact that unlike The Hunger Games these kids actually knew each other prior to the game. (In The Hunger Games, only the tributes from the same distract may have been familiar with one another) These kids have spent enough time together to form bonds, fall in love, and bully one another. If you're a bully, your victims may not be so afraid of you with a gun in their hands. While most of Battle Royale revolves around Shuya Nanahara (Tatsuya Fujiwara) and Noriko Nakagawa,(Aki Maeda) we still get a look at plenty of the other students. Some embrace the game, some refuse to play and commit suicide. There's different circumstances all around. I have to point this out - the picture I used, with the children in the classroom hearing the rules of the Battle Royale for the first time is absolutely chilling.

This movie is currently on Netflix Instant, and it definitely needs to be seen. Even if you are just curious about comparing it to THG.


Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Die, ugly." - Mitsuru (Yousuke Shibata)

DVD Review: American Reunion

MILF! MILF!
 
I see American Pie as the teen movie of my generation. I was in middle school when it came out and nobody's parents wanted us to see it. The nostalgia factor is strong with this one.
 
East Great Falls High is having their 13 year reunion and we meet up with our former horn ball teens and see where they have ended up in life. Jim (Jason Biggs) is still married to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and they have a young son. Oz (Chris Klein) is a famous sports anchor who appeared on "Celebrity Dance off" and has a hot young girlfriend. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is an architect who works from home and dotes on his wife. Finch (Eddie Kay Thomas) is mysterious as ever, and Stifler (Seann William Scott) is exactly the same. Apparently that reality check he got in American Wedding didn't work out. They all meet up back home and of course, things get out of control.
 
It's nice to see where they all ended up, and American Reunion does it's best to bring back all the original class, even if some parts are small. The majority of the laughs really don't start until they hit the actual reunion, which is in the last 30 mins or so of the film. The beginning has a chuckle here and there, but nothing special. They've toned down Stifler a bit from the previous film (thank God) but his story feels very repetitive. This film is definitely better than American Wedding, it's not great, but it has it's laughs and sometimes it's good just to have that nostalgia. Also you can never go wrong with a little John Cho.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: B-
 
Memorable Quote: "It wasn't the handle side either!" - Stifler's Mom (Jennifer Coolidge)

DVD Review: A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas

Mindless fun.
 
It's painfully obvious who this film is marketed to, but because of that, we don't have to take this film seriously. At all.
 
Six years have passed since their stint in Guantanamo Bay and Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) have grown up and grown apart. A mysterious Christmas package brings them together again, and soon they find themselves burning down Harold's father in law's (played by Danny Trejo) prized Christmas Tree. They are now on a mission to replace it, and they run across a few familiar faces along the way.
 
If you ignore the obvious 3D pandering shots, Harold and Kumar is still pretty damn funny. Of course Neil Patrick Harris makes a womanizing appearance, and his real life husband David Burtka does too. It's hilarious, and easily one of my favorite cameos ever. The plot is ridiculous, beyond ridiculous in fact, but you can't help but love the chemistry that Cho and Penn have. I do enjoy watching them.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: B-
 
Memorable Quote: "They serve pancakes in Hell." - Wafflebot (voiced by Eric Kissack)