Starring Jason Biggs, Eugene Levy, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Ali Cobrin, Tara Reid, Mean Suvari, Natasha Lyonne, Jennifer Coolidge
Universal//Rated R//Comedy//110 minutes
Available on: DVD, DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack, On Demand, Digital Download
For those wondering what ever happened to the "American Pie" gang of 1999, this fourquel finds its membership attending their 13th high school reunion. The gathering is an excuse for pals to revisit their carefree youth, repeating the scatological gags and off-color humor that carried the first three films to box office success. Although each of the guys attempts to impress his friends by portraying his life as cool, we learn that none of them are happy. Following the birth of their son two years earlier, Jim (Jason Biggs) and wife Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) have a sexless marriage. Now a minor celebrity, Oz's (Chris Klein) relationship with a shallow young model leaves him dissatisfied. Defeated Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) allows his wife to schedule their activities lives around "The Housewives of," Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) falsely claims to be a free-spirited, world traveler and Stifler (Seann William Scott), remains a clueless hound-dog. The one bright spot occurs when Jim brings his lonely Dad (Eugene Levy) to Stifler's party and sparks fly between Pops and Stifler's hot-to-trot mom (Jennifer Coolidge). The story works best when placing its characters in humorous situations, but these are few and far between and we realize its mistake in under-utilizing Levy's comic skills. The film's point: we grow older but frequently not wiser, should not also apply to the filmmakers. DVD Features: Feature commentary, Deleted scenes, Gag reel, Jim's Dad, Ouch! My Balls!, The "Reunion" reunion: re-launching the series, English language tracks, Spanish or French subtitles. Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Features same plus: film on both DVD and Blu-ray, Digital copy, The "Out of Control" track, Extended scenes, Alternate takes, The best of Biggs: hangin' with Jason B., Lake bake, Dancing with the Oz, American reunion yearbook.
* *1/2 (B-)
Directed by James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Starring Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Vincent Regan, Lennie James, Joseph Gilgun, Tim Plester, Jacky Ido
FilmDistrict//Rated PG-13//Sci-Fi//95 minutes
Available on: DVD, Blu-ray, On Demand, Digital Download
This mindless, entertaining actioner borrows the premise of "Escape From New York," including that film's heart-stopping action and Kurt Russell's sarcastic attitude. The gambit pays off, establishing Guy Pearce as "Lockout's" wisecracking action icon. It's "Die Harder in Space," based on Luc Besson's concept. In 2079 mankind's progress can be measured via the birth pains of an earth-orbiting super max prison, known as MS-1. This global effort to incarcerate the worst among us in escape-proof conditions will eventually place 500,000 inmates in chemically-induced sleep known as stasis. MS-1 is perfecting its procedures on 500 badasses when the president's do-gooder daughter, Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), arrives to investigate rumors that the drugs in use may cause dementia and psychosis. In short order, a prison loon (Joseph Gilgun) kidnaps Emilie and releases all 500 inmates. Back on Earth, U.S. Federal Agent Snow (Guy Pearce) and his partner Mace (Tim Plester) are wrongly convicted of murder and stealing state secrets. His 30-year sentence aboard MS-1 will be commuted provided he rescues the president's daughter. Snow agrees because his partner and friend Mace is aboard MS-1 and knows the location of a metal case containing information Snow hopes will clear their names. Snow carries electronic blueprints to guide him through hidden portals within the ship, but he must confront a whip-smart alpha inmate (Vincent Regan) and his battalion of homicidal maniacs. Relatively empty, the enormous ship presents endless opportunities for games of hide-and-seek. Explosions, battles and chases keep viewers engaged as does Pearce's magnetism and the fine work of Joseph Gilgun and Vincent Regan playing the lead villains. Snow's potential redemption and romance with Emilie are hackneyed plot elements that wear on the action and should have been locked out of "Lockout." DVD or Blu-ray Features: Unrated or theatrical version, Making-Of featurette, Production Design & Special Effects, English, Italian or Spanish language tracks.
* *1/2 (B-)
Directed by Tarsem Singh