Friday, April 6, 2012

Worth Mentioning - Portion of Reality

We watch several movies a week. Every Friday, we'll talk a little about some of the movies we watched that we felt were Worth Mentioning.

Cody catches up with some cinematic peers and Jay watches the news.


Looking back at the end of my school days from a distance is sort of a theme on the blog this year, since 2012 is the 10th anniversary of my graduation. So it's rather fitting that the American Pie gang is also back in theatres this year to have their own high school reunion.

The American Pie characters were a few years ahead of me, they were the class of 1999 (and better off than the kids in the movie Class of 1999), but it's mentioned that there was nothing put together for their 10th anniversary, and rather than wait for a 15th, the characters are getting together for a 13th year reunion.

The original stars are all back, so we get to catch up with everyone. It was nice to see these characters again and, with them being close in age to myself, see how things have changed for them and how they feel about their lives at this point. Even notable side characters show up, and with this film being written/directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg of the Harold & Kumar movies, John Cho's role of "MILF Guy #2" is also slightly expanded.

Cho has some of the funniest moments in the film, and Eugene Levy - whose father character is now a widower - also has some great scenes to work with. A standout newcomer to the franchise is Ali Cobrin as girl-next-door Kara, who lead character Jim used to babysit. Kara's grown up now, turning 18 and as ready to lose her virginity as the characters were in the first movie. One of the first things I did when I got back home after seeing this was look up Cobrin's IMDb page, and I'm sure that many other viewers will do the same.

The movie wasn't as funny to me overall as I would've hoped, I found the laughs to be widely spaced apart and nothing got me as much as some of things in the first two films, but I still quite enjoyed the Reunion.

Jay's Mention:

Directed by Ross McElwee

I'm a fan of some of Ross McElwee's other documentary work, namely Sherman's March, so I decided to give his 1996 release, Six O' Clock News, a go. The end result is a very rewarding piece of work that fits well into the style of filmmaking that I have come to expect from McElwee. He's a very deadpan guy and incorporates his life into the documentary. It's his journey, he narrates it and puts himself into the action. Some people seem to find this style amateurish, but I love it when done right. McElwee seems to have it down with ease.

Six O'Clock News springs from McElwee having his first child and watching tons of terrible stories on the news. He becomes worried about the world his son will grow up in, and this leads to him doing some follow-up stories on real life news events to see where that particular person ended up after their five minutes of TV news fame.

This journey takes Ross through Arkansas and all the way to California where he even incorporates his own Hollywood meeting into the film, where he is pitched a fiction narrative film project to direct.

If you enjoy this style of documentary or you are a fan of Sherman's March, then I suggest you give this film a look. I found it to be pretty interesting and inspiring. It's definitely made me look into activities with a closer eye, wondering what will happen once the news cameras stop rolling and someone's personal nightmare continues.

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