American Pie returning to theaters?

 

Following the franchise’s third outing in 2003, American Wedding aka American Pie: The Wedding, Universal Pictures produced three straight-to-DVD sequels featuring none of the original cast apart from Eugene Levy (Jim’s Dad) and Chris Owen’s Sherman (in the first one) and focusing on members of Stifler’s family (the character played by Seann William Scott).

The success of these video outings has prompted Universal to think of a new theatrical installment, featuring the original cast of course. No one’s been signed on to the as yet untitled flick, but since none of the cast have really it hit big (with the possible exception of Scott), I don’t really see anyone turning down the flick. Are you interested in a new American Pie flick with the original cast?

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New Region 1 DVDs

Movies

Brotherhood Of The Wolf: Director’s Cut

I can’t believe this hasn’t been released in the US until now, I’ve owned it for eons. This French movie is, in my opinion, one of the best films ever made. Gorgeous cinematography, atmosphere, romance, history, humor, drama, kickass action,… Brotherhood Of The Wolf has got it all. Think of it as Sleepy Hollow, only better, and that was already a very good film. Also, in addition to being entertained, you’ll learn something too, as the movie is (loosely) based on the true story of an unknown “monster” that terrorised the French Gévaudan province during the mid eighteenth century. Damn, I need to watch this again now.

The Director’s Cut adds 9 minutes to the film, and the DVD includes two discs filled with extras. However, some countries have three or four disc editions, so if you really care about bonus features, you should enquire about those.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collector’s Edition

While its popularity among oh-so-trendy emos and goths who hail it as the greatest thing ever made is extremely annoying, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a superb holiday movie, a marvel of stop-motion animation and a movie you should really see if you haven’t already, if only because it comes from a time where Tim Burton still had soul (yes I think his last three movies were very lackluster). While Tim Burton didn’t actually direct Nightmare, he wrote it, produced it, and his influence can be felt throughout.

This new edition comes with two discs shock full of extras, including a digital copy of the film. If you’re an über-fan, you may want to check out the limited “Ultimate Collector’s DVD Set”, in which the discs are kept in a bust of the main character.

Virgin Territory

Crap, crap, crap. Virgin Territory, which is pretty much American Pie in a medieval setting, is watchable, but that doesn’t mean you should, you know, watch it. Stupid storyline, unfunny jokes, plenty of random nudity, horrible acting (but then, what else would you expect from these leads?),… The fact that the movie finished filming in early 2005 and is only released now should tell you something. I’d recommend you skip it, except if you’re really, really into one of the wooden leads (but even then…).

Virgin Territory is released as “unrated”, but that’s because it never made it to the theaters in the US. Extras basically include a couple of uninteresting-sounding featurettes.

What Happens In Vegas: Jackpot Edition

If you’re not into romantic comedies, even those that have a lot of “man jokes”, What Happens In Vegas is probably not going to change your mind. For those who do appreciate them (or at least not mind them), …Vegas is a decent, if unremarkable movie. I’d recommend watching it if you’re a fan of the genre or of one of the actors involved, whilst knowing that it’s far from their finest work. Still, it’s funny enough.

The Jackpot Edition comes with two discs full of deleted scenes, interviews, bloopers, and a digital copy of the film, which seems to be the new cool extra these days.

Also in Movie DVDs: My Sassy Girl, Postal, Redbelt, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?,…

TV

Heroes: Season 2

Heroes, the hit show about super-powered characters trying to figure out what’s going on with them, suffered with its shortened second season, many fans calling it crap. Personally, I’m halfway through it, and sure there are some weak points but it’s not that bad for now and there are plenty of good elements to keep you interested. In short, if you enjoyed Season 1, go for it, and in any case, from what I hear, Season 3, whose first episode premiered at this year’s Comic-Con, will be much better.

Season 2 starts four months after the events of the 1st Season’s finale, with the various characters trying to deal with the aftermath. Season 3 will start broadcasting on September 22nd in the US & Canada, on NBC and Global respectively, followed shortly by the UK on September 25th, on the BBC. Also, Season 1 was released on Blu-Ray.

One Tree Hill: Season 5

One Tree Hill is viewed by many people as being just some stupid thing for tween girls, but I personally think it’s a really solid, one of the very best “teen shows”, in fact. The writing is solid, the acting ranges from good to great, the characters are interesting (most of the time), the balance between humor and drama is just right and there are some really standout episodes. I’m sure that if you gave One Tree Hill a chance, and just stopped judging, you might actually enjoy it. In any case, it’s a much better show than cult favorite and similar series The O.C., whose first season was genius but was never matched by later episodes (especially Season 3, ugh).

In Season 5, the show fastforwards four years after Season 4, and focuses on the characters’ lives after college, dealing with the realities of adulthood. Season 6 will premiere in the US on September 1st, on The CW.

Also in TV DVDs: Entourage: Season 4, NCIS: Season 5, The Shield: Season 6,…

Kate Hudson has settled on token rebound guy (no more applicants please)

The recently single Kate Hudson (Fool’s Gold), whose constant need of penis is well documented, has once again united with funnyman Owen Wilson (Drillbit Taylor), which makes this the third time the two blondes have been together. Let’s remember that Wilson attempted suicide early in 2007, a move widely believed to have been brought by Hudson just dumping him for the first time. But nothing happened after the second dumping, so one can assume she explained to him that from now on, she’s just going to come back to him each time one of her other relationships end.

The pretty 29 year old, who just separated from biker Lance Armstrong, has slept with pretty much everyone in Hollywood by now, and while I appreciate that can’t stay alone for five minutes, I have to wonder, when’s my turn? Sure, I don’t live in America but celebrities travel all the time, so Kate, if you’re reading and want a piece of me, contact me for details. Seriously.

Kate Hudson will next be seen in My Best Friend’s Girl, a comedy from director Howard Deutch (The Whole Ten Yards), alongside Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Dane Cook (Good Luck Chuck), Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield) and Jason Biggs (the first three American Pie movies). Owen Wilson’s next, the comedy Marley & Me,  co-stars the similarly bed-hopping Jennifer Aniston (The Break-Up)  as well as Alan Arkin (Get Smart), and is directed by The Devil Wears Prada helmer David Frankel. The movie is based on a bestselling nonficiton book by John Grogan, which was adapted by Scott Frank (The Lookout) and Don Roos (Happy Endings).

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Kristen Bell joins Astro Boy voice cast

28 year old Kristen Bell (NBC’s Heroes) has just been added to the voice cast of the forthcoming animated movie Astro Boy. Bell, who for some reason passes as every fanboy’s favorite twenty-something actress, thus joins Freddie Highmore (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Nicolas Cage (Bangkok Dangerous), Bill Nighy (Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 & 3), Donald Sutherland (Fool’s Gold), Eugene Levy (the American Pie films) and Nathan Lane (Swing Vote), among others.

The long-gestating movie is of course based on the manga by legendary artist/animator/doctor Osamu Tezuka (Metropolis), and is directed by David Bowers (Flushed Away) through Imagi Animation (TMNT). The story, adapted by Timothy Harris (Space Jam), goes like this according to Wikipedia:

Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man’s expectations, Astro Boy embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father who had rejected him.

Astro Boy is expected to release in 2009, but a date has yet to be set.

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Movie Of The Day: The Rundown/Welcome To The Jungle (2003)

The Rundown, known internationally as Welcome To The Jungle, was former wrestler Dawyne Johnson’s (aka The Rock) second attempt at a leading role following The Scorpion King in 2002. The action/comedy was directed by Michael Mann protégé Peter Berg (Hancock) and co-written by R.J. Stewart (Xena: Warrior Princess) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac). Rounding up the cast are Seann William Scott (American Pie‘s Steve Stifler), Rosario Dawson (Sin City) and Christopher Walken (Hairspray). 

Johnson stars as Beck, a “retrieval expert” on his last job, who’s sent to the Brasilian mining town El Dorado to find his Boss’ son Travis (Scott) and bring him back to the States. Once there however, he runs into trouble with the local “authorities”, headed by evil, greedy mine boss Hatcher (Walken) and has to deal with the annoying Travis, Indian rebels, a treasure hunt and monkeys…don’t forget the monkeys. Trailer and review after the jump.

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Paramount Famous Prods. created, slew of DTV sequels to ensue

Paramount is renaming its straight-to-dvd division. The goods news? Prepare for Without A Paddle: Nature’s Calling, Road Trip 2: Still Trippin’, Mean Girls 2: Meaner Girls, Bad News Bears 2: More Bad News and Naked Gun 1/4: Can’t Get More Naked Than This and Grease 3.  The bad news? They’re calling it “Paramount Famous Productions”. Seriously is that the stupidest name for a movie company or what? Nikki Finke reports:

The newly christened Paramount Famous Productions has been actively developing an inaugural production slate. Now PFP prez Louis Feola says that, starting in 2010, the division expects to release 5 to 6 films annually with titles to encompass a mix of sequels, prequels and remakes based on the libraries of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, DreamWorks Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PFP also wants to work closely with Viacom-owned cable networks such as BET, Comedy Central and Spike TV to develop filmed entertainment content.

Louis Feola used to have the same job over at Universal which means he’s the guy we should thank for all those American Pie and Bring It On sequels. I don’t have anything against straight-to-dvd sequels really, but this batch seems pretty uninteresting. Grease 3 will probably be a High School Musical ripoff, Mean Girls 2 will probably be watchable as long as they get some hot girls, and they better get Leslie Nielsen for Naked Gun 4, for obvious reasons. Mr Feola, if you’re reading this, how about The Haunting 2? Here’s a movie which can easily be better than the original!

So, what films from the Paramount family would be a good fit for straight-to-dvd sequel goodness? Discuss!

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