Seann William Scott

Southland Tales

Year: 2006
Directed By: Richard Kelly
Written By: Richard Kelly

RYAN’S REVIEW

This movie has been at the center of controversy in our home for nearly ten years. It is one of the greatest disagreements Amber and I have about a film. I think this is a brilliant though complicated movie while she calls it the worst movie she has ever seen.

Richard Kelly called this his “misunderstood child” and I think that pretty much sums it up for this movie. It’s an entirely misunderstood movie that doesn’t even have the support of some of its cast members. It’s a big idea with a low budget and I think that took away from the attention it received. Had it gotten a bigger release I think it would be the center of much greater controversy and conversation even today.

I won’t deny this movie is weird but I like that about it. I like the actors cast in strange roles, I like the randomness of it all and the ultimate point behind the film. I think this movie takes a strong stance against the current events in the mid 2000s and it was during that time that I saw the movie and connected with it. It’s an interesting vision of the future where America actually suffers consequences for its actions. The world has moved on from that time with a whole batch of new and interesting problems but what of the events following 9/11? The world got crazy in the aftermath but kept on turning nonetheless. There were plenty of movies that examined the situation but this one to date has probably been my favorite. A beautiful satire that never really found its voice, or audience for that matter.

Richard Kelly’s first film, Donnie Darko, became a cult classic and I was one of its biggest fans at one time. I thought it was so interesting and ahead of its time. I feel like Richard Kelly is too smart for his own good as a filmmaker. If I remember correctly his father worked for NASA and I have always thought that had to have some kind of influence on his films. There is always something highly scientific about his films. Whether it’s worm holes or fluid karma he has something thrown in there that will befuddle the masses. I myself do not know anything about the science in his movies, it could be all made up as far as I know, but I think it all sounds good enough to work in a movie. I have enjoyed all of Kelly’s movies but this one is by far my favorite.

I think the cast that was assembled for this movie was nothing short of spectacular. I am not really a fan of the actor Dwayne Johnson, but I think he is perfect in this movie. The Rock has climbed out of the ring and into the big arena but I don’t always like what he’s cooking these days. I’m not a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, and despite all his success I just can’t ever take him seriously as an actor. I think this is one of the most interesting roles he has played and I really liked him in the part. His character is even more interesting upon multiple viewings of the movie because so many of the weird ticks make sense when you understand.

On the other hand, I have always been a big fan of Seann William Scott, which sucks because his career tanked after this movie. American Pie was my generation’s high school classic and Stifler will always be a character I tune in to see. Like The Rock, he too has a really interesting part in this movie that gets better the more you watch it. While I think Scott does well in this movie I tend to think his performance gets lost among the others because some were truly able to shine in a short amount of time.

My favorite stand out in this movie is Cheri Oteri. I used to love her on SNL and the excitable personality she brought to the comedy. Seeing her in this movie as a ruthless and violent villain has always appealed to me. In fact there were several actors in this movie cast specifically contrary to their known personas. Others include John Lovitz and Amy Poehler playing villains. Lovitz particularly is impressive as the cold and silent hitman.

I think Justin Timberlake is fantastic in this movie and love the drug induced scene that plays out like a music video. It’s so randomly placed in the movie and I love that about it. As a teenager I had a natural dislike for Timberlake, and anybody else involved in the boy band phase, but he has long since won me over with shear talent. I am amazed by any celebrity that can do it all. Timberlake is an incredible performer and has made a smooth transition into a good acting career. He has impressive range as an actor and continues to be a successful artist in the music industry. When I mention that this movie didn’t have the support of its own cast it was Timberlake I was referring to, who said something along the lines of having no idea what this movie was about.

Since I was a teenager I had a thing for Sarah Michelle Gellar. Not because of her popular television show but just because I was a horny teen who thought she was really hot. So naturally I liked her in the role of the sexy porn star with the aggressive business plan. I think Mandy Moore was really good as the WASPy wife of Boxer Santaros. It was interesting to see these two actresses of the same popular teen era to play adult roles and do so well.

Beyond the big names there are several pop culture icon actors hidden within the film. Such as the “inconceivable!” guy from The Princess Bride, the little medium from the original Poltergeist, and even Kevin Smith pops up for a small role. These three, among others, make up a rich cast of supporting characters. I always think the cast of any film can make or break it and say what you want about this one but it has a really cool cast.

This movie is not for everybody and I can’t recall finding anybody else who has even seen it, let alone liked it. I like it though and I think it stands out for several reasons. I’m not going to get overly political because those days are long behind me now but when this movie came out things were different for me. Back in the days when I was more opinionated this movie stood out to me because of its message and I still like that message today.

Due to the nature of this movie’s controversy within my own home I won’t say whether it is worth your time or not. The battlelines have long since been drawn and opinions are dug in despite my efforts to force conciliation. If you can look past the low budget and the weirdness within then I’d be really interested to know what anyone else thinks about this movie. If you’ve seen it before and you are still with me in this review leave us a comment or send a message and share your own thoughts. If nothing else this is an interesting movie that deserves a bit of discussion. 

NEXT MOVIE: South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut (1999)

Roles Models

Year: 2008
Directed By: David Wain
Written By: Several people

RYAN’S REVIEW

Sometimes you need nothing more than something that can make you laugh and that’s when a movie like this comes in handy. This movie has a funny concept and more than enough funny people to make it really fun. Not even going to lie, after seeing this movie I really felt an urge to go Larping, Laire, whatever the role playing thing they do in this movie is. The mature adult in me knows it’s pretty lame but I have a hard time denying that there is a medieval warrior inside of me screaming to be let out. That guy is still screaming as I have never participated in the activity but I’d consider it if the opportunity came up.

This is one of those movies that perplexes me because I have never been a fan of Paul Rudd; yet here is another movie he is in that I really like. Paul Rudd is funny enough but he seems to always play this same part to me. The pessimistic guy with a stick up his butt that has funny complaints and a really cool friend. In this movie that friend is Seann William Scott giving yet another rendition of his classic and hilarious character of Stifler. As a guy who came of age at the turn of the century I love Stifler and enjoy every opportunity to laugh at his antics.

You have a ton of fantastic people in smaller roles like Jane Lynch and Ken Jeong. In even smaller parts you got guys like Joe Lo Truglio and Matt Walsh. In the beginning of the movie you can see Louis C.K. as the police officer that nearly gets run over by the Minotaur truck. He most likely was part of some specific scenes that got deleted. That says it all about the cast really; there were so many funny people here that they were cutting the likes of Louis C.K.

I really like McLovin in this role of the LAIRE warrior from Zanthia. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is a really funny guy who I hope isn’t limited by his awkward physique going forward. He is great in this movie but hardly anybody in this entire film can even hold a candle to Bobb’e J. Thompson. As the aggressively profane Sturdy Wings kid he is hilarious. “You white, you Ben Affleck!” I don’t know where this kid went or what he has been doing for the last eight years but he was great in this movie.

When this movie went from being funny and immature to being sentimental and thoughtful it became “shelf worthy” for my collection. The LAIRE battle in the end of the film is so much fun. It’s touching as well how these guys come together to support Augie in a selfless manner. When they realize they want to spend their time with these kids not because they are being punished but because they can make a difference. It makes for a nice story peppered with profanity and popular comedians.

When you need a movie that can inspire laughter and lift your spirits you cannot go wrong with this one. I think this movie is more than funny because it is fun. If I ever do get weird and go all out in some live action fantasy role play it will be because I thought it looked so cool in this movie. I think this one is easily worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone.

NEXT MOVIE: Ronin (1998)

 

 

 

Road Trip

Year: 2000
Directed By: Todd Phillips
Written By: Todd Phillips and Scot Armstrong

RYAN’S REVIEW

Back at the turn of the millennium, if you had missed American Pie the year before or just wanted more of the same then this film was the one for you. The two movies are very similar, even featuring Seann William Scott in practically the same role, but they feature a formula that works. This is a really funny movie whether it was more of the same or not.

For those of us who remember it’s good for a laugh but just to clue in the younger generations there is something interesting here. Believe it or not there was a time when Tom Green was considered one of the funniest guys around. At least he was for my generation when I was 15 and 16. Maybe it was just my age at the time but MTV seemed like the center of the universe then and they thought Tom Green was a rare find. It was around the time this movie came out and that weirdo was literally everywhere. Odd as it is, at the time he actually gave some vague sense of credibility to a film featuring mainly unknown actors. At that young and immature age I thought Green was funny but good for me and the entire comedy genre that he was simply a flash in the pan. The man took it too far and anybody that questions or doesn’t know that need look no further than Freddy Got Fingered. An appalling movie to say the least and I saw it when I was 17, an aged that specifically had to be the target audience. If it was too much for me as the immature age of 17 I can’t imagine anybody else out there could stomach it easily. For anybody who ever wonders, “what ever happened to Tom Green?” you really only have to see part of what happened when a studio was foolish enough to give Green full control over a film. Nobody should ever see the whole thing, I did, and I can assure you that no matter where you stop that it continues to get worse.

I was 15 when American Pie came out so in 2000 I was more than happy to see more of Stifler in a film. In this movie Seann William Scott does little more than re-enact his prior role but I was and am cool with that because I like the character. In this movie he is simply E.L. but nobody ever did or will remember that name because he is simply Stifler. Not that there is anything at all wrong with that though. In the identical role Scott is very funny and helps carry the film.

This movie garners little discussion as it really doesn’t require any thought to enjoy. More importantly it does nothing at all to inspire thought so there is little to say. However, before closing up there is one more thing I would like to mention, DJ Qualls. What a funny guy who never had any hope to go any farther than these types of roles could offer him. The very awkward and ultra skinny Qualls could never hope to be more than a type cast actor but he is hilarious none the less. This was his first movie and he popped up in plenty of things over the years before finding more steady work in recent years on TV.

Little else to mention here. This is a movie you’ve seen before but it’ll get a laugh or two out of you all the same. If you find yourself in the mood for a good laugh that you don’t have to think about then you won’t be wasting your time with this one. There is nothing to love here but plenty to laugh at.

NEXT MOVIE: Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

American Wedding

Year: 2003
Directed By: Jesse Dylan
Written By: Adam Herz

RYAN’S REVIEW

Like the second movie, this is also very stupid and follows that same pattern of comedy sequels I went on and on about in the American Pie 2 entry.  However I think this movie gave Seann William Scott a good platform to be funny and increase his popularity.  While I thought he over did it for most of the second film I don’t get that impression from this one.  It’s funny, but I tend to forget this movie actually stars Jason Biggs, it’s only watching it now and during the last couple of films that I even remembered who he was to begin with.  I know that probably sounds stupid, but I always think of this as Seann William Scott’s series and he is at his best in the third film.  I also hold the belief that no matter what kind of movie, or television show is being made, when you add gay guys into the storyline it gets better. This especially holds true with comedies, their characters are often exaggerated and very vibrant but they breathe life into otherwise boring story lines.

I remember expecting very little when I watched this movie for the first time and being pleasantly surprised when I laughed the whole time.  This movie is the reason I bought the trilogy pack when I saw it, that and because I don’t like gaps in a series I have collected. I was surprised to find out recently that there is a fourth film being made for an early 2012 release.  I guess that was extraordinary news for Jason Biggs, he must have turned back flips when he got that call from his agent.  In truth I look forward to another American Pie, titled American Reunion, and I will probably go see it when it comes out.  It’s because I found this movie so funny that I would even give a fourth movie consideration.  American Wedding is a funny movie and a must see if you like the series, it is worth your time to watch.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I liked this one so much more than the second one. The first, the original is still my favorite, but I find this one funny and outlandish, but believable. I feel like we all have a Stifler in our lives. We try to hide him from our parents, family and some friends. We have one too, don’t worry. Ryan is right when he says this is his movie. For the longest time I thought that Stifler was the only character that Seann William Scott could play, but now having seen him in other roles (Role Models, Southland Tales) I know that he is actually more than just the asshole Stifler character. That makes him funnier to me somehow. He really does shine in this film. The writers here really know how to embarrass a character, which makes for a great story line. Very funny movie, if you have seen the first and second one, give it a go.

NEXT MOVIE: Annie Hall (1977)

American Pie 2

Year: 2001
Directed By: J .B. Rogers
Written By:  Adam Herz

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a funny movie, but it’s nothing great.  Were it not part of a trilogy package I don’t know that we would own it at all. This is all more of the same really, the movie isn’t that much different from the first.  Classic scenarios from the original are redone and taken a step farther and popular characters from the original are given expanded roles.  It’s a typical sequel to a popular comedy, they are all the same.  Something we should think about this week before going to see The Hangover 2 this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I think that The Hangover 2 will be hilarious, I’m just saying that it will only be more of the same.  Several scenarios from the first film will be taken a step further, this is obvious already as Stu has a tattoo on his face, a step up from pulling his own tooth out in the original.  Certain popular characters from the original will have expanded roles, I imagine this will be Ken Jeong, his star has been rising.  Still, don’t let me discourage you from seeing the film, The Hangover 2  will be hilarious, I will be going to the theater to see it myself.  Sometimes cheap shameless humor is good for the soul.

All the aspects of the typical comedy sequel are here.  Several classic scenarios from the original are taken a step further all through the film.  Instead of getting caught jerking off by his parents Jim is caught having casual sex for the first time.  Instead of drinking cum laced beer Stifler is given a golden shower by John Cho. Finch bangs Stifler’s mom again blah blah blah, this list could go on forever. Certain popular characters from the original film are given expanded roles.  Seann William Scott gets a lot more screen time but I think he was a little over the top for most of the film.  However Eugene Levy also had an expanded role and he is very funny. There is no substance to these pointless comedy sequels that are rushed into and through production but they are always good for a laugh.  This movie is stupid, but it’s not that bad.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it but it’s not a total waste of time.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I think this movie is OK but it will never beat the first one in my opinion.  I like the reference to the original and the title in the opening scene when Jim’s mom drops an apple pie. I also love that they are off on a trip together after high school. For me, it went along with the time period that I was in. I think it is a really funny movie. At the time I laughed my ass off and thought nothing was funnier, but then Apatow starting making films. It’s funny, but I’ve seen funnier.

NEXT MOVIE: American Wedding (2003)

American Pie

Year: 1999
Directed By: Paul Weitz
Written By: Adam Herz

RYAN’S REVIEW

Every generation has that classic high school movie they really identify with. I think the best high school films are timeless, but the one that identifies your generation is always a little more special.  This movie is my generation’s great high school movie and there were several that came out while I was in high school.  So many that the parody Not Another Teen Movie was made while I was still there.  None of them could stand up next to this one though, it was bold, daring, immature, funny, and we got to see a great set of boobs on Shannon Elizabeth. When this movie came out the word M.I.L.F. became a household term that is still going strong eleven years later.  Stifler was such a great character that there are a ton of low-budget straight to video movies made about his siblings, and Seann William Scott has been able to carry that exact same character into several other films with great success.  I have never seen any of the spin-off Stifler movies but there are many of them and I think Eugene Levy has reprised his role in many or all of them.  The Seann William Scott movies I’ve seen Stifler in were Road Trip, Role Models, Old School, and probably several others that I am forgetting.

I love this movie, I thought it was funny eleven years ago and I still think it’s funny today. I think it is a classic, if I remember correctly it was hailed as the Porkys of the 90s.  As a high school movie it is right up there with the other timeless greats like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused, The Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  These movies take us back to a time when we were young, when we faced complicated problems that meant something at the time but didn’t really matter, a time when life was more simple. American Pie was smart and clever and really funny, it has its place next to those other classics, and I will always love this movie.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This movie’s intro says it all. How crazy embarrassing would that situation be? You should have already seen this movie, If you are reading this and haven’t seen the movie, where the hell have you been for the past 10 years or so? The intro sets up the entire franchise. It is the classic teenage, high school movie that focuses around what most teenagers focus on, sex. The movie in its entirety is hilarious. It captures all of the things about high school that are embarrassing, funny and true. I think that even today it can still hold a light to what goes on in high schools. To this day, if anyone around me says, “This one time….” I think we all know how to finish the sentence.” I will always have a special place in my heart for this hilarious comedy.

NEXT MOVIE: American Pie 2