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Van Wilder: Freshman Year
DVD disk
6 years ago By: Sturdy
Van Wilder: Freshman Year order
Director:
Harv Glazer

Actors:
Jonathan Bennett
Kristin Cavallari
Kurt Fuller

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Weíre introduced to Van Wilder as he enters his freshman year at Coolidge. Heís distraught when he finds that a military colonel is running the school and no one is allowed to party. He sets out to change the rules by breaking them one at a time.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Ryan Reynolds has a way of making average movies watchable, such as WAITING and VAN WILDER. I think he gives the studio a false sense of security because a lot of his lesser hits have spawned sequels/prequels that should never have been made. I wouldnít say this is a horrible movie, but itís probably what you expect from a straight to DVD movie thatís the third sequel/prequel of a movie that was barely a moderate success in the first place. If itís any indication, National Lampoon wonít even put their name on this.

The first thing youíll notice is that Jonathan Bennett spends the entire film trying to be Ryan Reynolds, which gets old really, really fast. He should have just been himself and not tried to reenact Reynoldsí performance. The opening scene features him giving a speech at his high school graduation while getting head behind a podium. You might remember this scene almost shot for shot in POLICE ACADEMY. Ripping off a classic like that got us off to a bad start, but I will say that things got better, although remember itís on a sliding scale.

I know they had to get Kristin Cavallari in order to bring some recognizable name to the picture, but that girl is incredibly annoying. They also had her terribly miscast as an ROTC cadet trying to become an officer. How bad was she? Letís put it this way; thereís a scene where sheís reading Sun Tzuís ĎArt of Warí and it reminded me of when my golden retriever puppy got a hold of my graphing calculator. Letís just say neither of them convinced me they could comprehend what they were looking at.

But hopefully you know thereís no real story here or decent acting. What they do have is some gratuitous nudity, although not nearly enough to make up for the filmís downsides. There are definitely worse B-movies out there and there were actually moments where I saw some promise in the film, but overall it was a weak effort.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Harv Glazer and cast: This was okay, but it got on my nerves because they just sat around and chatted about stuff I didnít care about. I didnít want great details about the making of the movie, but it would have been nice if they could have kept it on track at least a little. Itís mainly a chance for them to reunite and reminisce. Itís more for them than us.

Creating the Legend (17:37): This is your standard making of featurette with interviews from the cast and crew. Of all the featurettes, I thought this one was the best because the cast was more natural. They were actually amusing when they were being themselves and not trying to be someone else.

Going Balls Out (2:57): This is all about the dog, Colossus, who was ďfunnyĒ in the movie because he had huge balls. The cast makes a joke of it and treat him like he was a real person, complete with complaining about him getting too much attention, etc.

Coolidge College Orientation Video (3:22): This isnít really an orientation video, but the cast, in interviews, talking about how great the school is, etc. They should have spent the extra fifty cents and made it an actual orientation video.

Decatur (9:02): I canít sit through thirty seconds of The Hills, but this is a play on the show. I made it about two minutes in and had to turn it off. It was just as bad as the show.

Teacherís Pets (2:36): Over two minutes of footage of all the hot girls in the film. No point, just scenes of hot girls.

Bloopers (6:59): Some of these go on way too long. Once an actor or actress flubs their lines, move on. But thatís basically what this is; people messing up and other people laughing.

Vanís Party Supplies (3:58): They dedicated an entire featurette to dildos since the movie dedicated about 15 minutes to them. I can only imagine the awkwardness involved with a dude going into a sex shop and buying 20 dildos.

Pranks 101 (3:47): The cast talks about what kind of pranks they pulled in school. No one really had any great stories and most of them acted like they didnít have anything to say.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I think if youíre in the market for a straight to DVD film about college life, you could do worse than VAN WILDER: FRESHMAN YEAR. The story is worn out, the jokes are mostly stolen and the acting is horrible, but hopefully youíre expecting that.
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