The first decade of this millennium is often heralded as some sort of golden age for children’s films. Sure, most of Pixar’s best flicks came out in this period, and there were some winners in general, but I think people tend to view the films of their own childhood with rose-colored glasses. Most of these films are goddamn godawful. Just HOW goddamn godawful, you ask? Let’s find out together by checking out EVERY kids film between 2000 and 2009. From theatrical to direct-to-DVD to Disney Channel Original, we’ll look at ’em all because I am a glutton for punishment.
This week, another DCOM and a movie I actually like that you should watch ’cause it’s good and stuff.
Oh look, another one of those Disney Channel Original Movies, we haven’t had one of those in a while. Honestly, I don’t mind them. They’re short, they’re relatively mediocre as a rule, and they don’t often personally offend me.
This one follows Jay Martin, a 13 year old boy at a good predatory school has to compete for a scholarship. His rival, the dean’s son steals his speech and his spot at the better school. At the same time, the dean’s dog runs away and Jay finds it. When he tries to call and return it, the dean assumes Jay is a dognapper and asks for his ransom demands.
WACKY SHENNANIGANS ENSUE.
First off, I swear to christ above I’m instituting a new rule. After this one, the second a movie features dognapping as a plot point, I am done. This is a new rule, so I’ll continue to review this one, but fair warning, no more goddamn dognapping movies. you’re making me fear for my own dogs.
So the supporting cast for this one is wonderful. First of all we have Ed Begley Jr. as the dean and thank god for that. He is so much fun to watch in this movie. And boy howdy is he working his ass off with this material. But, he gives it the old college try and it works out.
Also, we have his son, this movie’s equivalent of a villain, who’s also pretty fun to hate.
So this villain kid steals Jay’s speech, earning him the place in the special school. By the end though he winds up in military school so all’s well that ends –wait.
Hang on, let me take another look at that kid.
Bring that GIF back here for a sec.
Is… is that Shia LaBeouf?
I think that’s Shia LaBeouf.
Who the fuck casts Shia LaBeouf as a villain? I could probably beat him up and a light breeze could kick my ass.
Other than that, fine movie though.
THE JENNIE PROJECT THE RE-ANIMATOR
So once AGAIN this week we have a movie which doesn’t seem to exist anywhere accessible. But also my Netflix cue is empty (I’ll refill it tonight, ok?) so we’re gonna talk about a movie that’s on Netflix that I’ve seen before and that I love oh-so much.
Guys, The Re-Animator is fuckin’ rad. Like, I can’t express why I love this movie so much but it’s great and you should watch it.
Unless you have a thing about blood and/or gore. Then like, maybe don’t watch this one. Or keep reading this review. I use pictures and they are gross.
So the film follows medical student Dan Cain, secretly dating and engaged to Megan Halsey, daughter of Dean Halsey, the man running the medical school. One day, Dan meets new student Herbert West, a troubled young man performing strange experiments. West and Cain move in together, but when Cain stumbles upon West’s secret, that being that he has come up with a reagent to bring the dead back to life, both young men’s lives take a turn for the horrific.
West, played by Jeffery Combs is at least 60% of the reason to see this movie. He is fuuuuucking incredible. His performance merges the classic mad scientist with the ranting assistant. Think “what if Igor was Doctor Frankenstein?” He manages to be funny and charming while holding on to that cold creepy detachment you need for the performance to work. He is a character you by all rights SHOULD hate, but you can’t help but love him.
But honestly every performance is spot on. Barbara Crampton brings a uniqueness that keeps Megan from being a stock damsel in distress. Bruce Abbott makes Dan a well rounded character and really pulls off the final moments of the film perfectly. Robert Sampson is impossibly fun once he’s stumbling around undead and oh my god David Gale.
David Gale David Gale David Gale. Like, Combs may be the breakout star but Gale plays the kind of ridiculously creepy antagonist that actually feels like a match for West. And like everything else in the movie, it’s beautifully over the top. This movie is so tongue in cheek and forthright you sometimes don’t know whether to laugh or scream.
Director Stuart Gordon came from a background in transgressive theatre which makes sense because this thing is insanely theatrical. Like, one of my biggest regrets is missing the Hollywood run of Re-Animator: The Musical. I’m so mad about it.
This film is just so much fun I can’t help but gush over it. Speaking of gushing, this is almost medically gory. Like, there’s so much blood and bones and skin tearing and limbs being severed and everything else. I’m far from a gorehound but this film gets a pass in my book.
Hell, if I’m picking between 1980s gorefests with questionable Sci-Fi elements, I prefer this over The Thing. It’s not a better movie than The Thing, but I like it more.
Plus, now I know my halloween costume for this year.
That’s it for this week, next week I talk about stuff or something.