DJ Qualls Weekend – The New Guy (2002)

Director: Ed Decter

Writer: David Kendall (Screenplay)

Starring: DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel, Jerod Mixon, Parry Shen, Lyle Lovett, Eddie Griffin, Sunny Mabrey

 

Plot: A high school senior branded uncool in the ninth grade gets himself expelled so he changes his image to cool kid at the town’s other high school.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: The New Guy starts on the first day of senior for Dizzy (Qualls) and his band mates Nora (Deschanel), Kirk (Mixon) and Glen (Shen), they are blips in the social group but in the end he gets fully embarrassed in front of the whole school. Continuing his spiral out of control Dizzy ends up in prison where he meets Luther (Griffin) who teaches him how to be tough and al Dizzy needs to do is get expelled.

Starting his new school, with a new look, he makes an instant impact taking out the big dog of the school yard. Dizzy uses this new image to help change the school, grabbing the attention of head cheerleader Danielle (Dushku) along the way but how long can he keep this up.

 

Thoughts on The New Guy

 

Characters/PerformanceDizzy is the typical outsider in high school, he dreams of fitting in but the truth is he never will, he does all he can to make himself stand out and he does make an impact but he also faces the idea of leaving him friends behind to be popular. Danielle is your standard cheerleader dating the high school asshole but also designed not to have her own mind and just date the popular kid. Nora, Kirk and Glen are the old friends that are there to support Dizzy but also be part of the band. We have the full group of typical high school students which all make for the laugh for the story.

Performance wise, DJ Qualls followed up his scene stealing performance in Road Trip with this lead performance where he once again builds on the idea of an outsider changing a mentality. Dushku fits the role very well but isn’t the most developed character. We also get an early from Zooey Deschanel who brings her quirky style to this film and shows off her singing abilities.

StoryThe story follows the idea of one boy wanting to fit into high school, he changes to fit in only to turn on his friends. He learns from his mistake to make a difference at the high school showing everyone that they need to treat each other with respect to achieve everything you could in the early time of life. This is a good look at high school life but is one people could learn from.

ComedyWe have plenty of comedy in this film which is all enjoyable for the audience watching even if most of the humour is based on teen comedy.

SettingsThe high school settings are great because of the morale in the story as the characters learn their lessons about how to treat each other.

Final ThoughtsI grew up watching this film, I loved the story so much that I made the film my username on most things I used, it works on every level it aims for.

 

Overall: This is a worthy addition to the teen comedy genre.

Rating

 

 

DJ Qualls Weekend – Road Trip (2000)

roadDirector: Todd Phillips

Writer: Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong (Screenplay)

Starring: Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott, Amy Smart, Paulo Costanzo, DJ Qualls, Rachel Blanchard, Tom Green

 

Plot: Four college buddies embark on a road trip to retrieve an illicit tape mistakenly mailed to a female friend.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Fun Teen Comedy

 

Story: Road Trip starts as Josh (Meyer) and Tiffany (Blanchard) childhood sweethearts who have gone their own separate ways with college, they communicate through phone and video messages, yes this is a movie from 2000. When Josh doesn’t hear from Tiffany he stats getting worried and with the beautiful Beth (Smart) flirting with him Josh is pushed to enjoy the college experience by his friends EL (Scott) and Rubin (Costanzo).

When a drunken night where Josh records his night of sex with Beth he finds out Barry (Green) has sent the wrong tape to Tiffany. Josh finds out why he hasn’t spoken to Tiffany and now must travel 18,000 miles in 3 days with EL, Rubin and Kyle (Qualls) the shy student that hasn’t come out of his shell, but he has a car. What follows is the wacky adventure the four students travelling cross-country.

 

Thoughts on Road Trip

 

Characters/PerformanceLooking at the characters we get to see the traditional college students, Josh is the ‘good’ boyfriend who has planned his life, EL is the party animal that will most likely just make it in life with minimal effort, Rubin is a student that isn’t challenge by college and whose genius is above them all, while Kyle is the shy timid student that gets to be let out of his shell on this adventure with EL pushing him the most to enjoy his life. Beth is portrayed to be the new girl in Josh’s life, she doesn’t know he has a girlfriend but feels just as used by the night, we don’t really get to learn enough about this character all around.

Performance wise Meyer is good in the leading role, with Seann William Scott continue his highlight performances in the teen comedies, Amy Smart is good but doesn’t get enough time to shine. Tom Green does bring his unique form of comedy that you are either going to love or hate. This is the first film performance from DJ Qualls and you can see him breakout in this performance.stars

StoryThe story is simple, guy records sex tape sends to girlfriend and must travel cross country to stop her seeing it. Yes, we do get a road trip that only student get to experience with partying going on through the trip. This is easy to follow and you do get moments of self-discovery for the guys on the trip.

Adventure/ComedyThe cross-country adventure is all good but I do feel like I would have liked to have seen more than just colleges, the comedy I would say is hit or miss, when I was younger I loved it but now certain jokes just miss for me.

SettingsWe get to see a lot colleges across America but considering how far they travel they seem to miss all the major landmarks.genre

Final Thoughts – I was a big fan of this when I was younger and being released the same time as American Pie this fits in the boom the teen comedies had, with this easily being one of the better ones.

 

Overall: Teen comedy that hits all the point it needs to for the target audience.

Ratingrating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Stitches (2012)

stitchesDirector: Conor McMahon

Writer: Conor McMahon, David O’Brien (Screenplay)

Starring: Ross Noble, Tommy Knight, Shane Murray-Corcoran, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Thommas Kane Byrnes, Eoghan McQuinn, Roisin Barron

 

Plot: A clown comes back from the dead to haunt those who took his life during a fatal party mishap.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Late Night TV Watch

 

Story: Stitches starts as we meet clown Stitches (Noble), he isn’t a very good clown and barely entertains the children’s party he is hired to perform at. The party goes from bad to worse as Tom whose birthday it is gets involved in a prank leading to his death.

6 years later Tom (Knight) is still being haunted by that day, and this weekend it just so happens to be his birthday once again and his mother is leaving him with a free home. With the party in full swing Stitches comes back from his grave to make his own guest appearance to get revenge on the kids that sent him to an early grave.

 

Thoughts on Stitches

 

StoryWhen it comes to the story we get a generic build up, lead character is traumatised by an event in their youth while others have moved on and dealt with it their own way. It leads to a party that evil spirit or ghost or this case zombie comes back to life to get revenge on the person who killed them. The build to the party shows the change the characters have been through while the party all works to have divided chaos for the revenge plan to happen. Overall the story is simple enough for the idea behind the horror comedy.

Comedy/HorrorWhen it comes to the comedy nearly everything comes from the over the top kills and pun like lines coming from Stitches, the kills are funny but the puns do feel cheap. When it comes to horror well it is a killer clown it will only work for people scared of clowns.

Characters/PerformancesTom is your typical lead for a horror as mentioned before with the traumatised youth still haunted, his friends are the cocky, the creepy and the fat comic relief. We also have the assholes and the love interest for Tom which all are by the book generic characters, Stitches is a good addition to the horror world without being on the level of the iconic killers with Ross Noble giving the starring performance here. Some of the acting comes off quite bad when it comes to the reactions and this definitely won’t be getting many awards.

SettingsMost of the film takes place inside the house which works having the whole party being the end for the character’s good time for the guests and the end for the victims.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the kills we get to see the special effects go for it with each kill trying to outdo the last with the umbrella being the highlight of the kills in my opinion.

Final Thoughts This is a simple to watch horror comedy that just never really picks which side it wants to be, the horror isn’t scary and the comedy isn’t that funny which leaves it feeling very much as a forgettable film in the long run.

 

Overall: Try it but just don’t buy it because it really comes off lazy but watchable.

Ratingcard

 

 

Gene Wilder Weekend – See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

Director: Arthur Hiller

Writer: Earl Barret, Arne Sultan, Arne Sulten, Eliot Wald, Andrew Kurtzman, Gene Wilder (Screenplay) Earl Barret, Arne Sultan, Marvin Worth (Story)

Starring: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Joan Severance, Kevin Spacey, Alan North, Anthony Zebre, Louis Giambalvo

 

Plot: Dave is deaf, and Wally is blind. They witness a murder, but it was Dave who was looking at her, and Wally who was listening.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Comedy

 

Story: See No Evil, Hear No Evil starts a we meet blind gambling addict Wally (Pryor) and the deaf shop keeper Dave (Wilder), Dave offers Wally a job in the shop but when the man Wally owes money turns up at the shop and gets shot by a mysterious woman Eve (Severence), the two find themselves accused of murder.

When the real criminals Eve and Kirgo (Spacey) try to release Dave and Wally, they plan to kill them but after they escape Wally and Dave must find the real criminals before they either get killed or captured.

 

Thoughts on See No Evil, Hear No Evil

 

Characters/PerformanceWally is the blind man who is trying to get accepted in the world but finds himself holding people pack, he is quick to defend himself with violence. Dave is the mild mannered deaf shop keeper who has only been deaf for the last 8 years. He works with Wally to prove their innocence. Eve and Kirgo are the main villains that both work for the story with Eve being the sexy seductive type and Kirgo being the British villain.

Performance wise, Wilder and Pryor have improved chemistry here and get to show their comedy range but it still feels like a show just for their comic timing. Joan is perfectly cast in the role of Eve looking stunning in a role that is meant to led men astray. An early role here for Kevin Spacey was a surprise for me and you can see his talent here.

StoryThe story works for comedy, a blind and a deaf man must work together to prove their innocence. We get the villains that are out for greed and the police trying to do their job but this does turn into a running joke about a blind and deaf guy routine.

Crime/ComedyThe crime story is routine enough but the comedy is the stand out here which is mostly blind man deaf man gags.

SettingsThe settings are used to show the comical situations the two find themselves in. this does work well through the whole film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy but does fall into the making too much fun of the disabled to the extreme rather than pulling it all off slowly which it should be.

 

Overall: Fun and simple to follow comedy.

Rating

 

 

Gene Wilder Weekend – Stir Crazy (1980)

Director: Sidney Poitier

Writer: Bruce Jay Friedman (Screenplay)

Starring: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Georg Stanford Brown, JoBeth Williams, Miguel Angel Suarez, Craig T Nelson

 

Plot: Set up and wrongfully accused, two best friends will be sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit, however, no prison cell can keep them locked in.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Comedy

 

Story: Stir Crazy starts as meet Skip Donahue (Wilder) and Harry Monroe (Pryor) two New Yorkers that find themselves out of work and decide to move to LA to start over. This plan goes wrong when the two’s first paying gig involves being mascot like figures, but when they are on a break they get framed for a bank robbery.

As the two misfits find themselves in prison for 30 years they must learn the ways of prison, find a way out and use their skills to stay alive and change their ways inside.

 

Thoughts on Stir Crazy

 

Characters/PerformanceSkip is the overly friendly man who believes a conversation can solve any conflict, he can find himself in trouble because of this but can also look to solve problems when they come up. Harry is Skip’s best friend and the one that looks at the smarter ways to survive.

Performance wise, Wilder and Pryor have a brilliant reputation as a comedy duo, I can see the chemistry they have and the two are good in this film without being a great comedy performance.

StoryThe story of two wrongfully convicted criminals needing to survive in prison and find a way to escape, this is a simple formula and works for the comedy of the film.

Crime/ComedyWe get moments of comedy through this film where it would be fair to say is designed as a vehicle for Wilder and Pryor to show off their skills rather than create the best jokes.

SettingsWith the film set in prison which does help try to build the comedy up but I can’t help but think they miss moments they could use.

Final ThoughtsThis is a classic pairing but I just feel the comedy doesn’t hit on all the levels it should do.

 

Overall: Easy comedy that I feel needs that little bit more from.

Rating