ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – V – Van Wilder: Freshman Year (2009)

Director: Harvey Glazer

Writer: Todd McCullough (Screenplay) Brent Goldberg, David Wagner (Characters)

Starring: Jonathan Bennett, Kristin Cavallari, Kurt Fuller, Steve Talley, Nestor Aaron Absera, Nick Nicotera, Jerry Shea

 

Plot: Van Wilder starts his freshman year at Coolidge College and embarks on an adventure to land the campus hottie and liberate his school from sexual oppression and party dysfunction.


Tagline – The man. The myth. The beginning.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Forced Prequel

 

Story: Van Wilder: Freshman Year starts with Van (Bennett) heading off to Coolidge college to follow in his family’s footsteps before graduating to work with his father. Arrive at the college Van learns that Dean Charles Reardon (Fuller) has it in for the family, the guys have been pushed into a military plan and the girls are religious.

Van joined by stoner Farley (Absera) and Yu Dum Fok (Shea) to turn the college around to become what Van is expecting and we learn how he become the iconic legend of the Coolidge.

 

Thoughts on Van Wilder: Freshman Year

 

Characters – Van Wilder was a character we met in 2002, this time we learn how he did in his first year at college, we see how he was always the quick witty that was willing to put himself out there to help people find themselves. We can let him off certain mistakes and differences from the later version of Van, but this one never seems to have the true confidence the high school implies he has. Kaitlin is the daughter of a military man, who is trying to follow in her father’s footsteps, everything else about her is just a carbon copy of the Tara Reid character first time around, dating a bad guy Van teaches her there is more to life. Dean Charles Reardon has been waiting for a Wilder to join the college to get revenge, he wages war on Van along with LT Dirk Arnold who is the bad boyfriend out to keep his woman and believes he is the best part of the military college.

PerformancesJonathan Bennett just doesn’t have the same charisma as Ryan Reynolds, he doesn’t have the same ability to be quick witted and you just don’t believe that his filled with that same natural confidence. Kristin Cavallari is trying her best, but as the character is basically just meant to be Tara Reid again we lack giving her a chance to make herself anything original. Kurt Fuller does his best with the material and could well be the best performer in the film. we get typical college level character performances here.

StoryThe story here brings us Van Wilder’s first year at college, now we get a few winks at where he character will end up and certain lines he uses in everyday life. The problems with this come from the fact it is exactly the same story, Van meets girl that is dating a bad guy and spends his time trying to win her heart making a rival, we have the foreign student who wants to learn the way of love and the Dean who doesn’t like a Wilder. This lacks any originality to the story, just wants to do the winks about the original, like look here this is where we got that from. We get the same grossed out comedy moments that are mostly just trying to keep one step ahead of the rest.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film is mostly grossed out humour, for me personally it misses a lot, but if this is what you like you will enjoy this. The romance is rinse repeat from the original and not that important to what we see.

SettingsThe film is set at the same college Coolidge, only in the prequel it is a military college, which seems strange because it was always meant to be a basic college with parties and classes.


Scene of the Movie –
Massage time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me College is never going to be like this.

Final ThoughtsThis is a forced prequel we didn’t really ask for let alone need, it has poor versions of the characters we did enjoy in the first one and just repeats the jokes from the original.

 

Overall: Pointless prequel.

Rating

 

 

Psych: The Movie (2017)

Director: Steve Franks

Writer: James Roday (Screenplay) Steve Franks (Characters)

Starring: James Roday, Dule Hill, Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen, Zachary Levi, Kurt Fuller

 

Plot: The old gang comes together during the holidays after a mystery assailant targets one of their own.


Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Fan Service

 

Story: Psych the Movie starts as we see how Shawn (Roday) is now trying to do the detective business in San Francisco where Gus (Hill) has gone to his full-time job. Juliet (Lawson) has a new partner while trying to stop chief Vick’s (Nelson) daughter from falling onto the wrong side of the law.

When Juliet’s partner is attack and left for dead, with Shawn banished from the case by Juliet, this could be Shawn’s first big case in San Francisco. It isn’t long till Shawn finds himself investigating the case which involved Thin White Duke (Levi). When the Duke targets Juliet, she doesn’t want Shawn to be involved in the case, which only leads to the guys bringing back the rest of the gang to solve the case.

 

Thoughts on Psych the Movie

 

Characters – Shawn doesn’t seem to have settled in the new city, he wants to continue with his investigation business even though Gus is busy working to keep the business a float. He still is the slacker that uses his skills of observation to keep himself busy. Gus is the best friend of Shawn who followed him to San Francisco and started a new job to help fund the investigation agency, he still enjoys his food always finding himself eating the most random dish he can get his hands on. Juliet is back in her position of detective, but this time she becomes the target after her partner is killed, she doesn’t want her friends getting involved, wanting to clean up her own mess. Thin White Duke is the man behind the targeting of Juliet, he works well his crew, but is working for someone from their past. We have plenty of appearances from fan favourites from the series.

PerformancesJames Roday was always fantastic in this role, it is like he never left the role that can play for years. Dule Hill gets plenty of laughs with a role he never felt like he left too. The whole of the original cast gets to have fun with, sadly due to health issues we only got a cameo from Timothy Omundson. Zachary Levi does make for a good villain for the film, getting the best dialogue against the regular characters.

StoryThe story brings back our favourite characters from the show, we see how they have got used to their new environment where the TV show finished off. We get a case to solve where we see Shawn and Gus get themselves into more trouble, but it is Juliet needing to figure out who is trying to ruin her career that takes centre stage. If you were a fan of the show, then you will enjoy this story.

Comedy/Crime/Mystery The comedy comes from the problems Shawn and Gus get themselves in because they have fantastic chemistry, we also dive into the light-hearted crime story, that brings in the mystery to who is behind the whole crime.

SettingsThe film being set in San Francisco brings our characters to a new location for a crime story for the first time, as the show ended with them moving there. It works because we see the struggles to get used to this environment.


Scene of the Movie –
Mental home investigation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We would have like more of Carlton, but it was for medical reasons we didn’t, so can’t complain.

Final ThoughtsThis is a TV movie that will make any fan of the show happy, it keeps the humour flowing and brings back plenty of our favourite characters.

 

Overall: Fans will be left with a smile on their faces.

Rating

 

 

Psych the Musical (2013)

logoDirector: Steve Franks

Writer: Steve Franks (Screenplay)

Starring: Maggie Lawson, Ally Sheedy, Jimmi Simpson, Dule Hill, James Roday, Barry Bostwick, Timothy Omundson, Anthony Rapp, Corbin Bernsen, Kurt Fuller, Kirsten Nelson

 

Plot: When committed murdered Z (Rapp) escapes from a mental institute it is up to Shawn (Roday) to use his gifts to find him before he kills again. Shawn teams up with an old enemy Yang (Sheedy) a fellow patient and friend of Z to help catch him before he takes his revenge. Z is targeting people involved in the musical he wrote after they try to resurrect the musical again without his name attached, but was Z innocent of the murder he has been getting punished for?

 group

Verdict: A delightful take on a beloved TV detective show

Story: A good story mixed with songs to make a change to the usual straight forward crime fighting story. A few of the old favourite cast members return with Yang, Mary Lightly having funny parts. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: James Roday – Shawn the smart talking psychic who helps solve the crimes, Very funny throughout as always uses his charm to get into situations and always gets the upper hand of Lassie. (9/10)

 shawn

Actor Review: Dule Hill – Gus who usually gets a random name when being introduced by Shawn. Always a great sidekick to Shawn but also has plenty of solo funny bits in this episode. (9/10)

Actor Review: Anthony Rapp – Z the brilliant musical composer who just wants his show to be seen but has to go to all sorts of odds to make it happen. One of the bet singers in the film and with his back ground you wouldn’t expect anything less. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Ally Sheedy – Yang the over the top off her rocker serial killer who helps with the investigation. Very good performance that ends up stealing most scenes she is in. (9/10)

 

Director Review: Steve Franks – Great direction that makes you laugh and stay involved all the way to the end. (9/10)

 

Comedy: The comedy is very similar to normal which is funny but not laugh out loud. (8/10)

Crime: Light hearted take on crime but still solves the case very well. (8/10)

Music: Some very catchy songs that all fit the scenes well. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The use of the theatres makes the all singing all dancing come off very well. (8/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest this, I have always rated this show and the light hearted nature and simple comedy make it a great watch for all. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Shawn makes a singing phone call before realising he is on stage on front of a crowd.

Funniest Scene: Woody’s song

Chances of Sequel: Special two part before the TV series continues.

 

Overall: Funny, musical well worth a watch

 

Rating 85