Thursday, August 9, 2007

Kickin' It Old Skool

Kickin' It Old Skool was originally released in April 2007 to some pretty bad reviews. This teen targeted comedy featuring Jamie Kennedy is an off the top comedy that has more sophomoric humor, and throw back humor than one might expect. While many had issue with the poor construction, the less than quality acting and script of this flick, I have to admit, I found myself laughing out loud and appreciating some of the throw back memories. I am almost embarrassed to admit that, but unfortunately with the upcoming release of the DVD, we need to judge some movies from a different criteria, and Kickin’ It Old Skool is one of those.

There is a lot about Kickin' It Old Skool I didn’t like, from a poor, predictable script to the, at times idiotic characters. I have to give credit in a couple of areas, the movie flowed well and I give credit to the editing and direction. Director Harvey Glazer does as much as he can with what he has and he realizes he has is the ability to entertain through the dance sequences. In that regard Glazer does a good job of not taking what he has too seriously. He realizes his need to focus on the dance and music and when those sequences are on screen, we the viewer can have some fun.

Kickin' It Old Skool starts off with a routine concept. A young kid, and his outsider friends are working to obtain a level of respect and recognition in their school. They enter the school talent show and prior to the competition we see Justin Schumacher competing for the best looking girl in the school Jennifer Stone. He is competing with the school hot guy, the one most of us can relate to. During a break dance routine Justin attempts a back flip that causes him to fall of the stage, and ultimately end up in a coma for 20 years. He finally awakes, and realizing his parents hospital bills he decides to get his old buddies back together to compete in an American Idol type of competition where the winner will pocket $100,000. In the process Justin runs into his old girlfriend Jennifer and his old nemesis who is now engaged to her, Kip, played in a fun way by Michael Rosenbaum noted for his portrayal of Lex Luthor in the WB Television series Smallville. What follows is the predictable tale we have seen many times before. There is some funny stuff though, and I wasn’t totally let down.

Throughout Kickin' It Old Skool we see development of each of the characters. While Justin has some reason in being confused as a result of being in a coma for 20 years, we see his friends and others who have room to grow and come to an understanding of who they are. From Hector, played by Aris Alvarado who has become heavy with some gender issues, to Darnell, a friend who has to learn to develop leadership skills we see the characters grow. Each character develops to some extent. Apparently, those characters who seem to have it all together, Kip and Jennifer, have as much to learn as anyone.

Kickin' It Old Skool does a good job of getting you to care about the characters. One of the reasons I actually had a little fun was because I could relate to the characters and the changes people, including myself, make over the years. In the process is a valuable lesson of going for dreams, realizing individual skills and gifts, and working together to accomplish something of value. The potential of working together has lessons for all kinds of groups. A wide range of people and organizations could learn from these reminders. While we see the benefit, we have seen this before in many movies. A reminder every now and then can’t be a bad thing though.

As mentioned earlier, I had a few laughs, even out loud while watching this. I really appreciated the throw back humor for those of us living in and growing up in the 80’s, whether it be the style of dress, yes I owned parachute pants, to the big hair, or even movie humor and cartoon comments. There is a lot here that at least my generation will understand and appreciate. I also enjoyed the dance routines and music enough that I would say it is worth watching on DVD just for these sequences. I could have done without some of the bathroom humor. It went beyond being funny to being gross and even my 17 year old son thought it was over the top.

I have to also comment on the DVD. I admit I hate the word and association of being a “geek.” I’m not! That said, when it comes to DVD’s I loook for things like Easter Eggs and I enjoy the special features. While there are some good and worthwhile deleted scenes here, I found the Special Features somewhat lacking, and while there may be some Easter Eggs, I couldn’t find them. I know those are geeky things, but then again, just my thoughts.

On a Scale of 1 – 10 I have to admit, for the four that made up the Old Skool team, plus the long lost girlfriend, I’ll give a not great, but okay fun time score of a 5. Glad I didn’t pay to see it at the theater, but it would be worth the rental from the DVD store.

To see the trailer for the movie double click on the video below, if the video don't appear, just click on the link provided.

Another fun clip of Jamie Kennedy and Bobby Lee promoting Kickin' It Old Skool on Mad TV using a formula from one of my favorite television shows. If the video don't appear, just double click the link.

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