Kevin Mcdonald

Kevin Mcdonald

Kevin Mcdonald Quick Links

News Film RSS

Sky High Review


Weak
The high school melodrama gets feebly super-charged in Sky High, a tween-oriented Disney adventure made from the spare parts of Harry Potter, Spy Kids, X-Men and '80s teen romances like Some Kind of Wonderful. Without an original bone in its mutant body, Mike Mitchell's decidedly mortal misfire - too childish and metaphorically shallow to appeal to serious comic book fans, and too prosaic to strike a chord with those weaned on Pixar's far more exhilarating The Incredibles - is a misguided movie in search of a suitable identity. While cheery, colorful, and buoyant as Superman on a nighttime flight around Metropolis, this humdrum escapade nonetheless lacks any sign of an extraordinary imagination. An example of bland mix-and-match derivativeness, the film's espousals of egalitarianism not only promote the values of tolerance and cross-cultural harmony, but also wind up functioning as a preemptive validation for its own mild, middle-of-the-pack mundaneness.

Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) is the son of the world's greatest heroes, super-strong Captain Stronghold (Kurt Russell) and high-flying Josie Jetstream (Kelly Preston). However, despite his impressive lineage, Will's lack of astonishing abilities poses complications on his first day at Sky High, a Hogwarts-esque floating academy for exceptionally gifted teens. Because of his embarrassing ordinariness, Will is shuttled into the "Sidekick" academic track (euphemistically referred to as "Hero Support") with his hippie best friend Layla (Danielle Panabaker) and other lamely powered misfits. Sidekicks are unpopular geeks and Heroes are the cool kids at this fantastic high school, which also features a cheerleading squad made up of clones, a mixed-lineage (hero and villain) rebel as Will's brooding arch-nemesis, and bullies acting as evil henchmen for a mysterious fiend who's plotting revenge against the Stronghold clan. This passing interest in metaphorical subtext proves tantalizing during Will's admission to his dad that he's a sidekick (a moment that recalls X-Men 2's "coming out" scene), as well as with the repeated adult refrain that Will is just a "late bloomer" (thus linking his nascent strengths with puberty). Yet content to only skim the surface of its symbolic potential, the film doggedly opts for obviousness when subtlety is called for, ultimately turning its story into simply the latest misfit-makes-good-and-proves-that-dorks-are-people-too adolescent fairy tale.

Continue reading: Sky High Review

Kids in the Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses Review


OK
I'm an old Kids in the Hall fan from way back, but this collection of behind-the-scenes vignettes from the comedy troupe's 1999-2000 live tour is hit-and-miss, which is pretty much the same thing I thought about their 1996 non-documentary movie Brian Candy.

Some of the on-stage moments are priceless (during "Jesus 2000": "So what if my ass gets itchy and I'm too busy to worship!?") as are some of the off-stage bits (Scott Thompson's attempt to get his Sony Aibo to go to sleep "because he has this responsibility"). But are you interested in the street preachers or singing beggars outside the show? Are you interested in five minutes about why their equipment is delayed at one show? Do you care whether the guys decide to take a bus from city to city instead of a plane? They sure do talk about it for a long time...

Continue reading: Kids in the Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses Review

Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy Review


OK
Well, what have we here? Let me say first-off that I'm a huge Kids in the Hall fan. This review is necessarily going to be tainted by the fact that I've probably seen 300 hours of Kids in the Hall on TV...and by my impression going into the film that, hey, another 1 1/2 hours wouldn't kill me.

If you aren't familiar with the comedy troupe, the Kids are five guys (Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson, and Dave Foley) who have appeared in 110 episodes of some of the funniest sketch comedy television has offered up in recent years. After ending the series in July 1994, talk of a movie immediately began. Two years later, the end result is here.

Continue reading: Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy Review

Kevin Mcdonald

Kevin Mcdonald Quick Links

News Film RSS