KEX'S AMAZING WORLD
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Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only an error to be exposed. -- H.L. Menken

The Rating System

Kex Liked It:
It Sucked:
It Really Sucked:
It Sucked as bad as Eyes Wide Shut:

It Sucked badly enough to bring the world to the brink of apocalypse:

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Titanic

This Week: Classic Review: Titanic:

I am going to begin this week with a mea culpa. Never let it be said that Kex is unable to admit when he has made a mistake. In one of my email accounts, I received a correspondance from someone with whom I exchanged sharp words last summer over the film Scary Movie. This individual took umbrage over my comments about the film, and we previously discussed some of them at length.

Well, it seems that said individual has noted that one of the off topic subjects I commented on during the course of that review was a slap at people who take babies to see movies. At the time I noted that babies do not like attending them. It was sharply pointed out to me that in recent reviews, I myself have been going against my own admonitions, and taking a baby to the cinema.

Indeed I have, and I have made two discoveries: The first is that on the whole, babies really do like going to movies. Indeed, there is nothing quite so delightful as to see the eyes of an infant light up at the magic on the screen, and the joy of a baby's laughter at particularly amusing moments during the development of the story. No experience of raising a young child could be complete without sharing those special moments. So at this point, I say to all the parents out there, yes, take those babes-in-arms to the movies. You'll both love it: With a qualifier.

You see, babies have discerning tastes, particularly if they are of above average intelligence as the resident infant unquestionably is. Consequently, you can get into some problems if you take babies to see garbage like Scary Movie. That is when the problems arise, and at that point, you better be ready to deal with infantile trauma. In fact, movies that awful could send serious shock waves though anyone with an I.Q. over 30. So the problem here isn't limited to the under 3 crowd. Don't look for a review of the sequel due out next summer here at K.A.W. I'll fall for paying to see a piece of shit like that only once.

On to this week's classic review, and I took a large chunk out of my life to witness Titanic. The first really obvious question about this movie is why so many people flocked to see a film with an ending everyone already knew was coming. Its not like you could walk into this film the same way you strolled into Revenge Of The Jedi for the 5th time and yell, "Hey, Darth is Luke's Dad!" and get a satisfyingly annoyed reaction from the crowd. No, you could walk into this movie and yell at the top of your lungs, "Hey all you morons! The damned boat sinks!" and maybe some little old lady would bother to say, " Yeah, Jesse, we know. Sit down!" What fun is there in that?

The second really tough question associated with this movie is why it won so many Oscars, and I finally figured that out. I'll get to that in a little while, but suffice it to say that it had nothing to do with the fact that this was a particularly good movie. In fact, it was one in a line of films that have won Best Picture the last few years that were basically stinkers.

The story here is that a street urchin, played by Leo DiCaprio wins passage to America aboard the Titanic. Once on board, he meets a rich girl, portrayed by Kate Winslett who is engaged to an annoying bore. I'm trying to remember a movie romance in the entire history of cinema in which a rich girl falls for a poor boy when she isn't already engaged to an obnoxious creep. I guess the prototypes in Hollywood are overabundant however, and script writers work from experience: Not that they know jack about poor people, though.

Leo and Kate spend a lot of time pursing a gooey romance while the rich people look down their noses at Leo and try to convince Kate to stick with her annoying intended. It sounded like pretty good advice to me, but then again, I didn't like Leo either, so it just seemed like a slim lesser of two evils.
> Actually the way that Leo and Kate meet is that Leo saves Kate when she falls overboard. This movie could have been a lot shorter if the ship had just collided with Kate instead of an iceberg at that point, since she almost certainly could have sunk it, but that isn't what happened. Somehow Leo pulled her back aboard without benefit of a wench. I sort of think that the tidal wave when she fell in circled the planet for most of 7 decades before it eventually capsized the Poseidon.

After a couple of hours of watching Leo and Kate say and do trite things, I excused myself from the viewing and spent a funfilled hour grouting the bathtub. Then I went back and Kate and Leo were still saying and doing trite things. So I changed a few lightbulbs, took out the trash, did the dishes, 10 loads of laundry, shampooed the carpet, changed the cat litter box, and repainted the kitchen. When I returned, Kate and Leo were still saying and doing trite things. At that point, I read War and Peace again. This time on returning, the ship finally hit and iceberg, and started sinking. Meanwhile, Kate and Leo were doing, well you guessed it. Damn, it took a long time for that freaking boat to sink.

Eventually the ship slips below the slimy sea (say that 10 times) and Leo bobs in the icy water while Kate floats on the debris. Finally, this film became worth watching. I know now why it won best picture and so many other awards: We actually get to watch Leo die a slow, painful lingering death in revenge for the fact that we have nearly experienced our own after watching his acting for 6 hours. I mean, it is rewarding watching Leo suffer anyway, but this is really worth the painful odyssey. I guess it also explains why so many people suffered through this tedious blabfest: We get to see Leo die, and really suffer. Give the people what they want, and they will turn out.

Now I think I better make a confession. Actually I am compelled to. I didn't really do all those chores while this movie was playing. Actually, I spent some time studying my eyelids from the backside. But if there are any ladies out there who want to get their men to do a few honeydos, I might suggest renting Titanic. I'm guessing the approach will be successful.


Last Week: The Mothman Prophecies:

Apparently its not bad enough that Hollywood has to kick our ass on a regular basis these days serving us up with barely tolerable movies. Now they have to jerk our cranks by feeding us lines of bullshit that almost makes watching Regis Philbin tolerable. The Mothman Prophecies is being marketed to the unsuspecting audience as being "based on true events." Here is the extent to which the events have a measure of factual basis:

* There really is a state called "West Virginia," although most Americans avoid acknowledging the fact like stink wafts through a monkey house.

* There really is a city, or township if you will in West Virginia known as "Point Pleasant."

* In 1966, there was a tragic collapse involving a bridge that crossed the Ohio River in Point Pleasant.

With the factual nature of those points established, I can now briefly summarize points where this movie flat out mislead the audience. I guess the folks that made this travesty are relying on the deeply felt hope that not too many people who are dull enough to fork over cash to see this film will do something as complicated as running a search or two on their home computers:

* The bridge collapse in question, which had a perfectly logical explanation, occurred in 1966. If you watch this film without doing research in its aftermath, you'll probably convince yourself that this terrible tragedy occured about a year ago.

*The plane crash outside of Denver, which is one of the "Mothman's" significant prophecies that apparently came true, according to the plotline, never actually occured, ever.

* The Equadoran earthquake, prophecied in the film that supposedly claimed 300 lives, never occured.

* The 1969 Dallas tornado which was mentioned did occur, but, of course, 3 years after the Point Pleasant bridge collapse, which by all appearances is set within the last couple of years.

So, Loch Ness has its monster, the Pacific Northwest has its Sasquatch, New Jersey has its devil, Arkansas has a giant chicken, Tibet has the Yeti, Florida has its skunk ape and Salt Lake City has a stench that could bring down an elephant (That one is true). So what can the folks in West Virginia come up with to spook the tourists, and scare their children into staying in bed at night? Any itty bitty wuddle moth. I guess in a state that is inbred to the point where appearing on the Jerry Springer show is considered a fashionable avenue of social interaction, a nasty little bug can become Rodan. Hey like the rest of the country needed another reason to snicker at West By God Virginia.

John Klein (Richard Gere) and his wife Mary (Debra Messing) have just completed a successful house hunting mission. But while driving home, Mary mysteriously loses control of the car when she thinks she sees something hit the windshield. Her injuries land her in the hospital, where its learned she has a fatal form of cancer. Since people with brain tumors never have hallucinations or hear voices, John, a Washington Post reporter, suspects something is amiss.

Two years after she dies, he is driving from D.C. to Richmond to interview Virginia's govenor, a presidential prospect. But he mysteriously ends up near Point Pleasant, West Virginia when his car fails. He knocks on the door of the nearest farmhouse, where he is met at gunpoint by Gordon (Will Patton). Gordon claims he has been there 3 consecutive nights.

Gordon's wife calls the police, and Sgt Connie Parker (Laura Linney) responds. She recognizes John from TV appearances and begins discussing strange events that have been going on around Point Pleasant. Soon after, John begins receiving strange phone calls, and learns the legend of the mysterious "Mothman," who apparently makes an appearance in various places around the world just before a catastrophe is going to occur.

The remainder of the film is a combination of psychological thriller and horror story. The twist is that this may be the first horror genre film in history in which the title entity never puts in an appearance. The film has a few fun scares, and should at least be credited with avoiding the type of cheap slash and gore effects that define the genre these days. Hollywood has driven that strategy so far into the ground it could strike oil.

I'm unfortunately certain that I'll see many worse films in the coming year. As "brains in the parking lot" entertainment, The Mothman Prophecies is passable, even tolerable. I just wish the people who made it would have been a little more honest with the audience, and careful about packaging this as some sort of true story. This film is about as intellectually honest and credible as Republican sincerity.


Last Week: Kangaroo Jack:

We will start this week with a personal message: Janet, if you are reading this, I liked the kangaroo. Colin did a great job animating him. The kangaroo was fun to watch. I'm glad too, because if the kangaroo hadn't been so much fun, well, maybe you don't want to read any more of this review. But Colin did well.

Now, for the rest of you, I'll continue. All I can say is that its a good thing Australia doesn't have nuclear weapons. If they did, The United States would be a smoking cinder pot right now. I'm not sure how you could insult a country any worse than setting a movie like this in it. We shouldn't be kicking the Aussies around either. Its not like we have a lot of good friends out there these days.

Kangaroo Jack was directed by Jerry Bruckheimer, whose last major directorial effort was Blackhawk Down. That movie was painful enough to watch, and I'm not sure why Bruckheimer hates the movie going public so much that he inflicted this upon us collectively. Maybe he is just trying to get even with the author and readers of this page because I referred to BHD as a "cinematic turd."

I still think it is. But if that is an apt description, the capability to create an apt simile for this movie is beyond my capability to create. Our cat couldn't hack up something less appealing. I spent most of this film wondering who Christopher Walken's agent is. If its not bad enough that the man occassionally gets saddled with really crappy roles, like the one he had in this film, isn't it wild insult upon injury that he had little more than a bit part anyway?

Clearly Walken didn't read the script before he agreed to appear in the film. And maybe he figured that the 10 lines would be easy to memorize, and it would be an easy payday. But hell, why does he NEED a payday this badly? Is the man about a century behind on his alimony payments? Does somebody have some really embarassing pictures of him somewhere? Enquiring minds want to know.

I have less sympathy for Jerry O'Connell who portrays the film's main character, Charlie. Its become wildly obvious that he wouldn't know a good role if it kicked him in the ass. The man has appeared in so many bad movies that if Ed Wood were still alive, O'Connell would have to audition to get a part as an extra in one of his films.

The part of Charlie's sidekick, Louis is fumbled by Anthony Anderson. I'm sure he has a bright future in front of him. But clearly, it is in a field other than acting. One of the key plot points of this movie revolves around the fact that Louis and Charlie's friendship began when Louis saved Charlie from drowning 20 years ago. Five minutes into the movie, I was already incapable of forgiving Louis for it.

The plot(?!) of this movie centers on the fact that Charlie's mother is married to a mobster (Walken). Charlie owns a beauty salon which his father purchased for him, and more or less controls. However, Louis is constantly getting Charlie into trouble, and his exploits eventually comprise Charlie's father's interests.

Charlie's father sends the duo to Australia, austensibly to deliver some money to one of his business contacts. But enroute to deliver the money, Charlie and Louis run over a kangaroo. Louis wants pictures with the kangaroo, which they presume to be dead, and dresses it in his coat for the photos. But it turns out that the roo is alive and well, and hops off with Louis' coat. The money is in the pocket.

The movie degenerates into a series of lame chases, as our heros attempt to recover the money from the kangaroo, and two groups of bad guys attempt to hunt down Louis and Charlie. They could have saved all of us a lot of grief if they had hunted down the people who made this movie instead.
A lot of the movie plays like one of those old Warner Bros. cartoons where Sylvester the Cat is tortured by a baby kangaroo he presumes to be a giant mouse. Unfortunately, its a lot less humorous. If you find camel flatulence wildly amusing, you might get a laugh or two out of the proceedings, but there isn't much else to keep you going here. Its supposed to be a children's movie, but I doubt even the youngsters are going to enjoy it much.

On the other hand, I liked the kangaroo.


Last Week: Lost in Translation:

This movie stands as an absolute monument to the crisis of runaway nepotism in Hollywood. After viewing two of Sofia Coppola's directoral efforts in the years I have been doing these reviews, it has become absolutely clear that the woman has no filmmaking talent whatsoever. If she hadn't hit the jackpot in the great sperm lottery, and her dad's name had been, say, Larry Jones, instead of Francis Ford Coppolla, she'd have to go out and get a real job. She wouldn't be able to get a job selling tickets to movies, let alone directing them.

How she managed to pimp a Best Director nomination for this rat trap of a movie is utterly inexplicable. Family influence has to figure in somewhere, or maybe the other 800 people who directed movies had better things to do February 29th than show up at the Oscar presentations. Or maybe the people who nominated her for Lost in Translation just wandered into the wrong theater by mistake.

Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is a washed up American movie star who has been invited to Japan to make a whiskey commercial, and earn a paycheck of a couple of million bucks. He has a wife and kids back home, but after 25 years his marriage has become boring, and he doesn't seem to be able to get interested in much of anything in life.

Meanwhile, staying in the same ritzy Japanese motel are Charlotte (Scarlett Johanson) and her husband John. Charlotte is a young woman who recently graduated from college, but can't seem to figure out what to do with her life. Its apparent that she doesn't have to do much of anything if she doesn't want to, because her hubby is pulling down a good living as a photographer to the rich and famous.

So here Charlotte finds herself in one of the most beautiful and exotic cities in the world, Tokyo, and she can't find anything better to do with her time than sit around in the window of the motel room in her underwear and feel sorry for herself. She is bored with her husband, bored with her life, and utterly incapable of figuring out any way to put her new sheepskin from Yale to use.

When her husband has to go to another city on assignment and leave her behind, her intense boredom increases...ours is already nearly maxing out. Then, she meets Harris, and they start spending their evenings together in a series of cookie cutter Tokyo nightclubs where the primary focus of entertainment is either karoyke or topless dancers. That of course really makes the movie a great more bearable to sit through.

During their first evening of thrilling barhopping, Charlotte falls asleep in the cab and has an apparent fantasy dream about...drum roll please....barhopping in tacky, cookie cutter nightclubs with Harris. The only way that this dream sequence could be distinguished from the rest of the movie was that Charlotte's hair length, color and style mysteriously changed during the evening with no explantion. I only figured out that the whole thing was a dream when she woke up in the cab next to Bob.

Even their newfound friendship doesn't really help matters much. All it does is give them an opportunity to have companionship in their boredom. I had the opportunity to start wishing I had chosen a different movie. The film dragged on with more barhopping, very little dialog and a few closeups of Murray that do little more than remind us that the guy must be pushing 60 by now. That reminds us, by association, that its not the 70's anymore and we of the baby boom era have aged a few years too.

Coppola spared us any scenes of Charlotte and Bob actually making love. The image of a naked Bill Murray probably would have caused me to hork up all the movie popcorn I've consumed in the last 2 years. On the other hand, it would have at least provided a change from the endless tour of Toyko karoke clubs.

At least I figured out why the film was titled Lost in Translation. It was. The story, character development, everything was lost in translation; and boredom. There was sort of a moral to the story though. I guess Coppolla was trying to remind the great unwashed that the rich are just the same as they are. They often lead bored, desperate lives too. They just get to do it in $500-a-night motels in Tokyo instead of Motel 6 in Shreveport.


Last Week: Hitch:

Among the most frightening moments a human being can encounter in a lifetime, count sitting in a crowded theater with a group of people who are laughing heartily at previews of Deuce Bigelow 2. That kind of thing can convince you that apocalypse is no more than seconds away. At least it explains how people like Gilbert Godfried can get rich and famous in America.

Hitch starts off with an interesting enough premise. Alex Hitchens (Will Smith) is a legendary male date doctor in New York City, who can teach any man how to win the heart of any woman. But he keeps his identity a closely guarded secret, because he wants to protect his male clients, I guess. By all we are able to gather, Hitch has never failed one of his clients in their pursuit.

Hitch finds himself facing the challenge of training an overweight, socially inept financial advisor to help him fall in love with a beautiful runway model. Suddenly, we realize that this movie really should have been entitled Mission Impossible, because things like that never actually happen in real life, even with the aid of a "dating doctor" of astonishing capability like Hitch.

The model in question is Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta) who was presumably concieved on a night after her father found the silver bullet to enjoying marital relations with her frigid mother. Allegra is kind of a Paris Hilton type. Not only is she apparently a filthy rich heiress, but somehow or another, she continues to attract a large income, but nobody can really figure out how.

Astonishingly enough, none of the advice Hitch gives to loser client actually works in this case, because Amber falls for him inspite of his complete lack of charm, looks, social grace, wealth or dignity. In the real world, guys like that are never seen in public much anymore, since they wile away most of their free time cruising the internet for porn. And who says technology hasn't made the world a better place to live.

If this movie had followed its initial leanings, and simply followed Hitch around exploring his career achievements and insights into the female psyche, it might have been at least a marginally interesting and entertaining way to spend and hour and a half. Unfortunately, the film failed on two counts.

First, the most interesting aspect of the film became an ineffective subplot. Second, it plodded along for a mind-numbing two hours, which was easily thirty minutes longer than any plot contrivance could have carried it.

While cruising bars one evening, Hitch spots and interesting lady whose name is Sara (Eve Mendes). It seems that while Hitch is an expert on helping other men find love, his life is devoted to hanging out in pickup bars and looking for shallow, one-night encounters. In other words, he is everything in a man that he claims to despise during the course of the story.

Sara is a stick-up-the-ass gossip columnist who doesn't believe that she will ever meet a guy she can love, so naturally, we have the setup for the most overused plotline in Hollywood comedy: Man and woman who have no business falling in love meet, fall in love, have a mother of a blowout three quarters of the way into the movie, then get back together after one of them chases the other down and makes a gross heartfelt speech. They get back together and all ends happily.

It rather seems that Hollywood is no longer capable of making a romantic comedy that doesn't follow this basic plotline. Further, every single one of them has to be filmed in New York City these days, providing a lot of opportunites for helicopter shots of the magnificent New York City skyline. I guess that is supposed to fill the audience with a sense of awe and romantic atmosphere. It mostly makes me think of muggings and cab drivers who smell bad and don't speak English. That isn't the most romantic setting I can personally envision.

I suppose that in one form or another, pretty much every variation on the romantic comedy plotline has been explored. That being the case, maybe filmmakers out there could at least try changing the setting. If we want to get interested in two characters, and their real life struggles to make a relationship work, they ought to at least try to convey some real sense of pain. Maybe they should start filming in Gary, Indiana.


Previously: CSA: Confederate States of America:

The "mockumentary" is an interesting forum for the presentatation of ideas and making points that might be difficult to get across in a straight story telling format. But an enormous burden is imposed. In order for the premise to be effective in total, the overall presentation must not only be plausible, but the details presented in support need to be well researched and accurate as well.

Ken Willmot's mocumentary CSA fails markedly on the point of plausibility, and to a lesser degree on internal accuracy. The film is a mocumentary, aping PBS style, presenting a British produced history of the Confederate States of America, based on the alternate history of an America where the south had won the Civil War.

That isn't wildly unlikely. If things had gone only slightly differently during the early days of July, 1863 at Gettysburgh, Pennsylvania, Robert E. Lee and his forces would have had an unobstracted path to Washington, D.C. or any northern city of his choice, and Lincoln and the Union army would have been forced to sue for peace.

What would not have happened was a complete victory for the confederacy, where the Union would have remained intact. What is now the USA would have become two distinct nations. Willmot doesn't really seem to grasp that reality, nor is some of his other research particularly good. For example, its unlikely that U.S. Grant would have ever taken command of Union forces, nor is it likely that Abraham Lincoln would have survived into the 20th century in bitter exile in Canada. There is significant medical evidence that Lincoln was suffering from Marfan Syndrome, or possibly spinocerebellar ataxia and possibly had no more than a few months to live even if John Wilkes Boothe had never inserted himself infamously into U.S. history.

Still, this film did get me to thinking about what modern America would be like, had Willmot's alternate history come to pass. Some of the following ideas were suggested by the film, while others are my own speculation:

*For many dubiously educated American males (and some females) the flag of the Confederacy would become a symbol of pride, to be flown over state capitols, adorned with great pride on clothing and flown above or on the walls of every double wide in the country. That it is an offensive symbol of hatred and oppression would be of no consequence.

*Americans would gather by the tens of thousands on weekends, while millions of others sat glued to their televisions, to watch a bunch of red-necked, tobacco chewing good ole boys drive overpowered automobiles around oval tracks. While great allocades would be heaped upon the winners, the prime fascination with the spectacle would be the hope of witnessing flaming destruction.

*The sport of football would be almost an equal national obsession, and capable young men from junior high age upward would be encouraged to excel at the sport, with exploits on the "gridiron" valued far above achievement in the classroom.

*Hundreds of billions of dollars would annually be blown to protect Americans against international terrorism, which isn't really all that big of a threat. Meanwhile, the tobacco industry, which is directly responsible for the deaths of 150,000 Americans annually, would enjoy enormous government subsidies.

*Racism would plague America. Radical right wing, racist organizations like the KKK, John Birch Society and even the American Nazi Party would enjoy large and vocal memberships. Meanwhile, systematic mistreatment of minorities would be institutional.

*Racist symbols would be the face of familiar household products, or example, rice and pancake syrup.

*Huge segments of the population would be scientifically illiterate Bible thumpers, who would tirelessly lobby to inject their particular spiritual views into science classrooms.

*Since it is given that in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, our president would be some illiterate, ignorant moron who lies to the American people virtually every time he opens his mouth.

*Even the Vice-President would be some wreckless, mean spirited, gun loving rancher with no regard for anything that doesn't promote his personal interests and repugnant agenda.

Ruh roh.....


Last Week: Surf's UP:

Astonishingly enough, this is the second movie about surfing I've done in the years I've been doing these reviews. There are only about a thousand people on the planet that know jack crap about surfing. The rest of us don't give a crap, which is why they don't make a lot of movies about it. Actually going to see a movie about surfing requires a major surrender to banality.

Penguins are a hot Hollywood commidity these days. They were the subject of an Oscar winning documentary and an Oscar winning animated feature over the last two years. So I guess if you want to make a movie about surfing that would otherwise have an audience of about six people who could actually afford to see it, the temptation would be strong to skip a live action treatment and go with the hottest animated property going. Animated features have a built in audience even if they are about something as boring as, say, cooking.

Oh, wait! THAT animated feature opens next week. A movie about a cooking rat. At first blush, that might not seem like the strongest film idea I have ever heard, but check back the week after next for the review. Amazing. That will mean that I have reviewed as many movies about rats as about surfing. Strange world.

From this movie, I learned that penguins invented surfing. For all I know, that is true. As established, I don't know a lot about surfing or surfers. What I do know hasn't inspired me to want to learn more. Do you guys know the difference between penguins and surfers? One of them is a creature of limited intelligence that tends to be clumsy, smells rather bad and spends a lot of its life in the water. The other one is a bird that can't fly.

Shia LaBeouf (who really needs to change his name to John Smith) does the voice for the main character, Cody Maverick. Evidently penguins have more standard names for themselves than people do wherever Labeouf's parents came from. He was born in L.A. and probably had a bummer of a time back in his school days with a name like that. I hope it isn't a stage name. It's not the sort of thing people are going to remember.

Cody's hero is surfing champion Big Z, who apparently died in a championship surfing event some years earlier. But as a young chick (?) Cody had the opportunity to meet Big Z, and dreamed of being a surfer from that time on. So when he gets the chance to compete in a championship event himself, he leaps at it and heads off the the tropics.

Once there, he has an immediate run in with the current champion, Tank Evans (voiced by Dietrich Bader). After suffering a serious wipe-out in a one on one event against Tank, Cody his saved by Big Z's cute female penguin niece Lani (Zooey Deschanel). Geez, the people who had to do the credits for this film probably went home with a headache every night.

Lani takes Cody to a penguin doctor named Geek, who turns out to be Big Z. Evidently he faked his own death during the ill-fated previous competition when he realized that he was going to lose to tank. Unable to face his fans in defeat, Big Z pretended to lose his life, and has remained in hiding in the jungle ever since. That would seem a rather hellish existance for a penguin, but I guess penguin surfers are as strange as human surfers.

Naturally, Big Z/Geek teaches Cody all sorts of valuable life lessons, as well as surfing techniques that help him gain a measure of revenge against Tank. But the real moral of the story involves values of friendship and fair play that make it a safe family flick. The film does contain some scatalogical humor, but on the whole is considerably more tame than a lot of the recent animated fare.

The surfing theme may frighten off some movie goers, but this is a pretty harmless film overall. There is some great animation and cute characters worth seeing. There isn't anything particularly new here, but in a summer that isn't offering much in the way of originality, it has more going for it that most of what we are going to see. It's definitely worth escaping the heat for 90 minutes to take a look.







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