Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader

Another day of planned movie watching was foiled by my inability to remember to bring my movies to my movie watching location. So I had to improvise, yet again, and yet again, I went for one that I could find that was super weird.

So hey. Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader. Ah, clearly that is a throwback to one of the more famous original Sci-Fi B-Movie Drive-In Theater of all time: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. This is just a more specific version of a woman, with a completely different plot, and probably a few elements that would have never made it on film in the 1950s.

Like boobies.

Gulliver
However, both may have had obvious references to Gulliver’s Travels. Who knows.

Cassie Stratford (Jena Sims) is “ugly” and a boring nerd in college. Sure, she somehow has a job as a researcher that has helped develop a new chemical that can increase the strength and attributes of an object. Kind of also restoring its use. Pretty vague. Going to be used to make plastic surgery stay good longer.

But Cassie is “ugly” and going for a sorority that her mother was in and is trying to be a cheerleader. That is the only way her mom will pay for college (because he job doesn’t and presumed smarts don’t help with that). Things are obviously going badly, so of course Cassie puts some of that formula into her blood stream. Next day, she is sexy, confident, and athletic. Now she is able to impress most of the sorority and cheer squad! Well, not the head person of course. Brittany Andrews (Olivia Alexander) is totes jelly and angry about it all. She loses her popularity, especially when Cassie grows taller making her seem a hulking amazon woman.

Yep, looks like the drugs have some adverse side effects. In fact, Cassie might grow so big the government has to get involved. Oh no, not the government!

Thankfully she has her nerdy yet hunky coworker Kyle (Ryan Merriman) looking out for her to fix things. And her super down to earth roommate Jett (Sasha Jackson) for some form of support!

Bitch Slap
Spoilers: This movie does end with a giant woman cat fight.

I’ve done these strange college sex comedies films before. Most recently it was The Coed and the Zombie Stoner, which was a surprisingly entertaining film for the genre, with an original plot line, some acting, some funny jokes, and more. This is a completely different type of movie. It is one of those movies trying too hard to be a B movie and instead just making a boring piece of movie.

Unlike others in the genre, it isn’t really ever funny. They go for some shocking scenes and sudden naked moments to get their laughs, but all of it just feels forced and yawn inducing.

And it also features some terrible CGI just to remind you that they are going for B Film status. It was even made by Roger Corman, the asshole who makes all of these terrible movies for Sy Fy. It is his first 3D movie too. I didn’t watch it in 3D, but it was made obvious by some incredibly awkward scenes and camera placements that they wanted the items to jump out of you.

The entire thing ends up being an unfunny, unoriginal waste of time that fails to live up to its genre.

1 out of 4.

42

First off, I am a bit disappointed. The movie 42 doesn’t get me any closer to figuring out the question of life, the universe, and everything.

Unless that question is baseball related. That’s right, 42 isn’t about The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, but instead baseball, go figure. Not just any baseball story, like the forgettable Trouble With The Curve. This is baseball history! The story of Jackie Robinson, the first black MLB player. Well, technically the first black MLB player in modern, post World War II baseball. After all, Moses Fleetwood Walker played in the MLB for a season in 1884. But after that, sixty years is a pretty long time, with “Negro Leagues” put in place, so Jackie Robinson still turned heads in his debut.

Mirror
Despite the turned heads, he still didn’t help us answer that dang question…
42 doesn’t focus on Jackie Robinson’s (Chadwick Boseman) entire life, but instead about 2.5 years of it. But before we get to Jackie, we first get to learn about Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers. If we listen to his reasoning at the beginning, he wants to try something crazy. That’s right, a black man on the Dodgers! Why not, that should increase ticket sales, and he will also do whatever he can to get his team a pennant.

So he picks Jackie from the pile, gets him on their minor league team, and hopes he can kick enough ass to make it on the MLB team, while holding back his anger enough to not let the rampant racism get to him.

This is a true story, we all know he makes it to the team after a year in the minors, and the rest, really is history. We also see a little bit into his relationship with his wife (Nicole Beharie), and I do just mean a little bit. There are other members of his team who all embrace in him different ways, some with petitions (Ryan Merriman), some with open arms (Lucas Black). Some managers didn’t give a shit (Christopher Meloni), and some made it their mission to make his life a living hell (The Phillies) (Alan Tudyk). But that is to be expected from a Philadelphia based team I guess.

This also has the smaller, yet still important, story of Wendell Smith (Andre Holland). He was the the first black member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, but first had to travel with the teams for two years, writing articles about Jackie and his struggles. That means Jackie Robinson was influential on more than just the baseball level, he just chose to end racism through beating the other team’s pitchers and stealing bases.

Oh there is also a John C. McGinley cameo as the radio announcer, dropping classic line after classic line of old timey talk.

Gang up
Jackie probably thinks I am talking far too much about white people in this review.
Speaking of white people, I guess Branch Rickey was pretty dang important to this story, but no one really talks about him in popular culture. The filmmaker makes sure you know how much of this all falls on his shoulders, and how it would not have happened (so soon) without him. Yep, this just ends up being another civil rights movie where white people are the saviors. Just like The Help and The Secret Life Of Bees. This literally keeps happening in film, and it is kind of annoying.

Even though in this example it might be true, it is still frustrating to see that it is focused on so heavily just to sell more tickets.

I loved Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson. I am glad they went with a relatively unknown actor for the role, because that was one of my bigger problems with the movie Ali.

Overall, 42 is a feel good inspirational movie and it succeeds at that level. There is some intense emotion in here, but it still ends with everyone smiling by the end. It could have dealt with a lot more of his life, but hey, after his first year, he wasn’t the only guy able to make the switch. He was a great athlete, and this is an acceptable (if not entirely accurate) portrayal of his life. I personally still left the theater happy, despite any real issues.

 

3 out of 4.

The 5th Quarter

The 5th Quarter had a weird effect on me. I knew the basic story: guy dies, older brother of guy changes number, and also Wake Forest wins a lot of games, despite not being good on paper.

Alright, so cliche’d sports movie. Right? Wrong. Because this is horribly done.

5th quarter hands
It also apparently popularized something similar to the Nazi salute.

So yeah, Luke (Stefan Guy) is a high school kid. On the football team. From a pretty tight family. Kisses and acknowledgement of love at every greeting/goodbye. But his ride home is in question, and instead of calling his mom, he accepts a ride from a fellow high schooler. OH THE HUMANITY. Because that guy goes off road, and puts Luke in the hospital. Severe brain damage.

Eventually his brother Jon (Ryan Merriman) gets all mopey, and eventually rejoins the wake forest football team. Changes number to 5. And like I said, Wake Forest wins a lot. They call the 4th Quarter now the 5th Quarter for more inspiration I guess, to give them an end of the game edge. The parents constantly hold their hands up, to represent the five. Andie MacDowell and Aidan Quinn do a good job of staying sad the whole damn movie. Then they lose at the Orange Bowl. But hey, at least they made it?

5th Quarter
But is Mr. “I’m Playing For Two!” happy?

So here is what bugged me about the movie. The first 35 minutes. It took awhile for the accident to happen, a while for the hospital stuff to happen, and a long time for pre football to happen. Most of it was in montage form. Video of people being sad with music playing over it. Also a long extra story about the dangers of teenage reckless driving, and organ donation.

Then another montage, of the brother training. Why does he need a trainer? I dont know, because as far as I can tell he was always on the football team. BUt for some reason he needs more training, and thus more images and music.

Then football happens. Most if not all of the scenes of the football games are actual footage. The only thing they did is showed the parents in the audience, doing that hand shit over and over. Also some made scenes to include Jons character talking with others. Eventually everyone does the hand thing.

But do I care? No. The movie makes it hard to care. They seem to be trying to do something just to make you sad, without substance. The amount of times in the movie where very little talking occurs and just a background song going on, I’d need to raise two hands.

They took a familiar story, and pretty much trashed it to try and make it a dedication to Luke instead of an actual good story. The people should be punished for making a poor movie of an actual good story. Captain Hindsight tells me that they should have done a documentary movie instead. I mean, this was in 2006. Can have the actual people talk about the experiences, talking about Luke, and a nice dramatic voice guy going over the game /win highlights.

But nope. Instead some filth. Filth I tell you!

0 out of 4.