Sunday, 25 January 2015

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 61 Snowboard Academy

IMDb Bottom 100 Review – Number 61 Snowboard Academy

88 minutes of some of the most unfunny shit ever captured on celluloid, unimpressive snowboard and skiing montages, and a plot so thin Cosmopolitan is looking to hire it as their next cover model. That's what we're dealing with in tonight's review. Add on top of that Jim Varney, a face familiar to the B100 list, and newcomers Brigitte Nielsen and Corey Haim, and we've got a movie cocktail so potent, the odors alone will give you a hangover. I can delay the inevitable no longer. It's time to take a not so critical look at...

Just look at this cooky bastard. That hairdo was genuine I'm sure. 

This seems to be the epitome of Sunday morning still in the clutches of a massive boozer don't want to get up from the couch movie. Perhaps only surpassed by 3 Ninjas. One of the movies that cost a network about $3.50 to purchase the rights to, and subsequently show in every available time slot. It's unspeakably boring and stupid, making it perfect for showings ad nauseam. For me, one showing was sufficient to throw up a bit in my mouth. Is the movie really that bad? Perhaps not. But I think I threw up more out of boredom than anything else. It's Jim Varney for pete's sake! How the hell has he ever been OK to put in films? Granted, his Slinky the Dog turn in 2 of the 3 Toy Stories wasn't bad. But let's be honest here, folks, it didn't really demand much of him in terms of acting talent. So he's pretty much batting a career average of 0. He seems to model his antics after Popeye, with a constant stream of mumblings and musings, that other people are oblivious to. He just needs to stoop when walking, and it'd be a perfect match. Well except that for Popeye in the 40s it was hilarious. For Varney in the 2000s... not so much.

This lady is entirely too happy to be involved in this project. She probably thought it was a commercial for laxatives. 

Snowboard Academy is basically a depiction of a battle of slope supremacy older than time itself: Skiing versus Snowboarding – which one is fucking better than the other? It's an existential discussion I've had myself many a time over the years. I never reached a conclusion until tonight. Varney showed me the path of infinite illumination. However, the conclusion was inconclussive. Does that make sense? Not really. I guess the subject matter is too complicated to cover in this review. Instead, let's dwell upon the action that unfolds before our very eyes when Varney, Nielsen and Haim do, what Varney, Nielsen and Haim do worst. Haim is a snowboarder at some resort. His dad owns the resort, and his older brother is a skiier. They fight over what's best. They are adopted. Nielsen is married to their dad, and is Russian. Obviously. Things are slow at the resort, and the insurance dude is on his way to see if they want to keep insuring the resort, or if things are too fucked up for them to justify covering anything. Of course Nielsen sees this as the perfect opportunity to wrest the resort from her husband before divorcing his ass. She plays the classic blame game, effectively framing the older douchey brother for explosions and other mishaps, because he's already an asshole and him and his brother are dueling on the slopes.

I don't even know what the hell is going on with this costume. As if he didn't look ridiculous enough already, this had to happen. 

That's quite a predicament, you might be thinking. Yes. It is. But alas, it's not too big a predicament for Jim Varney, a travelling minstrel. Actually he's an entertainer hired to, amazingly enough, entertain in the bar at night. However, on top of that he is also going to be security expert for the entire resort. AND make announcement. The 5 minutes of screen time his 'interview' takes shows me he is clearly not suited for that. It also tells me he is easily in the running for least funny guy ever. But all this is of course disregarded. Because if your resort is about to undergo major insurance checks, you want some fucknugget trippind over wires and setting fire to himself. So he is hired. If the dad wanted to hire somebody who actually knew what they were doing, that somebody probably wouldn't want to be hired after all. Everything in the movie unfolds with tedious inevitability. A bet is made between skiiers and snowboarders. If blah blah blah happens, snowboarding gets to stay at the resort. Even if it's clearly a booming business, the dad is ready to straight up ban it from his resort to appease this stupid wager. But that's how that is. Varney goofs off, fucking up a few things. Nielsen and her ski resort employee slash ex green baret wannabe boyfriend try to make shit hit the fan in a big way, to ruin the impeccable reputation of the resort. The insurance guy shows up and at first is appalled, before turning on a dime when Varney foils the evil plot in the most bumbling and off the cuff way. Happy endings all around. Except for the viewing several. In this B100 game, we are the perpetual losers.

Nielsen/Nelson doing what she does bed best. Not much.

It's hard to say too much about this flick, without sinking into deep unrecoverable depression. But for you guys, in the name of simple wholesome family entertainment, I'm going to risk it. The movie sucks, to put it bluntly. I was never a fan of Brigitte Nielsen, or as the is credited here, Brigitte Nelson, despite her status of 'local girl' – at least around my parts. She married Sylvester Stallone back in her modelling days and of course that meant starring in movies. She barely pulled off evil Russian wife in RamboRockywhatever IV opposite husband Sly and in-movie husband Dolph Lundgren. Her acting career should probably have stopped there, or even better: never taken off to begin with. Now she makes her way around the low-belly end of the reality TV circuit. Yes, as much as I loathe all reality TV even I can't deny, that some shows are worse than others. The one I most recently remember seeing her associated with, had Dave Coulier in the same season. So we know it's a waste of airwaves. In an amazing turn of events, she actually manages to make Dave Coulier look appealing. I am as freaked out by this as you probably are right now. When my inate hatred for Coulier is trumped, the fan has been hit with feces in a big way. As for Haim, he seems to have forever skirted the line between mainstream and b movies. The Lost Boys was probably his biggest endeavor, and that says it all I think. However, I haven't actually seen The Lost Boys, and still Corey Haim is a name I know inherently. I don't know why I do. But I do, so he has that going for him which is nice.

Billy Dee? Is that really you? Sadly no. But look at Corey Haim here. What a champ!

Varney is an institution. I understand that. I don't accept it. His claim to fame is largely based on aforementioned Ernest movies, and I don't get why. Granted, I'm not in the target audience now. I don't think I am anyway. Did they have a target audience? If the target audience are stoners, kids or people who watch hangover movies on US television on Sundays, then no. I am not in any of those groups. I remember the Ernest movies from when I was a young adult, and I hated them then already. Jim Varney is not my cup of tea. He might be somebody's, since he's still being used. Well was, rather. He died in 2000 with 52 actor credits to his name. That's 50 more than I am OK with. I assume all 4 of you readers are watching these movies after reading the reviews, because that's what you do, right? You read a review of a movie and then you watch it? Anyway, if you are you will have seen Varney's turn in 3 Ninjas High Noon at Mega Mountain. It was a stellar performance compared to this. Perhaps due to the fact that he has way less screen time in 3 Ninjas, and thus less opportunities to waste our time. But it' the principle of the matter. Jim Varney was by and largely not a good actor and shouldn't have been in as many movies was. Perhaps he'll surprise me yet. Not with new stuff obviously. I don't know if you noticed, but I just mentioned he died in 2000 meaning it's difficult to put out fresh material. But there are still... 46 Varney movies I have no seen, so I suppose he could be Oscar worthy in one or two of them. And under appreciated by the academy. It happens.

My face when watching this movie. 


All in all we have a movie with 3 pretty shitty actors, a shitty premise, pointless slapstick and a half assed script. I'll say, at least, the story kind of made sense. Not made sense as in “this is a believable story that could totally happen in real life”. But sense as in “this story moved from A to Z without leaving out half the letters. It seems asinine to even have to mention this, if I were reviewing movies that took longer than 10 minutes to write. But these bottom dwellers are a different breed altogether, and when I watch one of them, and aren't going “but... didn't they just... how... where... what?” every 5 minutes, it's an accomplishment I feel the need to crack open champagne for. It's a bittersweet victory, because I'm still none the richer for having watched this movie. But at least I'm not contemplating ending this pitiful existence and/or traveling to the Varney estate to empty my bladder on his grave. As bland as his performances are, they don't hold a candle to some of the other stuff I've sat through. Some of it, as even the laziest of readers will know, has downright pissed me off. Then again, without that motivation, this blog might not even exist. I don't know if that's a good consequence or a bad one. I'll let you lot decide.  

More Varney. Here he's just been run over by a slope preparing machine. Hilarious. Right? No.

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