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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Kickin' it Old Skool (2007)

"Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down, right, Dad?"
- Justin Schumacher (Jamie Kennedy)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: September 05, 2007

Stars: Jamie Kennedy
Other Stars: Vivica A. Fox, Debra Jo Rupp, Maria Menounos, Michael Rosenbaum, Christopher McDonald, Miguel A. Nuņez Jr., Aris Alvarado, Bobby Lee
Director: Harvey Glazer

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for (crude and sexual content and language)
Run Time: 01h:48m:36s
Release Date: August 28, 2007
UPC: 024543456681
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C- DC+B- C-

DVD Review

One of the stranger career paths in recent years is that of actor Jamie Kennedy. He made a name for himself in the Scream films, and was responsible for much of the self-referential wit that made that series successful. From there, he became something of an entertainment entrepreneur, starring in the ill-fated TV show The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, taking small roles in high-profile films, and eventually starring in Malibu's Most Wanted and Son of the Mask. His latest, the box office bomb Kickin' It Old Skool, comes to DVD from Fox, but it's likely that only his cultish fan base will want to give it a look.

Justin Schumacher (Jamie Kennedy) is a typical '80s kid who loves MTV and, of course, break dancing. While pining for the love of his classmate Jen, Justin makes a wrong move during a dance off and winds up in a coma. 20 years later, in 2006, Justin suddenly comes to, although his mind is still childlike, and the last of his memories include Rubik's Cubes and Tab. He reunites with his old dance team, including Darnell (Miguel A. Nuņez Jr.), Hector (Aris Alvarado), and Aki (Bobby Lee), who are initially reluctant, but eventually agree to revisit their break dancing roots to compete in a contest. If they win, Justin will win Jen's (Maria Menounos) heart, along with $100,000 that will allow his parents (Debra Jo Rupp and Christopher McDonald) to keep their house.

Well, it took a mere 10 minutes before I realized that I was in for a long, unfunny, further 100 minutes. Sure enough, this overlong mess tries way too hard to garner laughs where they aren't. The main culprit is Kennedy, himself, as he embodies Justin as an incredibly annoying, practically mentally retarded dullard. It isn't a stretch to make a 20-year-coma victim a bit slow to readjust to society, but Kennedy goes way over the top here. Fortunately, not all of the acting news is bad, as character actor Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore), proves, once again, that he thrives in roles like this one.

The overlong, insanely predictable dance tournament finale doesn't help the film at all either, with its only positive aspect being its signifying the end of this mess. There's literally no suspense to the sequence's outcome, and everyone's reactions throughout are obviously contrived and completely unnatural. It took three writers to come up with this drivel, making this a major defeat for the old saying about there being strength in numbers.

The one thing the film has going for it is the presence of obscure '80s pop culture references. There's mention of Pop Rocks and break dancing, but it's great to hear references to Wacky Wall Walkers and movies like Gremlins, The Karate Kid, and even The Golden Child. The infamous music of the period isn't prevalent, but what is here sounds great and ups the nostalgia level. Plus, no movie with a '80s theme is complete without a David Hasselhoff sighting. The 'Hoff makes a heck of an entrance, and makes the most of his two minutes of screen time. Take it from someone who was fortunate enough to catch him in The Producers in Las Vegas; even one minute of The 'Hoff is enough to take any form of entertainment to a level you simply can't imagine.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is not of the same high quality as that of other new Hollywood films. The color scheme is oddly, seemingly unintentionally muted, with instances of bleeding and an overall drab look. The images are relatively sharp and detailed, but there is some edge enhancement and a bit of grain and dirt.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: A Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix gives a boost to some of the music cues, but overall, it's rather basic. Dialogue is always crystal clear, and blends in well with every audio aspect.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Salon, Haven, Gray Matters
12 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Keep Case
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extra on this screener DVD is a 29-minute collection of deleted scenes that are actually less funny than anything in the feature, the theatrical trailer, and previews for other Fox releases.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

There's a good reason Jamie Kennedy's latest starring venture Kickin' It Old Skool went almost entirely unnoticed in theaters. This is bad and unfunny enough for it to have bypassed theaters and gone straight to video, but even that's a stretch. Fox's disc doesn't do anything to help matters, as it features average audio and video presentations and a collection of throw-away deleted scenes.


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