THE NEW GUY (2002)

Directed By: Ed Decter
Written By: David Kendall
Cinematography: Michael D. O’Shea
Editor: David Rennie 

Cast: DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel, Parry Shen, Jerod Mixon, Sunny Mabrey, Ross Patterson, Lyle Lovett, Eddie Griffin, Ileana Douglas, Kurt fuller, Matt shogun, M.C. Gainey, Julius Carry, Geoffrey Lewis, Horatio Sanz, Gene Simmons, Kool Moe Dee, Tommy Lee, Henry Rollins, Jermaine Dupri, Jerry O’Connell, Charlie O’Connell, Tony Hawk, Rob Van Winkle 

A high school senior branded uncool in the ninth grade gets himself expelled so he changes his image to cool kid at the town’s other high school.

The film is strange as it is a teen comedy that seems at times to be more of a spoof. Then it just becomes more of a wacky comedy that comes off more as abstract and slapstick but still makes little sense.

Though considering it is directed by a noted comedy writer. Who coincidentally didn’t write the script. So that the film feels cut up from a decidedly longer and more coherent film. Though it doesn’t matter as this is a film you just watch and have fun with what it offers. 

It’s also a movie that is built to build off of trends of the time.

Which would explain the strange number of cameos by rock stars and skaters and recognizable celebrities playing themselves and others throughout for no real reason. 

Though it might hint at, What does end up being truthful about the movie is the character’s passion for music. As it seems to almost be their everything. 

For instance, Lyle Lovett’s Father character makes no sense at all, but he is in the movie throughout. As the Square dad who seems to try to relate and overreact  to his son and his actions 

While the film feels like it got cut to pieces as some storylines and characters disappear or are never resolved. So that instead of plot or character the film tries to give you a Greatest hits version of the story. 

Which makes it feel more like a Frankenstein of teen film cliches. You have seen before Only more heightened and campy comedically. There is even a scene where Eliza Dushku’s character goes to apologize to an old friend who she has shunned and snubbed only for that friend to say “I know” before she can say anything 

Most of the female roles here are more as sex objects and hook up’s. Even Dushku the female lead has two scenes of first her trying in various scantily Clad outfits like bikinis and another scene of her riding a mechanical bull suggestively. More for a male teenage audience. Though she is both the love interest and sex symbol of the film.

The film builds off star Dj Qualls fame from ROAD TRIP. As an early version of McLovin from SUPERBAD. As his character goes from

Dork to cool in a new attitude and look with a lot of Farrelly brothers style comedy. That is gross yet heartwarming and manages to win the Audience over.

The film gave DJ Qualls the rare odd Leading man role. Even if the film Tries to play like more of an ensemble at times. 

Sure the film’s humor is lowbrow but still comes off as innocent or like it doesn’t know any better. Though with it’s juvenile humor it’s

Perfect for its intended audience. Though definitely a testament to the time period in which it was made.

It is filled to the brim with what was hip, but trends change so fast that by the time the film Actually was released. It felt a little past its Time to the audience and worse the film is so low stakes. It doesn’t Make its Mark. 

If anything this movie is more. A guilty pleasure that gets by because of its Silly and fun attitude. This film is put together very loosely with plenty of gags meant to tie the story and characters together with a moral lesson of not labeling and not believing in whatever labels you are branded with. 


ROAD TRIP (2000)

Directed By: Todd Phillips 
Written By: Todd Phillips & Scot Armstrong 
Cinematography: Mark Irwin 
Editor: Sheldon Kahn 

Cast: Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott, Tom Green, Amy Smart, Paulo Costanzo, DJ Qualls, Rachel Blanchard, Anthony Rapp, Fred Ward, Andy Dick, Ethan Suplee, Horatio Sanz, Jessica Cauffiel, Wendell B. Harris Jr., Mary Lynn Rajskub, Todd Barry, Matt Walsh, Cleo King 

In the University of Ithaca, while showing the campus to the new students and their relatives, the veteran tour guide Barry Manilow tells the love story of his friend Josh Parker. Josh has a girlfriend, Tiffany Henderson, who went to the University of Austin, and they have promised to be faithful to each other. However, Josh has an affair with his sexy friend Beth Wagner, and they have accidentally videotaped it. One of his friends sends the videotape to Tiffany by mistake, and Josh decides to travel to Austin with his friends E.L., Rubin Carver and Kyle Edwards to retrieve the videotape before Tiffany sees it. Will he succeed?

This is a small Film set up and succeeds at being an epic blockbuster 

This Feels like a return to the 1980’s type of college movie. Though like most of director Todd Phillips comedies. It never goes as far at pushing the envelope, but further then most were at the time and for quite some time before. 

Like this film allowed for more gross pushing the limits humor that has been absent. So at the time this was a return and kind of radical of what was expected of at the time emboldened by one of the stars of the film Seann Willam Scott’s previous hit film he appeared in AMERICAN PIE

Though at the time understandable as this was Mr. Phillips first official film, especially a studio film. He seems all in for taking risks but not totally.

The film has many memorable scenes but the material never quite sticks to the landing. Though what works is more the random Original comedy at the college.

Tom Green who co-stars and was one of the bigger names in the cast at the time. Having a hit television show on MTV. Seems here to kind of grow his career and start a big screen comedic career. His character is vital somewhat to the movie, but for the most part seems off to the side and by himself. Only to have his own little side plot that leads to a comedically Over the top scene and to give information. Not to mention is supposedly the narrator for the film. 

As a road trip movie truly living Up to its title. Is episodic and loose which makes it seem more like a bunch of skits involving the same group of characters. 

While each makes their presence felt. As this is supposed to be an ensemble film. Breckin Meyer is the lead that the plot revolves around and overall comedic straight man. Which makes him feel boring in comparison to most. It ends up the same with his love interests. Who are pretty but not given much to do. 

While there are many memorable characters DJ Qualls walks away with the movie as the MVP. His innocent character learns how to let loose and comes of age.

The scene that seems the most classic Is when the story has them staying at an all black frat house. 

One of the strengths of Todd Phillips is that even here and throughout most of his comedic feature films is that he always fills his films with comedians in acting roles, usually comedic actors who are more adept at improv that add to the looseness of scenes. Though they help build the humor in scenes also. 

Grade: C+