Airborne (1993) Poster


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Probably the best movie about Rollerblading in Cincinnati ever made...
tvsullivan12 December 2006
Although certainly the writer of this film owes much of his inspiration to Steinbeck and Depression-era authors, it has more than enough substance to stand on its own. In hindsight, Airborne is more than just a high-flyin' roller-blading epic—it is a depiction of the culture wars that exist in our society today. Mitchell represents the coastal "corporate" American coming to the Midwest to pillage its' resources (in this case Cincinnati's finest ladies). Augie is the repressed commoner, perhaps a factory worker, who resents Mitchell at first because of his pedigree and obvious social graces. Wiley is the guy who is striving to make it out his internal strife anyway he can, and shrouds his blatant homosexuality in clever retorts and hooded sweatshirts. Jack is obviously the old farmer, who has seen it all in his day and now is bitter that time is no longer his friend.

However, the "Preps" represent something far more imposing than anything Mitchell brings to the table. They obviously represent Communism. If the Cold War taught us anything, it is that Communism can only be contained by a roller-skating race through Cincinnati that ends at the birthplace of democracy, Riverfront Stadium. No wonder Jack Black jumped at the chance to make this ambitious film. The subtle nuances of this cultured classic cannot fully be appreciated in two or three sittings. Nay, the marrow of this film must be sucked dry before you can truly see the vision behind this movie. Step aside Shakespeare...
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The "Citizen Kane" of teenage rollerblade movies!
strudeau8 January 2002
Airborne is mostly a teen movie marketed back in the early 90's when the rollerblade craze was starting to catch on. It's like the rollerblade companies needed some more exposure, so they gave these guys a bunch of money and said "hey, make the kids crave rollerblades". With all that aside, it is a rather enjoyable movie. Shane McDermott plays Mitchel, a surfer from California who must move to Ohio for a couple months. His performance reminds me of a teenage version of Keanu Reeves in Point Break. Seth Green plays the comic relief hapless friend, and Seth's parents are played by Edie McClurg(secretary from Ferris Buehlers) and Patrick O'Brien. The parents in this are hilarious and they work very well with the rest of the cast. The moviesfollows Mitchel as he tries to adjust to the very different Cincinatti atmosphere. He quickly becomes a heartthrob thus alienating him from every guy in town. So he pretty much spends the next hour trying to avoid trouble, but at every turn it seems to find him. In the course of this he ends up playing ice hockey/roller hockey and then rollerblading. The major flaw of this movie is the motive and identity of the villains. You see very little of them throughout the movie, and their dialogue is terrible. There is also a huge disparity in the look of the males and the females in this movie. Most of the male cast looks and are well into their 20's (with the exception of the Shane and Seth).. The girls in this movie look like a bunch of 12 year olds... But since there isn't a lot of interaction between the two, it doesn't detract from the movie too much. All in all, I enjoy this movie. I really like the approach they have taken with the Mitchel character.. He's just a young surfer dude who is a vehement pacifist. He is very cool and very not violent (hero's always breed violence in modern movies).. He also makes a couple of Zen-like observations which are fun to watch. The movie ends with a rollerblade race through downtown Cincinatti with the hero's facing the "Preps". The rollerblade race is the best part of the movie, and it is very well played out. This movie isn't oscar material, but it is much better then any other "roller-skating" movie, sport genre movie, and many disney-teen movies.. Jack Black also play's a small role in this, and is fun to watch. I give this 7 out of 10 stars.
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Today's kids need more movies like this.
091 May 1999
Almost every movie you see nowadays there's a fight or someone getting shot. In this movie Mitch plays a kid who is not afraid to say "I won't fight you." Instead when he is forced to fight for the girl, he uses his wit and skills. Everyone in this movie does a great job especially Seth Green. Nobody plays the misunderstood kid better than he does. Airborn has drama, action, and a whole lot of comedy.
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The perfect "cable" movie.
Flinx-212 October 1999
Is it just me, or has everyone seen this movie about a hundred times on cable? Call it a guilty pleasure, but every time it came on, I just had to watch. I think it must be Seth Green's "Wiley Man" (Which I'm sure had a throwaway line homage in Austin Powers during the counseling scene). I'm glad to see him make it in the business.

The movie itself? A California surfer pretty boy tries to fit in at a new school and wins everyone over (including the school hottie) by skating. Tres deep.

6 out of 10, but you just gotta watch it again and again.
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Wasn't expecting legitimacy
cobizer26 December 2006
I was watching this flick in a hotel room on HBO early in the morning and thought that it was some sort of parody at early 90s B comedies. Then I thought "there is no way that this is actually an early 90s comedy. They are beating me over the head with plaid and rollerblades and other 90s clichés." The I realized Seth Green and Jack Black were in it and I realized that it must in fact be a parody. WRONG! 1993 baby. This movie is so campy, but is so damn entertaining. It's like one of those songs that no one wants to admit they love, yet everyone loves it. Like "I Saw the Sign" or something. Check out this flick at the very least to see Green and Black early in their careers.
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Scarecrow-8811 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A handsome LA surfer teenager is sent to stay with relatives (Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin) in Cincinnati while his parents are away to study a special wombat in Australia, encountering bullies and a potential romance in this breezy family film.

Shane McDermott is Mitchell Goosen, with a charming smile and positive attitude, who finds his Ghandi-type pacifism challenged by oh-so-serious Jack (Chris Conrad) and his city school hockey buddies who find this "pretty boy" a nuisance. It's your usual fish-out-of-water culture clash teen dramedy where an outsider must endure certain hardships because he is so different than those around him.

Seth Green gets the chance to play the comedy foil, as Mitchell's loser cousin, Wiley, the little man subject to much bullying from his school peers. Jack Black, in an early role, is Jack's clownish pal, Augie, who, like his best friend, has a certain contempt for Mitchell. Mitchell, who has never played hockey before, is chosen to participate in a big game where the stakes are important to his team because they have lost three years in a row to their rival school. He makes the mistake of scoring a goal against his own team, earning the angered scorn of his teammates who treat him with constant pranks as a result.

Mitchell—the kind of guy with a laid-back personality who would rather get along with everyone and "chill"—has a hard time adjusting to his harsher environment, particularly when so many, like Jack, always want to push his buttons and demand altercations to prove himself in a fight. Mitchell meets a nice, pretty girl, with a knock-out smile, named Nikki (Brittany Powell) who is perhaps the first good thing to happen to him while in Cincinnati, but soon learns that she is Jack's sister, creating obvious complications along the way. Owen Stadele is Jack's nemesis, Blane, who becomes a thorn in Mitchell's side when he attempts to provoke a fight over Nikki, which ultimately leads to a street hockey game and the eventual epic rollerblading challenge down "Devil's Backbone".

The plot is basic teen fodder, with the rollerblading finale the reason to check out "Airborne". The cast is fine all around with some familiar faces before they would become more famous. This fun cast includes Jacob Vargas as streetwise tough-guy, Snake, Daniel and David Betances as twin hockey players who are part of Jack's team, Alanna Ubach as Gloria, Wiley's love interest (set up blind by Nikki in a double date) who would've preferred to stay home but soon grows fond of him despite herself, and, especially Edie McClurg (Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, always a scene stealer, including this film) and Patrick Thomas O'Brien as Aunt Irene and Uncle Jack, Wiley's square parents. Devil's Backbone is essentially a race throughout the city of Cincinnati, quite thrilling in that the danger is always present as the rollerblading teams have to dodge cars and winding curvy roads. We often see members of both teams taking tumbles and sent flying through the air bound to land with a hard thud. During the finale, "Airborne" allows McDermott's character (not just here, but in other portions of the movie when Mitchell shows out for the local skateboarders and bikers) to perform magnificent feats like leaping completely over a moving vehicle and jumping from a bridge, onto a truck, and safely to the street without a scratch. The movie is harmless, really, with standard teenage melodramatics you have seen in countless movies with high schoolers regarding burgeoning love and friction that derives from being in a new place, with new people. Plenty of rollerblading action to keep the adrenaline pumping, along with Mitchell's Zen-philosophical outlook on life, earning the ire of many who find him annoying.
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A thoroughly enjoyable film!
wayne-229 September 2001
If you don't go into this movie with overly high expectations, but just go with the flow, this movie can be very enjoyable. So it isn't Academy Awards material. How many movies are? Anyway, for a teen high-school love story, this isn't bad. I enjoyed the skating, even though I have been to Pittsburgh enough times to recognize most of the streets, and certainly the skyline. I am more bugged by the movies made in Canada that try to pass themselves as U.S. locations (that tax credit must be a real biggie!)

If you like fish-out-of-water movies or H.S. love interests, give Airborne a look.

I hope Mitchell eventually made his way here to O'ahu and surfed our waves! Now there is Airborne! (especially the latest thing, Kite surfing!)

Laters brah
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Airborne offers some pleasant surprises
sethfan20 January 2000
I'll have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. It's not the greatest film ever made, but I doubt that is what the film makers were going for. Instead this surfing/roller-blade romp is an entertaining, fun and realistic story of teenagers coping with peer pressure–something we can all relate to. Shane McDermott is well suited for the "kid out of water," and his way of handling the "bully" situations is a lesson to be learned by all. The roller-blade sequences are fantastic to watch, even if you're not in to that sort of thing. Seth Green is perfect as the geeky–but cool–cousin that's always picked on; Green's performance is definitely a precursor to his talent as Kenny in Can't Hardly Wait. Two other reasons to like this flick are the always delightful Edie McClurg and Stewart Copeland's rhythmically exciting music. Check this one–you won't be disappointed!
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so-so story, excellent skatin'
bedazzle4 October 2001
I enjoyed this movie as a kid, but have only recently re-watched it. Present impressions are not as favorable, but at least one aspect was impressive. Granted, the storyline was nothing new and at times corny, but there was a bit of vocabulary and a few good lines. What most impressed me was the novelty of the street skating scenes. These moves were being done by a few people at the time, but most kids like me had never seen such things. As I just watched now, I was surprised at things like the flip on the half pipe and riding walls and jumping cars and grinding rails. For 93, that's just plain amazing. For a lot of my friends this movie became a sort of street skating manual. We even painted dragons on our skates like the main character. Some of us even went on to be sponsored and I think it all started with this movie. Considered from this perspective, Airborne is definitely innovative and classic.
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An eye opening, light hearted action packed ride...eight wheels included
Gander8312 October 2003
"The French Connection of Rollerblade Chases", a quote that may attract a wondering teenage eye to the front cover in the video store, hopefully the shop will be closing and they may reside to taking this to the counter. I would then hope they had the same experience I did. From perfectly selected music to skating scenes to make exercise look more than just burning calories, this film couldn't be more perfect. The protagonist Mitchell Goosen, woke up from a Californian Dream to find his self in the Winters of Cincinnati, with no use for a surf board other than as an ironing board. Mitchell's Zen like attitudes aren't favoured at the local school and it's not until he puts on a pair on Rollerblades is it you see the power in his stride. Not forgetting the appearances from a young Jack Black and Seth Green, the story moves the watcher with the a light hearted portrayal into teenage romance and angst. Five Star
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It's Not Pittsburgh
luftgekuehlt8 December 2006
Hey Huffman, if you recognize the streets and the skyline of Pittsburgh in this movie you must be toking the Maui-wowie. The movie was filmed in Cincinnati-check the credits, and by the way, they only mention the fact that the kid has moved to Cincinnati about a million times! If you have other doubts, watch the movie again-the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park and Riverfront Stadium might help sort things out for you. By the way, the movie is wicked awesome and I recommend it to everyone. Viva Cincinnati-and for those of you who haven't been, it's not as lame as it's made out to be in the movie. Us native Cincinnatians frequently rollerblade down "Devil's Backbone" and beat the snot out of each other on the hockey rink-it's a happening place.
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The Third Act
Quinoa198430 September 2000
I was watching this movie on TV one day, and about a hour into it I thought "Isn't the NSYNC concert on TV now, I'd rather watch that." But then, something happened, the third act came around and I was spellbound. The main plot showed a bunch of teens who like to play hockey and roller skate, but for the first 2 acts, this plot just coasts the movie along and makes it, suck. But in the third act, we see a bunch of teens in a race throughout Cinncinatti, and I was amazed. Not only the skating, but how it overshadowed the rest of the film. B-
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...And Jack Black Was Even Funny Then
Chris Dillhole20 June 2002
I woke up late and caught this mad-capped adventure of a movie around noon with misty eyes and a dosey head...luckily the film did not cause me to think on too great a level and so it was easy to enjoy. Notable appearances by a young, and rather funny looking, Seth Green of Buffy and Austin Powers fame was followed by the even more shocking appearance of soon to be huge actor...Jack Black.The Tenacious D frontman appeared as a cocky yet loveable class clown eagerly awaiting the prime bait of 'surfer dude' Shane McDermott. The film was simplistic...boy moves away - boy gets picked on - boy fucks up - boy regains trust - boy = hero....and some sub-plotted love story that made no sense as the lead's love interest suddenly hated him for no reason...but he one her back by stripping her ex of his pants...go figure. Overall good film, excellent stunts by Team Blade and some pretty cool action segments...but one nasty one of Jack Black ending up bow-legged on a tree...nasty...anyways I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone after a night out getting drunk as a movie to sober up to.
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Airborne: The movie that was written backwards.
MSarcasm12 September 2000
* So the writer decided he wanted a movie whose climax was rollerblading scene down the hills of Cincinatti.

* To make it interesting he makes it a race between two teams. Needing a team we can root against, he makes the antagonists "preppies" (since everyone hates preppies and he could skip writing any character development for them besides their group label.

* Realizing that he couldn't write enough script to say why he and his teammates hate the preppies, he decided that before our hero and pals teamed up, they were enemies.

* In figuring out why our hero and his enemies team up against the preppies, the writer decided "shorts"ing a preppie would suffice.

* To decide why our hero and his teammates were enemies, the writer thinks that our hero should a laid back surfer dude.

* Looking over his story outline, the writer noticed how thin it was and added several elements to plump up the script. Such items included a wacky friend (Seth Green, who takes a character you'd normally want to punch and makes him watchable), a Pauly Shore and Juliet romance with the sister of one of his enemies, and random acts of roller-hockey (specifically the kind where you're not allowed to play defense).

The writer had the right idea about ending a movie with wicked rollerblade race down steep curvy hills, but the plot devices used to get that point are so awful, that you'll need to wear your cringe-proof vest to watch.
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Very Predictable
chwillard15 January 2003
This movie is predictable from start to finish. The "surfer" who is out of his element in Cincinnati. Who has trouble at first making friends and fitting in. And then is the big hero at the end overcoming the odds and getting the girl. Seth Green as Wiley and Patrick Thomas as Uncle Louis have memorable scenes. But overall, this movie is been there, done that. This movie begs the question: How can life revolve around hockey? In Cincinnati? Don't remember any professional hockey teams there. Avoid at all costs. 0 stars out of 5 IMDB Scoring 1 out of 10.
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How is it possible that someone dares to call this a movie?
Tet-513 June 1999
I promised someone that we'd watch a movie together, and she came home with Airborne. Gee, how I managed to sit this one through, I still don't know. Because this hotch-potch of stupid, incoherent scenes is probably the worst I've ever seen. Whoever did cast the actor who tried to play Mitch? This guy really doesn't know a single thing about acting. I've seen children on primary school doing a musical, and they acted a lot better than he did! Well, the only 'good' thing about Airborne is that it gives me the opportunity to vote 1 out of 10, for the first time!
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An Honest Review
generationofswine13 January 2020
It hits every trope. It's the movie of an out of place kid that has to win over the people in the new city and in the process win the girl.

We have seen this before. We saw it in Hocus Pocus, we saw it in Side Out, in North Shore, in Rad, in Thrashin, we saw it in a thousand other films that faithfully honor the trope.

And a trope filled film bursting with the cliches of the genera isn't exactly a bad thing. After all, sometimes you just want mindless fun with the guarantee of a happy ending and little else.

This film delivers on that... and references Nintendo Hockey, possibly the best sports game ever.
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Great Sports-Themed Movie
Falconeer18 May 2019
After having some moderate success on a low budget kids soap opera, "Swan's Crossing," (which has developed a cult following thanks to the participation of actress Sarah Michelle Gellar), actor Shane McDermott starred in this minor, but intensely watchable sports-themed movie, mostly involving in-line skating, but also some hockey and skateboarding and surfing as well. "Airborne is a very 'physical' movie, that required the actors and countless extras to perform their own reckless stunts on camera. The action set piece, which makes up for the entire last third of the film, is really an exciting adrenaline rush. The camera work is quite amazing, putting the viewer right inside the high speed race down "The Devil's Backbone," a dangerously curvy downhill road that the skaters must share with car traffic, as they try and shove each other off the road and into rocks. I was especially impressed to see McDermott doing all his own stunt work. That is clearly not a double, and he is a very skilled skater. But this movie has more going for it than action. The photography is gorgeous with it's exotic angles and selection of a super bright color scheme that makes every scene look like it was filmed through stained glass windows. Even Cincinnati looks beautiful! Those surfing scenes look amazing in their blue splendor, especially on the big screen. Big names like Seth Green and Jack Black got their starts here. Seth is quite unforgettable as Wiley. We even get some romance that is very sweet, and some of the comedy is downright brilliant. Add in the music of Stewart Copeland and you have a 90's classic. I hadn't seen this since the 90's and re-watched it recently, worried that it might not be as good as I remembered. You know what? It's better, and it's proof that movies they are making today are just not as good as what they were producing back then. It's like movies had a soul, and a kind of innocence, that is blatantly absent from movies being churned out today. As family entertainment, I cannot recommend "Airborne" highly enough.
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classic mindless fun
ss97-16 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A typical fish out of water story.....

The young hip SoCal surfer kid named Mitchell (Shane McDermott) gets moved, against his will of course to land locked Cincinnati, Ohio where his geeky cousin Wiley (Seth Green) lives. Wiley an outsider himself in a way tries to show his SoCal cousin the ropes at his hockey crazy high school.

The set up of the movie is really lame. Somehow just a few days in town the Surfer kid ends up in a big Ice Hockey game (also against his will) and mistakenly scores a goal for the other team. So of course the hockey jocks of the school now want to make his life miserable and start a series of endless pranks. As a life-long hockey fan I was repulsed by what the movie called "hockey" ....It was a pathetic attempt at comedy I guess, but not really funny at all. I suppose it was sort of funny watching Jack Black play goal and fall down a few times but beyond that it was all pretty lame....

The movie really changes as soon as a dejected Mitchell comes home from another miserable day a school, and gets a package in the mail. The package contain his beloved Roller Blades and soon Mitchell is out on the town doing tricks on the streets, making friends on BMX bikes, skateboards and roller blades.

Once that switch is thrown on the movie the fun really starts. Mitchell starts to build a friendship with a local girl Nikki, played very well by the adorable Brittney Powell. And he starts to feel good about himself for the first time since leaving the beach.

Shane McDermott has since retired from acting, but this was probably his best performance. And make no mistake he was quite good in the movie. He plays the cool SoCal surfer kid well, and he manages quite a few dynamic character swings with relative ease. It makes you wonder why he gave up the ghost so easily on his career, he is a talented actor. He holds his own in a movie filled with fun characters by such current superstars as Seth Green and Jack Black.

This was the first movie I ever saw Jack Black in, and it was apparent right away that he was going to be a star. His natural character was just so apparent. And of course Seth Green is always good.

Alanna Ubach is also in the film, and although she is not yet a household name, she will be eventually. She has been a secondary player in many great movies including Legally Blond. And she is a very good actor.

Eventually the tough guys from the opposing hockey team pick a fight with Mitchell and his refusal to fight makes people think he is a wuss. But he tries to prove he is just peaceful. Then he learns that the girl he was courting, Nikki, is big jock hockey player's sister, who also wants to fight him. When Mitchell's pacifist ways make it look like he does not care, people pull away from him. Even his cousin Wiley is disappointed that he would not fight. But Mitchell is not a wimp, he is misunderstood, which is explained as a foreshadow story he tells Nikki at a hockey game when they first meet.

Eventually a dream compels Mitchell to chase after Nikki in spite of the fact she tells him to leave her alone, and in spite of the fact her large brother wants to kill him. But Mitchell fights back with some great play in a roller hockey game, and series of pranks against the opposing hockey team. His school hockey players figure him out and invite him to skate in an dangerous roller blade race, in traffic down a series of hills...... Of course he does and helps them win the big race and all his happy in the end.

While the hockey scenes are pretty lame as far as realism goes, the roller blade stunts are quite good. Nothing supernatural takes place, although some excellent stunts were pulled off. There is no CGI in this one, just old school stuntmen. The illegal street race that the entire movie leads up to is well done and accurately portrayed.

Like a million movies before it, Airborne does nothing special, or even original. But it does have fun along the way, and the actors do pretty well with what limited story they had. It also sends a positive message that restraint can be cool. And that maybe fighting is not always the answer.

The movie is just some fun mindless entertainment, with some good actors sprinkled through.
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Excellent Movie!!!
blackhawk926 May 2004
I thought this movie was one of the best movies ever filmed in the early 90's. Reason for this is because I feel it's about learning to deal with change. Change is all around us, and even when you feel like your life is out of control, there are still things around you in your environment that you can utilize to adjust whatever strange bounces life throws your way. Plus, I absolutely loved the rollerblading scenes. The story was great, the characters real and believable, the locations chosen all of it was a real masterpiece. Personally, I would really enjoy an Airborne sequel, which I feel would re-enhance rollerblading and outdoor activities. My only regret for this film is that since I love to rollerblade, I wish there were more rollerblading scenes in the movie. I give this movie a 9 out of a possible 10.
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Certainly the best of the three movies titled "Airborne"
shaftnut5 March 2003
A hearty kudos to director Rob Bowman for steering the ship on this rollerblady yet true to life comedy. Mitchell (Shane McDermott) is forced to migrate to Ohio when his parents move to Australia. Mitchell moves in with his aunt (Edie McClurg aka Mrs. Poole), uncle (Patrick Thomas aka another worthless Saved By The Bell teacher), and cousin Wiley (Seth Green). Mitchell is an avid surfer and the disappointment of missing out on the Australian tides surf him into a manic depression until his roller blades arrive a few weeks later via U.S.P.S. From there we move onto a Rocky like segment that has roller blading children of all ethnic backgrounds (I think) following him through the streets of Cincinatti. All this time Mitchell is being tormented by 27 year-old turned high schooler Jack (Chris Conrad)and his gang of bullies. The gang includes Augie (Jack Black in his breakthrough role) and the Banducci brothers (played magnificantly by the Betances brothers). To make a long review short, Mitchell and Wiley end up roller blading their way to chicks and popularity. I give this movie a 9/10. It would get a perfect 10/10, but did you see the video box cover......eeewwww.
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Not a very good movie.
Becky3196 February 2003
Well... When I first saw this movie in 1995 I was still in High School myself, and a few of my fellow classmates said that they had seen this movie and that they thought it was funny. But I thought the movie was way too predictable and a little harsh in certain scenes such as the dating scene, and the "mooner" scene, so when I recently saw it again on cable with my niece I thought about how poor of a movie this was when it first came out and how poor it still is now.
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OMG this movie ROCKS!!!!!!!!!
SnoozButton9 November 2002
I absolutely *love* movies, and if I had to use a word to describe it the word would be *awesome.* Seth Green is one of my favorite actors, and this breakthrough performance is hilarious. I hear that he improv'd half of his lines in this movie, and his dancing is enough to make you fall over in laughter every time! Shane McDermott is a story of his own, with his intense eyes and killer smile he is totally invincible to all those Cincinatti bullies!! It's so sweet how he refuses to fight anyone and how he is so "zen." Overall, this movie kills in the deathmatch and I recommend it to *everyone*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!=D
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Hey, I love this movie...
respond2us12 October 2002
Call me crazy, but I loved this movie! It was a really cool story. And, to help out with the reason the kid moved to Ohio, it was because his parents were going to Australia for their jobs. But the movie was really entertaining, to say the least, and Seth Green was awesome. Yeah, maybe it's sort of a younger generation's movie, but I guess that would be me. I just wish it was on DVD. I'd definitely buy it.
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For The Sports Fan
zeepzeep1 September 2002
This is definitely a movie for somebody who enjoys sports, which, sadly, I don't. I watched this movie because I have a crush on Seth Green(his hair was looking AWFUL, by the way) and my eyes nearly popped out when I spotted Jack Black, another great. While this movie definitely isn't my favorite, overall it wasn't half bad.
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