Sunday, October 23, 2011

Movie Review: Standing Ovation

Standing Ovation
Rated PG
Skull
Copyright Kenilworth Film Productions 2010

THE CHARACTERS

Brittany: Our lead character, who the lead singer for the Ovations and is unremarkable. There is barely anything worth mentioning about her.

Tatiana, Maya, Blaze, and Cameron: They are the other members of the Ovations and there is nothing else to say. They are completely bland and dull characters.

Joei Batalucci: What the hell is up with this girl? Is she a mobster or something? I also wonder if she has that disease the girl had in the Orphan? On the plus side, she is hammy enough to be sort of entertaining.

Jeff/Geoff Wiggs: Has the creepiest smile I’ve ever seen! The owner of the biggest wig factory in America and the father for the Wiggies. Must not be much competition since I’ve seen such crappy wigs before.

Alanna: An amateur pop singing girl stalking the Ovations and Wiggies everywhere they perform and who is also going for the music video prize. Someone needs to issue a restraining order on this girl right away. Also, acting and pronunciation are not part of her vocabulary. On the plus side, whoever is doing the dubbing for her singing is really good.

The Wiggies: Pink wigged girls who speak/sing in unison more than any stereotypical twin character I have witness before. Also, they are all sisters apparently. One must wonder how the black girl figures into this when everyone else is white.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Gym socks are the height fashion in the pop music industry.
+ Chewing gum can rip clothing into pieces.
+ Almost anything can have a song behind it.
+ Schools bow down to the awesome might of wig factory owners.
+ Little girls are well versed in the field of horse racing and managerial skills.
+ Chewing tobacco and licorices are identical.
+ Little girls are very intimidating.
+ Little girls carry cobras, electric eels, and scorpions in their bags all the time.
+ You can see germs.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
1 min – I think an older singer got dubbed in by mistake.
2 min – Classy!
5 min – Is that Justin Bieber!?
5 min 42 sec – FREEZE FRAME! You now see the reaction I am making as I watch this.
7 min – I’m a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle… wait, that’s not what they were going for with that dance move?
8 min – Did he just say gay, because I already assumed that.
9 min – They’re worse than the Wiggies! Now that’s just embarrassing.
11 min – No! Don’t start singing!!!
14 min – Whoa! Mood swing much?
15 min – I am not sure this is qualifies as acting.
16 min – That girl is right. I am feeling a sick just listening to it.
17 min – The implication of a guy being turned on by underage girls is not helping my opinion of a movie.
19 min – Yes indeed. These people obviously have a grand way of living one’s life.
22 min – And Child Services hasn’t stepped in because…?
25 min – Hooray! The luck of Irish!
26 min – So you got ties to the mob? Little girls never cease to amaze me.
27 min – If they are not in their pink wigs, then can be truly called the Wiggies?
27 min – Are they are even old enough to be in this club?
29 min – Is that Fred?
31 min – Okay, this was sort of funny. I’ll give the movie that.
32 min – I think I preferred when elderly were partyin in this clip.
33 min – Someone call security.
37 min – Because you suck, that’s why.
39 min – No amount of money could make me do any of this.
40 min – I can’t believe I’m saying this, but bring back the Wiggies. At least I think they sung most of their music.
42 min – How do the Wiggies even know where they are? Do they have someone tailing the Ovations?
43 min – HORRENDOUS MUSICAL NUMBER MOMENT! I’m surprised I didn’t pull this out sooner!
44 min – I’ve heard music like this before. It was Nick Jr. when I was lad. It was lame then as it is now.
46 min – Director: Just don’t hold it too tightly; the fake label will come off the Pepsi Zero can.
48 min – They have learned a valuable lesson today: Selling out.
49 min – Your germ analogy needs work.
51 min – Making deals with mobsters and threatening to kill them. Good old kid stuff.
53 min – Ladies and gentlemen, we reached Radio Disney levels of music! About damn time.
54 min – Looks like Justin Bieber and Ramona Flowers are up to no good.
55 min – Okay, I’ll give them that joke as well.
56 min – I think a Jock stereotype character got mixed into a Goth stereotype by accident.
58 min – BROUGHT TO YOU BY FOOT LOCKER!
59 min – Hooray for lip-syncing! Also, if the fire department is busy here, who’s watching the town in case of an emergency?
60 min – I’ll give the movie that the song wasn’t that bad.
61 min – HORRENDOUS MUSICAL NUMBER MOMENT!
62 min – Worst green screen effect for a kids film ever!
63 min – That was the most self-adsorbed egoistical song I have ever heard before. Bravo movie for going for new lows. Bravo indeed.
67 min – Girl with the mike: Will you also be wearing those stupid wigs in the finals as well?
68 min – Hooray for pity votes!
69 min – I would have given her third place for the dancing firemen alone.
71 min – Sooooo not appropriate for a girl to be dancing like that.
73 min – Becoming? I was under the impression she already was.
74 min – Thank God everyone’s blind otherwise this spy mission would be a bust.
75 min – MY EYES!!! OH GOD MY EYES!!!!
77 min – BROUGHT TO YOU BY PEPSI!
78 min – Wow, they’re Dream Street/Jonas Bros. Lite.
79 min – Hey! Those two kids aren’t dressed up! Throw them off stage!
80 min – No, your underage brats who think you’re hot when you’re not.
81 min – HORRENDOUS MUSICAL NUMBER MOMENT! Oh f**k no. Just no. I feel so unclean watching this crap. The dancing and singing, it’s all evil!!!!!
83 min – First, they just recycled footage there. Secondly, BOOOOOO!!!! YOU SUCK!
85 min – Oh f**k no, here we go again!
87 min – Oh thank god, it’s not disgusting as I thought. It’s just plain silly and ridiculous, but then again, they got the advantage over at least 2 of the 3 other groups.
88 min – And because they aren’t all teenagers yet, it’s just more creepy than it should be.
89 min – Host: Turns out that no one wins, because America just didn’t care enough to vote.
90 min – Wow, I’m just in shock and awe that a Wiggie decided to act human.
94 min – *Insert dramatic, shocking revelation music here*
95 min – *Insert Darth Vader revelation clip here*
96 min – Oh ha ha ha, murder is such fun!
98 min – There’s no thinking about it. He ditched for over a decade and he’s only come back now because of a damn guilt trip. To hell with him!
99 min – What the hell is this?! They screwed you over royally in the past and never once apologize!
100 min – What? We’re just going to glance over this?
101 min – Wait a minute, we are ending on that note?! The writer forgot a couple of scenes because there is no excuse for that!
Ending Credits – You know what?! Screw it! Screw this movie! This is not how you end a damn film!!

NOTABLE QUOTES
Brittany: They’ll pay us 200 dollars?!
Joei: No, 200 pennies. (mumbling) Stupid!

Brittany: We can’t dance?
Joei: You kidding me? I’ve seen stiffs with better dancing than you.

THE PLOT

On my Senior trip in high school, we went to Mall of America. It was a fun time and we came away with a lot of fun memories. Unfortunately, something wicked was in those memories. I recall seeing advertisement everywhere for this movie, Standing Ovation. It looked unbelievably silly, stupid, and reminded me that I was so not in the target audience for it. Then for a couple of months, I forgot all about it and its odd impact on my day. I, however, came across this film once again, but in a list of the worst movies for 2010. This was listed as number one in one list, even beating out The Last Airbender. So I must ask myself, is this truly as bad as it looks? I wasn’t sure, but yet, brave or as stupid as I am, I dived into the madness of the film…

After witnessing a weird, gag inducing moment with a bunch of pink wig wearing girls, who sadly will be in this movie, our film opens up with an amateur pop singing contest. Don’t all great films open as such? There, we meet our lead characters, the Ovations, lead by Brittney, enter the theater to get ready for their performance in the contest. The first thing I notice about the opening scene is the creepiness that is emanating from the stage, where we see 12 or younger little girls dressing and dancing in not appropriate ways. Seriously, it’s very unsettling and doesn’t help my feelings towards the film, especially with something like this early on.

Anyhow, before they start performing, we see their rivals take the stage, known as the Wiggies (the pink wig wearing girls I mentioned before) and frankly… they should be able to mop the floor with them. I’ve seen Radio Disney pop singers do better them and have a much better choreographed song as well. If one of the moves for your song is the “I’m a little teapot” then you are not going to win.

However; due to them, their parents, and Justin Bieber (well someone who resembles him) sabotaging everyone’s performance, including the Ovations, they win by default. I never knew the amateur pop singing scene was so damn competitive. You learn something new every day! Also, there is a kid called Alanna Wannabe who is constantly pestering the Ovations and Wiggies to let her sing for them. She is the Jar Jar Binks for the movie, although no one puts up with her.

After losing, we focused on Brittney; her brother; and her grandfather, who I think is a Leprechaun disguise as human, whose home life is rather sad. The mom’s dead; the dad ran off and ditched everyone; and the grandfather is a gambler, which is why they can’t afford many things or even electricity (where’s child services to due a home inspection?). It’s all around bad and not good, which is why Brittney wants to win at these contests to gain some money for the family and possibly get them somewhere else if she ever gets famous. Well this movie won’t guarantee that for the actress, but that’s beside the point.

At school the next day, the Ovations hear in the news that CVS TV is holding a contest for best amateur music group and the reward is $1 million dollars. Guess who’s in it? It’s their archrivals, the Wiggies, whose father has hired a professional music video team and renting out a couple places in town, including the school, to shoot a video. Forgetting the fact that the guy was able to rent out a school, the fact that the Wiggies are all sisters and come from a white as can be father and mother, one of them is black! Unless, maybe she was adopted and… nuts that. I’m not going to try to think too hard about this considering the movie I’m dealing with.

Later on, Brittany meets the mysterious girl known as Joei Batalucci, who offers her some advice on horse racing and what horse to pick. This useful info comes in hand when her grandfather then tries to gamble away all of the money Brittany made while doing street performances. Great guy! Though she is initially mad at him for gambling the money she made, she quickly forgives and forgets when they win with the info Joei gave them. Money makes everything better!

Brittany meets with Joei after the win, who offers to manage the Ovations for them and help them win the CVS contest, exchange for helping her find someone who messed with her family a long time ago. While not sure, Brit agrees to it. The first thing to do is a music studio to work on this video and to do that, one of the Ovations has to fake liking some boy at the school whose family owns one. Emotionally manipulate or play with a guy’s feelings so he’ll do what you want! Great lesson for all ages. I hope you girls are taking notes on this.

While all of this is happening, the Alanna girl also decides to join the contest as well to upstage the Ovations and Wiggies, who’ve been ignoring her and throwing out their performances when she tries to crash them. And she wonders why she isn’t let near them, outside of her terrible singing and acting ability. Regardless, she is in the contest now and has gotten her father to; somehow, get the local fire department to be the backup dancers for her video. Do not ask because I can’t say for sure why they are going along with this. This is the least the film’s troubles.

The Ovations begin working on their music video and looks pretty good so far, though they need to hire better pop singers for them lip synch to if they are going to win this contest. During this time, while they are on a break, the Wiggies start harassing them at a local restaurant. I wonder if they got sonar on these girls, because they also popped up to ruin a shot in the Ovations’ music video earlier. Anyhow, after they sing a horrendous song about table manners for some odd reason (the movie maybe be trying to scare me off, but they won’t succeed that easily), Joei shows up and scares them off, declaring war on them and that’ll win.

They continue working on their video, tricking other boys into helping them or dancing in their video, and pretty much wrap it up. In fact, it seems pretty okay, for an amateur music video made for YouTube, but it is all set to go. However, one of the Wiggies and the evil Justin Bieber clone break into the studio and mess with the video. Seriously, is pop singing at this level this cutthroat?

The girls get to move on to the semi-finals when one of the other contestants for the contest is disqualified, causing the Ovations to win by default. Hooray for default I suppose. So, the Wiggies, Ovations, and surprisingly Alanna (She must have found a good person to dub in the singing for her) all move onto the semi-finals and head to New York City for the main competition. It’s at this moment that we finally get to see the official videos these girls made and… they are just silly as hell. The costumes, the dancing, the singing and the makeup make the videos so hard to take serious. However, the Wiggies dancing has improved, but the song is extremely unbearable due to how self-indulgent it is with the lyrics.

However, the main attraction of the videos is the one for the Ovations, due to all that tampering that was done. It is just so bad that it may just be good. Heck, I think even the audience is thinking the same thing, which allows the girls to move on with the Wiggies to the finals due to how hilarious it was. I’m pretty sure the vote was for the best video, but hey, whatever works.

Now that the finalists have been picked, they must be able to a live performance for the final round, complete with dancing as well. So the girls meet with another girl called Jasmine, who can teach them how to step up their game, since the song & dance they have in mind is a lot more complicated then what they are use to. While that’s all fine and dandy, this Jasmine girl is a belly dancer by looks of her and seems to be underage. Wow, this movie keeps surprising me with every new thing it pulls out.

Well the shock keeps coming, but to a less extreme, when Alanna shows up and demands to be in their dance number, since she wasn’t able to move on in the competition. She doesn’t join, Jasmine and her friends, also good dancers and not creepy like her, won’t join the number. Since they need everyone they can get and people who are actually experience at dancing, the Ovations agree to Alanna’s terms. Another great lesson, blackmail. Just wonderful.

You know what really bothers me outside of the bad singing, messed up messages, the sexualize dancing for underage girls, or just plain bad acting is the character of Alanna. She is an utter brat in the movie, always demanding people bend to her every command and desire, like her father who is a pretty bad parent as well considering her gives her everything she wants. She is annoying, she is a terrible actor and singer whenever someone isn’t dubbing for her, and she doesn’t add anything to this plot (take her out and nothing changes), and is completely useless. Whose bright idea was it for her to be in this movie, which sucks pretty bad already despite me not saying too much regarding it?

Anyhow, the movie continues on with the Ovations getting prepared for the main event and ruining one of the Wiggies performances. Remember kids, getting revenge is a very good encouraged thing to do. Then comes the big day and everyone is ready to performance their ass off. After the first two groups perform (which were a Jonas Bros. ripoff group and a choir for some reason), we get to see the Wiggies first as they perform their big number, Dancing Girl. Well… the best thing I can say about it is that it is something. Something not good at all, but it certainly is something. The dancing is creepy as hell considering their age group (they got to be in middle school since they are attending the same damn school as the Ovations), the song seems more like something the Pussycat Dolls would sing, the outfits are laughable, and the backup singer is terrible. It’s catchy, but I frankly wish it wasn’t.

Now comes the Ovations and their performance called Shooting Star. Well, it certainly was much better than that last song for sure. The makeup is pretty silly, especially on the backup dancers; and outside of a couple of questionable moves, the song isn’t half bad. I sort of dig the goofy opening of the song with the electronic voice, the choreograph dancing is pretty good, the singing isn’t half bad for a kid song (it’s all obviously lip-synching and dubbing, but whoever original sung this was good), and it was fun to watch. It’s easily the best song and dance of the film, but that isn’t saying much looking back on everything else and this song in any other musical movie would probably be the weakest song.

With both performances done, the winner is announced and like you probably saw coming a mile away, the Ovations win the day and a bunch of Wiggies throw a hissy fit at losing (though one of them is human enough to congratulate the winners). After winning, Joei takes Brittany to meet the man she’s been looking for throughout the entire film, who happens to not only be an executive of CVS, but also Brittany’s long lost dad (cue dramatic music!). Apparently, back in the late 90’s after ditching Brittany, the dad stole Joei’s dad’s money and used it to get to where he is (it is also implicated that he might have killed anyone who knew what he did), so Joei wants him to repaid back her family and thought that bringing Brittany along to reveal the truth might help make it easier for him to do so. However, the plan backfires when Brit storms off, frustrated at Joei for not telling her about this and of course at her dad for running out on the family.

Now later on, get this, Brittany wakes up and walks outside of her apartment to discover that the whole neighbor has gotten presents. Apparently, her dad, who shows up, wants to make amends and get the family back together again. He thinks that by giving everyone gifts, paying back her grandfather, and saying he’s sorry will make everything better (he also gave the money back to Joei’s family and even more). Well excuse me if I don’t call bulls**t on this. You cannot tell me that a guy who ditches his family and daughter since she was like one year old can just waltz back into the family after just suddenly meeting her after all this time and think everything will be all good by buying presents and paying money back to everyone. There’s no way in f**king hell that would work in real life.

And you know what? It works! It f**king works! All is forgiven and everyone’s happy with him, though Brittany says she’ll think about forgiving him. Again, bulls**t! This does not compute at all! What kind of f**ked world are they living in!?

The movie then ends with Brittany going to this party that the father is throwing for everyone, including the Wiggies. Why the hell are they there considering how big of assholes they were during this entire film; though I could sort of get why one of them would be there since she sort of turned around towards the end. Now, get this as well, the movie ends on this final conversation and I’m not making this up or editing it at all. These are the final words spoken in the film:

Dad: Happy?
Brittany: I’m working on it.
Dad: What do you want me to do? Buy you a house?
Brittany: No.
Dad: OK, uh, whatever you want. Just name it. Come on. Pick one thing and I’ll make it come true.
Brittany: I want you to bring back my mother.
Dad: Oh, my god. Honey, I, I wish I could do that. I will not let you down like I let you down like I let her down. OK? Just… my little baby. (Hugs each other)

That’s it. The movie ends right there as a jovial song plays. What the hell was that? You are going to end it right there, on that note of depression and sadness?! Bulls**t. You do not end a kid’s film on those final words and then switch it to funny and upbeat song. Imagine if Bambi ended with the mom dying and it cut to upbeat song as the credits rolled. What the crap.

Ugh, this movie gave me a headache. What an utter piece of crap. The messages and lessons this movie teaches are terrible, the dancing is often extremely uncomfortable to watch, the songs range from mediocre to downright awful (with exception of that song I mentioned earlier), the acting is forgettable to horrendous, the story was cliché and done to death before about the underdogs trying to be the popular kids, and the ending is biggest piece of crap I ever seen since Monster A-Go Go and Master of Martial Hearts.

The only good thing I can say is the Joei was sort of fun to watch and I did like the Shooting Star song. This movie sucks hard and I am not all that surprised that the director also did Mac and Me. This is the worst musical I have ever seen, the worst live acted kid’s film I’ve ever seen (the animated Titanic films are still worse), and quite possibly the worst film to come out of 2010. The list may have been right after all! Nothing left to say but f**k this movie and good night.

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