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Now in our fifth calendar year!
PCR # 221  (Vol. 5, No. 25)  This edition is for the week of June 14--20, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
A True Underdog Story"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

Will's Key West Adventure -- Part One
 by William Moriaty
"Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story"
 by Mike Smith
An Afternoon at the Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase
 by Andy Lalino
On Comics
 by Ben Gregory
Is Political Outsourcing Corporation Centralization With Media Hype?....One-Shots
 by Brandon Jones
Edgartown Excitement....The Masters of Horror is Back!
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Tedd Webb....Bush Speak....You're Out!....Jaws 30....More on Moore....Meet The Beatles, Part 21
 by Mike Smith
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20th Century Fox     
Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn and Gary Cole
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 43 mins

In the early 80's, there was a great comic strip called "Arnold." Every month or so, Arnold and his friend, Tommy, would play dodgeball in gym. I remember one strip where they decide to play in the dark. One panel is pitch black, except for the word THUNK. The next panel shows the ball embedded in Tommy's face while Arnold yells, "Eyes like a cat, Charley!" Writer/director Thurber, who helmed the hilarious "Terry Tate, Office Linebacker" Super Bowl commercials, would certainly make Arnold smile.

Stiller is White Goodman, a former obese man who has transformed himself into a physical specimen by forming his own gym, the type with heavy motivational posters on the walls. Vaughn is Peter, who owns the gym across the street. Pete has posters on the walls too, only his are more for the average person. Slogans like "No Pain, No Shame" and "Failure IS an Option" pretty much sum up his clientele. Pete learns that he is in default on his gym and must raise $50,000 to keep White from turning it into an auxiliary parking lot. With the help of his few members, the decision is to enter the national dodgeball championship, where first prize will cover the debt. With no knowledge of the game, the team obtain an old educational film, possibly the funniest one since "Johnny Dangerously." With the aid of coach Rip Torn, the team works it's way to the tournament, where they must overcome Stiller's team for the cash!

"Dodgeball" is a comedy along the lines of "The Bad News Bears" and "BASKETball," combining team work and hilarious situations that go hand in hand. Stiller is at his pompous best while Vaughn is his usual cool self. Taylor is fine as the bank officer hired to oversee Peter's gym and great cameo performances from David Hasselhoft, William Shatner, Hank Azaria and others keep the laughs coming. Another great bit is the fact the games are shown on ESPN 8, constantly referred to as "the Ocho."

A comedy that delivers consistently, on a scale of zero to for stars, I give "Dodgeball"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.