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PCR # 387  (Vol. 8, No. 34)  This edition is for the week of August 20--26, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

The Tampa Giant Comic Con for August  by Nolan B. Canova
"Superbad"  by Mike Smith
Whadda You Wanna Do With Your Life?  by Corey Castellano
DVD Review: "Space Academy: The Complete Series"  by ED Tucker
Tampa Comic Con Chronicles .... Comic World 25th Anniversary  by Andy Lalino
American Band: The Byrds, from folk rock to country rock.  by Terence Nuzum
Great Issue .... Who Said This?... How 'Bout Dem O's .... Barry Bonds .... Everything's Up To Date in Kansas City .... I'm a Traveling Man .... Whatever Happened To? -- Chapter 28: Next Week .... The Answer  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Directed by: Greg Mottola
Running Time: 1 hour 54 mins

Is there anything as exciting to a high school senior as the last few months of school? Not only are your thoughts turning towards graduation and college, but you begin to look back on your life and the goals you had hoped to achieve before the end of grade twelve. For Seth (Hill) and Evan (Cera) the goal is simple: get the girl you've been lusting after drunk and then take advantage of her. Or, as Seth explains, "when she say's she shouldn't have slept with him, WE can be that mistake!" This goal can be accomplished in three steps. First, get invited to a party. Second, apply alcohol. Third, well, you get the point. And the point is hilariously pursued in "Superbad."

Evan pines for Becca (Martha MacIssac), yet he can't see that she likes him as well. Seth has his eye on Jules (Emma Stone), his Tiramisu baking partner in Home Ec. When the boys find out Jules is hosting a party they quickly volunteer to supply the alcohol. Enter their friend Fogell (Mintz-Plasse), a skinny kid with a whiny voice. If you're a fan of the Simpsons, just imagine Professor Frink as a teenager. Exactly. Fogell has just gotten a fake I.D. that he reasons will get the boys their booze. Upon inspection, Seth and Evan are horrified to see that the name on the card is "McLovin." No first name, just McLovin. Unswayed by their objections, Fogell enters the local liquor store to make his purchases. And the story begins.

A creation from the same comedic group that has given us "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and this summer's "Knocked Up," "Superbad" is a return to those outrageous comedies as well as the ones that inspired them. And outrageous is truly the operative word. The dialogue could politely be labeled as coarse. In fact, I would wager that there are more f-bombs dropped here then in "Scarface." Part of this is because writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who began writing the script when they were 13, wanted the characters to speak exactly as the kids they hung out with did. Having been 17 once myself I can tell you they certainly nailed the vocabulary perfectly. But, like the previous films, there is a sweetness and even a message among the dirty words. Hill, who I predicted big things for in my review of "Knocked Up," is perfectly cast. As the bolder of the duo, he is the one that comes up with plan after plan in their quest of one big night. Cera, who was a main reason "Arrested Development" was such a funny television show, is the quieter, sweeter one. While he lusts for Becca, he's not convinced that getting her drunk is the right way to go about things. The supporting cast, led by Rogen and Bill Hader as two local cops who take McLovin under their wing, is just as funny. The fact that the cops don't question McLovin's I.D. is secondary to the adventures the trio share. The breakout star here is Mintz-Plasse who, in his acting debut, creates a teen character that will take his place next to Jon Cryer's "Duckie" from "Pretty in Pink" and Dan Monahan's "Pee Wee" from "Porkys" in the hall of fame. Though the setting is modern day, there's a 1970s quality to the film, from the credits to the music. It's almost as if the filmmakers tried to make a period piece but then gave up and let the kids have cell phones.

Speaking of the 1970s, I am proud to say that I once hosted the greatest high school Toga Party in the history of Tampa, Florida. Seriously. Those that survived still talk about it. A four star event. Which reminds me...on a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Superbad"  Three and a half stars. No togas.

This week's movie review of "Superbad" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.