Movie Reviews: Varsity Blues


“Let’s play the next 24 minutes for the next 24 minutes.”

As someone that grew up in the MTV generation, who graduated High School in 1999, Varsity Blues holds a special place in my heart. It was released in January 1999 after a little marketing campaign on the only channel I watched back then. I saw it in theaters, alone I think, because I was a loner and girls really didn’t talk to me.

And saw the whip cream bikini.

The bad teacher.

Tweeter the party animal.

The nerd reading Vonnegut who can throw a football 50 yards.

Had music of my High School days.

It made an indelible impression. Rewatching it recently, it holds up in some areas while lacks in other areas. The West Texas Football plot is cliche. The backup becomes starter, in sort of a Nick Foles role. The coach is an ambitious asshole. The girlfriends are hot. The biggest problems are really not that big. The ending is predictable, but really, after the partying is over, the target audience doesn’t care. Listening to the sweet beats of the Foo Fighters as they play in the second half is pure gold.

Out of the cast, Paul Walker had the biggest career, but it was cut short. He peaked in Fast in the Furious, in what I think was his best role.

James Van Der Beek, continued his role as Dawson. Which, ended weirdly. (Fucking Pacey). I think his best role was The Rules of Attraction, but still didn’t have the best scene even that film.

Amy Smart went a ton of places, but nothing really big. She is sort of on the C-list. This could have been her peak, unless you think Just Friends was her chance.

Ali Larter as whip cream bikini girl. I think I imagined myself marrying her from Jan 1999 to May 1999. Wow. This was her peak.

Jon Voight played the coach. Still with the longest career, he is sort of an older version of Amy Smart if she doesn’t change trajectory. His best role since then was his cameo in Tomb Raider, only because people are not sure if he is really acting or not in a weird method acting paradox.

Scott Caan found out what Van Der Beek is finding now; TV is where it is at for a steady paycheck. He still hasn’t peaked, and with a good role, could break out in the future.

Movie Rating: 7/10 Hook and Ladders

Movie Reviews: Bio-Dome


Bio-Dome directed by Jason Bloom

My last retro movie review of Lost in Translation got me thinking; what is a guilty pleasure film for me? Something that sucks by all definition of storytelling, but somehow, someway was positively received by me.

From directorial mind of the product assistant of Action Jackson, Bio-Dome hit theaters in 1996 to the sound of crickets. It barely made $13 million, but I’ll admit I was one who bought a ticket on opening night.

I was a freshman in High School spending a Friday night at a friend’s house. We had nothing to do and were immature as hell.

We, in essence, were the key marketing demographic of Bio-Dome.

I’ll admit a double dose of honestly. At that age, I actually considered myself a Pauly Shore fan.


I said it.

Think about it for a second. When I was in middle school, this guy pumped out Encino Man, Jury Duty, Son In Law, and In The Army Now.

I dug the entire thing. The scientific underdog story with the Safety Dance thrown was cool and hip to me and I enjoyed it. A number of years passed in what I call the “Pre-Comeback Era” of Pauly Shore, and I found myself in my last year of college with a ton of DVDs (there were these discs people bought before streaming and youtube). I can’t tell you how many times people would come over and say “Dude, you got Bio-Dome!”

So to the High School class of 1998, 1999 & 2000, I dedicate this movie review to you.