Sunday, August 11, 2013

Teen Beach Movie...Ride The Wave Dude!

My lovely wife Joyce decided to take this review on, and I've GOT to be honest with you, I'm glad she did. I did watch a few minutes of Teen Beach Movie with her, and well...let's just say I'm NOT a fan. What I saw made me very happy I was VERY busy! While I won't be "nasty", I will say that what I viewed kind of annoyed me and made me wonder WHAT Disney was thinking! But then, I'm sure this film wasn't made for people in my demographic! Enjoy Joyce's review - Al 

by Joyce Kessel
I wasn't sure  if I was going to enjoy the surf-rock retro beach movie but it was an ok flick,  although I think it is better suited for pre-teen and early teens. It was a bit of Grease and West Side Story combined into one movie. 

Disney Channel unleashed a retro beach party movie: Teen Beach Movie on July 19.

So, here’s a quick synopsis of the movie:

After McKenzie's (Maia Mitchell) mom passes away, she makes an agreement with her Grandpa (Barry Bostwick) and Aunt Antoinette (Suzanne Cryer) that she would spend her “important” high school years at a school of her Aunt’s choosing (which involves her leaving the Beach Town).  Although she doesn't want her endless summer to...well, end, she wants to make her late mom proud and make something of herself. She has yet to break the news to her boyfriend Brady (Ross Lynch) and while attempting to tell him her aunt arrives and breaks the news.

Washed Up In A Movie
As she prepares to head out to catch her flight she has to ride the wave one last time but an ominous storm is brewing. Although a HUGE storm is surging, she ignores the red flag alert, and paddles her surf board out to sea and is swept underwater by a monster wave all the while, Brady (Ross Lynch) attempts to rescue her. 
Of course, a dance number on the beach!

After a fade to black, the water is calm and Brady and MacKenzie urgently try to get to shore so she can catch her flight.  But...something is very odd... They are in her Grandpa and Brady's favorite musical movie, “Wet Side Story”. 

As they make their way on shore, they see the “real” movie cast perform “Surf Crazy” and of course, Brady joins in the fun (since he DOES know ALL the moves) while MacKenzie (Mac) just wants to go home. After joining in on their musical number, they all run to the beachside restaurant Big Momma's and Brady and Mac introduce themselves to the surfer gang,  just before the biker gang shows up and start the “surf and turf war”. 

Surf And Turf War?
That evening, during a dance in Big Momma’s where Lela (Grace Phipps) who happens to be a biker,  is singing “Falling For Ya”, Mac and Brady argue about staying in the movie or trying to find a way out. Brady of course wants to stay, but Mac wants to go, and decides to investigate a way out on her own. However, they suddenly change the movie when the movie’s leading guy Tanner (Garrett Clayton), who happens to be a surfer, sees Mac and falls in love with her, and Brady catches Lela when she falls off stage - which was SUPPOSED to be done by Tanner. And since the surfer and biker don’t fall in love, the scripted surfer/biker feud doesn’t happen.  Not only does the turf war cease to exist but the bad guys trying to change weather patterns cannot be stopped.  
A Scene From Grease, err, Teen Beach Movie

Yep, I left a lot out of the synopsis, but that’s because we want you to experience the movie for yourself! Remember, limited spoilers here!

As with all Disney movies there IS a moral to the story. Tanner thinks everyone is good. Lela (the biker) wants to learn to surf and be a pro, while Tanner realized he wanted to be a biker, not a surfer. She taught him to ride, he taught her to surf.  Mac, throughout the movie tells Lela to be brave and pursue her dreams. By the end, she learns that she is not practicing what she preaches so decides to stand up to her aunt and tells her that will not be attending the high school her aunt picked out, but she will be staying with her Grandpa. Be true to yourself - moral for the day! 
"We Go Together Like..."

Some of the nit-pick things in Teen Beach Movie for me:

*There is a subplot involving a mad scientist and weather control that I felt did not really belong here. But I guess they had to find a way to get Mac and Brady in the movie. 

*The Mad scientist uses a candy thermometer to make his weather potion and a Buzz Lightyear astro blaster gun to stun them.   Hmmmm...

*As Mac and Brady " morph" into the movie she has a bit of an accent from time to time.

*This movie felt a LOT like Pleasantville to me. Very similar plot...well, sort of
Teen Beach Movie is now available on DVD which has a few bonus features including exclusive dance rehearsal footage and musical numbers. SRP $26.99 

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