Film Review: The Benchwarmers (2006)

Release Date: April 7th, 2006
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Written by: Allen Covert, Nick Swardson
Music by: Waddy Wachtel
Cast: Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Heder, Jon Lovitz, Craig Kilborn, Molly Sims, Tim Meadows, Nick Swardson, Bill Romanowski, Reggie Jackson, Terry Crews, Dennis Dugan, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Rachel Hunter, Doug Jones (voice), William Daniels (voice), James Earl Jones (voice)

Happy Madison Productions, Revolution Studios, 85 Minutes

Review:

“My wife is the only one who gets to twist these man titties.” – Gus

This is both a bad and a dumb movie. Still, I like the hell out of it because sometimes bad and dumb are just what you need to mindlessly escape from an increasingly shitty world.

Also, this is the type of movie that can’t be made today. When I say “type of movie” I mean “comedy”. We’re not allowed to laugh at things anymore because it could offend a small portion of the population who go through life like Howie in this movie. Although, Howie finally faced his fears and went outside where he made real friends and learned how to overcome his irrationality and begin to heal.

The Benchwarmers is the same sort of movies as Grandma’s Boy and, in fact, it’s made by some of the same people. Unlike Grandma’s Boy, though, this doesn’t focus on smoking dope and programming video games, it focuses on standing up to bullies and playing baseball.

While most of the characters in this are borderline ridiculous and way over the top, this is also the writers and actors poking fun at themselves for being nerds and non-jocks that probably just wanted to be able to hang with the dudes that picked on them growing up. This just takes the concept to the extreme because it’s easier to laugh at ourselves when it doesn’t hit super close to home.

This isn’t particularly well acted and many of the nerd tropes are way overdone to the point of cringe but in some way, it works for this movie. We really shouldn’t take this movie too seriously just like most of the things in our lives.

I get that a lot of people will hate this movie while watching it. But ask yourself this, “Are those people fun? Or are they just boring snobs thinking that they’re above a fart joke or shitty pun?” Basically, fuck those people.

Rating: 5.5/10

Documentary Review: Life After Flash (2017)

Release Date: October 2nd, 2017 (London premiere)
Directed by: Lisa Downs
Written by: Lisa Downs
Music by: Toby Dunham
Cast: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Brian Blessed, Topol, Peter Wyngarde, Richard O’Brien, Deep Roy, Brian May, Peter Duncan, Howard Blake, Barry Bostwick, Martha De Laurentiis, Richard Donner, Lou Ferrigno, Rich Fulcher, Sean Gunn, Jon Heder, Stan Lee, Ross Marquand, Josh McDermitt, Jason Mewes, Mark Millar, Robert Rodriguez, Michael Rooker, Alex Ross, Patrick Warburton, various

Strict Machine, Spare Change Films, 94 Minutes

Review:

This documentary has been in my queue for a bit but I wanted to revisit Flash Gordon first before checking this out. Luckily, I recently found my DVD of the original film and was able to watch it and review it a week or so ago.

Now that the 1980 film was fresh in my mind again, as I hadn’t seen it in years, I felt like I could go into this with more familiarity, context and creative reference.

Overall, this was pretty good and it was intriguing listening to Sam J. Jones’ story about how his career sort of fizzled out and the reasons behind that. Luckily, this is a Hollywood story with a positive outcome, as the guy is now doing well and on the right track, personally and career-wise.

This spends a lot of time talking about Jones but it also delves into the film’s production, history and features interviews with many of the people who were involved in it. I especially liked seeing Brian Blessed in this, as I’ve always loved that guy.

Life After Flash also explores the fandom a bit, as it interviews super fans and collectors but also allows them to show off their cool shit and talk about their love for the film.

I dug this documentary quite a bit, as I feel like the 1980 Flash Gordon doesn’t get enough love and has sort of been forgotten by modern audiences. 

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: other recent documentaries about filmmaking and specific fandoms.