With its third season complete, I've written a lot about Mad Men. It is a show set in the past that lets our knowledge of '60s history interpret what we see on the screen. They use that innate foreshadowing to inform our views of the greater cultural impact and import of the characters' actions. These actions are subtle. The humor, for the most part, is derived from these subtleties. Rarely are we hit over the head with anything on the show. You have to do some thinking to derive the characters' motivations, their possible next steps. It is an intellectual show requiring an awareness of the cultural drivers and an open mind to deal with the complexities of each of is characters.
Now, take everything I wrote in the previous paragraph and make it exactly opposite. I give you Kickin' It Old Skool. It's a movie about a breakdancing teen from 1986 who, upon missing a crucial move, goes into a coma for the next twenty years and wakes up to find himself played by Jamie Kennedy and in a new world of DVRs and iPods. Except all of his friends and enemies from 1986 are still in the same town. And all of them are still into breakdancing. So, when a breakdancing competition (like the one you might come across on MTV, hosted by Mario Lopez) promises a $100,000 prize, Kennedy gets his friends together to make a go and get the girl. In the meantime, they make as many blatant '80s references as they can. Smurfs, Karate Kid, He-Man, and so on and so on. I Love The '80s didn't have as many lame references thrown into as short a time period. And that time period? At 102 minutes, Kickin' It Old Skool is excruciatingly long. I kept checking to see how far along the movie was. At an hour, I started counting down the minutes. At an hour and twenty, I flat out fell asleep and ended up having to go back to see what I had missed. Lucky me. I missed the second pee joke, but thankfully I caught up with it.
I may have missed the boat last week with my wholly negative review of Corky Romano. To be fair, there was one line in that movie that made me give one chuckle -- a part where Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy from The Sopranos) shakes down a kid for money. On the other hand, I stared at Kickin' It Old Skool with horror the whole time. My brain is actually sitting on the keyboard in front of me because it shriveled to the size of a raisin and fell out of my nostril. I don't know if Kickin' It Old Skool is the worst movie I've ever seen, but it sure is the stupidest. It is stupid to the max.