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Posts Tagged ‘Zac Efron’

I’m going to take a minute and review 17 Again.  I’m warning you ahead of time, this review contains spoilers.  But these spoilers won’t actually ruin anything for you if you’ve ever seen…a movie.  Any movie.  (No plot twists or unexpected turn of events in 17 Again — thanks Burr Steers!)  Also, I should note that this review is coming directly from my memory, I failed to jot down any notes during my 12:15am viewing of this movie.   Hence, there might be some mistakes (read: made up plot lines/scenes) here and there.  But trust me, I get the main points across.
zac-efron-17-again-poster
The opening scene of the film takes us back to 1989, or 1988 (minor detail), and Mike O’Donnell (played by tween heartthrob Zac Efron) is the high school star basketball player.  Mike’s got charm, skills, and good looks.  The world is his oyster.  We watch Mike as he’s warming up on the basketball court for the most significant game of his life thus far, the state championship.  (Truth be told, I have no idea if it’s the state championship, but I assume it is.)  Mike’s entire future rides on his performance today since there will be scouts watching.  Scouts who, if they like what they see, will grant him a full scholarship to Syracuse.  (Or some other school, but I think it’s Syracuse.  Again, minor detail.)

If Mike is offered a scholarship, then it is smooth sailing all the way to…the first day of practice when Mike realizes he’s only 5’7 and is the smallest guy on his college team.  But that is neither here nor there.  The point is, Mike can practically taste his future, his future of skipped classes, academic probation, booze, and campus notoriety.  (God, I miss college.)  All of Mike’s dreams come to a screeching halt however, when his girlfriend, Scarlett, tells him she’s pregnant (tells him BEFORE the biggest game of his LIFE!  Selfish!).

When Mike realizes he is going to be a father he cannot see straight.  The court is hazy, the background is in soft touch focus.  It’s all a bad dream.  THIS CAN’T BE REAL.  But then, unexpectedly, Mike mans up.  He runs off the basketball court to his little Bristol Palin, and tells her that everything is going to be fine.  That this baby, this baby is his future.  It’s their future.  The scene then ends with Mike swooping Scarlett up into his arms and twirling her around as if we’re watching the end of a Walt Disney Fairy Tale.  Right.  I think a more realistic response upon hearing this news would be Mike punching a hole through the wall and falling to the ground as he curses the heavens above for taking away his youth and college dreams.  But I think that storyline is being saved for the next High School Musical installment.

-Cut to present day-

Mike’s life sucks. (Present day Mike is played by Matthew Perry.  Because Matthew Perry looks just like Zac Efron.  Not.)  He’s stuck in a job where all his co-workers look like they were born around the time when Family Matters was at the forefront of ABC’s TGIF line-up (i.e. they are youngsters), his wife hates him and wants a divorce, and his kids want nothing to do with him.  (Ah, finally some semblance of a lifestyle spawned from a shot-gun wedding involving two high school students.)

We’re not too sure why Mike is such a loser until Scarlett reveals some of his downfalls: he’s despondent, lazy, and never follows through with his promises.  With the camera suggesting some of these “unfulfilled promises” as it directs its focus to an unfinished brick porch in the backyard and then to a haphazardly assembled hammock.  And then the camera pans over to my face, to indicate how this scene is a clear representation of my tendencies…in life.  Too bad Mike isn’t bright enough to respond with my always in style: “Listen, I have A.D.D.”  Too bad, indeed.

Blah, anyway, Scarlett kicks Mike out and he’s forced to stay with his weird friend, Ned.  Ned’s basically your run of the mill “indoor guy”.  His house is fraught with light sabers and action figures, his bed is a race car, and he eats cereal for dinner, etc.  Although, Ned is rich and doesn’t live with his mother, so I suppose he’s somewhat of a respectable character in that regard.

Moving along, one day Mike comes across a creepy janitor (played by Noah-the-arcade-guy from Wayne’s World — asphinctersayswhat?) who asks him, “If you could do it all over again, would you?”  (Meaning: if given the option to abandon your preggo girlfriend back in high school, would you?)  And Mike answers, “Yes.”

Naturally, later on that evening as Mike is driving over a bridge his radio tuner spontaneously starts scanning through all the stations, as radios usually do when someone is about to time travel.  And Mike spots the creepy janitor standing on the ledge of the bridge.  Mike, being the good Samaritan he is, runs over to the creepy janitor, but it’s too late and the janitor is gone.  Mike leans over the side of a bridge, yelling “hello?  HELLO?!?” and subsequently gets sucked down into one of those downward spiral time warps and returns to earth as his 17 year old self.

Once Mike is finished freaking out both himself and Ned with his new (but former) hunky Zac Efron self, he realizes this is his opportunity to redirect his life.  To be everything he could have been had he not been burdened with a child at such a young age.  He decides to enroll in high school and try out for the basketball team with Ned playing the role of his father.  It truly is the perfect plan.

On Mike’s first day of high school he walks in looking like the guy from Offspring’s “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” video.  He’s all bling and baggy pants.  Classic.  But his classmates make fun of him, so Ned’s like, “I will make you over.  You need my help.”  Because Ned is such a master of hipness himself?  But alas, the next day in comes the new Mike with his perfectly side swept man-bangs, aviator sun glasses, and beautifully put together ensemble. –Sorry, I have to pause and take a moment to google “Zac Efron + aviator glasses” and make the result my desktop background.–  Anyway, Mike looks nothing short of a Diesel model.  (Note: It’s obvious that if Ned were to actually give his friend a “makeover” Mike would have ended up in school wearing a pair of Bermuda shorts with random blond highlights in his hair.  Oh, the magic of movies…)

Now in high school Mike realizes he can reconnect with his children, since they too are in high school.  He’s pumped until he discovers that his son is routinely beat up by, who other than, his daughter’s boyfriend.  (Would an older sister really let her boyfriend beat up her little brother?  Yeah, I guess she would.)  Obviously, Mike feels the need to defend his son, Alex, and to reprimand his daughter, Maggie, for dating a nasty meat-head.  His plan pretty much fails though, since why would the brand new Diesel model kid in school defend a dork and yell at the dork’s sister?

Mike spends the rest of the film educating Alex on bully tips and helping him out with his basketball game, whilst in his other spare moments at school informing Maggie she’s dating a douche bag.  With Maggie’s response always along the lines of, “Seriously, what is your problem? You either need to explain why you care about my life or you need get out of my face.”  Mike never counters with a logical explanation.  His excuse is usually simply, “Because you’re better than him!”  As if anyone in high school talks like that, ever.

When away from the classroom, Mikes spends as much time as possible at Alex’s home, a.k.a. his old home, a.k.a. the home where Scarlett resides.  He finally wants to make up for his wrongdoings towards Scarlett.  And Scarlett allows young Mike to spend as much time as he wants at her home, even though he’s only in high school and it’s totally weird, because when you look like Zac Efron, no woman with eyes will ever kick you out of her home.

We witness a few weird moments between young Mike and Scarlett throughout the film, like for instance, in the scene where young Mike instructs slow dancing etiquette to Scarlett before she leaves on a date.  It’s entirely unbelievable, (though, not more unbelievable than, say, a 37 year old turning into a 17 year old — whatevs) but the scene sort of works since Zac Efron is so friggin cute and charming.

That’s pretty much the bulk of the movie: Mike realizing what a distant father and husband he’s been and making amends with his family who he, to some degree, has abandoned up until this point.  At least emotionally.  And at the end of the film he, of course, realizes he made the right decision giving up his basketball dreams and marrying Scarlett.  Because who doesn’t love being married and taking care of a baby when you can barely take care of yourself?  No one.

Oh, I guess I should address one disturbing scene where Maggie’s been dumped by her boyfriend and mistakes Mike’s concern for her as his liking her, and so Maggie tries to make out with him.  Hardcore.  The whole thing is real grody, but is to be expected from this movie.  Once again, no real plot twists here…just a good ol’ fashioned “I traveled back in time and am young again” film.

Thank you, Hollywood!

No seriously, thank you.

No seriously, thank you.

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Due to my wanting to make this site as gay as possible, I’d like to wish Mr. Zac Efron a Happy Birthday. He turns 20. (You know, 20 is only 4.5 years younger than me. I’m just saying. I could totally be his beard.)

He’s like a puppy.

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While most of you readers are busy spending your time not watching musicals (losers), I have spent the better half of this past year investing as much free time as possible to the genre. What can I say, I love a good sing-a-long. Especially if it includes a tender-hearted Captain Von Trapp expressing his love to Fraulein Maria through the “Something Good” lyrics. (God Damn, you, Christopher Plummer, why must you own my soul?) Anyway, during my sporadic musical marathon, I couldn’t help but notice something lacking in recently released musicals. Something called…quality. And while I may refuse to turn the channel whenever Encore Drama airs “RENT,” that doesn’t mean it’s a particularly good movie. It simply means that I love choreographed dance sequences. Though, who doesn’t? I mean, come on.

However, I do feel as though this questionable-musical dry spell is ending. During this phase of mine, as my film viewings tend to run in phases, like that time I watched every Christian Bale movie throughout the course of a week (I call that my best phase EVER), I saw not one, but two tune-influenced, incredibly entertaining movies released in the 2006-07 year. These two movies being HSM (that’s “High School Musical” to the layperson) and “Hairspray.” Now, I’m not going to lie. If you’re over the age of 20…or 13, you may not have heard of or seen HSM, since it was only aired on the Disney Channel. And as much as I hate to admit it, not every 24 year-old holds such dear fondness towards Disney original movies as I do, making me somewhat abnormal. Although, don’t act like you haven’t seen at least one Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie.

(Best.)

Also, the HSM soundtrack was the number one selling album charted on Billboard’s top 100 for the entire 2006 year. Just to give you an idea regarding the movie’s popularity. So stop judging me. In any case, I might suggest watching “Hairspray” over HSM to anyone that can’t handle the tween goodness of HSM. And while one can’t really compare the “Hairspray” remake to the John Waters’ classic, it’s great, great fun. Especially once you get over imagining how disturbed Kelly Preston must’ve been watching John Travolta so gracefully prance around a plus-sized boutique in a pink sequined dress.

But the main component linking these two musicals together, and hence making them both spectacular is this guy:

(Loves it.)

Zac Efron. Total dreamboat. I realize it’s completely inappropriate to have an actual crush on him, since he’s like, 12, but it’s also inappropriate to make an STD joke. Where does one draw the line? Not here, obvs. I also heard that Efron was cast to play the lead in the “Footloose” musical film adaptation. This boy is going to single-handedly bring back the art of sung dialogue. Mark my words.

So in conclusion, I think the musical is coming back. And to all you haters:

(Love it or leave it.)

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