Bad Movies Beware!
Is it any surprise that I’m listening to Amon Amarth while I’m writing this review?
Yes, I need Melodic Viking Death Metal to clear my head after being eye-gouged by this travesty. If it weren’t just before 3am, I’d probably be drinking to erase it from my memory. Having a cold isn’t helping matters, either.
Just as I was reaching for Madam Satan like a well-behaved little B-Movie whore, my daughter reminded me that I’m WAY overdue for a family flick. Not that I mind family flicks, I’ve seen some good ones, but I try to avoid the feel-good crap because the sap factor tends to be way too high for my taste.
I mean, really. Give me some serious dysfunction for Christ’s sake.
The film opens with a round of bad singing from a group of kids performing for a local talent show. The singing is auto-tuned, which adds to the torture (I HATE AUTO-TUNE), and the costumes are indicative of some kind of Broadway showcase that should never be.
A fat guy backstage sabotages the performance, then goes into the dressing room to check in on the Wiggies, a group of mean girls who are getting ready to perform. Turns out the dude is dear old dad (I guess the black girl is adopted?), and he is the owner of a wig factory in town.
Enter the Five Ovations, our heroes…heroines? Is that right? Anyway, the Wiggies give them a little bit of hell before hitting the stage and turning the dressing room over to them. Alana Wannabe (Oh, it gets WAY worse) is also backstage trying to butt into the group, but the Ovations shut her down before hitting the stage for a disastrous performance, thanks to a prank.
Twenty minutes into the movie, I gave up and hit IMDB. The main character’s name is Brittany, a poor girl being raised by her grandfather. Her brother, Mark, is also there, and is a talented song writer. Gramps has a gambling problem, and Brittany is fighting to break that mold and support the family off her auto-tuning…I mean, singing. Turns out her father abandoned them years ago, and her mother died somehow. I didn’t really catch it because any conceivable storyline usually followed whatever bad musical number they could come up with, and my ears were still bleeding.
Brittany meets Joey, a street-tough girl searching for the man who stole money from her father. She agrees to be the Ovations’s manager in exchange for Brittany’s help. Watching Brittany dressed in her glittery, cute little dance outfits helping Joey rough up thugs was just painful, though I think the intent was humor.
The movie drags on, pitting the characters in one situation after the other, usually with what is supposed to be a disastrously funny result. Instead, we get a lot of meandering storyline about Brittany trying to stop Gramps from gambling away their rent money and finding out that Mark is dating one of the Wiggies.
The girls find out about a contest coming up. The prize: one million dollars, a television spot, and a record deal. They begin to set up a music video, but things end up going south when Mark and his Wiggie girlfriend (Don’t know her name. Trust me, it’s not important. Ever.) re-edit the video and make the Ovations look bad. Mark breaks up with the Wiggie once he sees what she did to his sister and her friends. The video ends up being hilarious, and the girls make it to the finals after another team forfeits.
The competition comes around, and the Ovations take it home easily. BUT, that’s not the end of the movie. Joey has finally found the man responsible for stealing her father’s money. Yeah, he happens to be the head of the network giving away the prize.
And Brittany’s father.
Brittany storms out of the office, and Joey has an asthma attack. Brittany is angry at Joey for the setup but forgives her, and they leave friends. BUT, that’s not the end of the movie. Dear old dad hosts a party for the contestants, even the Wiggies, and pays back the money he stole from Joey’s dad. He also pays all of the back rent and bills Gramps never paid due to his gambling. In other words, money made everything okay and everyone is friends now. Brittany isn’t sold, and Pops promises to never leave her again and spend the rest of his life doing right by her.
Okay, NOW it’s over.
VERDICT: KILL IT WITH FIRE.
Oh f**k ME what a train wreck.
When I reviewed Santa Paws, I refrained from going too crazy on a movie starring little girls trying their best to be cute and give it their all. Granted, the movie sucked donkey nuts, but I managed to keep it together.
But THIS movie…GOD.
Standing Ovation tries to capitalize on every cliché known to man, right down to the mean girls being downright dastardly and the good guys being so good they reek of sugar and spice. What makes good guys appealing is their flaws. Guess what: the Ovations have NONE. Gramps is flawed, Mark is flawed, but Brittany and her friends are pure gold, innocent and good little fourteen-year-olds who are just trying to make it in an industry that, frankly, is about as brutal as it gets.
Really, it’s more aimed at the American Girl crowd. Difference: I’ve seen two American Girl movies (don’t judge me; I have a little girl) and they’re actually not bad. Not cinematic masterpieces by ANY stretch of the imagination, but certainly not terrible movies. The acting isn’t awful, and the storyline is fairly solid. The storyline in Standing Ovation jumps around more than eighties Madonna at the MTV Music Awards.
The plot is a mish-mash of stories that come together at the end with all the awkwardness of a couples’ dance on prom night regardless of the fact that your date is your bro in a dress because all the girls in class know better than to get within ten feet of you. The writing and dialogue is just awkward and laden with clichés and forced events that have really no buildup whatsoever.
Bad dialogue leads me into the abysmal acting. I have to wonder if anyone in this movie had any kind of acting coach. The kids deliver a ton of energy into their roles, but the delivery is forced and often overdone. The adults should’ve been able to act off of it, which probably would’ve helped the kids, but even their delivery was just over-acted into the dumpster. It was like watching a cast of William Shatners perform all at once. Brittany and Joey were really the only two who came out on top, but they kind of had to since they spent the majority of the film front and center.
The music is all modern, upbeat pop music. One hundred percent auto-tuned and canned on a good day. The lyrics are fairly nonsensical, and the dancing isn’t much to be impressed with. The singing was enough to make me want to clean my ears with a fork.
Technically speaking, the movie is solid. Lighting is good, the camerawork is good, and all of the street scenes are shot on location, so there’s no fakeness to the backdrops. Brittany’s apartment isn’t a dump, but it does show that her little family is struggling. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is just too painful to watch to allow the technical aspects to make up for the s**ty storytelling.
I’m giving it the full six Piles of S**t. I’ve seen similar movies that are way better, and this movie had the budget to at least come off with better writing and delivery. I’m always willing to give the “E” for effort, but this gorilla turd doesn’t earn anything more than the finger.