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  • Deleted scenes
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Max Keeble's Big Move
Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 83 mins . PG . PAL


Disney rules. The House of Mouse make some cool films. Yes, sir! Makes me want to be a Mouseketeer. Gimme my rat ears!

What’s brought about this sudden enthusiasm for all things rodent-sized and cryogenically frozen? None other than a little film that you have probably never heard of, Max Keeble’s Big Move. It’s the story of Max Keeble. He’s young, full of beans and loaded with “phatitude” because today is the first day of Junior High. With his bestest friends Megan (a sasssy, nerdy girl) and Robe (a slightly weird kid who wears his bathrobe everywhere – how cool is that?) he’s confident that this is his year. He’ll grow up, get cool, get popular, get laid - whatever kids do in Junior High.

The other kids and his principal have other ideas. First up is Principal Jindraike, who is going to close the animal shelter Max likes and build a football field. Jindraike has probably the best lines in movie history. He whips out gems like: “I am upgrading my policy of zero tolerance to one of SUB-zero tolerance. Which is more than zero.” and “You may be under the impression that I encourage horseplay and malarkey. I don’t encourage it. I ex-courage it.” and “The smelly goat will never get my car. Ever!”

Then there are the bullies to contend with. What’s a kids film without bullies? Er, The English Patient? SHUT UP! Righty-o, the bullies comprise Troy Maginty and ex-stockmarket child whiz, Dobbs. Maginty likes to write the name of his daily victim to be on his t-shirt. Mighty considerate of him, isn’t it? Dobbs is a failed child stockmarket tycoon who is trying to regain his money by taxing the other kids for using the loo, taking their lunch money and giving the teachers investment advice. Greedy little shit - wish I had thought of it, though. Last is the Evil ice cream man. He’s not in school, but he’s still technically a bully, not to mention Evil. He’s the local ice cream truck driver, which is like a normal ice cream truck driver, but of the nutty, chocolatey evil variety. Where I live, we have a Greek ice cream man, an Old ice cream man, and a Demented ice cream Man who drives around in winter, but no Evil ice cream man.

So anyway, Max is trying to get his mojo working when he’s told by his folks that they’re moving to another city. Disappointed, he decides to gain revenge against all that have tormented and oppressed him in school. With some nice skulduggery and a sly deception or three he evens the score with the bullies and earns some respect. Max is a bit of legend now, but when his parents tell him that they don’t have to move any more he has to face the wrath of angry bullies out for revenge.

But you know the score. Being Disney, it all works out in the end. Bad guys get their comeuppance, good guys get popular, everyone eats low fat hamburgers. Which is fine with me, because as much as I would like to have seen the bullies win for a change and the other kids go on to grow up with mental scars from the harassment (just like in real life), sometimes a nice ending is just... well... nicer and no-one does “nice” nicer than Disney.

Awww... group hug!


Let’s keep this in perspective, shall we? Regardless of what the more DVD-obsessed technically inclined adults think, the kids will soak this one up and think it looks great. They’d be right to think so, the little tikes, because while it can look a little grainy at times and you’ll notice minor compression artefacts here and there, you have to remember that these things means stuff all to a 12 year old. They just watch the film and breathe through their mouth while scoffing down sugary treats and hopefully staying out of your hair for a few hours. Still, if you’re some kind of psycho who thinks that a kid will be worried about transfer quality, rest assured that this one looks fine.

Again, not many 12 year olds understand the concept of surround sound (nor many adults either, for that matter) so what they hear on this DVD will be hunky-dory. It’s bright and happy, clear and has a bit of activity in the rear speakers for a bit of added dimensionality (I think I just made that word up kids!). Crucially, they can have beanbag filling stuck in their ears and they’ll still understand every joke. That reminds me, I had a polystyrene ball stuck in my ear once when I was a kid. Boy, were my parents peeved off when they got the bill from the specialist who took it out. Goes to show that sometimes you shouldn’t try to answer the question: “I wonder if I can get this in there?”

Captain PopsicleHead has seen fit to throw on a decent bunch of extras...

Alex to the Max Featurette
This is basically a behind the scenes type of thing, but mainly focusing on and centred around Alex D. Linz, who plays Max Keeble. Brief, at around eight minutes, the kids might like this extra more than the older trolls.

Max’s Hall of Knowledge and Stuff – A Trivia Maze Game
This is a game played using the remote. You have to move around the school halls collecting things and avoiding the bullies and principal to win. This won’t replace the Playstation anytime soon, but could keep kids happy for a bit.

Five on the Film (Audio Commentary)
This commentary has actors Alex D. Linz, Jamie Kennedy, Larry Miller, director Tim Hill and producer Mike Karz. Average results, with little interesting info to be gleaned from the team, and not likely to keep the kids entertained at all.

Max’s Missing Scenes
Around 14 minutes presenting over 12 scenes, these expand a little on some minor jokes, but don’t add anything worthwhile.

You know, sometimes there’s nothing better than being proven wrong. Naturally, I wouldn’t know, as I’m never wrong. Ever. But it is nice when you expect a film to be a bit of childish claptrap and you have a hard time finding something bad to say about it. Trust me, I can find something bad to say about anything. Try me, email me a subject and I'll write 500 bad words about it. But take this DVD, for example. I dare you not to find something to laugh at. I double dare you. I infinity dare you! There are so many interesting characters, many funny lines and not too much saccharine to induce the puke, and the DVD package as a whole generally scores a few thumbs up in all the right areas.

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  •   And I quote...
    "This DVD makes me want to be a Mouseketeer! "
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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