DVD Review HTF REVIEW: National Lampoon's Senior Trip

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Elliott, May 15, 2004.

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  1. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]


    National Lampoon’s Senior Trip


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    Studio: New Line
    Year: 1995
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 91 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, Dolby Surround
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Retail Price: $19.95




    Two stoners, wanting the best for their senior year, decide to throw a party at the house of their lamebrain principal but when the big guy catches him he decides to punish everyone there with Saturday detention. Those who got caught were the previously mentioned stoners, an overweight guy who is constantly eating something, the good girl virgin, the school slut, the black guy who wants to be Malcolm X plus a computer dork who enjoys reading Playboy magazine since he can’t get a real woman.

    In the detention center the kids are made to write a letter to the President on the current state of education in America. Of course the smart girl ends up doing the report and it turns out that the letter actually makes it to the White House and the President decides to let the kids come to Washington so that they can introduce his new education bill. They’ve got two days to get to Washington and the road trip begins when Red (Tommy Chong), the horse pill popping bus driver shows up and declares the party official. The next two days are full of your typical sex and drugs but when the kids learn that they are just being used for political reasons, they decide to show that they aren’t dumb after all.

    National Lampoon’s Senior Trip is without a doubt one of the dumbest, most lame films ever made. Everything from the acting to the directing to the so-called screenplay are amateurish and perhaps that’s being a bit too nice. There isn’t a single original idea throughout the entire film and most of the time the film tries to go all out with over the top stereotypes as well as silly party scenes leading up to a so-called dramatic ending where the losers become winners. Every single scene in this film is something we’ve previously seen yet we’re fortunate because the film is still pretty damn funny. The term so bad it’s good certainly applies to this film.

    What makes this bad movie work is the effort that is obviously going on throughout it. You can tell that the actors are trying their best to recreate earlier teen films like [bNational Lampoon’s Animal House[/b] and Porky’s but they fail horribly in every sense yet them failing so badly is what gets a laugh from the viewer. We can look at all the stereotypes, which are seen the same way they were back in the 1980’s. We’ve got the fat kid who does nothing in the movie except eat food. We get a dork who loves Playboy magazine yet fails to perform when a sex kitten offers him the time of his life. We get the good-girl virgin who deep down really wants to go wild with sex and alcohol. We got the bad boy who likes her and is willing to be a bit on the good side to get down her pants. We then get the dork teachers pet who deep down is a homosexual.

    The stereotypes themselves are very politically incorrect, which also adds to some of the charm. There’s a hilarious, if stupid, scene where the teacher’s pet is asked by the Principle for help and the guy gets down on his knees thinking that’s the help needed. We get another scene where the overweight guy goes all out on his fantasy where he would have sex with a real Jap from China. We even get a nice porno take of Forrest Gump called Forrest Humps. If all of this sounds incredibly stupid, well it is and that’s what makes the film funny. All of these jokes, as bad as they are, are being acted and directed as if they were the greatest comic lines ever written so we’re left laughing at ourselves laughing at the film more than we’re actually laughing at what’s in the film.

    The biggest stab in the film goes towards Star Trek fans as one characters is so obsessed with the series that he goes all out (with his rubber sex partner) to destroy one of the senior members. There another politically incorrect scene where the Trek-nut kidnaps a Chinese family, which has to be seen to believe. Then there’s the cameo by Tommy Chong, which while funny should have been a whole lot better. Sadly all the promos made it feel that he would have a large chunk in the film but he’s in and out way too quickly but before he goes Chong delivers a few good pot jokes as well as a nice homage back to his days with Cheech.

    National Lampoon’s Senior Trip is a very poor film but if you don’t mind an offensive and lamebrain film then I’m sure you’ll get enough chuckles out of it. You certainly shouldn’t go into this thing expecting anything like Animal House and if you do you’ll certainly be very disappointed. This is a very poorly made film that thankfully gets bad enough to get a few laughs. When I originally saw this in the theaters I was hoping this would be a return form to the good old days where teen comedies weren’t rated PG-13 and didn’t have a silly message to relay. There’s no message here and the dirtiness certainly deserved the R-rating but by in large, the film is forgotten for a reason and I doubt a cult will ever pick up on it.


    VIDEO---The film is shown widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 TVs. Once again New Line delivers a very good transfer for a film you wouldn’t expect to get one. The color levels are all very nice and look accurate while the black levels are deep throughout. There are a few scenes that appear a tad bit soft but this is never too distracting. The best sign of this is during the final hotel scene where the room is pretty dark with some mild grain being spotted. The biggest problem is some major edge enhancement in one scene. The scene takes place early on as we first meet the Star Trek nut.

    AUDIO---The original Dolby Surround track is here as well as a newly created Dolby Digital 5.1 track as well as a DTS 5.1 track. I sampled all three tracks and the 2.0 Surround is the clear winner. This is a very quiet movie so there is very little to show off in the 5.1 tracks and most of the time those tracks appear weaker than a mono film from the 1930’s. The dialogue is clear throughout but appears a bit low in the 5.1 tracks while sounding more upfront in the 2.0 track. The songs in the film also appear very weak in the new mixes. This here appears to just be a bad mix because for some reason the music can hardly be heard or is deep in the background when it should be more upfront.

    EXTRAS---You get a theatrical trailer as well as a few trailers for other New Line comedies.

    OVERALL---If you’ve never seen this film then you should certainly rent it before putting your hard earn cash down on a buy. The film is so incredibly bad that I couldn’t help but laugh at it but I know many don’t buy the “so bad it’s good” thing so that’s why a rental would be best for first time viewers. New Line delivers a nice anamorphic transfer but the two new 5.1 tracks are pretty wasteful.


    Release Date: June 1, 2004
     
  2. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    Finally! This film is absolutely hilarious, I shall pick it up at once [​IMG]
     
  3. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    It's too bad the deleted scenes shown in the television version aren't available as a special feature on this DVD. [​IMG]

    But I'm still buying it! [​IMG]
     
  4. Ryan_Walsh

    Ryan_Walsh Stunt Coordinator

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    Blonde-haired Asians [​IMG]
     
  5. Jim Barg

    Jim Barg Second Unit

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    Man, I haven't seen this in years. I remember when my brother and I rented this back in our high school days and proceeded to laugh our heads off. The only things I distinctly recall are the bong-for-the-ages fired up by Mr. Chong and, of course, Forrest Humps. A movie that may yet get another rental, even though it probably doesn't hold up at all.
     
  6. Matt Harrison

    Matt Harrison Stunt Coordinator

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    Been waiting for this one for a while. I'm buying it.

    Cheers for the review
     
  7. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    Principal.
     
  8. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

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    I've never seen this movie, but ten years later, I still remember "Time to cause some Van Damme-age!" from the tv spots.
     
  9. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

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    Principal Moss: "Open the door!"
    Red (the bus driver): [Driving away] "Sorry man, we got a schedule to keep."
    Principal Moss: "Open the door!"
    Red: "What's the magic word?"
    Principal Moss: "Please!"
    Red: [Opens the door] "The magic word is "Rock and Roll," man."

    [​IMG] I'll be getting this and "Eurotrip."
     

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