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Out Cold

Starring Jason London, AJ Cook, Lee Majors
Screenplay by Jon Zack
Directed by Emmett and Brendan Malloy

IN SHORT: Ah, to be drunk and fourteen, now that it's cold outside. [PG-13 for language, crude and sexual humor, and substance abuse. minutes]

Every generation sees that one name that redefines all the humor that comes after it. The greatest of all comedies have all set their comedic feet firmly in the ground of reality to do so -- Chaplin, Marx, Marx and their brother Marx, Belushi -- all have the same thing in common. They're all dead, so you should thank us for not including Bob Hope in that list. Yet. And then there was Porky's and we've been waiting for another one ever since. Well, not us, exactly. The drunk 14 year old next door has been waiting for it ever since he had to sneak peaks at his dad's VHS. We, personally, having experienced Out Cold first hand in the big screen can only sit and wonder "since when did slapstick humor and gratuitous nudity stop walking hand in hand?"

Yeah, we're old enough to remember gratuitous nudity. Out Cold may not push the acceptable boundaries but it's a helluva lot funnier than we expected it to be. It takes a particular sort of brain to come up with new uses for polar bears and the rest of the stuff that makes you laugh and writer Jon Zack has that kind of brain. We've suffered through enough dumb, aimed-at-teens comedies to know the difference. We laughed at this one even if no one actually snowboarded off the side of a mountain. They tried. You'll see those attempts in the outtakes that roll under the closing credits.

On the other hand, we're also old enough to know that "Casablanca" is the answer to the crossword puzzle clue "Greatest Film Romance". Out Cold lifts liberally from that film, right down to its lead male, Rick (Jason London). Morocco is now Bull Mountain, Alaska, home to a zillion snowboarding fools and one eligible femme, Jenny (A.J. Cook). Despite the nudges of his pals Luke (Zach Galifianakis), Anthony (Flex Alexander) and Pig Pen (Derek Hamilton) and the encouragement of the femme, Rick just can't bring himself to ask the question. The reason? His poor heart was broken by a three week fling down in Cancun and, dontcha just know it, said femme walks into the one bar in all the bars in Alaska...

Then again, if you don't know Berman and Bogart, Out Cold is the story of the purest entertainent to be found in Alaska, snow-sporting down the mountain owned by the Muntz family. When Papa Muntz, who stole the mountain from the Eskimos and was partial to bare-butted skiiing, dies, his bald son Ted (Willie Garson) decides to sell the mountain to a slick developer from Colorado, John Majors (Lee Majors). Majors has no interest in the Papa Muntz' motto (Don't Go a Changin') and intends to change the mountain in a major way. Though our heroes hate the thought, most of 'em are preoccupied with other ideas -- all about the developer's daughters, blonde and busty Inga (Victoria Silvstedt) and cute as a button Anna (Caroline Dhavernas).

Rick has that history with Anna that he's got to get out of the way before he can realize that Jenny is the one he is meant for. The usual "Jenny catches Rick and Anna together" story never surfaces, thankfully, but there the usual amount of booze and bathroom humor that you'd expect.

Then again, faced with a neverending stream of yuppies and their tofu joints and hot tubs and the loss of the town's very identity -- as represented by the statue of Papa Muntz, which is lugged out to the dump our heroes are left with no choice. They must do what they have to do.

They leave.

As we said, Out Cold is definitely not the same as every other dumb teenflick of the last zillion years. It took us a while to warm up to it but by the time anarchy raised its inevitable head, we were hooked.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Nine Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Out Cold, he would have paid . . .


dateflick for the demo. Relatively pain-free, and frequently amusing, film for the rest of us old farts.

Disappointingly, there isn't as much 'boarding action as we expected to see, even with some national champions on the payroll. Is there a contest to determine who's the King of the Mountain? Uh, yeah, but it has little to do with 'boarding skill or style and more to do with not spilling the beer on the way down the mountain. So, do we surf? No. Do we think that zipping down the side of a mountain on a slab of wood is insane? Yeah. But we like to watch...

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