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20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 1/27/2009
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 1/22/2009
Recently, the kids were out of school on a Monday, and for the rest of the week, I kept having trouble remembering what day it was. I would like to think that this is a common occurrence, and that it's not just a part of getting old. I also found myself checking the calendar recently to make sure that it's 2009. Why was I doing this? Because I watched movie which had the unmistakable feel of something which would have come out in 1985, when teen sex comedies (having been created in the wake of Porky's) were still big and dominated late-night cable viewing. These movies were rarely good, but they seemed to exist by the hundreds. The movie in question which brought about these memories is called College and the entire thing is even more simplistic than its title.
College introduces us to three high school friends; Kevin (Drake Bell), is an upstanding young man who enjoys photography more than partying; Morris (Kevin Covais), makes good grades and is looking forward to a college scholarship; and Carter (Andrew Caldwell), a fat, obnoxious slob. Kevin is looking forward to a weekend trip to tour Fieldmont University with his girlfriend, Gina (Alona Tal), but she dumps him for being to boring. Kevin and Morris (who is going for a scholarship interview) decide to take the trip anyway, and Carter tags along. When they reach the campus, they find that the room which they are supposed to occupy is...unacceptable, so they look for other lodging. Carter claims that his cousin had been in a fraternity, so they decide to look for it. The fraternity in question is under probation, and brothers Teague (Nick Zano), Cooper (Zach Cregger), and Bearcat (Gary Owen) are desperate for someone to haze. When Kevin and his friends ask for a place to stay, the frat guys are more than happy to oblige, and they immediately begin to abuse the boys. At first, Kevin, Morris, and Carter put up with this, as they really want to get the full college experience, but they soon tire of the humiliation and look for a way out.
Before I really lay into this movie, I have a question; Why must every film of this ilk contain a fat, obnoxious character? Who is to blame for this? Many will quickly look to John Belushi in Animal House, but he can't be held accountable, as Bluto barely spoke, and he was actually funny. Characters like Carter seem to inhabit many of these movies, and I am at a loss as to what their appeal is supposed to be. Carter was on-screen for about 5 seconds when I knew that I hated him and he didn't let up for the rest of the film. Sure, we all know jerks in real life, but these characters are always way over-the-top and it's clear that they were be ostracized if they really existed.
OK, now back to College itself. If it weren't for the presence of Carter, this would have been a great film. Nah, I'm just kidding, this is an awful movie. Again, if I didn't know that this was a new film and if it weren't for the one recognizable face in the movie (Drake Bell), then I would have guessed that College was made in the mid-80s. Like those "classic" T&A movies, College exists for one reason -- to show scenes of people partying and glimpses of female nudity. That is it. If this movie has any other themes or ideas, I missed them.
Of course, I actually may have missed them, as College lost me about 15 minutes in. Let me get this straight, Greeks love hazing so much that they will go out of their way to humiliate total strangers who aren't even a part of their organization? Really? And then we have Kevin and his friends who are willing to work and be debased just so they can go to a party. Really? I had such a hard time with these shenanigans, that everything that followed is just a blur. I can tell you that the movie is never funny, there are no appealing characters, and if you didn't already feel sorry for Verne Troyer on some level, then you will after seeing this.
I'm not going to question any actor's right to work or the decisions which they make, but why would Drake Bell choose to be in something like this? He made a name for himself on the Nickelodeon show Drake & Josh and he showed some good comic chops inSuperhero Movie. Was he just trying to do something more "mature" with this movie? That would be incredibly ironic, as this is one of the most immature movies ever made.
In some ways, you can't knock College. One must assume that the film's goal was to be an exploitation movie which would attract 13-year old boys who will don anything to see an R-rated movie. The movie never feels very linear and many scenes have a random quality, but perhaps Director Deb Hagan's (yes, a woman directed this) aim was to re-create the out-of-control feeling that the boys were having. But, who am I kidding? College is a total train-wreck which will have no appealing features to any discerning viewers. Do yourself a favor and re-watch Animal House or P.C.U. and try to remember what college movies are really like.
College flunks out of school on DVD courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. Please keep in mind that I viewed a special screener disc for this review, so the results may vary from the version available in stores. The image is sharp and clear for the most part, as it shows no grain and no defects from the source material. However, there was a notable amount of artifacting and video noise. The colors are good, but a bit washed out at times. The image was also slightly dark in some shots. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are acceptable, while the surround sound effects really kicked in during party scenes. With these scenes, the in-film music sounded very good. Other than the bass from the music, there were no notable subwoofer effects.
The lone extra on the College DVD is a 5-minute GAG REEL.
Review Copyright 2009 by Mike Long