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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The New Kids
The New Kids
Columbia/Tri-Star // R // October 4, 2005
List Price: $14.94 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Scott Weinberg | posted September 27, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

(The following is the transcript of a fictional telephone conversation between actors James Spader and Eric Stoltz.)

Eric: Hey Jimmy, good to hear from ya, pal! Love the work you've been doing on the Boston Lawyers show.

James: Thanks, Eric. I also love those ... recent indie flicks you've been in. Oh, and didn't I see you in the trailer for that Honeymooners remake?

Eric: Yeah, yeah. I still wanna kill Zemeckis for booting me off of Back to the Future, but I'll probably get a call from Quentin soon, so I'm all set.

James: Yeah, so ... the reason I'm calling: You'll never freaking guess what movie's coming out on DVD this month.

Eric: Yeah, I know. The Fly 2. They asked me to do an audio commentary, but I was up in Vancouver shooting an indie about people who fall out of love and then scream at each other a lot.

James: No, not The Fly 2, pal, although it is kind of hilarious when you turn into a man-sized insect and spew corrosive vomit all over the bad guys...

Eric: Good times indeed. So it's not Fly 2, huh? Hmm, what have we been in together... Is it 2 Days in the Valley?

James: Nope.

Eric: Keys to Tulsa? That TV movie with Robert Mitchum?

James: Nope. And nope.

Eric: Well, shit. I give up. What's the movie?

James: The New Kids!

Eric: The Nuke what?

James: The. New. Kids. We did it with that guy who directed Friday the 13th and Spring Break.

Eric: Um ... hm. Are you sure you've got the right Eric Stoltz?

James: C'mon, you remember! It was about a clean-cut brother & sister who move down to Florida after their parents are killed ... You play the nerdly nice guy who does precisely nothing in the movie, I play the bleach-blonde leader of a bunch of white-trash bullies...

Eric: You got me, man. Nerdly nice guy? Did you maybe mean to call Jon Cryer?

James: No, man. It was a really dry, really corny, and patently predictable screenplay about revenge ... sorta like Death Wish meets Nancy Drew. I got to wander around with hilarious feathered hair and evil-boy sunglasses, sneering at everyone, and beating on the hero kid. The uncle ran a gas station slash Santa-themed amusement park ... and we ran over his fence ... and keyed his car up? The bullies torture the "new kids" mercilessly and then at the end we all get kinda slaughtered for being such bastards ... while your character does nothing one way or the other...

Eric: Wait a sec ... who played the lead hero kid?

James: Shannon Presby.

Eric: Nope. That's no help. Who was the sister?

James: Lori Loughlin.

Eric: The Full House babe? I made a movie with her?

James: Man, you danced 80s-style with her! And then her potential molesters came in and knocked you down and called you a homosexual...

Eric: Oh, wait! Was this the one where Chris Penn played a new version of Spicoli?

James: No, dude. That was The Wild Life.

Eric: And this one is...

James: The New Kids.

Eric: Was this the movie that had that gang-rape / cocaine snort / set-the-Full House-girl on fire sequence? And was it really bad? Like TV-movie of the week bad? Like "so bad I'll always pretend I was never in it" bad?

James: Well, yes, actually... Hey, you sly dog, you. You do remember The New Kids! I knew it!

Eric: Nope, never heard of it. Seriously. And do me a favor, James. Don't call me again, at least not until Tuff Turf hits DVD. Then we can do this all over again.

The DVD

Video: The Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer isn't likely to dazzle many eyeballs, but considering this is a justifiably obscure little thriller from 1985, the picture quality is actually pretty strong.

Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, with optional subtitles in English, French, and Japanese. Extras: Only a bunch of trailers for Frankenfish, Devour, Vampires: The Turning, and Kingdom Hospital/

Final Thoughts

OK, I kid Mr. Spader and Mr. Stoltz because A) I'm actually a big fan of both, and B) they've both made their fair share of goofily terrible movies. Fans of either performer could consider giving The New Kids a charitable weekend rental, but I wouldn't go in expecting much outside of the unintentional hilarity department. The protagonists are paper-thin caricatures; the villains are ridiculously, stupidly, evil; the plot is dirt-dry and perpetually predictable; and the hairstyles are just plain nutty.

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