National Lampoon's Dorm Daze (Unrated)
MGM // Unrated // $26.98 // August 10, 2004
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 11, 2004
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Graphical Version
The Movie:

Continuing the fall from grace for the National Lampoon name (okay, "Van Wilder" was decent in parts) is "Dorm Daze", a low-budget, low-class teen comedy that's an "American Pie" take-off about 4 years too late. The film takes place entirely at a dorm at some unknown college. Booker (Chris Owen from "American Pie") is a college virgin, much to the dismay of his brother (Patrick Renna), who hires him a hooker - despite the fact that he has feels for a girl down the hall.

Meanwhile, the funny part is supposed to be the fact that a foreign exchange student (Marie Noelle Marquis) and the hooker have the same name - leading to all sorts of crazy hooker (who just comes right into a dorm)/student (who can't speak any English at all) mix-ups. The foreign exchange student is looking for her mentor named Wang. The fact that the dorm mates think a fellow student is being abused because of what two gossips think they've overheard is also very strangely played for laughs.

There's little to the plot, as the rest of it has the hooker and a criminal wandering their way around the dorm in order to try and find an estimated thirty grand that he knows is in a bag somewhere in the house, although I never actually understood why the bag was actually in the house. There's also a missing purse that the girls in the dorm are searching for. Soon enough, the bag of cash is exchanging hands as everyone tries to run around cheap sets to find it. Exciting, no? Well, no.

The acting, by such former stars as "Boy Meets World"'s Danielle Fishel, ranges from heinous to merely adequate. Still, one can't blame performers for not being able to do much with old jokes like the nerd in the movie who goes around asking people if they "want to eat his sausage", which is actually an odd gift he bought to win a girl over. That's a joke that runs throughout the movie, while that also is a good indicator of the level of all of the jokes in the flick. Those looking for nudity will barely find any here, too.

I'd say this is more of a sitcom than a movie (which would explain why, at 97 minutes, it feels about 70 minutes too long), but that would be insulting to other sitcoms that have done this better, including Fox's unfortunately cancelled "Undeclared".


The DVD

VIDEO: "Dorm Daze" is presented by MGM in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The image quality is generally average. Sharpness and detail are merely satisfactory, with images that never are terribly sharp, but also rarely fall into noticable softness. Detail is merely okay; definition is fine enough, but fine details are not often visible.

The print seemed to be in decent shape - while no serious print flaws were visible, inconsistent grain and some specks/dirt were visible on the print. Edge enhancement and slight compression artifacts were also spotted. Colors remained natural and seemed rendered accurately.

SOUND: "Dorm Daze" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Aside from a few instances of very minor sound effects making it to the rears, this is an entirely dialogue-driven feature. There's a little bit of score on occasion, but it's repetitive and rather irritating.

EXTRAS: Included are a commentary by the producer/directors and the editor; a gag reel, a "making of" featurette, deleted scenes and the film's theatrical trailer.

Final Thoughts Dull, pointless and lacking any likable characters, "Dorm Daze" gets some laughs unintentionally, but that's the only positive I found it had going for it. The DVD edition offers a few supplements and decent audio/video quality, but still not recommended.



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