April 18th, 2008

TEENAGE CONFIDENTIAL (1985) **

Here’s yet another in a seemingly unending line of Johnny Legend compilations.  This time the subject is juvenile delinquents and in addition to the usual collection of movie trailers, this one features condensed versions of JD movies, theatrical ads, government short subjects, and church messages too. 

 

First up is “A Boy in Court”, a fairly accurate look at the juvenile justice system in the 40’s and 50’s.  Next is a WWII era government sponsored film called “The Birth of Juvenile Delinquency” that actually BLAMES juvenile delinquency on the war effort!  (Must’ve been their attempt at reverse psychology.)   J. Edgar Hoover of all people actually shows up during this short to try to set the record straight on juvenile delinquency.  Then we get a pair of movie trailers for the JD flicks Teen-Age Crime Wave and Curfew Breakers (“Shocking But True!”).  Next up is “Satan Was a Teenager” a church film about some rich parents who turn to their black nanny for guidance about how to handle their delinquent son.  She suggests turning to God for the answers.  Then there’s condensed versions of a Teenage Devil Dolls and High School Caesar (the rocking theme song is heard), that tells you everything you need to know in about three minutes or so.  Trailers for Ed Wood’s The Violent Years and Married Too You are next, followed by Arch Hall, Jr. singing a song from Wild Guitar and another condensed version of a teen flick, this time Roger Corman’s Carnival Rock.  Then there’s a trailer for The Giant Gila Monster and Teenagers from Outer Space intercut with spook show ads and Tab Hunter talking about mental illness.  Trailers for The Night Holds Terror and Rock Baby Rock are next, and a recapping of The Violent Years rounds out the collection. 

 

As much as I enjoy these Johnny Legend compilations, I have to admit, this one left me a little cold.  I liked seeing the government shorts and some of the trailers were really cool, but I didn’t like the condensed three minute movies.  I’d rather watch the whole movie than to see it edited down ADD style and randomly tossed in.  This brings me to another gripe I had with Teenage Confidential:  The editing.  The flick was edited so haphazardly that you never knew what was what. 

 

The trailers were easily the best part of the compilation for me.  If Legend had loaded the flick with movie trailers (I could’ve even handled more shorts because they were entertaining too) instead of peppering them throughout, this could’ve been a lot of fun.  Next time Johnny, drop the three minute summations of the movies and just give us the whole thing.

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (2008) ***

Producer Judd Apatow made a star out of his Freaks and Geeks star Seth Rogen with Knocked Up and Superbad and now in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Apatow tries to do the same for another F n’ G co-star, Jason Segal.  Segal wrote and stars in this frequently amusing romantic comedy as a composer working on a hit TV show (Crime Scene:  Scene of the Crime) who also happens to be dating it’s sexy star, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell from Roman).  When she breaks up with him, he decides to go to Hawaii for a vacation to put her out of his mind, but as luck would have it, she’s also staying at the hotel with her Eurotrash rock star boyfriend.  Predictably, he finds love with a sexy motel clerk (Mila Kunis from That 70’s Show), which majorly ticks off his ex.

 

The initial premise sounds straight out of a sitcom, but like with most Apatow produced comedies, there’s a lot of heart in this one and it makes up for the various clichéd trappings of the film.  Segal does a fine job in the lead and is likable and quite funny while Bell and Kunis provide the ample eye candy. 

 

As I said, there are the usual romantic clichés tossed around here and there, but nothing that really hampers the film too bad.  You know they got to put that lovey dovey bullshit in there for the female audience.  Segal also took the liberty of whipping out his cock for the whole world to see, which should ensure that a lot of females will flock to this flick.  (As well as a certain percentage of males I suppose.) 

 

The film also features such Apatow cohorts as Jonah Hill, Bill Hader and Paul Rudd in small roles as well as a hilarious cameo by Billy Baldwin (as himself) as the star of the TV show.  While Hill gets some big laughs (“I just went from six to midnight!”), it’s a pudgy Polynesian bellhop who gets the best line of the movie when he says, “Is that a happy tissue or a sad tissue?”