1 item from 1994
Sneaking in under the wire, Hollywood Pictures' seasonal ''Camp Nowhere'' pits yet another gang of clever kids (this time bored with parent-approved summer camps) against stupid adults in a wish-fulfillment comedy. With its target audience largely back in school, the routine effort has almost no chance of making an impact at the boxoffice.
First-time director Jonathan Prince and writers Andrew Kurtzman and Eliot Wald shoot for easygoing laughs and harmless family fun, but ''Camp Nowhere'' has little to distinguish it from similar fare released over the years. Kids will warm up to their energetic contemporaries on screen, but adults will nod off en masse.
Well-cast but not offering anything new, the film has Christopher Lloyd making funny faces as the burnt-out benefactor who helps set up a secret, kids-only camp for the principal scammers -- Spanky-inspired ''Mud'' (Jonathan Jackson), tough guy Zack (Andrew Keegan), airhead Trish (Marne Patterson) and cutie pie Gaby (Melody Kay).
Other adults, good and menacing, figure in the farce that finds the kids auspiciously occupying an old hippie hangout in the woods (HR 8/26-28).-- David Hunter
THERE GOES MY BABY
An ''American Graffiti''-ish take on the personal and social upheavals surrounding Westwood High's 1965 graduating class, ''There Goes My Baby'' is U.S. social history as writ by the jukebox. Featuring a venerable slew of Golden Oldies from the '50s and '60s, this long-shelved Orion release cruises best during its tune times but stumbles when the narrative spins onto the scene.
The imminent demise of Westwood High School's popular burger hangout, which is to be torn down and replaced by a shopping mall, is the Joni Mitchell-ish metaphor for this story of change.
Indeed, writer-director Floyd Mutrux's central thesis focuses on the growing pains between the Age of Eisenhower and the Age of Aquarius. In his 45-rpm-deep scenario, the central characters are a representative stockpot of Westwood High graduating seniors.
As far as recapturing the days when the '50s met the '60s, ''There Goes My Baby'' succeeds about as well as those '50s-themed franchise burger joints succeed in recalling the era -- all the right sounds but a synthetic feel (HR 8/26-28).-- Duane Byrge
This season's western crop hasn't exactly been burning any holes in the boxoffice. With the exception of ''Maverick, '' the other oaters, including those Kevin Costner, Billy Crystal and Woody Harrelson-Kiefer Sutherland vehicles, fell considerably short of expectations.
Which is reason enough to hold out little hope for ''Wagons East!, '' a slapstick take on the Old West that arrives with the built-in notoriety of being the film that John Candy had almost completed at his untimely death.
Given that the finished product is often tasteless and remarkably unfunny, making little use of Candy's comic genius, it is a milestone best left forgotten.
Matthew Carlson's first feature screenplay wants very much to be another ''Blazing Saddles, '' but
the crass, half-baked result can't hold a candle to vintage Mel Brooks.
Director Peter Markle does little to improve the situation, letting things run their predictable course (HR 8/24).-- Michael Rechtshaffen
Also reviewed last week were the films ''A Simple Twist of Fate'' (HR 8/29), ''Princess Caraboo'' (8/29), ''Kabloonak'' (8/29) and ''Mustang: The Hidden Kingdom'' (8/29).
(c) The Hollywood Reporter
1 item from 1994
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