|Index||9 reviews in total|
The President (Sir Christopher Lee) of L.A. College issues an ultimatum
to his athletic director Beetlebom (R.G. Armstrong): produce a
championship team, or else. Beetlebom agrees to give tennis coach Chip
Williams (Richard "Shaft" Roundtree) a chance, otherwise the whole
tennis program is kaput. Naturally, Chips' tennis team is full of
life-of-the-party type misfits.
Provided one can tolerate the flagrant stereotypes among the characters and the very 80s trappings of the presentation, "Jocks" offers a mildly engaging rehash of that time-honored "misfits make good" formula. And make no mistake, it IS formulaic, with roadblocks put in our heroes' path, but never much doubt that they'll prove to be stand up guys. Since this is also a Crown International movie, rest assured that it's reasonably exploitative, with a generous dose of breast shots.
The main hero is a guy known only as "The Kid" (Scott Strader), and his assorted teammates include a Mexican (Trinidad Silva), a Prince lookalike (Stoney Jackson), an enormous bearded goon (Don Gibb, a.k.a. Ogre from "Revenge of the Nerds"), a worry wart (Perry Lang), and a gambling expert (Adam Mills). Their nemeses include the smarmy duo Tony (Christopher Murphy) and Chris (Tom Shadyac, future director of things like "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective", "The Nutty Professor" with Eddie Murphy, and "Liar Liar"). And adding eye candy are appealing Katherine Kelly Lang as Julie and future TV star Mariska Hargitay (in one of her earliest roles). The actors are likable enough, but the ones who come off the best are the veterans like Lee (it's odd, but nice to see him in this sort of setting) and Armstrong (you keep wanting to snatch the toupee off his head).
Adequate location shooting in Las Vegas, a peppy rock soundtrack, and some decent action on the tennis court make this an acceptable diversion for 91 minutes.
Six out of 10.
"Jocks" was filmed in 1984 and subsequently spent a few years on the shelf before getting released. Watching it, it's easy to guess why that happened. First, the "humor" in this movie isn't all that funny - it resorts to tired gags about people driving falling-apart cars and transvestites. Also, there are surprisingly a number of moments when the movie doesn't even seem to be trying to be funny - it's about half serious most of the time, in fact. The characters are uninteresting for the most part, save for Donald Gibb's character, which seems to have been lifted from another, more humorous and energetic movie. The tennis sequences are dull, relying on the same two camera angles over and over. As for the "R" rated material, most people I think will be disappointed - for the first hour, there is NOTHING beyond a "G" rating other than utterances of the words "t*ts" and "s*hit". Then there is some wet t-shirt and topless stuff, but none of it is displayed for very long. The only audience for this movie might be for die-hard Christopher Lee fans, since this is one of his rare appearances in a comedy - or should I say so-called comedy.
1st watched 10/19/2014 -- 2 out of 10(Dir-Steve Carver): Lame tennis movie where a ragtag band of college student try to be fun-loving, win at tennis, and stop the authorities from closing down the program at Los Angeles University. From the beginning --- this movie shows it's weaknesses in storytelling and consistent character flow right away after the first couple of scenes. A president, played by Christopher Lee, wants a winning championship sports program at the college because of a long drought and convinces the sports director to use the tennis team to get to this end. In the very next scene, the director is trying to fire the tennis coach, played by Richard Roundtree, but gives his group one more chance to win it all. The best player, named the Kid, first has to be re-instated after a boatload of offenses. The complete team consists of a dumb muscle man, a pleasing youngun, the Kid, a Mexican, a Prince-like impersonator who likes to go drag on the court, and a Texas betting wiz named "Tex", of course. This group is going to win a Championship?? In my highschool days of playing on a team I never saw any athletes that played tennis like this bunch. So anyway, the Kid -- actually turns out to be the most normal one of the group?? and eventually becomes attracted to a girl, played by Marsika Hargitay of "Law and Order" in a very early role. The group attend a couple of risqué things like wet t-shirt contests and then play a whole 2 team matches in Las Vegas for a small college championship competition. This movie is pretty much a waste of time, even though for some reason -- you are routing for the group in the matches before the end of the movie. The lack of character consistency and the story are the real losers in the movie including you -- if you watch this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Amiable college varsity Coach Chip Williams (the always solid Richard Roundtree of "Shaft" fame) has to whip his wacky team of misfit players into shape for a major regional tournament being held in Las Vegas. Said wacky misfits include charming stud muffin on wheels the Kid (hunky Scott Strader), affable mellow dude Jeff (cute Perry Lang), raucous wildman Ripper (the incredible Donald Gibb; Ogre from "Revenge of the Nerds"), and excitable Mexican Chito (the hilarious Trinidad Silva). But these nutty guys are more interested in having fun than winning a big game. Capably directed with infectiously easy'n'breezy panache by Steve Carver, with bright, sunny cinematography by Adam Greenberg, lots of cool-jammin' songs on the bouncy soundtrack, an endearingly sweet'n'silly tone, engaging acting from the likable and attractive young leads, a groovy, hard-rockin' score by David McHugh, cheap gay jokes, a priceless sequence in a sleazy biker bar, a nice smattering of gratuitous nudity, and several thrilling tennis games, this flick overall rates as an entertainingly lightweight diversion. The eclectic supporting cast qualifies as a substantial plus: future "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" TV series regular Mariska Hargitay as adorable tennis groupie Nicole, Christopher Lee as pompous killjoy college President White, R.G. Armstrong as bumbling, sycophantic athletic director Coach Bettleborn, and future mainstream movie director Tom ("Liar, Liar," "Bruce Almighty") Shadyac as arrogant rival tennis champ Chris. Good, goofy fun.
Unless they can win a championship, LA College's tennis team will lose
their scholarships, and their coach (Richard Roundtree) will be out of
a job. At their next competition in Las Vegas, the players pull out all
the stops to win, employing a variety of underhanded techniques in an
effort to undermine their opponents' confidence, but find that the team
from arch rivals Dallas Tech are just as devious in their methods.
An important factor of many decent teen comedies is a likable protagonist; Jocks, from director Steve Carver, not only features a thoroughly obnoxious lead character, a self obsessed douche by the name of The Kid (Scott Strader), but his friends are just as irritating, making the film a thoroughly charmless affair made all the worse by a lack of decent jokes, some really dull sporting scenes, and the pitiful sight of Christopher Lee slumming it as a strict college president (just one of the actor's many career low points).
The presence of the lovely Mariska Hargitay (as Dallas Tech babe Nicole, who inexplicably takes a shine to The Kid) makes matters a little easier to bear, as do the film's few moments of gratuitous female nudity, but as a whole, Jocks scores very few points.
There's a little gem of an eighties film collecting dust in your friendly
neighborhood mom and pop video operation that deserves a better fate.
Jocks, a 1987 entry into the then-rapidly dying eighties film movement is
exactly the way to go out.
The film epitomizes the 80s-college-boys-looking-for-kicks genre; it's unapologetically formulaic, crude, misogynistic, and campy. It features slovenly, under-achieving protagonists, all-too-dastardly villains, a road trip to Vegas, blasphemy, and of course, that staple of all 80's flicks staples: tits. And lots of them.
The lean, mean, air-tight, joke-a-page script is bolstered by one of the most eclectic casts ever assembled. What other movie out there can boast names like Christopher Lee (the guy IS Dracula, okay?) and the TRUE John Shaft himself Richard Roundtree?! You'll also see familiar faces like Stoney Jackson--jheri curls and all--whooping it up on camera to great effect. Don Gibb as the maniacal Ripper is in top form, giving a tour de force performance that nearly surpasses his masterful turns as Ogre in "Revenge of the Nerds", and Ray Jackson in the martial arts watershed "Bloodsport."
If that isn't enough to sell you on Jocks, you've got a young Tom Shadyac hamming it up deliciously as one of the snide, weasely, trust-fund baby villains before he sold his soul to Satan (or Jim Carrey, anyway) and went on to become Hollywood comedy lenser du jour. "Big Wednesday's" Perry Lang is in this mother too--hey, if Milius cast him, he MUST be that damn good (and guys named Perry just rock!). And last, but certainly not least, is Trinadad Silva, Mexico's greatest export to the U.S. in the role of Chito "The Human Backcourt."
All the shilling in the world can't do this movie justice. Seek Jocks out--it's the truth, and it shall set you free. Until the next time, save us those goddamned aisle seats.
...from those trash purveyors at Crown International Pictures, who
seemed to flood cinema screens in the 1980s with a never-ending wave of
low budget high school comedies that were anything but funny. JOCKS is
about a team of tennis misfits who must learn skill and humility to
beat their opponents, and is notably only for featuring a better
supporting cast than is normal for the genre.
Sadly, JOCKS is a film saddled with some truly poor writing when it comes to the central characters, reducing them to mere unlikeable (and unsympathetic) caricatures. Scott Strader's self-centred jerk is a particularly miserable creation so perhaps JERKS would have been a more fitting title. Out of the youthful leads, only Mariska Hargitay - Mickey's daughter - makes an impression due to her natural beauty, alongside Donald Gibbs as wildman Ripper, a role he would play over and over again throughout his career, most notably in Van Damme's BLOODSPORT.
Aside from the usual lame jokes and gratuitous nudity, JOCKS offers a trio of supporting roles from familiar faces. Most notable of these is Christopher Lee, miscast as the school president, although he only gets a few scenes (and the most notable of these lampoons his role in the musketeers films). Then we get a sweaty R. G. Armstrong (PREDATOR) as the coach, and the inimitable Richard Roundtree, wasted in another 'wise elder' type role, imparting knowledge to the kids. In any case, it's a mess of a film, and one worth skipping unless you're a sucker for this sort of stuff. Director Steve Carter previously helmed the enjoyable Chuck Norris action flick AN EYE FOR AN EYE, also starring Lee, and apparently called in a favour to get him to show up here.
Hunky Los Angeles college tennis player Scott Strader (as "The Kid")
likes to party more than practice, so straight-laced pal Perry Lang (as
Jeff Andrews) is worried about their championship possibilities. When
coach Richard Roundtree (as Chip Williams) takes the team to Las Vegas,
the nightlife threatens to ruin the tennis team's chance to bring home
L.A. College's first trophy ever
Steve Carver's "Jocks" are an
undeniably likable group, but their story is filled with dead humor.
Don't expect any more than ONE good topless "girls gone wild" moment.
*** Jocks (1987) Steve Carver ~ Scott Strader, Perry Lang, Richard Roundtree
"Jocks" is indistinguishable from dozens of 80s teen comedies. Even such names as Christopher Lee (what is he doing here??) and Richard Roundtree can't give it much class. It's tame, it's predictable....but it's not dislikable. I'll give it a low rating (*1/2), but fans of such comedies would rate it higher. Those tennis scenes could've been handled better, though.
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