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Although certainly the writer of this film owes much of his inspiration
to Steinbeck and Depression-era authors, it has more than enough
substance to stand on its own. In hindsight, Airborne is more than just
a high-flyin' roller-blading epicit is a depiction of the culture wars
that exist in our society today. Mitchell represents the coastal
"corporate" American coming to the Midwest to pillage its' resources
(in this case Cincinnati's finest ladies). Augie is the repressed
commoner, perhaps a factory worker, who resents Mitchell at first
because of his pedigree and obvious social graces. Wiley is the guy who
is striving to make it out his internal strife anyway he can, and
shrouds his blatant homosexuality in clever retorts and hooded
sweatshirts. Jack is obviously the old farmer, who has seen it all in
his day and now is bitter that time is no longer his friend.
However, the "Preps" represent something far more imposing than anything Mitchell brings to the table. They obviously represent Communism. If the Cold War taught us anything, it is that Communism can only be contained by a roller-skating race through Cincinnati that ends at the birthplace of democracy, Riverfront Stadium. No wonder Jack Black jumped at the chance to make this ambitious film. The subtle nuances of this cultured classic cannot fully be appreciated in two or three sittings. Nay, the marrow of this film must be sucked dry before you can truly see the vision behind this movie. Step aside Shakespeare...
Airborne is mostly a teen movie marketed back in the early 90's when the rollerblade craze was starting to catch on. It's like the rollerblade companies needed some more exposure, so they gave these guys a bunch of money and said "hey, make the kids crave rollerblades". With all that aside, it is a rather enjoyable movie. Shane McDermott plays Mitchel, a surfer from California who must move to Ohio for a couple months. His performance reminds me of a teenage version of Keanu Reeves in Point Break. Seth Green plays the comic relief hapless friend, and Seth's parents are played by Edie McClurg(secretary from Ferris Buehlers) and Patrick O'Brien. The parents in this are hilarious and they work very well with the rest of the cast. The moviesfollows Mitchel as he tries to adjust to the very different Cincinatti atmosphere. He quickly becomes a heartthrob thus alienating him from every guy in town. So he pretty much spends the next hour trying to avoid trouble, but at every turn it seems to find him. In the course of this he ends up playing ice hockey/roller hockey and then rollerblading. The major flaw of this movie is the motive and identity of the villains. You see very little of them throughout the movie, and their dialogue is terrible. There is also a huge disparity in the look of the males and the females in this movie. Most of the male cast looks and are well into their 20's (with the exception of the Shane and Seth).. The girls in this movie look like a bunch of 12 year olds... But since there isn't a lot of interaction between the two, it doesn't detract from the movie too much. All in all, I enjoy this movie. I really like the approach they have taken with the Mitchel character.. He's just a young surfer dude who is a vehement pacifist. He is very cool and very not violent (hero's always breed violence in modern movies).. He also makes a couple of Zen-like observations which are fun to watch. The movie ends with a rollerblade race through downtown Cincinatti with the hero's facing the "Preps". The rollerblade race is the best part of the movie, and it is very well played out. This movie isn't oscar material, but it is much better then any other "roller-skating" movie, sport genre movie, and many disney-teen movies.. Jack Black also play's a small role in this, and is fun to watch. I give this 7 out of 10 stars.
Almost every movie you see nowadays there's a fight or someone getting shot. In this movie Mitch plays a kid who is not afraid to say "I won't fight you." Instead when he is forced to fight for the girl, he uses his wit and skills. Everyone in this movie does a great job especially Seth Green. Nobody plays the misunderstood kid better than he does. Airborn has drama, action, and a whole lot of comedy.
I was watching this flick in a hotel room on HBO early in the morning and thought that it was some sort of parody at early 90s B comedies. Then I thought "there is no way that this is actually an early 90s comedy. They are beating me over the head with plaid and rollerblades and other 90s clichés." The I realized Seth Green and Jack Black were in it and I realized that it must in fact be a parody. WRONG! 1993 baby. This movie is so campy, but is so damn entertaining. It's like one of those songs that no one wants to admit they love, yet everyone loves it. Like "I Saw the Sign" or something. Check out this flick at the very least to see Green and Black early in their careers.
Is it just me, or has everyone seen this movie about a hundred times on
cable? Call it a guilty pleasure, but every time it came on, I just had
watch. I think it must be Seth Green's "Wiley Man" (Which I'm sure had a
throwaway line homage in Austin Powers during the counseling scene). I'm
glad to see him make it in the business.
The movie itself? A California surfer pretty boy tries to fit in at a new school and wins everyone over (including the school hottie) by skating. Tres deep.
6 out of 10, but you just gotta watch it again and again.
If you don't go into this movie with overly high expectations, but just go
with the flow, this movie can be very enjoyable. So it isn't Academy Awards
material. How many movies are? Anyway, for a teen high-school love story,
this isn't bad. I enjoyed the skating, even though I have been to Pittsburgh
enough times to recognize most of the streets, and certainly the skyline. I
am more bugged by the movies made in Canada that try to pass themselves as
U.S. locations (that tax credit must be a real biggie!)
If you like fish-out-of-water movies or H.S. love interests, give Airborne a look.
I hope Mitchell eventually made his way here to O'ahu and surfed our waves! Now there is Airborne! (especially the latest thing, Kite surfing!)
"The French Connection of Rollerblade Chases", a quote that may attract a wondering teenage eye to the front cover in the video store, hopefully the shop will be closing and they may reside to taking this to the counter. I would then hope they had the same experience I did. From perfectly selected music to skating scenes to make exercise look more than just burning calories, this film couldn't be more perfect. The protagonist Mitchell Goosen, woke up from a Californian Dream to find his self in the Winters of Cincinnati, with no use for a surf board other than as an ironing board. Mitchell's Zen like attitudes aren't favoured at the local school and it's not until he puts on a pair on Rollerblades is it you see the power in his stride. Not forgetting the appearances from a young Jack Black and Seth Green, the story moves the watcher with the a light hearted portrayal into teenage romance and angst. Five Star
I'll have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. It's not the greatest film ever made, but I doubt that is what the film makers were going for. Instead this surfing/roller-blade romp is an entertaining, fun and realistic story of teenagers coping with peer pressuresomething we can all relate to. Shane McDermott is well suited for the "kid out of water," and his way of handling the "bully" situations is a lesson to be learned by all. The roller-blade sequences are fantastic to watch, even if you're not in to that sort of thing. Seth Green is perfect as the geekybut coolcousin that's always picked on; Green's performance is definitely a precursor to his talent as Kenny in Can't Hardly Wait. Two other reasons to like this flick are the always delightful Edie McClurg and Stewart Copeland's rhythmically exciting music. Check this oneyou won't be disappointed!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A handsome LA surfer teenager is sent to stay with relatives (Aunt,
Uncle, and Cousin) in Cincinnati while his parents are away to study a
special wombat in Australia, encountering bullies and a potential
romance in this breezy family film.
Shane McDermott is Mitchell Goosen, with a charming smile and positive attitude, who finds his Ghandi-type pacifism challenged by oh-so-serious Jack (Chris Conrad) and his city school hockey buddies who find this "pretty boy" a nuisance. It's your usual fish-out-of-water culture clash teen dramedy where an outsider must endure certain hardships because he is so different than those around him.
Seth Green gets the chance to play the comedy foil, as Mitchell's loser cousin, Wiley, the little man subject to much bullying from his school peers. Jack Black, in an early role, is Jack's clownish pal, Augie, who, like his best friend, has a certain contempt for Mitchell. Mitchell, who has never played hockey before, is chosen to participate in a big game where the stakes are important to his team because they have lost three years in a row to their rival school. He makes the mistake of scoring a goal against his own team, earning the angered scorn of his teammates who treat him with constant pranks as a result.
Mitchellthe kind of guy with a laid-back personality who would rather get along with everyone and "chill"has a hard time adjusting to his harsher environment, particularly when so many, like Jack, always want to push his buttons and demand altercations to prove himself in a fight. Mitchell meets a nice, pretty girl, with a knock-out smile, named Nikki (Brittany Powell) who is perhaps the first good thing to happen to him while in Cincinnati, but soon learns that she is Jack's sister, creating obvious complications along the way. Owen Stadele is Jack's nemesis, Blane, who becomes a thorn in Mitchell's side when he attempts to provoke a fight over Nikki, which ultimately leads to a street hockey game and the eventual epic rollerblading challenge down "Devil's Backbone".
The plot is basic teen fodder, with the rollerblading finale the reason to check out "Airborne". The cast is fine all around with some familiar faces before they would become more famous. This fun cast includes Jacob Vargas as streetwise tough-guy, Snake, Daniel and David Betances as twin hockey players who are part of Jack's team, Alanna Ubach as Gloria, Wiley's love interest (set up blind by Nikki in a double date) who would've preferred to stay home but soon grows fond of him despite herself, and, especially Edie McClurg (Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, always a scene stealer, including this film) and Patrick Thomas O'Brien as Aunt Irene and Uncle Jack, Wiley's square parents. Devil's Backbone is essentially a race throughout the city of Cincinnati, quite thrilling in that the danger is always present as the rollerblading teams have to dodge cars and winding curvy roads. We often see members of both teams taking tumbles and sent flying through the air bound to land with a hard thud. During the finale, "Airborne" allows McDermott's character (not just here, but in other portions of the movie when Mitchell shows out for the local skateboarders and bikers) to perform magnificent feats like leaping completely over a moving vehicle and jumping from a bridge, onto a truck, and safely to the street without a scratch. The movie is harmless, really, with standard teenage melodramatics you have seen in countless movies with high schoolers regarding burgeoning love and friction that derives from being in a new place, with new people. Plenty of rollerblading action to keep the adrenaline pumping, along with Mitchell's Zen-philosophical outlook on life, earning the ire of many who find him annoying.
Hey Huffman, if you recognize the streets and the skyline of Pittsburgh in this movie you must be toking the Maui-wowie. The movie was filmed in Cincinnati-check the credits, and by the way, they only mention the fact that the kid has moved to Cincinnati about a million times! If you have other doubts, watch the movie again-the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park and Riverfront Stadium might help sort things out for you. By the way, the movie is wicked awesome and I recommend it to everyone. Viva Cincinnati-and for those of you who haven't been, it's not as lame as it's made out to be in the movie. Us native Cincinnatians frequently rollerblade down "Devil's Backbone" and beat the snot out of each other on the hockey rink-it's a happening place.
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