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|Index||59 reviews in total|
20 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Comedy?!, 2 February 2002
Author: LarsNeths from Utrecht, The Netherlands
I caught this one zapping around during morning television. I saw a bunch
my favorite actors (George C. Scott, Kathy Bates) and decided to sit it
My conclusion, "Angus" is an overlooked gem.
One thing baffles me though: this movie is listed as comedy, but I found not much to laugh about.
"Angus" is in fact a rather painful movie to watch sometimes, because the strongest subject matter it deals with is bullying.
It deals some very real and emotional issues, about parents' frustration about their inability to protect their children all the time. The acting is superb, and to be honest, the comic relief was a tad out of place.
The movie contains some very good acting and some excellent scenes and dialogue. It also features a heart wrenching monologue by Angus (played by Charlie Talbert) when he confides in his grandfather (George C. Scott), who's about to be married.
So, see beyond the awkward comic elements and "Angus" is an enjoyable, "actor driven" movie that did not get the attention it deserved.
You'll probably enjoy the soundtrack as well. Whatever happened to the obviously talented Talbert anyway?
21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Why is this movie not on DVD?, 25 December 2002
Author: aeroquiddity from North Carolina
This is a great flick! Funny, touching, well acted. A nice little dramedy. It's a shame how something this good can't get onto DVD, and a piece of crap Britney Spears flick can! What a sad society we live in!
21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
What a surprise!, 25 March 1999
Author: David Palmer (email@example.com) from Somerset, Kentucky
My wife and I rented this movie just because we couldn't find anything else at the time, and did we get a surprise! Great, funny movie, anyone should enjoy this one.
14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
What an underrated great movie!, 5 January 2000
Author: Matt-014 from Wisconsin
Angus, this is one of my favorite movies. It has such a good story, and the actors were picked perfectly. The first time I saw this, I was amazed! I said "That was great." The story of being brave and living with the life you have taught a good lesson. Charlie Talbert Was great for Angus, as was George C. Scott for Ivan. Ivan was part of the comedy, as was Troy. James Van Der Beek was perfect for Rick Sanford, and Ariana Richards was well-picked for Melissa. The story made me think. I liked how it was through the thoughts of someone who was unpopular, and was picked on and had jokes played on him. I liked how his Grandpa told him to "screw em!" And I also liked at the dance how Angus told Rick off, that was a good scene, and the rest of this movie was just as well, filled with laughs, and pity for Angus and Troy. This is a great movie to see. I definitely recommend it for anyone! 9/10!
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A flat-out revelation., 12 April 2002
Author: Numan Parada from Tujunga, California, USA
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What makes the teenage years so vexing is how a young person's line of
thinking evolves from the logical, unadultered mannerisms of childhood to
the obstinate, interpretive idiosyncrasy of adulthood. As children, we
might remember seeing things and make a simple yet direct remark about it,
yet, as adults, we might see things, stop to think about it, taking into
account all our past experiences and teachings, and make an "observation",
when we soon realize that there are other people that have their own
"observations". Worse yet is how the young person does not immediately see
It is during these years where we begin to contemplate a new reality, one based on indifference and hopelessness. It is here where the young person begins to interpret ideas, histories, and ideologies of all sorts, however good or bad they intend to be, and have the option of either rejecting or accepting them. This is where our hero, Angus Bethune (played flawlessly by Charlie Talbert) is thrown in. As a child, he has always been the butt of jokes and, along with his best friend Troy Wedberg (Chris Owen), the target of bullies. His protection has relied on wit, humor, and physical prowess. His love for Melissa Lefevre (Ariana Richards) is just as strong as his hate for Rick Sanford (James Van der Beek).
Yet, showing his affection to his yearning love is, in his opinion, an unreasonable goal. What could possibly make Angus reason like this? Could it be Rick? By the time we are done with the first act we see that Rick has already managed to mentally, emotionally, and socially control Angus. Rick is also highly manipulative, as he uses his bullying tactics over Troy to betray his own best friend. As if that wasn't enough, he's the good-looking quarterback and the head of the class, which yields ostensible power to him. He shows no compassion to whoever he feels is not "normal", that is, whoever does not follow his concepts of physical and social beauty. Although the film does not demonstrate how Rick obtained such line of though, his mind is no-doubtedly locked in to this ideology. Aptly would Camus describe Rick and his cronies "no longer represent men, but an idea raised to the temperature of the most inflexible of wills."
What about Angus? What about his influences? He seems to have a very supportive and eccentric family composed of his truck-driving mother (Kathy Bates) and his active, unrelenting grandfather (George C. Scott). Troy, equally eccentric, provides support at school. Yet nothing works: In his mind, his positive traits (good at science, excellent tackler, full of heart) cannot overcome his negative ones (overweight, timid, reclusive). He doesn't open his blinds in his bedroom to let the sunlight in, and he already has plans to transfer to another school, where he can be accepted for once. He wants nothing to do with the outside world, which, he feels, doesn't want him anyway.
When Rick forces Angus to come into this world, by rigging an election so as to make him dance with Melissa, Angus becomes really confused. Will Angus go to the dance or not? He can have his "moment" with Melissa, yet he will risk humiliation, knowing that Rick had set this up. However, the real question this second act is this: If he makes a decision, what will it be based on? How will other people and their ideas affect his decision.
Hereafter, his support group will aggravate Angus' confusion by bombarding him with ideology. His Grampa says "Screw 'em" to anybody who opposes what he wants (of which includes marrying a woman thirty years his junior), demonstrating that Angus should not fear what others think of him, thus he should go. His mother wants Angus to focus on his studies, so that he can get his ticket out of Owatonna High, thus he should not go. Troy, in his whimsical self, thinks Angus needs to change his image and manner in order to find acceptance, thus he should go. Angus himself thinks that, in spite of the opportunity to dance with the girl of his dreams, he knows that Rick will make a fool out of him, thus he should not go. How can Angus make sense out of all this?
This is where Grampa comes in. He knows his grandson very well, and he has faith in Angus' warm qualities. He even goes out to get him a nice tuxedo, albeit a plum-colored one, but Angus refuses to wear it. Angus loves his Grampa, but Angus feels weak upon the implications of the dance. This all changes, however, when Grampa dies. Early in the film, Grampa wished that Angus could talk to Melissa just once before he died. Sadly, he will not live to see this. When Grampa's fiancee April (Anna Levine) brings the plum suit to Angus, Angus realizes he has betrayed Grampa's faith in him. He will say "Screw 'em", and set out to attain his goal as well as his self-esteem and self-determination....
Thus, Angus no longer sees Rick as a bully, but as a danger to his well-being. Melissa is not merely a love interest, but a token for being courageous and brave. He has a label for these people now, based on numerous levels of reasoning.
What's so amazing about this film is how it is richly paced. You can take delight in the visual aspects of the film and show compassion for these people. Composition creates a moving experience with the story, using the warm colors of autumn. Music also plays an important role, as it balances teenage angst with feelings of longing and disillusion.
How sad that you truly can't enjoy a film like this if you see it quickly! Angus warrants a deeper study into the nature of bullying, use of power, teenage confusion and conditioning, obesity, and the power to overcome, themes that lie much deeper into its "after-school-special" facade. Don't let the theme of acceptance thwart you off! I must warn you: If you felt alone and alienated in high school, this movie won't disappoint. If you didn't feel alone and alienated, either avoid this film or stop denying it, take the bitter pill, and see, no, "observe" it.
Now go have another.
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
a truly memorable film..., 26 January 1999
Author: Gwendolyn Moss (firstname.lastname@example.org) from burbank, california
Angus was a wonderful movie. it followed the most basic of plot lines, but what i loved about it was the acting, writing, and directing, because those were what made Angus extraordinarily good and unique. chris owen was a triumph, and let's not even talk about charlie talbert. Angus also has a quality to it that was very reminiscent of the story it was based on. the exchanges between Angus and Troy were literally the best i've ever seen. they are truly the original dynamic duo of disaster. with luck, other characters hoping to achieve that particular brand of fame will be measured against them for years to come. ps: read the short story if you haven't. pps: james van der beek gave a great (though small) performance, very uncharacteristic of "the kid's movie villain".
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A Great Movie, 15 March 1999
Author: Quinn-5 from Staten Island, NY
It is a shame "Angus" never got the high praise or exposure it really
deserves. At times gut-wrenching in its portrayal of high school cruelness,
at other times sweetly heartwarming in its portrayal of high school
innocence, "Angus" is an endearing good guy trapped in a waspy,
snake-pit-like high school in Anytown, USA. The strength of "Angus" is its
believability; of course it's far-fetched at times, it's a movie, and yet it
still works amazingly well.
Charlie Talbert and Chris Owen, Angus and Troy, respectively, are a real
treat to watch as the pair of outcasts. Their chemistry radiates offscreen,
and they become both heroes and comic relief in a combination that drives
them to the audience's heart. Some of the film's best belly laughs, in fact,
are direct results of their all-too-believable dialogue.
James Van Der Beek is one of the most hateable bad guys I've seen in some time, and boy he plays it well. What a deliciously different role, compared to his often annoying "Dawson's Creek" persona! This is some great work by him, even if its not a lot. Strong support from George C. Scott and Kathy Bates; it was fun watching them in a heartfelt film like this, especially Scott, General Patton himself. Please, if you ever get the chance to see this film, SEE IT!! You will not be untouched nor remorseful. You'll have a new favorite way to pass an hour and a half. (Great score by David Russo, I'd love to see a release of it!)
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Great!, 21 August 2005
Author: cthdmikelambert from United States
This film is an excellent example of the pressures of High School hierarchy. It is realistic and very funny! It has been one of my favorite movies for a long time now and I still am not tried of it. Kathy Bates and George C. Scott (as usual) display their versatile abilities as their hilarious characters trying to cope with Angus' (Charlie Talbert) problems with him as much as work out their own issues. Of all the High School teen flicks, I believe this to be the most dramatic and sophisticated in storyline. James Van Der Beek plays the classic quarterback that everyone has met before and just loves to hate. Angus has always thought that the key was to be more like Rick (Van Der Beek) but then realizes that he truly needs to be himself. As it turns out, Angus' chelating crush, Melissa (Ariana Richards), is just as frightened of other people as Angus is. As a cruel joke, Angus is nominated to be Winter King at their school. Angus realizes the intentions behind the nomination and turns the situation into a positive experience. This movie is full of humor, classic characters we all knew and underwear up the flagpole. I deeply recommend this film. Enjoy!
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Movie about my life, 16 July 2006
Author: bujinbudoka from United States
Of all things, in my freshman year of high school this movie came out
and I was stunned. It was about a guy whose own life mirrored my own I
just got up and applauded (literally) through the whole thing. Angus
was me in school, right down to his geeky friend/sidekick. I was a
different kind of person from the rest of the crowd. I was big, and
smart, kept to myself mostly but that was so I didn't get into trouble.
The biggest difference? I have Tourrette's Syndrome, and was only
beginning to show the major ticks associated with it when this movie
came out. It was nice to see that people like me could be shown on the
big screen in so positive a way. So of course I had to write a review
on it here.
The movie is about a fat kid, who like me was good at science and fair at football (though I truly despise football, thanks Coach!) who has a single mom and lives with his grandfather, both played marvelously by Cathy Bates and George C. Scott. Angus wants to get with the popular chick, who just happens to be dating his arch-rival in school that has suffered numerous broken noses over the years from Angus' wrath.
You grow to love his grandad who gives him advice on how its OK to be different, to just "Screw 'em!" If you're looking for a realistic movie about high school and you were different from the rest of the crowd like I was, then Angus is your movie. And his mom, once more like me, seems to be one of the only people who truly ever understand him. Top it all off with his big science project to be able to attend the Magnet School in town, and you've got something spectacular! Add the soundtrack for extra points and I give it a 10 out of 10! "Go for it Angus!" God, I love that line!
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Not your typical Teen Movie, 3 June 2006
Author: TheScottman from United States
I grew up with this movie, I enjoyed it so much. I watched it every
week of my childhood. I wasn't really one of those kids who got picked
on, I just thought Angus was a true (real life) hero and I looked up to
him. There isn't too many one dimensional characters in this film.
Everyone has feelings and the movie does a great job of showing their
feelings. I have not read the short story, but if it's anything like
this movie it'll be great.
Like all teen movies it has a strong message that is spelled out for everyone. Unlike other teen movies this one seem to show everyone's side of high school life, even though the two main character's are "outcast" they're not really nerds. they both play on the football team and one of them is really good. You don't really expect that from "losers". The whole movie has great gags that everyone can enjoy and they're really funny.
Charlie Talbert plays Angus Bethune (Great name, right?) his best friend Troy Wedberg is played by Chris Owen (Can't Hardly Wait) and he is just hysterical throughout the whole movie. George C. Scott (Patton) plays Angus' grandfather that is always falling asleep and he plays the role of dad to Angus giving him advice. Kathy Bates (Misery) does a great job as Angus' mother, Kathy Bates is just a great actor. Then we have James Van Der Beek (Varsity Blues) playing the bully and he does do a great job at it and Ariana Richards (Jurassic Park) plays Melissa Lefevre which Angus has a crush on.
Overall I recommend this movie to anyone that likes teen movies such as the breakfast club, can't hardly wait, and sixteen candles. As longs as you went to public high school this film can't get old.
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