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Although it was a Independent film (which started with the "Ernest" films
made after 1991), "Slam Dunk Ernest" is still one of my favorite "Ernest"
films (of course trailing the theatrical movies).
In the movie, Ernest is being given a special pair of shoes given to him by
the Archangel of Basketball (Played by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) that make him a
great basketball player, and eventually a star. But in the process, Ernest
becomes the arrogant kind of star, and eventually sees himself, and does the
right thing to make up for it. Jim Varney does yet another solid job as nit
wit Ernest P. Worrell, and the guys who played Ernest's basketball teammates
were pretty good too. The movie overall is pretty good, and the best
"Ernest" film made after "Ernest Scared Stupid".
Although it doesn't measure up to the "Ernest" films that were in theaters ("Ernest Goes to Camp", "Ernest Saves Christmas", "Ernest Goes to Jail", and "Ernest Scared Stupid"), "Slam Dunk Ernest" is still a good "Ernest" movie. So check it out, you may like it.
I actually like this movie better than I used to cause this movie has a good message and it is one of the more moralistic Ernest movies, the best performance isn't Ernest, it goes to the greedy milloniare who wants Ernest to become rich and famous and the downside of this movie is that the girl Erma (who Ernest has a crush on) turned out to be somebody else and I thought that was pretty bad, overall I wouldn't recommend this movie if you're not an Ernest fan but if you're new to the Ernest franchise, watch Ernest Goes to Jail, Ernest Saves Christmas and Ernest Rides Again first then work your way up.
I actually like this movie better than I used to cause this movie has a good message and it is one of the more moralistic Ernest movies, the best performance isn't Ernest, it goes to the Mr. Moloch who is a greedy millionare and he wants Ernest to become rich and famous and the downside of this movie is that the girl Erma (who Ernest has a crush on) turned out to be somebody else and I thought that was pretty bad, overall I wouldn't recommend this movie if you're not an Ernest fan but if you're new to the Ernest franchise, watch Ernest Goes to Jail, Ernest Saves Christmas and Ernest Rides Again first then work your way up. Overall I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and I remember that I used to give this movie only 1 or 2 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loved this movie and the message it was sending. My guess is to why the writers had the Clean Sweep team lay into Ernest like they did was for us to pull for Ernest even harder. Which is, by no means, a hardship for me. I root for Ernest in every movie. I was extremely ticked off by the team mocking Ernest, calling him a 'dumb redneck' and 'whiter than white' or '150 pound Gilligan dodo looking bird'. It made me want to take that basketball and shove it so far up their butts until it popped out of their heads. All Ernest wanted was to be a part of the team. Of course, very reluctantly, they let him because, as always, Ernest takes the blame when things go wrong at the mall where they work cleaning after hours when, in fact, they were all to blame for playing basketball in the store. Ernest loses the first game for them when he accidentally knocks over a cart of basketballs, tripping their opponent, giving him a chance to beat them by one point when he took his two shots at the hoop. The Archangel of Basketball appears after everyone else leaves the locker room where they left Ernest by himself and miserable. Ernest is given magic shoes but warned not to misuse them. Which, he doesn't at first. But, eventually, all that attention goes to his head. In a way, I can't blame him for his inflated ego. Ernest has a crush on Erma who at first seems sweet until that slime-ball, Zimmel, promises her the winning lottery ticket if she strung along Ernest. Erma 'the gold digger' does because, of course, all she cares about is 'more money'. And she only likes Ernest because she thinks he will make a lot of money and would spend it on her. Ernest becomes such a great player that even Barry's son, Quincy, starts looking up to Ernest and downing his dad, which Ernest has a problem with. Quincy, in fact, stole a pair of the same shoes because he wanted to be like Ernest and have the edge. Either way, it seems Ernest can't win. He messes up; the team hates him. He wins; they love him. He becomes the center of attention and basically plays the game by himself; they hate him again. But, good 'ol Ernest begins acting like the same Ernest we know and love. He discards the shoes and sits on the bench. Zimmel and Erma try to persuade him to put the shoes back on and get out there and play. But, Ernest tells Zimmel to leave him alone. And when Erma asks him, "What about me?", he tells her that she wasn't who he thought she was and tells them both to get away and leave him alone. But when CJ gets fouled out, Ernest has to play and, finally, the Clean Sweep team admit that he was really a part of the team. With that encouragement, Ernest gets back on the court and, with seconds to go before the end of the game, scores the winning point. All in all, Ernest didn't really care about fame and fortune. He just wanted to be included and to be a part of something. All he ever wanted was just to have friends. Ernest may be simplistic and not really all that book smart but he really is a pure genius where it counts: his heart.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is spot on for good vibes and humor as it tests Earnest's loyalty to friends via a Flubber meets Faustian challenge for greed and fame. The rockin' soundtrack is particularly great! Composed and arranged by the acclaimed composer, Marc Adler. Mr Adler and Disney spared no expense in utilizing a top flight Los Angeles studio orchestra and featured vocalist, Lynn Ray, (now Lynn Ray-Pardo), for the perfect comedic accompaniment. It's too bad this film didn't enjoy an original wider release because every kid I've shown it to loves it and kids are a tough crowd. I've only seen it on TV a few times, but at least Disney should consider putting it into regular rotation on their own channel. Jim Varney's rubber faced character shows real heart, not just schtick, as he confronts the concept of what is now reality T.V. fame over friendship. The temptation of evil in the cloak of a professional basketball manager's goodies, including sexy girls in a limousine on top of big bucks and the opportunity to leave his janitorial job behind, is funny and poignant. Who knew an Earnest movie would be so deep!! Just wonderful! Yes, it doesn't have quite the highest production value but it definitely isn't low grade and certainly worth watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ever since he was a kid, Ernest has loved basketball. He
at a mall with some other guys who are basketball players.
the Clean Sweeps. They play a little basketball on the job and
some damage--thanks to Ernest, but it's good ol' Ernest P. Worrell
comes to their defence when his buds are blamed. They want to
him for it, so he requests they let him play basketball with
They're reluctant. Ernest convinces him he's got game, he's in the
But the only zone he's in is the Twilight Zone, but his friends
him the benefit of a doubt. Ernest get's to wear a uniform and sit
the bench. Ernest is overwhelmed.
He put's on his Clean Sweep jersey: Number -0. He cheers
his friends, which get's distracting. He eventually causes them
lose the game and they're upset at him. Ernest is sadened but
hope arrives: The Archangel of Basketball himself: Kareem Abdul
He gives Ernest a pair of magic shoes. He warns Ernest not to
the shoes. Ernest put's them in his locker and heads home,
the shoes magically latched themselves onto Ernest's feet and
Next night, after Ernest volunteers to stay and clean the
mall for his friends while they go play, he does it at warp
thanks to his new shoes. He goes to the stadium and plays
basketball like a real pro! He wins! His friends now respect him.
Soon all the popularity goes to Ernest's head and he begins acting like a snob and plays the entire game by himself as a one man team. His friends don't even want to know him, so he decides he doesn't want the shoes anymore and wants to go back to his old self. He does this right in the middle of a game, so he finishes it and wins.
This wasn't the greatest Ernest film ever made. Those guys who Ernest worked with at the mall seemed awful mean to him. So let's just say there have been better Ernest films made. This on get's a *** out of ******. -
Slam Dunk Ernest is not the best of the Ernest movies, but it's not the worst either. The story has Ernest P. Worrell being given a special pair of shoes by the Archangel of Basketball (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) that make him a basketball star. His fellow teammates are shocked and delighted, but Ernest is tempted by the 'dark side' and gets little to into his role as a star. In the end, Ernest makes the right decision he always does. Jim Varney is the best thing in this movie, though the supporting cast does a good job. This movie has the charm of the Ernest movies, but doesn't compare to Ernest Goes to Jail or Ernest Scared Stupid. But I still recommend it.
Jim Varney IS funny in this film -- assuming you enjoy the sort of absurd
slapstick that lies at the center of every Ernest movie. The problem is,
whenever the camera wanders away from Varney's rubber-faced goofing, the
movie starts to wander as well.
The supporting cast does what it can (the men who play Ernest's after-work basketball teammates do especially well), but the story wanders, and the pacing is very slow at times. It's too "talky" at times to attract a kid audience, but not complex enough to hold an adult audience whenever the comedy quiets down. And there's the problem: the comedy quiets down too often, and when it does, the movie seems unsure of what it wants to do with itself. There's a cameo by Kareem Abdul Jabbar (an actor he is NOT!) and a rather bizarre about-face by the main female supporting character, which is never adequately explained, even by comedy-film standards.
In the end, Varney's antics as the lovable goofball with the heart of gold and the brain of lead save this movie from being a complete washout -- but it's really no thanks to the script.
In conclusion: Varney is still the best thing to happen to "lovable idiot" comedy since Lou Costello, but he succeeds in spite of this movie, not because of it. Better to rent "Ernest Goes To Jail" or one of the other early Ernest films, if you want to see just how much fun an Ernest movie can be.
Clearly, the straight to video route had a little effect on the production value of this movie, but it still proved to be the most interesting of the series. Ernest, with his 70s-style motif and impeccable ability to score at will, proved to be an unusual turn in the series. Kareem Abdul Jabbar made a great cameo. While this wasn't the best in the series, it still ranks as the third best, which isn't too bad.
After the first few Ernest movies caught people's attention in
theaters, there were a few that went straight to video. "Slam Dunk
Ernest" is the only one that I've seen. It depicts the lovable dimwit
getting a pair of basketball shoes from an angel who looks strangely
like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with the warning not to misuse them.
Quite frankly, I think that they could have ended the series with "Ernest Rides Again" and not made this one. It's not terrible, but I doubt that Jim Varney truly wanted to end his life having made a series of straight-to-video flicks, especially such absurd ones. As for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I still like to think of him as Roger Murdock. Or as the crier in "The Stand".
PS: Miguel A. Núñez, Jr, played Spider in "Return of the Living Dead".
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