Slam Dunk Ernest (Video 1995) Poster

(1995 Video)

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Doesn't match up to the earlier "Ernest" films, but still pretty good.
dootuss7 October 2002
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.
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Not one of the better Ernest movies
csweetleaf210 June 2003
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.
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Not one of the better Ernest movies
csweetleaf210 June 2003
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.
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Can't compare to earlier Ernest movies, but still funny
Op_Prime3 May 2000
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.
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6/10
One of the funniest Ernest movies
Agent1022 May 2002
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.
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10/10
Way to dunk it, Ernest!
bug7627 March 2011
Warning: 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.
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6/10
Great Vibes, Funny and Really Great Soundtrack!
lynn14636 March 2009
Warning: 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.
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Ernest Is Funny, But The Movie As A Whole Fails To Score
LL-927 January 2000
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.
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5/10
Hardly high-scoring
TheLittleSongbird9 July 2017
Like what was said with 'Ernest Goes to School', just need to make things clear about not being a detractor of the character of Ernest or his films. Actually consider most of the films imperfect but fun in a guilty pleasure sort of way.

However, even when judging it for what it was meant to be and being more than willing to go against the grain and defend it like with most of the previous outings, 'Slam Dunk Ernest' is to me one of the weaker 'Ernest' films. Not terrible and there are far worse films out there, but to me the series lost its charm and lost steam in the 90s and when it went straight to video rather than released theatrically.

'Slam Dunk Ernest' does have its good qualities. The best things about it are the music and Jim Varney. The music is full of rocking energy and affectionate nostalgia and really adds a great deal to the action in the film. It's hard still not to relate to Ernest, the sort of character that is a well-intended serial bumbler with a well-meaning big strong heart but always finding himself messing up without intention.

Varney is fun and likable in the role, to me there is enough freshness in the interpretation to not make it too tired or endless mugging and his performance does give the film much needed energy. Some of the dialogue while not exactly sophisticated is funny and there are a few scenes that raise a laugh. One does see glimpses of the fun and danger of the sport of basketball, and the moral does give the film some heart.

On the other hand, too much of the humour doesn't work this time, with it having a recycled feel, being crudely puerile and, even for an 'Ernest' film but here turned up maximum notches, is incredibly childish. Other than Varney, the acting is poor, with a mix of non-trying and being annoying.

Unfortunately the story and pacing are done in a way that doesn't make the above forgivable. The story is wafer thin and contrived, with a muddled, clumsily written subplot that feels out of place within the film. Too often it doesn't know what to do with itself, cueing some aimless stretches and pacing that begged for a steroid shot. The sentimentality also gets too much, and the whole film looks cheap and ineptly directed and choreographed.

In conclusion, not terrible but really isn't one of the better 'Ernest' films. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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5/10
play it soft
Lee Eisenberg16 April 2012
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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3/10
Easily, the Worst of the Ernest Line
Elswet24 March 2007
Esily, the worst of the Ernest line, but there are still lessons to be learned, and enjoyment to be had.

This should have been entitled, "Ernest and the Magick Shoes," however, Slam Dunk will have to suffice.

Ernest AKA Jim Varney, brings his usual charm and great redneck style to this work, in spite of the work's detriment of bearing ghetto-branded plot line, movie props, and message.

But beneath all that, there is another message...one you're familiar with if you read my reviews regularly: Hold Onto Your Dreams.

Ernest is a likable little fella, whose life is a noir work, and whose physical appearance is reminiscent of a living-breathing cartoon character. He enjoyed a rather large following while he was alive, and many still love him and his works.

This is the worst of the run, and as such, rates a 3.4/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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Dull and unimaginative – even by the series' own low standards
bob the moo1 August 2002
Ernest is a janitor with a team that cleans the local mall. The rest of the janitors also play basketball in the city league as `Clean Sweep'. When Ernest saves their jobs by accepting blame for an accident they reluctantly agree to have him on their team. After losing them their next game, Ernest is dejected until an angel gives him magic shoes that make him an amazing player. However this causes friction in the team as the chance to play a NBA team looms.

I watched this Ernest movie because I like basketball and I hoped that the game action would cover me just enough to get through the film. However it didn't. The plot here is bad even by Ernest standards. The usual device of the magic shoes isn't used well – I've seen other basketball movies where a kid is blessed in some way and starts playing in the majors – but here it was all dull and unimaginative. Even things like the way the `love interest' goes from bookish newsagent to vamp in one scene with no explanation or reason – it just happens!

The background story of `effort and work over flashy shoes' is really bungled and doesn't come across well at all. The background characters becoming bitter at Ernest hogging the ball is also only played at the very end and isn't used well at all. The basketball games are very poor. Obiviously when Ernest is soaring through the air in absurd ways it's going to be, but even the actual games before he plays are careless – back passes, no 3 point line (although they still score 3's) things like that just show how shoddy it is. The actual shots of Ernest playing are also poor – they get a smile, but they clearly wanted to cut costs so the same shots of him jumping and dunking are used several times over.

Varney is unlikable. Ernest is meant to be a loveable loser we all root for – like Norman Wisdom used to play. However Varney is just plain annoying – when things happen to him you can't help but think `hope that hurt' and I never care if he comes good in the end or not! The actual team are very ethnic – like they were told to overplay the whole black thing! However some ar so-so. Cozart has to carry the moral message himself and does alright while some other faces are familiar from much better fare (Núñez Jnr), and really Abdul-Jabbar, good movie doing Airplane but what are you doing here – the fact that he is in this film is reason enough for us to pay NBA stars big wages now so that they don't come back and take bad acting jobs after they retire.

Overall this made me smile twice and that's it. I know it's for kids but this is too basic for kids. Varney's clowning isn't enough and the lame attempt to wring a message out of it is weak at best.
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