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As someone who grew up watching "Leave It To Beaver" on television, and
now on DVD, this "upgraded" movie version is disgusting.
Out-of-touch movie critics like Porter & Martin, who have a best-selling paperback book each year of short movie reviews of anything on tape or disc, called this "wholesome" fun. In fact, they said it was so wholesome kids of today might not want to see it, meaning it was too goody-goody for them. This shows you how out-of-touch film critics can be because compared to that 1950s show, this is HARDLY a wholesome movie.
In this LITB, the young guys are all after girls and sex, use the word "suck" all the time and the story is filled with 1990s-type Hollywood portrayals and comments (Beaver was excited because he saw an R-rated movie, etc.)
Overall, it's still a kid's movie and Cameron Finley is "cute" as Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver and his parents are nice, but there are too may moral problems with this version. Stick to the TV shows, especially now that the first two seasons on DVD. Those are fantastic.
I rented the movie with great hope I watch a "Leave it to Beaver" rerun every time they come on. What I got was a cheap overated mockery of great television. They turned the show into a complete mess. The characters, with Eddie Haskell as the one exception, were not even similar to that of the TV show. If it ain't broke don't fix it and next leave good wholesome television alone.
After hearing that Erik Von Detten was in this movie when he was
younger... I was very curious to see it. Once the movie started, I
could tell it was sort of a satire... which is totally cool and fun to
watch. Beaver is a very charming character and Wally would be the
perfect child if he acted the same in today's society.
This movie had my attention the whole way through. It was totally cute, and had a lot of references that little kids may not "get" ... Erika Christiansen is in this movie too and she looked way different back then. I think they did a good job in this movie trying to portray the way children think and act and perceive the world. Although the mother is portrayed a bit like a Stepford Wife, it isn't that big of a distraction. You really begin to feel for the characters in this movie even though there hasn't been a whole lot of character development.
I grew up watching this show and I couldn't wait until the movie came out.
After I watched it , the video was in my hands.
Since it was made from a tv series like The Brady Bunch , it beat them by a long shot.
It's worth watching and there's one scene that will tell you something if you pay attention to it. This is when the Beaver and his father are in the coffee cup and they're talking about ' the look '.
Eddie Haskell ( Ken Osmond ) appeared to have the right idea on his acting. Being around Ward and June he so polite but if he was with Wally or the Beaver it would be like he knew everything. Everyone else did a good job also. I liked the times whenever Lumpy would be so sloppy and eat anything in sight.
The funny thing about this movie is , when he got his bike for his birthday it brings back memories when I got one I kept dreaming about. It's a 20" red Diamond Back , alloy frame , three piece crank & double wall rim ( for all you riders to give you an idea.) That Christmas I thought it was over but sure enough at the last minute here it comes. It was 30* outside but I could care less ! I changed clothes and went for a spin. Since then it's been spotless and this was 4 years ago. I still have it.
Again as the movie , there's nothing wrong with it and enjoyable / relaxing for the whole family. There is a true example on this - DON'T let strangers ride your bike no matter what they say. Also lock it up. One time I thought mine was safe and I was gone for only 30 seconds. When I came out , it was gone but I caught them.
Seems amazing what trouble a little kid can get himself into at times. Quite an interesting watch - the plot revolves around the kid Beaver and the problems he has trying to do the things that will get his father to approve of him and like him more, and his older brother's attempts to woo a girl who likes another. Somehow, these people all manage to entangle themselves into one another's lives and makes for some pretty predictable sequences and scenes. But I like shows with kids as stars, and this is one of the better ones to come from the studios.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Leave it to Beaver (1997): Dir: Andy Cadiff / Cast: Cameron Finley, Christopher McDonald, Janine Turner, Erik von Detten, Erika Christensen: Sitcom remake about trust and solving problems. It regards a boy named Beaver Cleaver who wants a bike for his birthday but bad advice has him joining junior football so that his father will be impressed enough to buy it for him. Lame subplots involving Wally's difficulties with girls plus Beaver's bike stolen right in front of him because he is too stupid to know the difference. The film isn't childproof with sneaking out at night and Beaver descending a giant coffee cup after two kids take him for a fool. Then Beaver receives help after school thus lying about football practice. What parent would object to their children attempting to improve their grades? Director Andy Cadiff can be credited for its appropriate sitcom appeal but it plot is just plain dumb. Christopher McDonald and Janine Turner do their best as the otherwise standard appeal parental roles. Cameron Finley plays the dimwitted Beaver. Erik von Detten plays airhead Wally. Erika Christensen plays the female targeted for a relationship as well as being part of a film this bad. Yet another pointless sitcom to film and release to a public that never asked for it. It doesn't translate the sitcom successfully so studios can leave it to Beaver to empty our wallets. Score: 3 / 10
Throughout watching practically this entire movie, I had a stupid grin
on my face. That's the kind of film this is.
It's cheesy, sentimental, substandard, and predictable. . . . and I enjoyed it.
Before watching it, I had never seen an episode of the classic sitcom ''Leave it to Beaver'', from which this movie is based, but I was acquainted enough with the material to expect some Dennis the Menace type antics. And that's what I got.
It's hard to figure out if the movie is winking at us; it just seems so cheerfully absurd!
It basically follows the story of Beaver, a trouble-prone young boy, and his adventures and misadventures. The film's setting is in a suburban neighbourhood stuck somewhere between 1950 and 1990.
Although I was really entertained, this movie's definitely not very good.
But if you want a heartwarming and gentle film that's very ridiculous, you might want to check this one out.
I have read a bunch of these other reviews, in which many people seem to strongly dislike the 1997 movie "Leave it to Beaver." Well, I have one question for them: Do you even watch the show?! The 1997 movie combines countless themes and storylines from various episodes of the original series, a technique that is enjoyable and funny. The actors are great, and it is wonderful to see some of the original show's cast making cameos in the film (such as the actors who originally played June Cleaver, Eddie Haskell, and Lumpy). The movie gives a fresh twist to a classic television series, and effectively bridges the gap between generations. This film is enjoyable for younger children and teens who may not have seen the original series, as well as being exciting for parents or other adults who know and love the Cleaver clan from way back in the 50s. This film is a true winner, despite pointless criticisms that it may have received.
Filmed on location in a drab real world setting instead of on an artistically designed backlot, this production, like many a remake, suffers by comparison to the original hit show and other better remakes, such as the Little Rascals or Dennis the Menace. The narrow focus of the dull witted producers seems to have been on production design and the issue of how to tastefully update from the golden age 50's to the 90's. In so thinking, they have put style above substance and altogether fallen short of the achievement of the original. The mise en scene moves from the idealized small town suburb of Hollywoodland to the gloomier landscape of an authentic 90's exurb, with the occasional camp fast food sign and ugly parking lot thrown in for ironic documentary effect. This is meant to make the audience believe the remake is more realistic, yet it drains the beloved TV favorite of iconic appeal. The bland characterization and lackluster acting suffer from a similar shortcoming--a missing sense of drama or a lack of imaginative expressiveness, all in the service of verisimilitude. There's unfortunately also "studied anachronism." 50's cars are randomly thrown onto the set together with more modern makes, a fumblingly inappropriate attempt to capture nostalgic 50's feeling. Probably the lead headed film makers thought they were being clever but it fell flat like the rest of the movie. A good remake may still be made. Until then, watch the reruns.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Leave it to Beaver would have been a great tribute to the original
series and fun for the whole family.
However, Leave it to Beaver features a shocking scene in which the Beaver murders Eddie Haskell, grinds up his body in a household blender, and butt chugs his liquefied remains. The rest of the film's plot progresses, unaffected by this scene. It is very unusual.
If it weren't for this jarring tonal shift, which mind you comes out nowhere, the film would be great.
I don't mind graphic violence in movies, but it feels so out of place here.
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