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Down and Derby
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Down and Derby More at IMDbPro »

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26 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A Child's View of Adult Silliness - Good Clean Fun

Author: Sid Unrau ( from Orem, Utah
21 April 2005

I had read nothing but negative reviews of this movie. I went with a friend out of sheer boredom, and we were both laughing our heads off the whole time. He and I had both been boy scouts and had both had our share of pinewood derby experiences... perhaps that added to our glee.

I think the critics missed the mark because they are adults looking from an adult perspective, but this movie is from kid perspective; nothing adult about it.

The movie is a caricature about family relationships, midlife crises, childhood rivalry carried into adulthood, unexpected triumphs, and unexpected defeats. It is truly good clean fun - no cusswords, no sex, nothing but silly antics. The kids acted like kids and the adults acted like kids, just as one would expect from a kid's perspective.

This is no epic - it is completely silly. But it is fun, funny, entertaining, and family friendly. THANKS, Hollywood, for the rare non-offensive to anyone (that I can imagine) movie.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Great family movie

Author: Brian Maguire from San Jose, CA
17 January 2006

This is a great movie for the family of all ages. The movie is funny and well acted. It is also professionally written and directed. If you are a scouting family or were a scout yourself this movie will appeal to you for sure. Even if you are not a scouting family the comedy of trying to do a father-son project is something we all can relate to. Actually I learned something from this movie and will be letting my son do a bit more of the work on 'his' pine wood derby car! Besides, I have my own car to build now. The movie is a fathers desire to build a winning car and relive his childhood while trying to let his son live his own. Check out this movie if you can and we'll see you at the races!

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Well worth seeing. For anyone involved in Pinewood Derby Races, it will bring back memories.

Author: Saturndriver from United States
8 June 2005

This movies was one of the great movies about scouting that has come out in a long time. It was clean, funny, and can be related to by all levels of scouts and adults alike. Observant scouts and adult leaders will recognize the approximate 4 to 5 errors in the film dealing with the uniforms. Overlook those errors and you have a great family movie. You may choose to show the movie to your district or council. In that case, use the movie as a test to see who is paying attention to find those errors and give a prize the scout with the most errors found. I was heartbroken to see that it was in the theaters for only one week. Maybe if it was released it in January in time for the Pinewood Derby races, and publicized it a little, it probably would have had a better turn out. I can hardly wait until it comes out on VHS or DVD so I may buy a copy. As a Cubmaster, I am willing to help my district and/or council in showing it to the Cub Scouts.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Maybe a little too real for some dads (and moms)

Author: Retroman40 from United States
27 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

While this may seem like a light-hearted parody of how parents live vicariously through their kids, based on my earlier experience as a cub scout leader (who happened to run the District Pinewood Derby since my pack had all the equipment shown in the movie) this movie is a lot closer to the truth than a lot of participating parents want to admit.

I had parents show up without kids. I had parents who wouldn't let their kid touch the car and complained about the rule that the kids had to actually present the car to race. I found all sorts of questionable modifications to wheels and axles. Perhaps the movie stretches it a bit, but not that much. The internet is full of sites devoted to winning the PWD - someone is buying the stuff. To control runaway parental participation, we finally implemented a rule where all work had to be done at special sessions and the kits impounded. We also started a special "adults only" race and ran off the winners of the kids with the adults - know what - the kids always won.

If you're looking for a movie that's fun to watch with no violence/sex/language - this one is for you. The movie has a "bad guy" that we've all known and just want to see him go down.

This movie is certainly worth putting in your Nexflix queue.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious, well acted comedy.

Author: K Miller from United States
4 June 2007

If you have any experience with the pinewood derby you will love this cleverly written film about the extremes some father's go to to win. Having participated in several pinewood derby's as a young Boy Scout, I loved the idea of this film. It spoofs the all too common tendency of a father to take the building and racing of their "son's" derby cars way too seriously. The competition becomes more between the fathers than the sons. The gags are clever. The spoofs, while exaggerated as they need to be for comedy, are all too real. Take the time to watch this film when you'd like to enjoy a good laugh, not to mention, a good message about putting your family first.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Nothing "down" here, this upbeat movie is one fine and funny family flick

Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
8 December 2010

When Phil (Greg Germann) was a kid, he ruled his California town as the champion athlete. That is, until the day Ace Montana (Marc Raymond) came to town and left poor Phil a permanent second for the next few years. Now, they are both adults and still living in the same community. Phil is married to the lovely Kim (Lauren Holly) and Ace has an equally stunning wife (Hunter Tylo). But, Phil remains envious of Ace and his abilities. Therefore, when its time for the scouts annual Pinewood Derby, Phil is determined that his son, Brady, will be the winner over Ace's offspring. His two closest friends decide to enter their sons in the competition, too. Soon, everyone is toting long wooden boards into their dwellings and trying to perfect the little vehicles and their ramps. Phil takes over his own bedroom, much to Kim's disgust, who has to sleep under the ramp. When her hair dryer blows up, due to over extended outlets, Kim sees red. She tells Phil she is taking Brady to her mother's house for awhile. And, she cautions her advertising executive husband not to neglect, and/or, lose his actual JOB over his derby obsession, for a wealthy client (Pat Morita) is counting on excellence. Will Phil let Ace-mania destroy his exemplary life? This is a fine, funny family flick that will please everyone, especially fathers and sons. When it comes to little racing cars, few males can resist the competitive tug at their hearts to beat the opposition. As the main cast members, Germann and Holly are wonderfully humorous and the supporting cast is very fine as well. Then, too, the California setting is lovely, the costumes are terrific and the camera work, comical script, and energetic direction are all big assets. Most importantly, the movie has no objectionable material or language, making it an ideal choice for everyone in the household. Therefore, look for this upbeat flick on your next trip to the DVD outlets and plunk down a few bucks. It will be money very well extended.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Ignore the naysayers. This is a great comedy!

Author: James Flood from Cleveland, Ohio
3 April 2011

I'm beginning to get it now. If a movie is family-friendly, critics and armchair critics walk in with a prejudice. I'm glad I didn't hear any negative reviews before seeing this because I thought it was a very well-constructed comedy, and quite frankly, I was laughing my head-off. But this wasn't simply a series of gags. While it has it's many knock-you-in-the-face comedic moments, it also employs subtlety. This is the genre of comedy that Steve Martin used in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and "Cheaper by the Dozen II" where good and upstanding characters gradually descend into immaturity and loss of self-control in their pursuit of a (usually stupid) goal, all the while showing the audience how these ridiculous choices can seem reasonable to the unfortunate but lovable characters. Greg Germann was truly excellent in his lead role as Phil Davis. I usually don't want to see a movie a second time, but this one is different. Had "Down and Derby" added expletives, off-color jokes, and a little nudity to earn it a PG-13 or R rating, I suspect the reviews would be much more favorable. But, alas, it is good clean humor for the whole family. If you don't require expletives and sexual innuendo to laugh, then see this movie.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Hit at our school's Family Movie Night!

Author: jstone-5 from United States
9 January 2007

There were over 300 people of all ages watching this projected outdoors at our school's movie night. Everyone loved it. It's a spoof on adults competing with each other through their kids -- much better than "Kicking and Screaming". Adults acting like kids -- a crowd pleaser with children with smart comedic moments that adults will enjoy also.

You'll be surprised by how much you enjoy it. Greg Germann gives a great performance. Why don't we see more of him? I think it was Pat Morita's last movie before he passed away. And, the main child actor (Adam Hicks) is very impressive. He was the same kid who stars in "How to Eat Fried Worms".

If you're a scout or have done the Pinewood Derby, this will have extra appeal. All our kids want to do now is build a pinewood derby car...

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

moms with boys in the cub/boy scouts may get the biggest kick out of this movie.

Author: jfarms1956 from United States
21 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Down and Derby is a movie that moms with boys will find most interesting. Although the film is geared towards boys and their dads, moms with boys in the cub/boy scouts may get the biggest kick out of this movie. The substance of this movie is about winning at all costs by the dad of the cub/boy scouts who have entered the Pinewood Derby. The boys are supposed to be SUPERVISED by the dads, not the dads supervised by their sons. The movie goes through some comedic phases until the moms save the day by taking their sons away from the dads. Three of the dads finally come to a compromise. In the end, most of the dads realize that it is more important that the boy enter his own car into the race. Of course, it wins, even beating the number one winning car of all time. This of course is unrealistic, but it's Hollywood. It is the moms who try to tell the dads -- win or lose, it is the BOY's race and the Boy's fun. Moms enjoy. Get a group of you to watch the movie. Popcorn and snacks all around.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Don't Expect Much.....

Author: dhuntress from United States
2 March 2011

It's a good idea for a story but there is not enough substance to it. The movie becomes predictable after the first twenty minutes. The film would be better served if it cultivated other family life issues along with the derby. When winning the Derby is the only thing this whole movie is about than the entertainment value is compromised. My son and I just won our local event, so I do know about what it is like to have that male fixation to build and race your own car. Nonetheless when I tried watching the movie with my son the other day he was utterly bored. The acting is also pretty sad. The only redeeming quality of this feature is Lauren Holly in a sun dress....enough said!

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