After committing check fraud, Preston Waters lives out his 12-year-old fantasies by spending a million dollars in 6 days, but he quickly realizes he can't quite handle the consequences. Miguel Ferrer and Brian Bonsall star in this 1994 kid classic that will leave you asking, "Why didn't this kid get grounded?"
Amongst Preston and the three antagonists, Quigley is the only one to refer to himself and each other by name. Biderman refers to Quigley and Juice by name, but never himself or Preston by name (except he uses words such as "kid" and "boy" to refer to Preston.) Juice refers to Quigley and himself by name but never Biderman or Preston (except he uses the word "boy" to refer to Preston.) Preston refers to himself by name but doesn't refer to Quigley and Juice by name until closer toward the end. He never refers to Biderman by name. Quigley doesn't refer to Preston by name until closer toward the end. See more »
The remote control near the end of the movie in Preston's mansion is smashed into pieces, and later back to its previous condition. See more »
Preston Waters' father Fred is tight with money. After all, investments are how he makes his living. But Preston does not get to spend money like the other kids. A good example: he is invited to Butch's birthday party at an amusement park, but he does not get to go on nearly as many rides as the others do.
Preston's brothers Ralph and Damien have money. But they have jobs. Preston is not old enough to have a job. However, his grandmother does send him a blank check for his birthday. Preston's Dad doesn't see it that way, though. He says the boy's grandmother just forgot the amount, and he fills in a prudent number. But as the pretty new teller Shay tells him, it is not even enough to open a bank account!
Meanwhile, bank president Biderman is being asked to launder money by Carl Quigley. Biderman had some bad things to say about him in court, so Biderman will do this for him or else. Quigley intends to send someone to pick up the money the next day at 1:00.
But as Quigley is backing out his car, he is paying attention only to the cops nearby. Preston has fallen off his bicycle, but fortunately, he sees Quigley's car in time. But not in time for his bike. Quigley writes a check but doesn't have time to fill it in. That's okay, though; Preston has a Macintosh computer at home that can do that for him. And he decides the check will be for one million dollars. When he returns to the bank, it is not Shay but a teller who looks like a lunch lady who almost rejects the check. But it is almost 1:00 when Preston is dragged into Biderman's office. Biderman offers Preston juice (or at least that's what he believes). Believing this is Quigley's flunky, Biderman actually gives Preston the money!
And then the real Juice shows up with--guess what--ANOTHER million dollar check.
What do YOU think is going to happen?
Well, what does happen is very funny and includes a lot of physical comedy, most of that related to the bad guys getting what they deserve.
A couple of additional details: Biderman is being investigated by the FBI, and a reclusive mystery man named Macintosh is buying one of the finest houses in town and lots of toys and other fun stuff to fill it with.
There are lessons to be learned here: money is not the most important thing in life. Family and friends are. In fact, people are your friends only if they are still your friends when the money is gone.
Several actors rise above the material: James Rebhorn as Preston's Dad, Tone Loc as Juice, and sometimes Miguel Ferrer as Quigley. Brian Bonsall does a good enough job as Preston, and Rick Ducommun, as chauffeur Henry, convinces me that he is really Preston's friend. Karen Duffy is easy to like as the pretty teller. On the other hand, Michael Lerner (as the bank president) is never anything more than a cartoon character, and Debbie Allen as party planner Yvonne doesn't seem up to her usual standards.
On My 48, I saw some obvious signs that language had been cleaned up, but not really anything that should make this film inappropriate for most children. Butch (who is a bully) is manhandled by the bad guys and even dangled off a tall building. And the bad guys do threaten others convincingly, but this is still little more than a live-action cartoon. It's really up to individual parents as to whether this is too much.
You don't have to be a kid to like this, but it helps.
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