N.B. this film should not be compared to Dodgeball, they are not in the same league
The Comebacks (2007)
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N.B. this film should not be compared to Dodgeball, they are not in the same league
The plot, if you can even call it that, centers on a man named Lambeau Fields (David Koechner). Right when I heard his name within the first couple seconds of the film, I knew I was in for a long movie. Funny names are seldom funny, and become even less funny the more you hear them. Lambeau is one of the worst coaches in the world, but he's been given another chance by his best friend, Freddie Wiseman (Carl Weathers), to coach a ragtag high school football team called The Comebacks. Lambeau must not only lead the team to victory, but also teach them the ways of inspirational sports movie clichés. He expects his kids to have poor grades and problems with alcohol, and ridicules them when they don't. When it looks like the team has a chance to play at the big championship Toilet Bowl game (Did 10-year-olds write this script?), Lambeau is shocked to discover that Freddie is the coach of the big rival team that his team will be playing against. Turns out Freddie only encouraged Lambeau to take the coaching job, because he wanted The Comebacks to lose.
The Comebacks is a movie so forced and pathetic, I almost had a hard time believing what I was watching. Spoof movies have recently turned into a game of "spot the movie reference", and this continues the tradition. It tries to squeeze in as many references to other sports movies as it can, but it either does absolutely nothing with them, expecting us to just point at the screen and laugh out of familiarity, or it attempts to be funny and falls flat on its face. Some of the films referenced include Field of Dreams, Bend it Like Beckham, Rocky Balboa, Friday Night Lights, Stick It, Radio, Miracle, Remember the Titans, Gridiron Gang, Invincible, and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. But wait, wasn't Dodgeball already a parody of inspirational sports movies? So, in other words, we're watching a parody of a parody of inspirational sports movies. If that makes any sense to you, you're just the audience this movie is looking for. Some of these films are referenced in the plot, and some (like the Rocky one) are just thrown in for no reason, because the filmmakers wanted to try to reference as many films as possible. There are some that the movie even feels the need to explain to us in its dialogue, just in case we've missed the obvious reference. You know a movie is in trouble when it has to spell out its own jokes to us.
The worst thing is that the screenplay by TV veterans and first time screen writers, Ed Yeager and Joey Gutierrez, doesn't even know the first and most important rule of parody - You have to play it straight. The actors have to pretend they're not in on the joke. The reason why the classic Zucker Brothers movies like Airplane, Top Secret, and The Naked Gun are remembered so fondly is because they cast serious actors like Leslie Nielsen (yes, he was a serious actor before he turned to comedy) and Robert Stack, and then threw them into ridiculous situations. What made it funny is that they acted like they weren't in a comedy, and kept a stone face to the weirdness around them. Those films wouldn't have worked if they played their roles broadly. The Comebacks proves this, as all the actors are forced to play their roles so goofy, it's like they're screaming at us to laugh. David Koechner keeps on flailing his arms, bulging his eyes, and screaming at the top of his lungs to the point he looks like someone who knows he's trapped in a dead-end comedy, and just tries too hard to pretend he's having a good time. The movie also doesn't understand the art of celebrity cameos (also an important factor when it comes to parody films). What kind of cameos do we get in The Comebacks? Andy Dick and Dennis Rodman.
By the time the movie throws in an out of nowhere and extremely pointless cast musical number to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" for absolutely no reason whatsoever, I was just about ready to walk out the theater door. I was the only person at my screening, and the thought of this movie going on its pathetic way to a completely empty house kind of appealed to me. I did sit through the rest of The Comebacks, and I was not rewarded for my efforts. The sad thing is, Fox is not yet done killing the spoof genre. They have a parody of 300 coming out next year called Meet the Spartans. I'd say it can't be much worse than this, but I've seen the trailer, and I wouldn't want to get your hopes up.
I'd like for someone to explain to me, what's so horrible about this movie? It's a perfect cast. Hilarious movie. Has enormous amount of replay value. Oh I forgot, Tom Hanks, isn't in it.
Movies are to entertain an audience so, people don't turn into weak minded drug addicts or into alcoholics. If something can put a smile on my face and make me laugh, most likely it'll make me "primative", because the movie, didn't make much money or have big name stars in it.
Someone with no funny bone in their body or who doesn't like women, wouldn't like this movie. It's a "feel good" movie, when you want to "break something", but have a positive mind to cut this on your DVD player.
Pure Classic, enough said.
While it's not the most ingenious piece of comedy ever contrived, it doesn't deserve the thrashing it's gotten on IMDb. If the prudes could get off their high horses long enough, they'd see that this movie is funny! Perhaps it's an acquired taste, but vulgar humour can be hilarious if you allow it to be. But we are a fickle and very led society, sometimes unable to enjoy things for what they are - the key word there is enjoy. At some point I hope the pickles come out of the butts and people remember how to laugh again because with the number of negative reviews by uptight individuals, it seems our forgot-about-fun society has a long way to go.
You can figure out some references to other movies, from the top of my head I identified Dodgeball and Rocky, so you can have some fun with that, trying to find out what movies are spoofed.
The movie also offers you an occasional laugh, but nothing that can cause you injuries, thus nothing really funny.
I liked the character IPod in some ways (even though some of the jokes with him are standard comedy 101).
I think this movie (and like most of nonsense/spoof comedy) depends on the mood you are in, so if you think you will laugh to any joke watch this movie. If you are in a serious mood forget about this (re)watch The Airplane instead, it will definitely make you laugh
Rating: 2 out of 5 (Stars)
It takes more than just referencing some recent movies and giving characters double-meaning names to be satire; to make people laugh. Any clod can pick up a cam-corder, and have some bad-acting buddies in cheap costumes imitate somebody. Since the genre being targeted this time is inspirational sports movies, there are a few lame references thrown out to movies of that type: the jokes are so weak the characters actually have to emphasize the references in various ways, to get you to laugh hysterically. It doesn't work.
That's not comedy. However, the same old worn out sophomoric "jokes" ripped off from a middle school washroom (done even more blandly than usual) are all here. If that's not enough, there's a running "gag" of a bus running somebody over. So funny, right? Also, one pathetically poor scene does more product placement than Michael Bay; again with the same unfunny results. A musical bit flops miserably. Pity Carl Weathers, once Apollo Creed in the Rocky series, now stuck with roles in swill like this.
Lousy beyond words. Watching a snail run the marathon would be less tedious than watching this film is. Probably a lot funnier, too.
The screenwriters and director threw every imaginable sports cliché at the audience without creating a single laugh, not one during the entire movie. Think of all the football movies that have been made and the millions of dollars schools and fans spend each year on football and you realize how ripe it is to be parodied or lampooned. If you add Texas to the mix,you ought to come up with the sports version of 'Little Miss Sunshine', not a big yawn.
The first film that came to mind as we exited the theater was 'Can't Stop the Music' By comparison, this was 'Can't stop the Music' without Bruce Jenner, Valerie Perrine, or the Village People.
If the film had a single grace note, it was seeing Matthew Lawrence grown up.
This movie is no different. Except for the fact that when I laughed, my laugher's were meaningful. I laughed for a least 30 seconds and not just a quick giggle. This movie did pretty well on its spoofs but at many times it was just so unrealistic that it really downed the potential this movie may have had. Some of the timing didn't match, and you know I could go on forever but I'll just stop and say if you really have nothing else better to do, then maybe just give this a watch and laugh a little and then move on with your life. A rental may suffice but don't buy it.
I feel the one of the biggest problems is that they poked fun at to many movies such as Varsity Blues, Friday Night Lights, Stick it, etc. And if you are anything like me you try to pick out each movie instead of paying attention to whats going on in this one. Even the adult humor in this movie was dry. Do yourself a favor and save you money and time and rent don't rent this movie
I lost track of how many sports movies and spoofs it incorporated into the film. And generally, it flopped in its attempts. True, telling his team they should fail every subject to be true players was somewhat funny at first, but that grew tiring to watch. That and the joke about "Radio" and "IPod".
Overall, I can't stand to watch this film again. Even Trantasia is worth more than this. "D-"
Comments: A movie spoofing as many sport movies and sports or sport related events as it possibly can. So, many, if not all, jokes are cheap and sometimes embarrassingly low. But that doesn't mean that they aren't funny. Or that it should be looked down upon by default. To write a good parody is actually quite difficult and often needs the story to balance on a thin edge.
The Comebacks is by far not the best parody movie, but is was surprisingly good, and in my opinion much better than the current rating of 3.6. Sure, the movie fell of that thin ledge at times, mostly to too low and cheap jokes or points just made on sex. But mostly it was just wacky, crazy jokes on other movies. To fully appreciate that you need to have seen most of that movies, you need an open mind and the right mind set. It is silly, but silly doesn't need to mean bad if you haven't decided that it is beforehand.
I enjoyed it. Sure, I'm sick home from work and quite bored, but for those times movies like The Comebacks are perfect. It is not for a date or maybe even not for an evening with friends. This is a movie when you tired and need to kill some time. That it does splendidly.
I am a fan of the Spoof/Slapstick films... my favorites: Naked Gun Series, Top Secret, Scary Movie Series, Not Another Teen Movie. This movie falls in somewhere just below these films, but above Epic Movie and Date Movie (I didn't laugh at those movies.) This was a hearty effort from all of the actors, however, no one really stood out for me in the film. The closet breakout was that part Matthew Lawrence played, though he didn't have many funny parts/lines, he did the most with what he was given. Another con regarding this film would be that it was too plotty at times. I can remember a few scenes that not only did I not laugh at, but seemed to drag on a bit.
I did find myself nearly in tears at a few points of the film, most notably the "Aseel Tare" (or ACL Tear if you are Coach Lambeau) scene where you were anticipating his career-ending injury. I don't know if it was that funny, really, but it struck a nerve with me and I laughed my butt off.
Overall, I would give this about 5 of 10 stars... it will entertain you for most of the length of the film and have you laughing in stitches at times as well.
I would not take any children that haven't had the "birds and bees" talk though... I am surprised that it was given PG-13, but I guess times have changed. Parents be warned: There are sexual references and such that had a couple of kids behind me asking "what is that" or "that's gross" comments.
That said... this was a great movie. It was pretty smart if you really look at what was going on. It played on all of the movies of the past.
It's rare for a funny movie to have something truly funny going on in every scene. This film has that.
It was fast moving and light.
David Koechner was classic. He is such a talent. If you liked him as Champ in Anchorman you will like him in this. He was funny and not over the top. The guy is funny!
If you want to see a film that will make you LOL, this is a good one.
Lambeau Fields (David Koechner) was a bad coach in the past, but now he's brought back to teach college football, and this time he'll do a good job. His wife (Melora Hardin) is feeling distant from him and his daughter is dating a football big shot to spite her father. Spoofs of various recent movies come into play, as do a lot of sight gags and nonstop stupidity.
The best parts of the movie are the gags not relying on reference to recent movies. Spoofs of Radio, Rocky, Dodgeball, Friday Night Lights, Invincible and many other sports movies are not funny in the least. It's mainly the smaller gags that get a few laughs, like a bizarre crotch scratching scene, or a chewing tobacco spitting joke. These little throwaway giggles cannot carry the movie, and by the end, it's hard to watch. The last 20 minutes are grueling to sit through.
The characters are surprisingly developed for a sports spoof movie, however, I'm sure the characters were built on clichés from the genre. Nonetheless, they're not too bad. David Koechner can pull lead actor in a movie off. Too bad they gave him so much crummy material to work with. Matthew Lawerence has fine comedic timing in a not always so comedic role as a ballet dancing football player with a cross dressing father. Carl Weathers rounds off the cast, once again playing in a sub-par sports movie (Not the Rocky movies...Happy Gilmore!) Overall, this is a goofy comedy. At times, it's funny, but more often than not, it's just very annoying and predictable.
My rating: * 1/2 out of ****. 90 mins. PG-13 for language, sexual humor and drug humor.
please, for the good of humanity, do not see this movie, even if your some guy who wants to say he has seen like every movie ever... just don't...
The Comebacks was a movie that tried to hide its hideous level of trash by not calling itself "Sports Movie". It's the same thing, though. There are a few different writers for these films, the Wayans did some, Freidberg and Seltzer did some others, and I'm sure there's another pair. I can't even tell the difference in direction or humour to be honest, it all seems like the same people wrote and directed them. I can't tell if the Comebacks was done by the people who did Scary Movie or the guys who did Epic Movie, or someone else, it's just the same jokes from all the others.
If you have ANY shred of taste or value for humour, don't see this movie. If you have self-worth, don't bother seeing it. If you have ANY respect for film making, don't even consider watching it. Don't see it in any broke down, derelict theatre that may still carry it, don't rent it, don't order it on Netflix or Pay-Per-View, don't Redbox it, and don't even watch it for free on OD. Avoid it like the plague.
The only conceivable reasons I can see to watch this film are as follows.
A. Masochism. If you like torturing yourself, there's very few better ways. B. Seeing a prime example of why to avoid ANYTHING that says "Fox Atomic". C. You're being paid considerably high amounts of cash.
I really would not watch the entire thing if someone offered me $100 to do it. It's just mindless, mental collapsing torment.
You might as well watch Zohan.
I give this movie 7 out of 10 for actually being funny regardless of the simplistic plot or its occasional dump humor.