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Happy Campers

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Happy Campers

Peter Stormare, Brad Renfro, Justin Long, Dominique Swain, Jamie King

Synopsis: When a summer camp director gets injured, the diverse group of college freshmen counselors take charge and spice up the everyday routine of the camp.

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Happy Campers (2001)

Happy Campers Review

Review God help me, I watch every camp movie made that doesn't involve a psychotic killer wandering around and slashing up teenagers. Why? Well, having done the whole realm of that existence for 6 summers...I'm addicted to seeing who can get it 'right' and who looks as if they have never attended a summer camp in their life.

In my books, the only summer camp film that comes close to the right feel of this experience is Meatballs. It is the only one that comes close...and as I watched this flick I saw glimmers of someone who had been to camp but couldn't quite translate the whole experience either to paper or screen.

Here is what is missing: A coherent storyline.

While it does make sense overall, it is a fragmented film, jumping from characters and whims without focus. Without always explaining why the characters behave the way they do.

What it got right...the last day of camp is where everything always comes to a head...relationships dissolve and things that seemed so trivial take on a whole new importance. However, the events that have preceded most of this is wasted on rather uninspired events and with trite dialogue. Also, or a movie that not only speaks pretty candidly about sex, it does it with a lot of very young kids present which, for my part, gives me a very creepy feeling which is not what one usually goes for in a 'summer camp' flick. It's supposed to be fun...not leave you feeling like you need to wash your hands and remove the flick from your DVD player.

Still, the flick has some funny moments, even childish ones like blowing up a frog with a firecracker made me laugh in surprise. Also, while the flick barely taps into Justin Long or Brad Renfro's talent the two come out looking pretty good. Renfro, if he can stay out of trouble long enough, could be playing some pretty solid adult roles in the next five to ten years while Long needs to shed the geek image but keep his comedic timing.

As for wasting Peter Stormare's talent...shame on everyone involved with that...including Stormare.

1.5 stars out of 5.

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Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul
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DVD Information:

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Standard 1.33:1 Color
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround [CC]

The DVD Review:
No perks on this set but it does give you the option of watching it in Pan and Scan or Letterbox.

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