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Featured DVD Review: Grandview, U.S.A.

September 30th, 2011

Grandview, U.S.A. - Buy from Amazon

Grandview, U.S.A. makes its DVD debut this week, 27 years after it opened in theaters. It's not too surprising that it took this long to come out on DVD, as it was a box office flop when it was first released. Quite frankly, I only have the vaguest recollection of the movie and have little idea what to expect. Going in with no expectations is probably the best way to see a movie.

The Movie

C. Thomas Howell stars as Tim Pearson, whom we meet on the day of the high school prom. His date, Bonnie, suggests they go for a ride in his dad's Cadillac, but when they park too close to a stream, they wind up stuck in the mud and in need of a tow truck. They walk to the local destruction derby hoping to get a tow truck. The place is run by Michelle "Mike" Cody and she agrees to help him out as soon as the races are over. However, when she learns his last name is Pearson, she turns rather cold and asks one of her drivers, Ernie "Slam" Webster, the most popular of the regular destruction derby racers, to help him out instead. Slam drives him home, but stops off at the local bowling alley to see if his wife, Candy is there. She is not.

After their initial meeting, Tim becomes infatuated with Mike, but she doesn't reciprocate. Not only is there an age difference, she's also upset with Tim's father, a real estate agent who is on the county commission and has been trying to get her shut down. Also, Mike's got a thing for Slam, who is dealing with his imploding marriage in a rather destructive way. There are further complications in Tim's life, as he wants to move to Florida and study to become an oceanographer, while his father wants him to attend Illinois State University, which is closer and where Tim has a scholarship.

Will Tim follow his dream? Will he and Mike get together? Will Slam save his marriage or are he and Mike destined to be a couple? And why are they trying to shut down the destruction derby?

This is a rather typical coming of age story with way too many clichés and little energy to help lift the film above its pedestrian script. The main actor doesn't have the chemistry needed to carry the film and I lost interest by the halfway point. There are many good actors in the movie, but for most of them, it felt like they were just going through the motions.

On a side note, Tim falls asleep watching MTV and has a dream he's in a music video. That should tell you how old this movie is. If they remade it today, he's dream of being on a Reality TV show.

The Extras

There are no extra on the DVD.

The Verdict

There's a reason I barely remembered anything about Grandview, U.S.A., it's not a memorable film. Maybe if you remember watching it when it first came out, you will want to check it out again, but even then, the DVD is only worth a rental.


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