Friday, June 10, 2011

Shred

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Shred - 1 out of 5

I'll be honest...there was only one reason I watched this snowboard comedy. That reason is that Tom Green is in it. I'm a fan of the Green Man and other than the fact he was in it, I really had no other invested interest to see this 2008 direct-to-DVD video.

Shred is about two disgraced snowboard legends who lost the spotlight and now work a chairlift while their hated rival has made a name for himself. The film then follows the usual plot, story and (for the most part) the rules of a skiing film that had a very brief 15 minutes of fame in the 80's and early 90's. The only thing we don't get is a training montage. Jackass alumni Dave England plays one of the disgraced riders (don't worry about who plays the other guy because no one's ever heard of him and the actor plays the character like he has Down syndrome) but England's acting is about what you would expect from a guy who's made a career of shocking his nuts with a taser gun and when you have Tom Green going opposite him, Green's acting looks downright Academy-worthy (not that I've ever felt Tom's acting was particularly bad--in fact, he's come a long way from his early days--but England's lack of emotion and complete inability to deliver a believable line makes Green look like a Clooney or a Pitt).

Acting aside (I'll also pass over the terrible soundtrack that is full of shitty pop-punk rock that has whiny male singers screaming or songs that make absolutely no sense when posted over the action on screen) this movie is NOT good. The story is cliche and, not to mention, it's a cliche I thought died with Ski School 2. But I guess since the extreme sports crazed hit in the 90's, the snowboarding/skateboarding douche bags of the world were clamoring for their chance to "save the mountain" and to have their own ski movies. The only problem is that with the skiing films of old, there was a clear protagonist and antagonist. The evil guy with the girl was rich and out to "take over the mountain" and make life hard for the skiers who did it for the love of skiing. In Shred, our two "heroes" are no better than our film's "bad guy." In fact, at times, they come off worst as they are constantly belligerent and rude to others, constantly insulting and instigating battles against Tom Green's character. In the old skiing films, our bad guy started it and forced the good guys to retaliate with some kind of prank that always ended with an old woman getting a bowl of punch dumped on her at the rich guy's party or something similar. The film also goes a step further in order to vilify Tom Green by making him look like a closet homosexual. What do these two aspects have in common? Simple, these are both common among the skating culture.

It's a stereotype, I know, but skaters come off as antagonist, homophobic douche bags who claim to be a counter-culture that is despised by the mainstream even though it's more mainstream than ever. But in all seriousness, watch some skaters sometime. They constantly start trouble with other people in order to establish dominance or insecurity over the size of their genitalia--I don't know which--and all this happens while they try and fail to land tricks. They call each other "faggots" and "homos" but are the first person to tell a member of their same sex to "suck their dick." It's these insecurities and overall prevalence of homophobia among skaters that the writers decided (maybe unconsciously) put these elements into the film. While it may fool a snowboarder or skater and make them believe that the film's "protagonists" are the good guys, in reality, there isn't a single person in this film that is worthy of cheering on. Even the side characters are lifeless and act merely as set pieces.

Also, in case you're wondering, the cliche of having the "good" guy's girl end up with the "bad" guy and then, at the end, she leaves him to return to the "good" guy is here and pointlessly tacked on.

There very much is a audience for this film and I was NOT it. If you chug a Monster Energy Drink before you "crush it" on some "fresh powder," then this movie is meant only for you and only you will find the terrible jokes to be funny. Everyone else, this movie isn't even bad enough where you can laugh at it ironically.

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