11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
One of Ben Stiller's funniest films!,
This review is from: Heavyweights (DVD)
12 year old Gerry Garner joins a group of "heavy" kids that are sent to their favorite fat camp for the summer, "Camp Hope" (a place where they're supposed to lose weight, but instead have a fun time). The kids find out that the camp has been sold to a crazy fitness instructor named Tony Perkins (Ben Stiller), so now, the camp has turned into a living hell for the kids. No more candy, or fun things like Go Karts and "The Blob". Tony wants the kids to lose weight, so he'll be able to make a profit from his fitness TV commercials (he has a camera man follow him around the camp). However, the kids rebel against Tony, because they want to have fun, not exercise, therefore, Tony starts to go crazy (in a hilarious way), so he decides to counter their actions, for example: one day, he takes their lunch away, and on another day, takes them on a 20 mile hike, among other things. Gerry and his new friends, along with the original camp staff members Pat, who has visited the camp every summer for the past 18 years, and a goofy counselor named Tim who became fit before the summer, as well as a new nurse named Julie, decide to take the camp back.
Ben Stiller is HILARIOUS in this movie. Seeing him as an insane health nut, patting kids down, searching for a pez dispenser or watching his character getting mad at the kids is great. While the film is not a cinema masterpiece, Stiller's performance in this film is great, and he delivers some of the funniest lines I've heard in a movie. His character in this film is like a younger version of White Goodman in "Dodgeball". Is this a guilty pleasure? Definitely.
As for the DVD, in 2002, Disney established a new policy whereby any movies that they feel have limited adult appeal will be released on DVD in Pan & Scan only. No widescreen DVD. They've reneged a bit since then, but many titles from their live action catalogue have made their DVD debuts exclusively in reformatted fullscreen. This affects every unreleased live action Disney film, particularly those that the studio suspects have limited appeal outside of children. THEREFORE, this film, like many Disney classics, is only available on DVD in fullscreen (pan and scan). BLEH!