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Please distribute this URL as you see fit. By Ted Baldwin
The Skulls
Reviewed: 4/1/00
     Average teen adventure- murder mystery among the secret and elite.
Five possible.
     This took about and hour and a half to get wound up and going, with a bunch of teen sculling lads emboiled in hot water over their heads.

     Someone is murdered (on the slim chance you'll go see it, I will spare the details) and someone gets the blame. Then someone doesn't want the blame, and someone else gets all upset about it and some slacker friends who literally come out of nowhere ride in to help save the day and someone else lends a hand and then there is a mental hospital, some drool, and some fireworks and sailing off into the sunset.

     In the Did-you-knows department, did you know 3 presidents of these US were in fact members of this secret society, of which I am talking about, The Skulls?

The Skulls Website? Click here      Joshua Jackson, teen flavor of the year, apparently, even though he is 22+, is the Kid from the Poor Side (but with principles) who gets the Skullery-made invite. Not likely, but they have their reasons, or we would not have a story. And just when I was about to give up on it, guess what? I got involved, and it settled down just like they finally got all of the watered down ethanol-gas mixture* out of the tank and were running straight premium.

     Lots of ivy-covered ivy leaguers and stuff thrown in for decoration. People need to learn to tighten up the character list and down-sprawl. Cool war room. Lots of oars, and stuff. Nice filming job, ok editing. Quality production all the way.

     It is PC, to be sure; the line "if it is secret, and elite, it must be bad", is the signature "oooooh" line. I assume that the young noble black man questioning the intentions of the secret society would have as much trouble with it if the elite people were "people of color", but that remains and shall remain to be seen.

The Skulls Website? Click here Paul Walker, who plays the hard-nosed, silver-spoon, pugilistic power-monger-progeny Caleb Mandrake, was Phil Deedle, of Meet the Deedles, one of the weirdest teen flicks ever. No trace of deedliness here, though. He is so rich, he can afford to be in technicolor.

And what I would have done different in The Skulls would be in the writing - making the secret society very secret, starting out immediately with the suicide (murder) of a reporter investigating the secret society, having the friend of the dead kid also be an investigator for the campus paper, and have him discover the secret society is implicated in this as a murder not a suicide, and then we discover the reporter is in the society too, and he gets the blame pinned on him, and we take it from there as written, except to get rid of the slacker kids who don't do anything but be a plot device which is a shameful use of slacker kids. Where the HELL did they get a Panasonic DVC pro laptop editing system, anyway? Those are veddy expensive.

Another Saturday afternoon at the movies.

     *Ethanol mixes with water, but gas does not. When you add ethanol to gasoline, water will then mix with the gasoline. In a high humidity state, like LA, the gas will absorb a lot of water moisture from the air, and lower the octane rating of the gasoline. That is why cars sometimes run so crappy on ethanol - it is water soaked. And some disreputable service stations water their gas down intentionally. Other than that, ethanol-gas is just fine. Just thought you should know.
The official website is thorough and lotsa nice pictures and interesting bios on the filmmakers.
Amusing, isn't it?

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