Case Number 24391: Small Claims Court

BIG TIME MOVIE / RAGS

Big Time Movie
Nickelodeon // 2012 // 71 Minutes // Not Rated
Rags
Nickelodeon // 2012 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 25th, 2012

The Charge

I can't believe I'm laughing at this.

The Case

The headliner of this Nickelodeon original filmmaking double-feature drops the network's biggest draw, Big Time Rush, into London for a miniature feature-length adventure. For those not on the Tiger Beat subscription list, Big Time Rush is Kendall, James, Carlos, and Logan, four ex-hockey players who pursue their dream of becoming a pop band. Art imitates life, of course, and Nick has leveraged this gimmick into real concerts and albums and stuff. It would all be pretty cynical, were it not for the facts: a) the show spoofs this boy band contrivance, and b) damn it all, this is actually pretty funny.

Sure, I'm not the target demo, but I'd be lying if I said I watched this show with flinty demeanor. It's legitimately amusing. As is Big Time Movie, essentially a jumbo-sized episode. The story has the guys on a world tour stop in the UK, and ending up embroiled in a case of mistaken identity and sort-of-lethal spycraft. It's goofy and predictable, but in typical Big Time Rush fashion, there's enough energy and wit to keep things moving swimmingly.

Plus there's a lot of singing and a glitzy concert finale, which should appeal to fans. The endless BTR Beatles covers? The jury's still out on those.

The bottom half of this twin-spin is Rags, a modern retelling of the classic "rags to riches" story, starring a dude whose name is actually Rags (Max Schneider, How to Rock). He's a hapless street urchin with a song in his heart and a mop in his hand. You see, he's the janitor at music label, and one day meets and eventually befriends mega-pop-star Kadee Worth (Keke Palmer, Akeelah and the Bee). She recognizes his talent, but there are some jerks committed to screwing up his pop ascendancy. Will inspiration and dancing overcome? Sure!

Where Big Time Movie was breezy fun, Rags is just breezy. Lots of singing. Lots of dancing. Lots of tired cliché-mongering. But, again, my cop-out stands: the audience this is designed for (pre-adolescent girls) should get a kick out of the tomfoolery.

Basic treatments for both films: standard definition 1.33:1 full frame, Dolby 2.0 Stereo, no extras.

One's funny, the other is milquetoast, but both should keep the kids engaged while you change the spark plugs or something.

The Verdict

Not Guilty.

Review content copyright © 2012 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice, Big Time Movie
Judgment: 80

Perp Profile, Big Time Movie
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* English (CC)

Running Time: 71 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Big Time Movie
* None

Scales of Justice, Rags
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile, Rags
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* English (CC)

Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Rags
* None

Accomplices
* IMDb: Big Time Movie
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt2165641/combined

* IMDb: Rags
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1910605/combined