Sunday, April 30, 2017

Family Movie Night: NESSIE & ME

Welcome to a new installment of FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT, where we give our recommendation on a family-friendly movie to enjoy.  This week we review the 2016 Jim Wynorski directed family film...NESSIE & ME.

For years, Director/Writer Jim Wynorski has been known for making horror movies. However recently, he has turned his attention to making movies for kids with Nessie & Me being the first of these films. Written by Jim Wynorski and Carl Salminen and directed by Jim Wynorski, Nessie & Me is a movie for a younger audience but it’s not quite the kids movie the title implies it to be. In fact, Nessie & Me has two storylines going on at once.

One storyline involves a ten-year-old boy named Jamie Williams (Walker Mintz) whose family has recently moved to a lakeside community. While out walking in the woods with his friends and his little brother, Jamie wants to take a short cut by the lake. His friends are unwilling to go with him because they have all heard tales of a monster that lives there. Jamie braves the short cut and once by the lake, he meets an old sea captain named O’Grady (John Henry Richardson) who makes friends with Jamie and claims to have seen the Nessie. He says he knows how to call it and precedes to do so and Nessie appears just briefly enough for Jamie to see it. Jamie gets the idea to take pictures of the monster to prove it’s real and to bring tourists back to the community.

The other storyline, which dominates most of the screen time in Nessie & Me, is concerning a young guy named Larry (Paul Wallace) who, along with his goofy friend Izzy (Shay Dickerhoff), are up to their necks in debt to loan shark Tony Caput (David DeSpain) and his henchman Alphonse (Jason Smither) who wants their money or else! In the meantime, Larry inherits an old tourist boat and a piece of land from his suddenly deceased grandfather.

On the land is a bait shop and general store owned by an attractive young woman named Tamara (Kayla Gill). The land is coveted by the money hungry businessman Maxwell Gordon (Gerard Paulwels) who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the land. With Larry and Izzy running out of time to find a way to pay off the loan shark and keep the property, they discover a treasure map hidden by Larry's Grandfather that leads to pirate’s gold. Izzy also meets a mysterious and beautiful girl named Ariel (Erin Neufer) who has magical powers.

Nessie & Me is an entertaining film that is also a good family night movie, though it’s not really all that much about the title character of Nessie. It's also difficult to figure out who the ‘Me’ is that the title refers to, other than possibly Captain O’Grady who has been trying get other people to see the creature so they don’t think he is crazy. Nessie, which is a CGI graphic, makes very few appearance in this movie and the actual little kids make only a few more than that. Mainly, Nessie & Me is a movie about adults who get into silly situations and have heartwarming moments. There are also a couple of bumbling scientists searching the lake for Nessie, yet never seem to see the creature even when it’s right in front of them.  William’s mom and dad, played with almost too much of a lenient attitude by Toni Hudson and Michael Pare, are little more than background characters, but serve the purpose of showing us that William is an endearingly good kid from a good family.

My only quibbles with Nessie & Me are that the camera spends too much time focusing on the sexy or scantily clad young woman that seem somehow inappropriate for a family movie. Young kids are not going to be interested in that aspect. Nor are they going to be interested in the fact that much of it plays out more like an adult romantic comedy than a kid’s movie. I think it would have done better in that vein to have had a storyline that focused more on the kids and Nessie rather than the adults and their money troubles or romantic lives.  Other than that, I can say that Nessie & Me is a nice family movie filled with some fun silliness and simplistic storylines that kids can follow. It’s just not much of a little kid’s movie.

Marla’s Score: 5/10

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