Love and Honor

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:36 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Love and Honor
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Austin Stowell, Liam Hemsworth, Aimee Teegarden, Teresa Palmer
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: IFC Films
Released On: July 23, 2013
Kiddie Movie: Probably best for the teen girls.
Date Movie: Nope.
Gratuitous Sex: They get it on, but nothing gratuitous.
Gratuitous Violence: Some war scenes, but they kind of look fake.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: Nope.
Memorable Scene: Mickey and Candace just have sex and they she pretty much goes, “Oh, by the way, the cops are looking to arrest you.”
Memorable Quote: Nothing really.
Directed By: Danny Mooney

And now I bring you “Love and Honor,” a movie trying to tell a love story set under the backdrop of the first moon landing and the Vietnam War. Yes, it’s a movie set in 1969, and it looks like the movie folks raided the prop room and found anything that seemed to resemble 1969, from cheesy t-shirts, to an acoustic guitar propped next to the period-piece couch, to the malt shop, to cheesy protest signs, to the afghan that looked like it was knitted by your grandmother, and somewhere along the way found cheesy, protest dialogue to go along with it all.

Let’s start with the story basics…

Dolton (Austin Stowell) and Mickey (Liam Hemsworth) are young soldiers serving in Vietnam. The only thing that keeps Dolton focused on staying alive is the love of his girl back home, Jane (Aimee Teegarden), but sadly she sends him the proverbial Dear Dolton letter telling him it’s over. What to do? Well, if you’re Dolton and you have a week of leave; you head back to the states to win your girl back. What to do if you’re Mickey? You tag along on the trip to help your buddy.

So, our two soldiers find themselves in smallish-town America, albeit with an active war protest movement, and to stave off the angry hordes, or at least avoid the confrontation, Mickey concocts the story that they are deserting, hoping to give enough time for Dolton to reconnect with Jane, maybe even propose, and head back to Vietnam. For Mickey, though, along comes Candace (Teresa Palmer). He’s smitten and now is in a pickle of lying to her, trying to get laid, and then having to leave, and maybe fall in love along the way.

Yup, they are entrenched in war protest central, they have to make life decisions, and through it all Mickey is somehow able to keep this shit-eatin’ grin on his face the entire time, at least so says my assistant, and spout wonderfully awesome lines like “When I was 14 I was just trying to figure out how to get laid.” Granted I was two years old in 1969, but did the pretty boys really use this as a line to get in the girl’s pants back then? Someone who might have been 18 back then please let me know.

Okay, back to the review and summary.

Sadly the movie comes off more like “Let’s put some pretty boys in this movie so some teen girls will watch it and keep saying ‘Oh, he’s dreamy!’ We can build it around the Vietnam war, I mean, who doesn’t like the story of the soldier and his girl?”, when, if the material was done with a different cast and some tighter writing, rather than seeming to try to appeal to the teen girl crowd, it could have really been a look at the conflict of soldiers, the protest movement, and love.

All I know is that from about 5 minutes into the movie I couldn’t wait for it to end, and my assistant gave up after about 20 minutes. There was potential in this movie, somewhere, but it just didn’t find it. It’s 1 star out of 5, although, if you are a teen girl you might give it 4 based on dreamy and shit-eatin’ grininess. I’m sticking with 1 star.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:44 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonell
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Tween girls is probably best.
Date Movie: Only if she’s the mom.
Gratuitous Sex: Just some kissing. It’s Disney clean.
Gratuitous Violence: A small fight.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: If you’re a tween girl, maybe.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really.
Memorable Quote: Nothing really.
Directed By: Joe Nussbaum

I know it’s a Disney movie, and I know it’s not really made for the likes of me, a 40-something year old reviewer, but please, Disney, you are better than this movie.  I mean, it’s like they took the cookie-cutter, mostly perfect world of Hannah Montana, changed characters, and decided to make a movie about prom.  Yup, the movie is “Prom,” I don’t think there is any school in the world that has a prom like this, and I suppose if you want to shield your pre-teen about high school and give them the “perfect world” version, Disney did its job.  Let’s get to the story…

It’s the end of high school in Perfectia, or at least some high school, and Nova (Aimee Teegarden) is the go-getter, cute girl who dreams of the perfect prom and is in the midst of planning it.  She is hoping her prince-charming will ask her, but ever-so-slowly things go wrong when she is asked to prom by someone else, and then there is a fire destroying all things prom decoration.  Enter Jesse (Thomas McDonell).  He’s the bad-boy in this story, if you really want to call him that, whose biggest problem seems to be that he has a complicated life outside of high school.  As punishment for something minor by most any other high school standard, he is ordered to help Nova rebuild all of the decorations for prom, and yes, you can pretty much assume what happens when Ms. Perfect is paired with Mr. Bad-Boy, right before the prom.

And so, we get little stories about various high schoolers, from the jock, to the nerd, to the dork, to the Goth, and how their lives get effected by A) Having to leave high school soon, B) Having to ask the right person to prom, C) Having to deal with the jock making the moves on your girl, D) Girls breaking up best friends, and E) Just about every other cliché you can think of, but in a Disney-safe kind of way.

Look, the movie is pretty much harmless, as long as your daughter doesn’t get ultimately delusioned that high school will be the way this movie shows it to be.  Yes, the stories probably end up similar, but the real world always seems a little, or maybe a lot, edgier than a Disney film, so I guess, sure, for your younger daughter, she who likes something like a Hannah Montana, “Prom” will give her a Disney-fake world, but if your girl has already hit freshman year I’m guessing she will already know nothing happens like it happens in “Prom.”

In the end the acting of the lead characters is fine, it’s your classic story of good-girl falls for bad-boy who really isn’t that bad when you get to know him, all wrapped up in Disney goodness.  For me the movie was a 1 star, cliché mess, but for some young girls I can see them finding it a 4 star gem.  I’ll average stuff together, drop it a bit for a lot of bad acting by most others in the film (watch the “Making of” featurette on the Blu-ray and you’ll find out why), and leave this movie at 2 stars.   And I hate to say it, I remember the trailer, laughed a little during the clips of Justin (Jared Kusnitz) trying to ask girls to prom, and thought it might be better.  Sadly, in the end, even those scenes turned out bad.

As far as the Blu-ray you get a “Making of…,” which is nice enough in telling you how the film ended up on the big screen, the blooper reel is pretty lame, you find that they made the right decision in leaving out the deleted scenes, and there are some music videos for your viewing pleasure.  They don’t really add that much, so for the most part your tween is getting this to keep watching the movie, making her own dream of how her prom will be, and probably finding Jesse dreamy.  And, oh yea, I almost forgot the “Last Chance Lloyd” short, highlighting Lloyd’s various exploits at trying to ask a girl to prom.  Cute enough, but then it just dragged on too long.  Oh well.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!