WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A nice kid with an absent, genius scientist dad finds a watch in his workroom one day and takes it to school for kicks. What he doesn't realize is that the watch can actually zap its bearer into "hyperspeed", which essentially makes it look like everyone around you is frozen, as you stroll around and do what you want. But as soon as the dude discovers this intriguing quirk and takes his newfound chickita along for the ride, the "bad guys" find out about it all and want that damn watch back! Clockstopping ensues.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
An obvious kid's movie, this flick wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, in fact, it actually entertained me somewhat for its quick 90 minute runtime, with an imaginative concept, a super-duper adorable lead actress (Paula, call me!), a number of slick effect shots and a decent soundtrack (gotta love that Blink 182). The one thing that this film definitely didn't have though was the ability to make something special flow from its sweet premise. Ever since I first saw the whole "stop-motion" thing done in 1998's LOST IN SPACE, I was taken aback by how cool it looked and how gnarly something like that would be in real life. Well, this flick actually centralizes that slick concept within an entire picture, only...well, they just don't do much with it. I mean, the dude plays a few gags around town, he helps his buddy in a DJ contest (a lame-ass "insert sequence" if I ever saw one-- why was the "token" black friend in the movie in the first place? See NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE for that reference) and spends the rest of the time running from these one-dimensional bad guys (Biehn you bastard...I know you gotta pay the bills but still!).
I only wish they would have done more with this awesome concept, but then again, this is a "kid's movie" after all with a little bit of BACK TO THE FUTURE and SPY KIDS spread around for good luck. The pace of the film does help though, as well as its generally "upbeat" attitude, bright colors, palpable chemistry between the leads and fun freezing effect shots. But I can't complete this review without mentioning the lovely Paula GarcÚs once again (check out her spread in Maxim magazine and thank me later). I guess I was somewhat smitten by the chickie-dee, and hope to see more of her around. Bradford also did well, and the film can certainly be enjoyed by adults as well, as long as you don't go in expecting to use your brain for more than three minutes. It's basically a high concept fluff piece that will likely not hurt anyone to pick on a lazy weekend evening, as a double-bill with something with a little more "oomph"!
Disappointing. With a movie which features some pretty neat special effects shots, how about giving us the skinny on how some of them were shot? Or better yet, how about showing us the exact process they went through for some of the cooler "freezing" shots-- I was really interested in seeing that! Unfortunately, all we get is a 10-minute lame-ass featurette entitled "The Making of Clockstoppers" which barely even grazes the interesting items from the film, and spends more time talking with the talent than anything else. Also, where's the goddamn photo gallery of Paula GarcÚs from Maxim magazine, man? How about a couple of bikini shots or a lingerie fold-out in the dvd or something...geez!! (okay, maybe I'm going a little overboard there, but I've got my own shit going on). The dvd also has a few cool promotional spots, the theatrical trailer (which more or less showcases all of the film's best effect shots) and a couple of music videos (including one from the biggest sell-out whores of the music industry-- Smash Mouth!!). All in all...disappointing. BTW, for anyone who cares: click here for a nice Paula GarcÚs photo gallery...yeah, baby, yeah!!
There are better ways to spend your time, but then again, if you do happen to have some free time on your hands, and want to whac--...I mean, watch a pretty fast-paced teen flick with a neat concept and fun special effects (oh yeah, and there's a cute girl in it too), check it out with your kids or with your neighbor's kids or by yourself in a locked room or something. The dvd isn't necessarily "purchase" material because of the lack of any substantial extras though, so rent it first and then see if you want to watch it over and over and over again. For me, one time was probably enough. Unless I get drunk of course, in which case...pretty much any movie will do again!