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Herbie: Fully Loaded
DVD disk
11.10.2005 By: Jason Adams
Herbie: Fully Loaded order
Director:
Angela Robinson

Actors:
Lindsay Lohan
Michael Keaton
Matt Dillon

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Fresh out of college, Maggie Peyton gets a new car from her father—an old 1963 Volkswagen Bug. Guess what? It’s alive! Even better, it can race in Nascar and save her family from debt and professional obscurity! Watch as Disney rapes yet another classic movie for a quick buck.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I had no choice but to get fully loaded while watching HERBIE: FULLY LOADED. As a lover of film and a senior in college, I could not, in good conscience, watch a Lindsay Lohan/Disney movie sober. So, with two friends, a case of Guinness and a bottle of Bacardi 151 at my side, I proceeded to risk life, limb and two hours of my life. The following are the actual drunken notes I managed to scribble down in between fits of vomiting (from the movie, not the booze), along with helpful translations:

HORSESIHT!
This could be referring to the formulaic script (seriously, is there only ONE possible plot when it comes to sports movies?), the lackluster direction (Robinson has basically made a soulless, 90-minute music video), or the completely forced drama and fake emotion.

MMichael…why? WHY? [The paper is stained with tears]
That would be my friend crying in the fetal position after being presented with the remnants of Michael Keaton’s career. Poor Bruce Wayne is only allowed to show two emotions—“I’m so angry and disappointed in you, daughter!” and “I changed my mind after you won and made us money, I love you!”

Stooppid CGI caR!
What have they done to Herbie? In FULLY LOADED, he’s jealous, moody, and out for vengeance against all those who defy him. They also gave the car a “face,” and his expressions make him seem cartoony and creepy. They might as well have made Herbie talk. (I hope I did not just give Disney an idea for the sequel.) Let me also lament the god-awful CGI. The trailer for Pixar’s CARS looked more realistic. Perhaps they should’ve spent more on CGI for the car, instead of spending a million dollars digitally reducing Lindsay Lohan’s cleavage.

Lindsay Lhoan still not naked
Yeah.

Breckin Meyer -= SUCK.
For the most part, the actors do the best with what they have (i.e. nothing). Lindsay Lohan makes for a cute and likeable heroine. Justin Long definitely has a career as a comedic actor ahead of him (not so sure about romantic leading man). Even Matt Dillon, with his smarmy overacting, makes a decent one-dimensional Disney villain. However, Breckin Meyer has no personality. He is just vapid space as an actor. Anytime he’s onscreen (thankfully, not a lot), it makes me cringe.

Wpuhhhh! Mglrphx
I’m going to be honest—I don’t know what that was supposed to mean. Perhaps I was confusedly bemoaning the film’s message. Disney seemed to be making a point about female empowerment, overcoming adversity, and going for your dreams…except Lindsay Lohan wasn’t able to do any of this without the help of a magical car. So in real life, I guess all us losers are just screwed, huh?

An attroccity of filmaking
That was referring to the whole movie in general, but specifically the last action sequence. Just because Herbie is alive, does not mean that he can do things that defy the laws of physics and common sense. Seriously; worst CG car action since DRIVEN.

I will give the film an extra star for sticking with the old ’63 VW Bug, and not one of those new Beetles.
THE EXTRAS
All the extras on this single-disc edition are very um, Disney; meaning everyone talks directly to you like you’re a 4 year old, spouting off inspirational crap. “You just gotta dare to dream!” Good if you have kids. (Which is the only reason I hope you’re watching this movie.)

Audio Commentary with Director Angela Robinson: Robinson gives a lot of background information and personal ideas about what she was shooting for in certain scenes. She claims her take on Herbie was “SEABISCUIT with a car.” Wow.

Deleted Scenes (11:48): A few decent scenes were cut because they “didn’t have Herbie in them.” There’s a lengthy clip that sets up the conflict between the family, the bad guy and what’s at stake much better. There’s another that actually humanizes the villain. And one very disturbing scene where the middle-aged Nascar crew ogles a barely-legal Lindsay Lohan.

A Day At The Races (13:55): The cast and crew talk about Nascar and filming at actual races. There’s also an interview with a female Nascar driver, who explains the “sport” and what it takes to be a racer. The word “focus” is used about 500 times. (Turning left is also another biggie.)

Breaking the Rules: The Stunts of Herbie: Fully Loaded (9:08): The stunt crew show how they pulled off some of the major action sequences, claiming that they used digital effects as little as possible. LIES! Did you think we didn’t watch the movie?

Bringing Herbie to Life (11:42): The effects team built a great Herbie that could do everything practical, but filled it so full of mechanical junk that there was no room for an engine. Great! So anytime the car moves we get to watch some CG abomination.

Blooper Reel (5:16): Funnier than the actual movie itself. Justin Long seems like a cool dude; pulling pranks, making fun of everyone, slapping Lindsay Lohan’s ass.

Lindsay Lohan’s “First” Music Video (3:33): This song has nothing to do with the movie. It was hard to discern the lyrics with my hand covering my ears in horror, but it sounds like it’s more about the physical act of love (“I want to come first…”); which is incredibly unsettling since she’s singing it to Herbie in the video.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I still enjoy children’s films (I even paid money to see SKY HIGH), so that was not a factor in this review. But HERBIE: FULLY LOADED is just the latest in a trend of poor and heartless remakes. Really young kids might be entertained for a couple hours by this DVD; but as a film, you’re better off picking up the original.
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