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Entries in Ed [1996] (1)

Monday
Dec172012

Ed (1996)

Scrubbing Athletic Supporters

I really, really hate you, Drew, for making me watch this thing. Yeah, I obliged myself to review an audience-picked movie as a contest prize. But come on!

The rules were simple: submit the name of a favorite movie starring a Friends cast member to win some schwag and a review of the winning film. I could've seen any number of outstanding possibilities, like The Opposite of Sex, The Good Girl, or Biloxi Blues. Alas, an alarmingly small entry pile meant I'd inevitably land on Ed during the game's "random selection" portion.

What's worse is that I know for a fact you haven't seen this movie, and cruelly pushed me out of a metaphorical airplane without an actual parachute. On the bright side, I was recently criticized for being long-winded in my reviews, so I'll keep this one mercifully short--a quality I can't ascribe to the film itself.

Last week, while recovering from surgery, I sat through the four-hour Extended Editions of Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, breaking only to use the bathroom. In contrast, it took me the better part of a day to finish Matt LeBlanc's ninety-minute baseball-chimp picture. I paused roughly every three minutes to surf the Internet, watch TV, nap, masturbate, and prepare microwaveable meals with a deliberation they absolutely did not require--all to prolong facing another moment of cinematic waterboarding.

I've purposely blocked out everything except the basic plot and handful of weird details that kept me half interested during those three-minute bursts. Sure, I could go to IMDb and pull up the names of LeBlanc's director, writer, and co-stars, but they've been through enough. Also, I don't want the suits at whatever studio put this out to equate my clicks with fan interest in their terrible movie. I've taken a solemn oath as a film lover to keep Ed from achieving a blu-ray edition until three days after the format is declared dead.*

Okay, I lied a little. The one (ahem) person of interest to pop up is Jim Caviezel, who would later play Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. He's the one bright spot in the film, playing a rookie on LeBlanc's minor-league baseball team. His character gets cut from the roster early on, leaving the actor with a whopping ten minutes of screen time. But in those moments, he outshone everything that came before and after him--which, I guess, makes him a savior in two movies.

What else is there? Oh, yeah, LeBlanc has a weird tan throughout much of the picture. I dare say it's an awful makeup job--lots of earth tones. The filmmakers drove home the awkwardness with a few jokes about minority players being "sold" and "traded" along with the monkey. For the record, if this is some weird racist dig on their part, I'm happy to say it's so poorly executed as to be the film's least offensive aspect.

What about the plot, you ask?

Leblanc the ball player has low self-esteem. He gets a monkey for a teammate--who, for some reason, also becomes his roommate. They sloooooowly learn to like each other and Ed (the animatronic monkey, of course), helps LeBlanc find love and a renewed passion for the game (or something). Stretch that out over an hour-and-a-half; toss in villain characters who make the bad guys in Follow That Bird look like Olivier in Marathon Man; rely on slide-whistles and honking-horns for absolutely every occasion in which they might be used to "comic" effect; and you have a movie that proves the existence of miracles--as evidenced by some of its stars finding work after opening weekend.

If your reaction to all this is, "Lighten up! It's a kids' movie!", let me assure you that Ed is tantamount to child abuse--joyless, idiotic brain-sugar that I wouldn't be surprised to learn has been linked to certain forms of autism. I'm not making light of mental conditions. I'm simply declaring that there's no way in hell I'd let my kid near this movie.

Thanks again, Drew. Asshole.

*It seems I'm not alone in trying to bury this movie: the black-and-white photo accompanying my review is the only high(ish)-resolution image I could find from Ed on-line. The film is actually in color.