Friday, May 3, 2013

The Adventures of Food Boy Movie Review

One of the neat things about NetFlix is, that it gives some obscure independent films a chance to be seen by more people. Most Independent films may have a limited release or were released directly to video, but the Instant Play feature on NetFlix gives these movies a greater chance to be seen. On the other hand, there are a good many independent films that are probably better off being left to obscurity, such as The Adventures of Food Boy (2008)
Ezra (Lucas Grabeel) is a high school junior trying to make a name for himself. In an effort to pad his resume for college, Ezra decides to run for class president. Some kids think he's crazy going up against Garrett (Noah Bastian), a popular jock bully who has been president every year, but Ezra believes he can win. Just as the competition is getting intense, something strange begins to happen to Ezra: he begins to shoot food out of his hands. At first he is reasonably freaked out by this, but his Grandmother (Joyce Cohen) explains that he actually has a gift that has been passed down for generations. Ezra tries to use his new ability to impress his friends, especially Shelby (Brittany Curran), who has a crush on him. But in spite of his best efforts, his social life begins spiraling out of control. In desperation, Ezra learns he has a chance to give up the gift. Will he take the chance, or embrace his gift and become "Food Boy?"
Ugh. It was painful to write that. I really was hoping for the sort of stupid movie that is so ridiculous that it ends up being fun to watch. But Food Boy was every bit as stupid as it sounds. The title itself makes you think it's going to have some sort of superhero quality to it, but it doesn't. Grandma tells Ezra that "Not all superheroes fight crime." While that's a good message, I can't imagine anyone taking a superhero that exudes peanut butter very seriously. I cannot imagine any high schooler becoming popular and accepted by his peers by dressing up in a ludicrous cheap wizard costume and performing magic tricks for the student body by pulling cookies out from under a cloth. Even within its world setting, it's hard to take seriously.
Some may recognize Lucas Grabeel from High School Musical. Indeed, several actors in Food Boy seem to be taken from Disney Channel Original Movies. I can't really say anyone's acting talents have improved since those obscure Disney atrocities. Garrett was clearly not a teenager. Most high school kids don't have such prominent bags under their eyes or crow's-feet. Sadly some of the kid actors were better than the adults!
The budget was hilariously low. While Grandma explains to Ezra the history of the "Food Gift," it cuts away to a school stage with cardboard painted props and actors portraying key events while dressed up in Halloween costumes as Grandma narrates. With a story about a kid who can conjure food, there's obviously going to be a lot of food props used, but even the food was clearly the cheapest stuff possible. We primarily see Ezra produce peanut butter, white bread, dry beans, uncooked rice, mustard, apples, and on one rare occasion, cold cuts. It's pretty obvious that the food is being blown through a small tube in Grabeel's shirt to "create" the food. Yes, it's an independent film, but it really draws attention to its embarrassingly low budget.
I have to admit, Food Boy handles some kid-specific issues in an acceptable way. It tackles topics like rivalry against the school bully in a peaceable manner, even though it does involve a large food fight. It also tackles budding boy-girl relationships, developing talents and using them wisely, and treating others with kindness and respect. It doesn't always implement these themes exceptionally well, but I think it does a respectable job, given the overall quality of the film.
For a family comedy that is also an obscure family film, The Adventures of Food Boy isn't terrible. The plot is simple with characters and situations that kids can relate to; it's clean, and very innocent. It's cute, but pretty forgettable. I think it would be pretty hard for anyone over the age of 10 to take very seriously; I didn't care for it. It's not worth owning, but it might make a fun NetFlix Instant Play family movie night if you have young kids. It has plenty of potential to act as a springboard for some discussion afterwards; college application, boy-girl relationships, developing talents, confronting bullies, and others topics could be included in such a discussion.

What's the worst Disney Channel Original Movie you've seen? Comment below and tell me about it.

2 comments:

  1. "Frenemies" was one of the worst Disney Channel Original Movies. It's in that awkward in-between stage of popular shows of late nineties kids and mid-2000's. "The Adventures of Food Boy" doesn't even seem like a real movie, I'm surprised it even got picked up. I saw a still of him crouched in the bathroom surrounded by bread and I thought it was a parody. Nope... it wasn't. Nice blog, by the way! Love your reviews.

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    1. Food Boy was pretty awful. I haven't even heard of Frenemies. It must have been really bad!
      Thanks for your comments and complements! Keep checking back for more reviews!

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