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Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.


Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris


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Movie review

Revenge can be a ball

By BILLY NORRIS
Published June 21, 2004

photo
[20th Century Fox]
White Goodman (Ben Stiller), egotistical fitness freak, takes to the air during a fateful dodge ball competition in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

RATING: PG-13 for rude and sexual humor, and language

SUMMARY: Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn) is the easygoing owner of Average Joe's Gym. The gym has only a few loyal patrons, and its business has been suffering drastically since the new Globo Gym opened across the street. Globo Gym is a cocky fitness boot camp headed up by fitness freak-health guru White Goodman (Ben Stiller). Peter and White are childhood rivals, and White is planning to buy out Average Joe's if Peter doesn't pay off $50,000 in outstanding bills. The only way Peter and patrons can save Average Joe's is to enter a Las Vegas dodge ball tournament where the grand prize is, you guessed it, $50,000. But, having never played dodge ball, their shot at the prize is a gamble at best. With the help of their coach, former dodge ball star Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn), and a surprising addition to the team, lawyer Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor), their chances aren't looking so bad after all.

MY VIEW: This movie is knock-you-out-of-your-seat hilarious. It reminds me in many ways of the best of Zoolander and Old School. (Does that sound like an oxymoron?) The humor is wild and crazy, and you pretty much have to check your sense of good taste at the door to enjoy this one. Puns and double-entendres are hiding in every little nook and cranny of the script. A lot of the jokes get lost in the laughs, which makes this film worth seeing a second time. The role fits Stiller like a glove, and although he plays a completely different kind of character, his performance here is right up there with Meet the Parents, one of my all-time favorites. The rest of the characters in this film are so off the wall that you never know what will be hurled at you next. If you are looking for moral values and good clean fun, you WILL NOT find them here. But, if a rip roarin' good time is what you're craving, a nice unwholesome game of Dodgeball is just what the doctor ordered.

RECOMMENDATIONS: There isn't much room for middle ground here: You will either love or hate this film. I loved it. Either way, though, it is absolutely not appropriate for anyone under 13.

GRADE: B+

Billy Norris, 16, will be in 11th grade at Seminole High, and is a former member of the TimesX-Team.

[Last modified June 18, 2004, 14:05:47]

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