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The Country Bears

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Country Bears

Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Christopher Walken
Director: Peter Hastings
Rated: G
RunTime: 88 Minutes
Release Date: July 2002
Genres: Comedy, Kids, Music

*Also starring: Stephen Tobolowsky, Meagan Fay, Eli Marienthal, Diedrich Bader, Alex Rocco, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, Elton John

Review by Steve Rhodes
½ star out of 4

You're probably asking yourself, "Could THE COUNTRY BEARS really be as bad as its trailers?" In a word -- yes.

With Mark Perez's abysmal script and Peter Hastings's lifeless direction, the live-action movie is painfully bad. Watching it is about as much fun as spending eighty-eight minutes in a dentist chair. Its lame attempts at humor are as flat as the proverbial pancake. Only a couple of decent musical numbers and a few cameos make the movie briefly tolerable. Overall, the film pales in enjoyment in comparison with the Country Bears Jamboree, the hammy Disneyland attraction upon which the movie is based.

The minimal plot concerns the reunion of the Country Bears, a once popular group of singing bears who broke up after their 1991 tour. Haley Joel Osment voices Beary Barrington, a bear who lives with a human family but who doesn't realize that he was adopted. After Beary leaves home, he joins the band members who are trying to regroup for one more concert in order to save their old hall.

The frightening thing about the movie, which should have gone direct to video, is the possibilities it suggests. Think of all the other Disneyland attractions that could be turned into future movies. Are you ready for a movie version of the Enchanted Tiki Room? The mind boggles.

THE COUNTRY BEARS runs a long 1:28. It is rated G and would be acceptable for all ages.

My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave it one star only for the cameos and some of the non-bear musical numbers.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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