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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Movie Review # 44 Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency (2009)

Release: 2009
Director: Tom Whitus
Writer: Tom Whitus
Luke Perry
M. Emmet Walsh
Katherine McNamara
Jacob Hayes

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
IMDb: 5.3/10
Netflix: 2.9 Stars

Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency or as it is on Netflix just Jr. Detective agency. Is a youngster twist on the 40's Noir Detective movies. Complete with a running gag on inner monologues that at first is funny then it just gets annoying. Maybe it was the fact that Sam Steele Jr. played by Jacob Hayes seems almost monotone in his reflection as he speaks during these scenes which is way to often.

So what's the story? A burglar played named "The Cat" played by Luke Perry is going around stealing artifacts, jewelery and expensive jewels in middle of no where Iowa. Oh I mean Des Moines still middle of no where. His M.O. is he never wears gloves, never leaves prints and always knows the weak points of every security system. Yep sounds like the perfect cat burglar does is not? Well he isn't to perfect as on the first case we see he leaves a foot print.

Which like the story has no meaning what so ever. As they never talk about it again. So let's get pasted "The Cat" and focus instead on Sam Steel Junior. Whom the movie is named after he runs a Junior Detective Agency with the help of his trusty dame and secretary Lenore Case played by Holly Reimer. Who is aloof and in love with Sammy (Sam Steele Jr.) up until she moves out of the neighborhood leaving him her clubhouse. Which he can rent all for a kiss. Which is one very awkward moment. Way to awkward honestly.

So after she moves a new girl named Emma Marsh (Katherine McNamara) moves into the neighborhood and Sammy falls head over heels for her. But unlike Lenore she wants to be equals and not just the secretary and puts Sammy in a odd situation. But seeing how he doesn't want to be alone he agrees to it. That is the majority of the story except for Sammy Steele Sr. the head detective for the Des Moines PD. Who is trying to crack the case of "The Cat" and with the help of his stupid and inept partner loses the case.

So that is the cast of characters and brief into's for each. So now the verdicts on everything. The writing is spot on for a child of 12 or younger as they will empathize with Sammy and Emma. As they go on their adventures. Which is a good thing since this movie is not written on any level for anyone over that age bracket. As an adult I found this movie kiddie, silly and often times horrible. Which is understandable as I am not the core audience for this movie what so ever.

So I have to take it for what it is worth. Which is a kid's film and I just wish Hollywood would do a better job of making children's movies. Just like I wish video game makers would do the same for children's video games. They just do not care as if the kids want to see it and it sounds cute enough. The parents will cave in and buy it. Then once the dust of the game of movie settles they go online and in many cases of these children films blast the living crud out of it online.

Which these movie does not deserve. It is something I would show my kids for a good afternoon movie. I would not make my beer drinking friends watch it. But for children this movie is great as it keeps the kids engaged and does not insult them or resort to toilet humor at any point. Which is refreshing as most kids movies now days have one poop or fart joke in them. Thankfully this one does not. But what it does have is a heart and not such a believable story.

Not like kids will care as they watch two kids save the day. Then become heroes and you know what? I can honestly think of far worse things than this movie that kids watch these days. So yea so what if your sour about kids films. This is for them not us as parents or critics.

My Rating 2.75/5 Stars

Trailer only available on Vimeo

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