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At Least Kobe Bought Her Dinner First

By Brian Prisco | Film | July 13, 2009 |

By Brian Prisco | Film | July 13, 2009 |

00:00:00: For some awful reason, I accepted the challenge to review all five of the Air Bud movies (I chose not to review the four subsequent Air Buddies spin-offs, until later this year when Santa Buddies gets released.) I chose to do this as a Real Time Reviews, because if I had to suffer through this experience, I want you all to as well.

00:01:20: A clown invades a rustic mountain town. God, how many Saturday nights began that way? It bodes poorly for you cinematically when your marquee actor is Michael "Jumbo the Audio Informant" Jeter, Derek's retarded uncle.

00:01:23: Fernfield: Where Everything Is Possible. Except your father coming back to life, orphaned boy. Burn!

00:01:32: The dog's crated and wearing a clown ruff. So not only does he have superpowers -- he escapes the fucking Redneck Brothers Beerbelly and Bailey's Circus of Them Shiny Sky Stuffs.

00:02:14: The dog's actually in full clown regalia. How I loathe people who dress their pets and treat them like people. If you loved them, you wouldn't put them in tiny hats. Tiny hats are for the Kolbaby.

He's being menaced with a rolled up newspaper. I hear that's how they get Heigl to say her lines too.

00:03:27: Surprise! The jerkface clown sucks. Once, I would like to see a competent clown in a children's movie. Like Shakes. Or Vulgar. Or Janice Dickinson.

00:03:40: The spoiled rich kids are magically wowed by him chucking shit at a dog. And me, I get chased out of PetSmart and beaten with chew toys.

00:04:14: He's the first clown in the history of entertainment to slip on a banana peel sitting on a couch cushion. This slapstick is making me thirsty! Thirsty for blood!

00:05:15: Does the clown have a rotary phone in his truck? Is this like the Jetsons' future? Where everyone wears suits and hamburgers eat people?

00:05:54: The crate for the dog teeters precariously for a good forty five seconds. Will it fall? Will it fall? Nope. Jeter the Clown takes Air Bud to be euthanized by the ASPCA. Disney goes dark once again.

00:05:57: Psyche! The dog's trapped in a clown costume in a crate in the middle of a rural mountain town. That's how I spent my sixth birthday, too, Air Bud.

00:06:00: Cows! If only he could escape, he could join forces with Babe the Pig.

00:06:20: A widow and her quintessential nineties' son hit the crate with their car. That's how all pet adoptions should start.

00:06:30: The mother asks her baby daughter, "Are you okay, sweetie?" The little girl shrieks, "NOOOO! My agent told me this would be a career booster! I only got points on the backend! I want to do Barney! Get me on Barney!"

00:06:40: When you strike something in the middle of an abandoned highway with your car, the natural reaction is to drive off as if nothing happened. At least she'll survive horror movies.

00:07:16: Mom's giving us a little exposition. Good for her. Got her a Laverne and Shirley down at the manufacturing plant in a new town.

00:07:48: The sad faced little twerp hasn't said word one. But here comes the sad music as he unpacks. Bet a Kraft dinner he pulls a picture of his dad out of the moving box.

00:07:52: No. It's a regulation Globetrotters colored basketball. America, FUCK YEAH. Guess I owe the Weinsteins some Mac and Cheese.

00:07:59: Now's the framed picture. It's a newspaper article: Crash Claims Life of Test Pilot. That album fucked me up, too. Curse you Dave Matthews, and your surprisingly decent acting skills! The boy's father looks like a cross between Bill Pullman and Steve Gutenberg. Both of whom this film desperately needs.

00:08:14: I guess when your lead's mute, you do your exposition with photos and props. Here's a basketball. Here's my dead pa article. Here's a picture of me on my dead pa's shoulders dunking my Americaball.

00:08:30: Sad dog in the rain. Wonder if he'll pull out pictures now. Him and his mom. Him and the clown hitting him with a rolled up newspaper. A picture of a leg.

00:08:40: "Josh doesn't make friends very easily." And guaranteed he won't now -- thanks, ma! Don't you have some handcrafted shit to manufacture?

00:09:01: Oh! He's gone mute because his pilot papa got the old Ants Marching to their Grave. Deep, Disney. Tre deep.

00:09:35: I've heard of being "Saved by the Bell" but never "Totally Cockblocked by the Bell." Just as he was going to breakthrough and join the basketball team. His mom wanted him to join the band and play flute. I hope they packed a spare vagina.

00:09:50: Tromboner! "Don't blow so hard." I like where this film is going.

00:10:14: A basketball game and nary a person of color to be seen. Way to keep the brothers down, Disney. I understand. Black people are afraid of foliage.

00:10:28: Stupid child. When you see a broken down house in the middle of the woods, you don't go exploring in it. Has your mother not imparted her horror movie survival skills to you? I hope you're eaten by a witch! Or at the very least raped by gypsies. (RIP Michael Jackson)

00:10:38: Even better. It's an old church. Boy, these pedophile jokes just write themselves.

00:11:19: Oh my God. The church has a basketball court behind it. Is this the First Unitarian Church of Moses Malone? Maybe Larry Bird will pull a Joel Grey and show up as a Miyagi-style basketball sensei.

00:11:45: Where the fuck is this court? The ghettos of Minas Tirith? There's leaves everywhere. It's like a goddamn Thomas Kinkade painting.

00:12:00: Damn. He gots no game. The elves will reject him. Take it to the one ring, hobbit!

00:12:15: Is Air Bud getting fresh with a basketball? So that's how the Air Buddies were made. Like gremlins. A dog fucked a Nerf ball, and Corey Feldman gets menaced on Christmas.

00:13:00: That's it. Some snuffling creature rolled your ball to you from the bushes, so your rational reaction is to get reaching towards the shrubbery. Maybe it's Mr. Tumnus, here to play a pickup game. I hope you pull back a nub, you stupid, stupid Josh.

00:14:00: This movie wouldn't work if it were a black family. The mother would slap the sense out of the boy for moping around. I dare you to mope around a black mother. In fact, I double dog dare you. Oh yeah. I went there.

00:14:45: Oh noes! The Abercrombian villains are using my jokes to sass Josh! With the Globetrotter ragging and whatnot. Why are all bad rich kids blonde? Aren't redheads the evil ones? Fucking gingers.

00:14:55: I was wondering what kind of fascist white suburbanite would be the coach. Sounds like he's ex-military. Looks like he's ex-pastry chef.

00:15:20: "If you can win on the court, you can win at life." God, I hate basketball. It's like watching people do shuttle sprints, but pausing to bounce a ball. I hate organized sports. I hate you.

00:15:40: Kid didn't even leave the bench to try out. That only winning move is not to play shit might work in WarGames, but not on Captain Winningiseverything's watch.

00:16:30: They made him the manager. It's all the time consumption of team sports without any of the glory. Stick with the tromboner, dipshit.

00:17:00: This shithead hasn't made a fucking bucket yet. The actor, Kevin Zegers, is the one who's supposed to play Clyde Barrow to Hilary Duff's Bonnie. Now you hate him too.

00:17:15: Finally. Here comes the dog. Oh, but he's shy. Yeah, if I spent a lot of time in mountain towns dressed in a tattered clown costume, I'd probably be wary of strangers, too.

00:17:40: This dumbass kid is trying to bribe the dog with a vanilla pudding cup. At least you could have gone with chocolate. Dogs love poo.

00:18:30: You should always approach mangy half-starved animals. Way to import intelligent behavior in children, Disney.

00:19:30: Josh raked the Narnia Jam court and laid out a progressive enticement trail of pudding cups. Because All Dogs should eat people food. That's how they go to heaven.

00:19:52: This kid's just knocking down fences and tearing up the landscaping. I wish the property owner'd show up and kill him dead with a shotgun. Get off my lawn!

00:19:58: Who put a giant scenic lake behind this rickety wood fence?

00:20:54: That's it, dog. Follow the Globetrotters ball. Sweet Georgia Brown, this movie's wretched.

00:21:26: The dog can hit the ball with his snout! He's already more athletic than half the Pajiba readership.

00:21:23: Dog's got a mean crossover.

00:22:10: Triumphant music as Air Bud and Super Lonely Boy play basketball together. Well, they pass the ball alot. With the magic of hound confidence, our young ward can suddenly make lay-ups.

00:22:40: He let him pet him. I hear a basketball's all it takes to stroke Carmen Electra, too! Ba-zing! Is she even alive still? Is this thing on? Tip your waitstaff.

00:22:58: Now the kid's ripping off the dog's tattered rags. And that's how she became Mrs. Dennis Rodman.

00:23:21: Your mom will never notice you sneaking a fucking GOLDEN RETRIEVER into the house. Why couldn't you have gone down in the plane crash instead, Josh?

00:23:38: Spaghetti-Os are next on the menu for Air Bud. And a bath. That's pretty much my Thursday nights as well.

00:23:40: Fight him, Bud! Don't go gently into the warm bath! Go for the jugular! Finish him! FINISH HIM!

00:23:57: You don't get between a man and his Spaghetti-O's, boy. Even if that man is the dog now, son. Ask Sean Connery.

00:24:22: He used the basketball to lure the dog into the bath. Typical male. Cue Splish Splash. Because it can't all be John Williams style orchestral lullabies.

00:25:18: He's gonna blow dry the dog with a leafblower. Oh, Kevin McAllister, where are you to smite this lad for sullying your good spirit?

00:26:15: Stupid mute kid. Being nice won't fool your mom, Young Susan Sarandon. Actually, the mom was the tiny redhaired nun from Sister Act and the subsequent Sister Act 2: Jennifer Love Hewitt's Boobs Make Me Happy.

00:26:40: Nooo! Basketball playing dog! You're gonna blow his scheme!

00:27:00: That damn dog can sure do some damage with a basketball. If this were Final Destination, the mom would have slipped on wallpaper paste and gotten impaled on a paint roller by now.

00:27:40: Wallpaper paste erotically splattered all over the mom's and young boy's face. That's the fifth time I've seen that exact scene in a movie today. This director and I obviously share a penchant for pornography. Or else we both Googled "facepasting".

00:28:10: Nice, the kid's putting up Lost & Found posters, and the dog's ripping them down! He's like a criminal on the lam. One step ahead of those crafty....clown. He's just trying to find out who killed his wife, but Tommy Lee Jones don't care!

00:29:10: He made a doghouse. Out of a refrigerator box. Those hobo lessons are really paying off!

00:31:00: Crafty hound. He snuck down to fetch the paper, but instead he's hiding it from the mom? I guess he prefers his information from the internet as well. But this is like 1997. The internet doesn't exist yet! Al Gore, save us!

00:32:20: His job is to pump up the balls. I remember that summer. As a fluffer.

00:32:52: The bully called him "Whiteboy". But...but...but YOU'RE white. That explains everything. I hope Bill Cobbs, the old black wise janitor slaps the cracker out of that rich kid.

00:34:50: The dog's sneaking into the house to eat pizza. Seriously. Buy him some Purina One. Just a little bit of dog food. You're killing him, FRAMM! You're KILLING HIM!

00:36:45: Showertime. And Josh's the towel boy. I like where this is headed.

00:37:50: Boy, I hope the janitor he's snooping on turns out to be the Freddy Krueger Toss-His-Victims-In-The-Furnace kind. Nope, it's kindly old Bill Cobbs. And he used to play for the Knicks. Now he shills for Stiller.

00:41:00: Now Bill Cobbs? He still got game.

00:42:45: His mom gave him his own dog for Christmas. What a cheap bitch. That's worse than a Sizzler giftcard. At least now maybe he can feed him some actual dog food. And Josh doesn't have to keep blaming the big piles of shit in the backyard on the baby sister.

00:43:45: "I wish my dad were here." Yeah, me too. He'd crash a plane into the school and kill all these motherfuckers.

00:44:28: And the dog finally shoots a basket. After almost half the fucking movie and Air Bud finally does his goddamn Air Bud trick.

00:44:40: "No way! I don't believe this!" Didn't you read the script, you little asshole? Obviously not, or you would never have agreed to be in a movie where you're upstaged by a trick animal. Then again, Eastwood's an Oscar winner, so shut my mouth.

00:45:00: Wow! If you hold the ball directly under the basket for five seconds, the dog can bat it in with his face. Fortunately, that's exactly how basketball is played.

00:46:50: Waterboy made the team! And he didn't even have to fuck Fairuza Balk.

00:47:27: A friend! Who keeps fruit discards from famous basketball players. Yikes. They start them serial killers young in Seattle.

00:47:43: The thug bully just stuck a toothpick in his mouth. What the fuck is going on with middle schools? Why can't he just call him a f*g and hit him in the junk with a balled up tube sock? He's gotta menace him like he's in Walking Tall?

00:47:53: Josh didn't tell Air Bud about the game? He got you on the team, you traitorous fuckstain.

00:48:32: Ah, we meet the bully's dad. A hateful sports dad. Now we see where all the homoerotic bullying comes from. Neckless thugs.

00:48:35: Air Bud tracks Josh to the game. He missed his calling. If pro ball doesn't work out, he could be a bounty hunter. Or, a janitor apparently.

00:49:03: Air Bud's sneaking into the school. I smell mayhem! I'd like to see Air Bud play against Teen Wolf. That'd be a hell of a showdown.

00:49:39: Framm's in because the team Fat Kid's a hacker. He grows up to do the same thing at Hogwarts for the Malfoys.

00:49:45: Air Bud watches him from beneath the soda table, which is where I attended most of our middle school dances. To all the girls who wore short skirts, I would applaud you if not for the carpal tunnel damage.

00:50:00: Uh-oh. Air Bud's feeling like it's his time to shine. Get in the fucking game already, goddammit! We didn't rent this movie for your fucking acting skills, dog.

00:50:31: Technical foul on the four legged hairy thing! No, not John Starks! (Old school rip, whaaaaat?!)

00:50:50: The ref's are bouncing off each other like Keystone Kops. It's pan-de-monium! Wocka wocka!

00:51:18: The dog sinks a shot! Framm with the assist! The crowd goes deathly silent. They can smell a hanging afoot.

00:51:21: EVERYONE GOES WILD! (Except Sister Mom, who's mortified. And Bully's Neckless Thug Dad, because he don't have a beer.)

00:52:00: I don't blame them. Have you ever watched a basketball game? Christ, Kobe Bryant used to play against our high school, and it still sucked. The game needs animals. Giraffes, pandas, a couple tigers.

00:52:15: The principal loves it. "A regular Michael Woof Jordan!" You have those lines AND that haircut? Fire your agent. Out of a cannon. Into the sun.

00:52:35: They want Buddy to be mascot and make baskets at halftime. So that's how they'll make money and start the inevitable Santa's Little Helper rip-off storyline. The dog walks away in a huff. He's got a better agent than the principal.

00:52:55: Because Buddy fights crime apparently. The thug dad is hurling basketballs at his shameful son. Oh! His son is the sweaty creep who likes celebrity fruit scraps.

00:53:05: Holy shit! It's the COACH! He's violently abusing one of his players. Wow, Disney, I'll remember these titans.

00:53:40: He's trying to make tiny dog sneakers. The dog's all, "Take that weak shit to the Payless, fool. Get me an endorsement deal, bitch."

00:53:55: They fired the abusive coach and replaced him with the bully thug's dad. With a page boy cut like that on her fat face, it only makes sense the principal's blind.

00:54:14: Oh, snap. The new coach is gonna be...the old black janitor! Bagger Vance, eat your fucking heart out. I mean it. Die, you minstrel stereotype. Die now.

00:55:10: "A basketball isn't nothing but rubber and air. It's what you do with it that's called basketball." From the book of Vitale, post head injury.

00:55:20: Playing pretend basketball teaches them teamwork. Just like this invisible gun eliminates the pain of this movie.

00:56:27: Air Bud's wearing tiny shoes. They look like the high heels from Bowfinger. Not the same dog though. However, Air Bud did play Comet on "Full House." I wonder if he and Saget used to tell each other dick jokes while doing bumps off Stephanie's lower back.

00:56:47: Air Bud won't perform for no crowds, chump.

00:57:27: The dog sunk a basket! America wins! The recession's over! Gay marriage for everyone! Free chicken pot pies!

00:58:06: "What the hell do you think yer doing!" shouts Bully Dad. He's pulling your bricklayin' ballhog dickhead out of the game, that's what he's doing.

00:58:24: "We're leaving." I hope the bully transfers schools just to spite everyone.

00:59:10: The score's 59-57 and it's almost the end of the game. What the fuck, is this the WBNA?

00:59:11: Top of the key. Time's running out. The crowd rises in slow motion. A three would win. What do you do? What do you do?! If you answered "Piss yourself with anxiety, then chuck up an airball -- you got Brian Prisco in the Pajiba Personality Test on Facebook.

00:59:26: HE BLEW IT! Framm put up the brick and lost the game. Shoulda put the dog in. Maybe his mom will offer him a lifesaver.

01:00:00: Air Bud teaches us the importance of passing and teamwork. This is why I prefer the UFC. Let's see a dog in there!

01:00:31: Headline reads: Dog Inspires Comeback. Why the hell is that leading news? Do they not have a high school team? Wasn't someone killed in a meth lab explosion? Way to responsibly print the news, Fernfield Gazette.

01:00:45: The coach got excited because Sweaty Creepy Kid caught a pass. Enough so that it merits another headline.

01:00:55: I want to know what the dog is doing with the all the fucking newspaper he steals. Is he running a podcast?

01:01:15: The boy thought he could be towed by Buddy's leash while riding his skateboard. Instead, he got a faceful of concrete. Who scored that basket, bitch?

01:01:27: Every game, the dog shoots one basket at halftime. You can't tell me that hasn't gotten old yet. Bite a motherfucker. Hump the fucking mascot.

01:02:00: Uh, oh. Sideshow Odd the Clown is eating his TV Dinner and they're broadcasting about the dog. He might want him back so he can share in the fives and fives of booster club dollars the dog's raking in.

01:02:41: Mystery solved. Mom's finding all the newspapers buried in the backyard. Wait until she finds all the hooker bones.

01:03:15: Here comes Sketchy the Clown. You've got my dog...Blue. Because he spied a blue paint can in the trash. As opposed to his other dog, Discarded Tampon. I mean, Rusty.

01:03:40: Noooo! The dog's coming home with Daddy.

01:04:15: First his dad, now the dog. And he doesn't even have pubes yet. God truly hates this little boy.

01:04:53: He's putting out pudding cups at the basketball courts. Maybe this time he'll catch a card-playing raccoon or a squirrel that tell fart jokes in a falsetto. That's how they discovered Christopher Mintz-Plasse. True story.

01:05:15: The mom and son keep finding scraps of things that remind them of Air Bud. Must've been hard with the dad's passing too. Paper airplanes. Seeing guys in prop planes on television. Finding his smoking boots in the wreckage on the lawn.

01:06:00: Josh's gonna get back his dog from the sleazy clown. Street justice!

01:07:20: Redneck vs. mud equals lose. "Does that Oprah woman like dogs?" And how, sir.

01:08:08: They're playing tug of war with the dog chain. I fear this'll end like Dustin's doghaving days.

01:08:30: Here comes Jeter the Paper Beater. In a rusty pickup. Driving through a playground. That'll drum up business.

01:09:40: He's been hurtling doorless towards a lake for thirty minutes. I guess you skipped the GED section on bailing from automobiles.

01:11:10: Run away, Shithead. I'm gonna set you free, you stupid dog. Come back. No go! Shithead, wait!

01:12:45: Leave! Before I run out of bad acting tears!

01:13:20: I thought for a second he might try to kill the dog with his basketball. Instead, he fakes him out and ditches him. On an island. Because if I can't have you, the mud people will.

01:14:20: The dog's trying to paddle after him. This is some depressing shit. Here, you think you're getting a fun movie about a basketball playing dog, but no it's all Old Yeller and shit.

01:15:20: These are middle school kids, Coach Old Black Man. You aren't dying of cancer. It's a fucking middle school state final. Of course, the bully did transfer schools, and he's playing for the other championship team. Which just goes to show that Bully Thug Dad was right all along. You can learn a lot from Neckless Sports Thugs.

01:17:10: Even in montage, this is a boring ass game. In basketball, like sex, only the last two minutes matter.

01:18:50: I thought he was being metaphorical, but half the team is actually out due to chicken pox. Haven't we improved medical technology to take care of that heinous school day missing plague? We only got four players. Or do we?

01:19:50: Buddy! I'm pretty sure it's against regulations for a dog to be your fifth man. But fuck it, Disney's got good lawyers. "Ain't no rule says a dog can't play basketball."

01:21:09: Player K-9 in the game.

01:21:47: The dog was doing great until his training kicked in and he bit the only black player. They put him down for the halftime show.

01:22:08: "Does he dribble?" "No, but he might drool a little." Why didn't this get an Oscar? That line physically injured me.

01:22:25: The dog and one of the other team players are wrestling for control of the ball. Sic balls! Sic balls! Holy fuck, they're doing a jump ball. Dog vs. Man. Buddy faked him out with a bark. Kids are retarded.

01:23:30: Won't somebody cover the dog? Think of the children! Is it wrong I want to see the dog get fouled?

01:24:13: Finally. The bully fouls the dog! One and one. With a dog?! Disney, you so crazy. The dog is shooting foul shots.

01:24:44: And he's better than Shaq. And he drools less. Leg humping? About even.

01:25:11: Down by two. A few seconds left. Do I smell a repeat of Lonelyboy doing the three?

01:25:21: Air Bud noses the ball into the bully's crotch! Thank God that even in a kid's movie they won't forget to stoop to the glory of a testicle shot.

01:25:29: Oh, dear. The menacing clown's here. Is this going to end in bloodbath or a pie fight?

01:25:45: Slow motion time. Either he makes the shot, or Keanu's about to dodge bullets.

01:26:27: At the buzzer. See? It didn't matter if he was a werewolf, so long as he has the dog.

01:26:49: "Waterboy. Nice shot." Aw, the bully made nice. Sic balls!

01:27:18: The clown wants his dog. He's got papers. The law's on my side, Randy! Oh, but they got wrecked when he took a lake bath. Waaaaah-waaaaaaah!

01:27:30: Custody battle for the dog. This is why our court system is terrible.

01:28:08: I won't have my courtroom turned into a circus. Cue clown. That'll win 'em over, Norm. I demand all you lawyers site Snively vs. Framm during trial from now on.

01:29:05: The clown just said, "Hell's bells. All I want is to get Old Blue back." Yeah, you and Will Ferrell.

01:29:35: Every time the crotchety old judge bangs his gavel, the dog barks. Also, if you make an objection, he shits.

01:31:10: The black old wise janitor is pulling the Samson. Let the dog decided. I voted for cutting the dog in half, but who's listening at this point?

01:32:30: Who will the dog chose? I say he'll vote steak.

01:33:17: The clown's trying to lure him with a newspaper. The dog hates newspapers. He hates newspapers! The dog tore up the paper, and ran to Josh. Now you'll never know the news, and you lost your dog, clown.

01:34:10: Pull the gun, clown! FINISH HIM! FINISH HIM!

01:34:15: Happily ever over. Ugh. What a dreadful flick. And they made more of these? Goddamn you, Weinsteins! You've left your smelly taint on cinema for the last time!

Brian Prisco is a bitter little man stomping sour grapes into fine whine in the valleys of North Hollywood. He's a screenwriter who's never been professionally produced, an actor who's never joined a guild, and a director who made one bad film. He's one waiter apron away from a cliche, and he's available for children's parties. You can tell him how much you hate him at priscogospel at hotmail dot com.

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