Saturday, August 29, 2009

MINUTEMEN

Director: Lev L. Spiro

Cast: Jason Dolley (Virgil Fox), Luke Benward (Charlie Tuttle), Nicholas Braun (Zeke Thompson), Chelsea Staub (Stephanie Jameson), Steven R. McQueen (Derek Beaugard), Kara Crane (Jeanette Pachelewski), Dexter Darden (Chester), J.P. Manoux (Vice Principal Stewart Tolkan), James Jamison (Agent Rehnquist), Jason Tatom (Dr. Winthorpe), Trenton James (Dr. Connors), Kellie Cockrell (Jocelyn Lee), Charlie Fratto (Eugene von Hoserberg), Joe Pitti (Robot Man), Damarr Jones (Mysterious Man), Terrence Goodman (Coach Nibley), Trevor Grant Snarr (Bureau of Weights and Measures Man), Molly Jepson (Amy Fox)


The three students hit upon the secret of time travel with an assortment of devices, including computers, a microwave, a slide projector, and a diving board. Boy genius Charlie (Luke Benward, How to Eat Fried Worms), ace experimenter and multiple grade skipper, is the brains of the operation. Tall, quiet, tough guy Zeke (Nicholas Braun, Sky High) provides some mechanical expertise. And, closest to a protagonist, Virgil (Jason Dolley, "Cory in the House") is the normal kid who through a single regrettable incident has spent high school as one of the dorks.
Virgil's first instinct is to use the discovery to bring the group riches and popularity. When that conveniently doesn't pan out, the boys find a new calling. Upon witnessing an act of bullying, they arrange to go back in time and help out their fellow outcast. Though Virgil comes up with "Minutemen", a name he thinks is quite clever, the team behind the ongoing, anonymous social work becomes known around school as the "Snowsuit Guys." Because, you see, they don remarkable white ski outfits since traveling through time is cold business.
Virgil, Charlie, and Zeke are quite good at righting the wrongs of pranks and shenanigans that apparently run quite rampant at Summerton High School. They're a hit with the student body. However, new troubles arise. Not from toying with the space-time continuum, running into their other selves, or developing God complexes... but from their actions having unintended effects. Spared humiliation, the once-bullied instantly climb the social ladder and look towards belittling those now beneath them.
Oh yes, and all that vortex-jumping back and forward in time is also bringing about the end of the world. Charlie's plans were based on confidential old files hacked from NASA's computers, bringing the kids attention from a variety of stealthy government organizations. The movie attempts to explain the doomsday scenario -- something to do with black holes gobbling up the town, the Northwest US, the galaxy, and so on -- and resolve it with a suspenseful action climax. But, Minutemen suspects the target audience doesn't care about impending apocalypse and thus the threat seems less important than a pressing love triangle.
That triangle involves Virgil and his two best friends pre-high school: Stephanie (Chelsea Staub, Bratz) and Derek (Steven R. McQueen). She's a nice, pretty cheerleader; he's a smooth football jock. Thus, they're a couple, atop the school's social status chart, and distanced from Virgil. All because of that event, on the first day of freshman year, that cast aside their pal for years to come.



Jason Dolley as Virgil Fox



Luke Benward as Charlie Tuttle

Nicholas Braun as Zeke Thompson

Chelsea Staub as Stephanie Jameson
Steven R. McQueen as Derek Beaugard


Kara Crane as Jeanette Pachelewski