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HOT TUB TIME MACHINE

SYNOPSIS:
Lou (Rob Corddry) is a suicidal, out of control party animal; former rock singer Nick (Craig Robinson) is under his wife's thumb; Adam (John Cusack) is going through a bitter break-up; his nerdy nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) stays glued to his video-games in the basement. Things are looking grim for Adam, Lou, Nic and Jacob when they decide to drive to a ski resort, which holds great memories from over 20 years ago. But after a crazy night of drinking and madness in the hot tub on their balcony, they wake up to find themselves in 1986. Does this mean they have to relive the pain and angst all over again or is there a chance that they can change the future and find love, confidence and happiness when (and if) they are able to find their way back to 2010.

Review by Louise Keller:
It's coarse, rowdy and filled with vulgarities, yet Hot Tub Time Machine is genuinely funny, original and dare I say rather endearing, as four down and out friends find themselves flung back to the 80s after a night of disorderly drinking. Not for the prudish or the faint hearted, the film (directed by the colourfully named Steve Pink, who appeared with John Cusack in Grosse Pointe Blank in 1997), dishes up a never-ending spiral of misadventures, pranks, running gags and gross-out comedy, but somehow instils an innocent kind of energy. As a consequence, it reads as a fun if twisted escapist comic fantasy, with ample opportunities for guffaws, hilarity and cringes along the way.

Written by the screenwriters who penned She's Out of My League, the film offers a similar, keen observation of human behaviour. In the opening scenes, we meet the troubled main characters, all of whom are clearly going through a hard time. Craig Robinson's Nick is fishing out car keys from a dog's rear end; Rob Corddry's Lou is so revved up he is a danger to himself; John Cusack's Adam is adrift after his terse break-up; his plump, geeky, unsociable nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) is oblivious to everything except his sci-fi inspired world. It is desperation that prompts them to head for the snow to Kodiak Valley, where their favourite 80s ski resort is no longer the hip place they remember. That is, until after the frolic in the eerily lit hot tub that propels them back in time. What colour is Michael Jackson they ask a stranger, in a bid to determine what decade it is?

There's a wonderful running gag involving Crispin Glover's memorable one-armed bell-boy who doubles as an ice-sculptor and another involving the high energy drink Chernobli (prompting misunderstandings about Russian spies). Hilariously, Jacob (who was conceived around that time) starts to flicker into oblivion, while Nick, Adam and Lou occasionally see glimpses of themselves in the mirror - looking the way they did in the 80s. Much of the fun comes from the surprise elements and there are plenty of surprises. As our friends toss up whether to relive the past (with break-ups, beat-ups and embarrassment involving bodily fluids and orifices) or to embrace chaos and see what happens, we take off our seatbelts and trip happily. The entire cast is excellent and it's good to see Chevy Chase as the mystical time travel guy. Hot Tub Time Machine promises to be a runaway hit; if you want a laugh, hop into the Tub.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE (MA)
(US, 2010)

CAST: John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Lyndsy Fonseca, Crispin Glover, Chevy Chase, Charlie McDermott, Lizzy Caplan

PRODUCER: John Cusack, Grace Loh, Matt Moore, John Morris

DIRECTOR: Steve Pink

SCRIPT: Josh Heald, Sean Anders, John Morris

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jack N. Green

EDITOR: George Folsey Jr, James Thomas

MUSIC: Christophe Beck

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bob Ziembicki

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 22, 2010







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