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BRAINIACS: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
young Matt Tyler (Michael Angarano) who feels neglected by his father David (Kevin Kilner). Dad's been widowed for 4 years and spends all his time running a toy company he's hoping to expand with the help of bank manager Ivan Lucre (Dom DeLuise). When yet another camping trip is cancelled Matt and his buddy Danny (Kevin Jamal Woods) decide to raise money from kids around the world and soon have the required millions to buy out Tyler Toys. communicating as a "Max Headroom"-ish cyber character known as 'Mr Chips' Matt takes over the company and institutes the kind of work practices real factory bosses ought to look at if they really want to improve productivity.

The description 'family comedy' can be a signal to strike fear into the hearts of both youngsters and parents. Everyone who has cringed through "wholesome" entertainment knows the dangers of being assaulted by squeaky clean characters living in 'Leave It To Beaver'- inspired worlds of sickly artificiality. Luckily that's not the case with The Braniacs.com, a pleasant little charmer for kids to enjoy and not feel like they're being talked down to.

The plot has been around in various guises for years, probably because the message is always worthwhile if the treatment's up to scratch. Here it involves young Matt Tyler (Michael Angarano) who feels neglected by his father David (Kevin Kilner). Dad's been widowed for 4 years and spends all his time running a toy company he's hoping to expand with the help of bank manager Ivan Lucre (Dom DeLuise). When yet another camping trip is cancelled Matt and his buddy Danny (Kevin Jamal Woods) decide to raise money from kids around the world and soon have the required millions to buy out Tyler Toys. Communicating as a "Max Headroom"-ish cyber character known as 'Mr Chips' Matt takes over the company and institutes the kind of work practices real factory bosses ought to look at if they really want to improve productivity.

Naturally things spiral out of control when nasty Lucre shows his hand and the Feds come snooping in search of the revolutionary microchip Matt's sister Kelly (Vanessa Zima) has been working on without knowing it's been used as collateral for the boy's fundraising activities. There's no shortage of incident in this entertaining package directed by "Power Rangers" veteran Blair Treu and it has appealing players who help carry off a story that's a little too goofy at times but has a good heart. The star of the show is Michael Angarano who is one of the brightest juvenile performers we've seen in a while. The romance between dad and bank employee Miss Banks (Melrose Place/Baywatch star Alexandra Paul) is nicely done and the message about the importance of quality time is delivered in friendly style.

Best of all this treats its target audience (6 to 12 year-olds) with respect and gives them old-fashioned fun with toys and modern fun with computers to be entertained by. With the exception of a too-hammy Dom Deluise, its smoothly performed and the whole enterprise has a bouncy feel to it that adds up to good value for money.
Richard Kuipers

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia

BRAINIACS.COM, THE (G)
(US)

CAST: Michael Angarano, Kevin Kilner, Alexandra Paul, Florence Stanley, Kevin
Jamal Woods, Vanessa Zima, Dom DeLuise
DIRECTOR: Blair Treu
RUNNING TIME: 89 min

VHS/DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Peacock Films
DVD RELEASE: March 21, 2001







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