EW DVD Review: "Hot Tub Time Machine"

06/19/2010 02:30 PM
EW DVD Review: "Hot Tub Time Machine"
By: Chris Nashawaty - Entertainment Weekly
In the 1992 movie "Unforgiven," an older and wiser Clint Eastwood returned to the genre that made him a star to make a profound statement about the films of his youth. In a way, "Hot Tub Time Machine" is John Cusack's "Unforgiven."

After all, if you grew up during that glorious teen-comedy decade known as the 1980s, there's no question that you have a huge soft spot for Cusack's screwball trilogy, "The Sure Thing," "Better Off Dead" and "One Crazy Summer."

Granted, none of those movies are what anyone would all "classics," but they are a heck of a lot of fun, thanks to the then-babyfaced Cusack's deadpan one-liners and bemused "every guy" appeal.

The 44-year-old version of the actor can try to play it straight and serious all he wants these days, but for a certain segment of his audience, Cusack will always be Walter "Gib" Gibson or Lane Myer, dodging an irate newspaper deliveryboy who really wants his two dollars.

"Hot Tub Time Machine" is literally a timewarp back to the era of MTV, "Safety Dance," and preppie bullies in upturned collars, as Cusack, his nerd nephew -- played by Clark Duke -- and his two
oldest pals -- played by Craig Robinson of "The Office" and Rob Corddry of "The Daily Show" fame -- take a dip in a mystical jacuzzi and head back in time to 1986, the moment when their lives fatefully veered off course.

Sure, the flick cribs a bit too much from the self-aware arrested-development raunch of "Old School" and "The Hangover" (especially on the DVD's slightly longer and lewder unrated version, but it will do nicely until Cusack ages a few more years and decides it's time to make his "Million Dollar Baby" or "Gran Torino."

Now for a look at what else is new on DVD: in "When You're Strange," a documentary narrated by Johnny Depp takes a look at the Doors; in "Red Desert," Italian arthouse director Michelangelo Antonioni serves up a haunting tale about alienation; and in "Predator," the 1987 action epic featuring Arnold "The Governator" Schwarzenegger gets a Blu-Ray special edition.



Shanghai(2009) (pre-production) (in negotiations)
The Factory (2009) (filming)
Igor (2008) (post-production) (voice) .... Igor
Summerhood (2008) (post-production)
(uncredited) .... Narrator
War, Inc. (2008) (completed) .... Brand Hauser
Martian Child (2007) .... David
1408 (2007) .... Mike Enslin
Grace Is Gone (2007) .... Stanley Philipps
The Contract (2006/I) .... Ray Keene
The Ice Harvest: Alternate Endings (2006) (V) .... Charlie
The Ice Harvest (2005) .... Charlie
Must Love Dogs (2005) .... Jake
Runaway Jury (2003) .... Nicholas Easter
Identity (2003) .... Ed
Max (2002/I) .... Max Rothman
Serendipity (2001) .... Jonathan Trager
America's Sweethearts (2001) .... Eddie Thomas
High Fidelity(2000) .... Rob Gordon
Being John Malkovich (1999) .... Craig Schwartz
Cradle Will Rock (1999) .... Nelson Rockefeller
Pushing Tin (1999) .... Nick Falzone
The Jack Bull (1999) (TV) .... Myrl Redding
The Thin Red Line (1998) .... Capt. Gaff
This Is My Father (1998/I) .... Eddie Sharp, the Pilot
Chicago Cab (1998) .... Scary Man
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) .... John Kelso
Anastasia (1997) (voice) .... Dimitri
Con Air (1997) .... U.S. Marshal Vince Larkin
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) .... Martin Q. Blank
"Frasier" .... Greg (1 episode, 1996)
- Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven (1996) TV episode (voice) .... Greg
City Hall (1996) .... Deputy Mayor Kevin Calhoun
The Road to Wellville (1994) .... Charles Ossining
Bullets Over Broadway (1994) .... David Shayne
Floundering (1994) .... JC
Money for Nothing (1993) .... Joey Coyle
Map of the Human Heart(1993) .... The Mapmaker
Bob Roberts (1992) .... Cutting Edge Host
Roadside Prophets (1992) (as John Cusak) .... Casper
Shadows and Fog(1992) .... Student Jack
True Colors(1991) .... Peter Burton
The Grifters(1990) .... Roy Dillon
Fat Man and Little Boy (1989) .... Michael Merriman
Say Anything... (1989) .... Lloyd Dobler
Elvis Stories (1989) .... Corky
Tapeheads (1988) .... Ivan Alexeev
Eight Men Out (1988) .... George 'Buck' Weaver
Broadcast News (1987) (as John Cusak) .... Angry Messenger
Hot Pursuit (1987) .... Dan Bartlett
One Crazy Summer (1986) .... Hoops McCann
Stand by Me (1986) .... Denny Lachance
The Journey of Natty Gann (1985) .... Harry
Better Off Dead... (1985) .... Lane Meyer
The Sure Thing (1985) .... Walter (Gib) Gibson
Grandview, U.S.A. (1984) .... Johnny Maine
Sixteen Candles (1984) .... Bryce
Class(1983) .... Roscoe Maibaum