"The Even Stevens Movie"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)

    Shia LaBeouf as LOUIS STEVENS
    Christy Carlson Romano as REN STEVENS
    Donna Pescow as EILEEN STEVENS
    Tom Virtue as STEVE STEVENS
    Nick Spano as DONNA STEVENS
    Tim Meadows as MILES MCDERMOTT
    Steven Anthony Lawrence as BEANS
    A.J. Trauth as ALAN TWITTY
    Margo Harshman as TWNEY DEAN
    Dave Collier as LANCE LEBOW

    Rated TV-G
    Studio: Walt Disney

    Directed by: Sean McNamera
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I never watched the “Even Stevens” show when it aired on the Disney Channel, or when it was played frequently in reruns. I never really saw the appeal in Shia LaBeouf. Apparently, the industry likes him. The kid keeps getting parts in everything from independent films like “The Battle of Shaker Heights” to huge blockbusters like “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”

Unfortunately for him, the audiences haven’t really caught onto his allure as major motion picture star.

However, after seeing “The Even Stevens Movie,” I see where he definitely fits a certain role. As the petulant little brother Louis Stevens, Shia LaBeouf is really pretty good. And as the stiff and well behaved older sister, Christy Carlson Romano works as well.

“The Even Stevens Movie” was the curtain call for the entire series. With Disney Channel shows being canceled before they really run out of steam, the show had come to an end. Ren (Christy Carlson Romano) had graduated, and that left Louis with no one to tease.

As a send-off, the producers put together a feature-length TV movie that took the entire family on an adventure. After graduation, a mysterious man named Miles McDermott offers the Stevens family a chance to have a week’s vacation on a tropical island. However, when they get there, things start to go haywire. Louis accidentally defiles a sacred temple, which results in the entire family being shunned.

As the Stevens family starts to live off the land like the cast of “Lost,” they start to get on each others nerves. Mysterious forces start pitting them against one another. However, things seem to be a little too convenient for random chance.

I actually found this movie to be quite a hoot. The show itself had developed characters that really clicked with each other and the actors portraying the. Even the annoying neighbor Beans (Steven Anthony Lawrence) fit in well as comic relief and chances for bodily noises.

Another plus of this movie is Tim Meadows, the underrated former SNL star. Meadows is one of the funniest support men in Hollywood and continues to turn in sleeper scene stealers. Even in films that I don’t enjoy that much, Meadows manages to make me laugh.

The DVD contains the “Even Stevens Survival Challenge Game” which pits two teams against each other to answer questions and perform activities in an attempt to win. There’s also a relatively full commentary with Shia LaBeouf and Christy Carlson Romano. Finally, the “Island Adventure” party planner can be used in a DVD-ROM drive to access invitations, games, activities and recipes.

For not being an avid watcher of the show, I found a lot to enjoy in “The Even Stevens Movie.” In a small way, I’m actually hoping for a sequel (although I know this is unlikely with LaBeouf as a movie star and Romano raking in the cash as Kim Possible’s voice).

Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Fullscreen (1.33:1). English language subtitles for the hearing impaired.

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