"Get a Clue"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: ** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)

    Lindsy Lohan as LEXY
    Bug Hall as JACK
    Ian Gomez as MR. WALKER
    Brenda Song as JENNIFER
    Ali Mukaddam as GABE
    Dan Lett as FRANK
    Amanda Plummer as MISS DAWSON

    Rated TV-G
    Studio: Disney

    Directed by: Maggie Greenwald
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Many, many years ago. It was last decade... even last century... I thought that Lindsay Lohan was the girl to watch in Hollywood. Her performance in “The Parent Trap” was great, showing awesome range for a young girl, and showcasing her ability to act with subtleties.

But that was before Lindsay Lohan became the scientific experiment gone horribly awry that she is today. This girl has serious problems in her life, starving herself to skin and bones while maintaining freakishly voluptuous breasts.

It’s common knowledge that child stars have a really hard time bridging the gap to adult stars. It’s been done before, for example Disney alum Kurt Russell. But the transition is rare. Usually its because a child star ceases to be cute, funny or lovable. Lindsay Lohan managed to keep her looks and Disney-mandated personality for a while, making her way through “Freaky Friday.” But in recent years, she’s gotten out of control. And sadly, this girl seems to have lost her ability to act with her innocence.

“Get a Clue” gives us a look at Lindsay Lohan before she became a tabloid phenomenon. This isn’t exactly a tour de force of acting, mind you. “Get a Clue” is your run-of-the-mill Disney Channel movie shot on the cheap in 2002 while trying to propel one of their young stars into the heavens. But at least it doesn’t reek of late-night booze and cigarettes from Lohan’s now-famous partying nature.

This film tells the story of a group of friends at a high-class New York City school that band together to do some detective work. After Lexy Gold (Lohan) writes an expose on the relationship between two teachers at school, one of the teachers goes missing. At first, they think he’s been murdered, which puts Lexy and her friends on the case. However, as they uncover clues, they learn a deeper, darker secret behind the teacher.

The DVD includes an alternate ending of the film, giving a little insight into what a confusing mess this story must have been. It’s one thing to change the ending of a movie because people aren’t satisfied. But changing the ending of a mystery (including who the bad guy is) just shows a severe lack of planning.

One of the more frustrating aspects of Disney Channel original movies is that they are almost always a clear vehicle for one of the actors. They don’t do ensemble pieces. It’s a bean-counter’s wet dream. These direct-to-cable movies are show with very low budgets and help fill network time. In the end, the ratings and feedback lets them know if the star is ripe to be plucked for a role in major movies.

Apparently Lohan fared well with this movie. It afforded her a chance to do theatrical releases like “Freaky Friday” and “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.” Now the girl is gritting her teeth and just waiting out her Disney contract before she can do that Playboy spread and really cash in. Hopefully, “Herbie Fully Loaded” will satisfy the lien on her talent.

“Get a Clue” falls in a no-mans-land for the viewership. Of course, those that detest Lohan (or those parents who don’t want her as a role model for their daughters) won’t watch it. For the horny Internet-surfing male viewership, it’s a no go because she’s just not old enough yet (and it’s a Disney Channel movie after all, so why bother?). That leaves only the pre-teen and teenage girls that love Lohan’s work. And I don’t know if there are any of those left.

Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Full screen (1.33:1). French language track. Spanish subtitles. English subtitles for the hearing impaired.

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