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Any Ernst Fans?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dwayne1115, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I just watched Ernest Goes to Camp for the first time in years, and while it is still a good movie, I feel I want the Nostalgia Critic to review this. There's a LOT of stuff I could see the NC pick apart.

    Still, I'll post some of my thoughts and observations:
    • Councilor Stinnis initially gets the job of councilor for the boys because he's "the one with the most experience". Does that mean he was a juvenile deliquent as well or that he's been a camp councilor the longest?
    • It's funny how many of the other adults see Ernest getting hurt and don't bat an eye about it. They don't care that Ernest falls out of the bus, the kids walk over Ernest as they get off the bus, the Nurse and her grandfather don't seem to care much when Ernest gets attacked by spider ants (though the nurse does treat Ernest at the hospital afterwards), and they don't seem to care when the sign falls on Ernest (the camp master just says, "at least nobody was hurt").
    • I've often wondered why Moose was in the detention center... We never learn why he was there. Of course we hardly know why any of the boys were there, but Moose doesn't seem like a bad kid. Though maybe he started being good after getting sent there.
    • When the nurse berates the boys for giving Ernest poision ivy, one of them says that he's a jerk, and she doesn't seem to defend him or get on them? And later she says that Ernest is the only one that wanted them there... But didn't she and her grandfather bond with them a bit?
    • It is kind of funny during the battle when one of the turtles starts talking. Though since it's a close-up, I wonder if maybe it was one of the kids talking for him. We may never know... (unless somebody has acopy of the script)
    • Jake and Eddie are a funny duo... But it seems they are missing in action for half an hour, coming back when everyone starts battling.
    • After the bad guys seem to give up, the nurse shows up, saying she's got a restrainign order. But can she actually do that, considering they did legally own the land (even if it was by tricking the owner?).
    • At the end, Ernest says that the camp "has a year-round councilor". What's that mean, exactly? Is the camp actually open all-year-round? And IS Ernest still the councilor at that point?
     
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    The one thing I love about Ernest Goes to Camp is "Gee I'm Glad it's Raining"... I had no idea Jim Varney could sing like that!

    But what I really want to talk about is the Hey, Vern! It's Ernest! TV series, which is now out on DVD... I have to admit, although I give them E for effort, considering Ernest was popular at the time, so it stood to reason they'd give him a TV show, I have to say the show is really nothing spectacular.

    First of all, even though the show actually does have a structure, it seems very unstructured, and like a mad free-for-all: each episode follows a specific theme (like outer space, food, school, talents, etc), and features a storyline of Ernest, intertwined with recurring sketches that also relate to the theme. Some of the sketches are pretty good, like Mac (a human) and his roommate George (an iquana), but most of the other sketches are just plain dull and repetitive... like seriously, one sketch, "Lonnie Donn's School of Hollywood Sound Effects", is basically Lonnie Donn talking about a sound effect from his new movie "The ________ are Coming, the _______ are Coming!", and demonstrates it by, "Placing the meaty part of your palm on the side of your face, wrapping your fingers around the other side of your jaw, and blow". Likewise, another repetitve sketch is where Ernest visits Earl the Barber because he wants to look his best for whatever it is he's gotten into in the episode, and tells Earl to make him look like a "Wallstreet Tycoon", which Earl ALWAYS misinterprets ("Oh, I thought you said the man and the moon", "Oh, I thought you said a tropical typhoon", "Oh, I thought you said a wedding in June"), though each time Ernest says of his new 'do that "It could work". Other sketches are just plain weird, like where Ernest's Tongue (a guy in a tongue costume) offering his insight about life as a tongue, "Existo the Magician" who is pretty incompetent and lame, and "My Father the Clown", about a family where the father and one son are clowns, and the mother and other son are just normal people.

    Interestingly enough, the show actually marks the introduction of characters seen in a number of the movies: Ernest's neighbors, Chuck and Bobby. Usually, Chuck and Bobby are also involved with whatever Ernest is involved in in the episodes, however, unlike the movies, Bobby never speaks (though Bobby hardly spoke in the movies anyway). In addition to Chuck, Gailard Sartain also has multiple roles on the show, including the aforementioned Lonnie Donn and Matt Finish (a man obsessed with photography). Jim Varney has multiple roles himself, including Sergeant Glory (a drill-sergeant who teaches in a classroom), Auntie Nelda, and a creepy alien called Dr. Otto... I'm sure this was before the other characters were created like Aston Clement, Bunny Jeanette, Coy, and others, but thankfully Dr. Otto didn't become a regular part of Ernest's "family", that was just plain freaky!

    Also, my other complaint is the theme song! Most kiddie shows have memorable theme songs that stick with us well into our adult lives... this show's theme song is TERRIBLE! The music is annoying, and you can't even sing along to the lyrics because they're sung so fast.

    Again, I give it E for effort, but my overall opinion, I can see why this is reduced to the $5 discount bin at Walmart.
     
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I agree that that's a good song. Too bad Ernest didn't sing in the others. Though it's interesting that the one big song Ernest got to sing was a serious song as opposed to something silly. But then again, I don't really consider that a musical number... Ernest pretty much just sings to himself, and it's not really spontaneous.

    I thought that Hey Vern It's Ernest was good. I liked quite a bit of the stuff you mentioned disliking, like the barber sketches (though if the show got another season it would have been hard to come up with more rhymes for "wall street tycoon") and the talking tongue. Though My Father the Clown isn't that good (and I thought he had a son and a daughter). It's a shame that more of the characters didn't appear alongside Ernest.

    Back to the subject of Ernest Goes to Camp, when it comes to the "last chance boys", it seems Moose is the only one to have personality. The other boys are just typical troublemakers, hardly anything distinctive about them (when Ernest met them one of them was introduced as "the Albert Einstein of the group", though we don't see that one do anything particularly smart). But I wonder if Moose was given more distinctive focus so the younger kids in the audience would have someone to identify with. I'd like to think the movies were made for family audiences, but I wouldn't be surprised if they expected this to be more popular with young kids. Seems most of the Ernest movies have some child characters in them.

    I am also a little confused by the names of the bullies at camp. They are never really introduced by name. Seems one of them refers to one of the bullies as "blondie", and later when the bullies join the boys in figthing one of them calls them "Ken and Barbie" (I don't get the connection, either). After they set the tee-pee on fire one of their canteens is found, with "Pennington" on it. In the credits, Pennington is listed followed by Brookes, which I assume is the other one... But then which is which? It's often confusing when characters in movies have proper names that are never mentioned except for in the end credits, and even more confusing when the characters aren't played by big stars.

    Also, it seems many of the Ernest movies have two sets of duos, usually one used for comic relief, and the other a bullying duo. In Ernest Goes to Camp, the funny duo is Jake and Eddy while the aforementioned bullies are the other duo. Chuck and Bobby are the funny duo in Ernest Saves Christmas and Ernest Goes to Jail. The Christmas one doens't seem to have a bullying duo, but in "Jail" it seems like Reuben and Lyle may be that kind of duo (though they are worse than bullies since they are prisioners, though Lyle does redeem himself at the end). In Ernest Scared Stupid the comical duo is Tom and Bobby while the bullying duo are those two bullies who pick on the main kids. I don't remember any bully duos in Erest Rides Again but I recall a duo who finished each others sentences. Ernest Goes to School has Gertie and Bobby as the funny duo and those two bullies who pick on Ernest as the meaner duo (unlike other non-prisioner bully duos, they don't seem to join the good guys in the end). I don't remember any duos at all in Slam Dunk Ernest or Ernest Goes to Africa, but I recall a duo in Ernest in the Army, not a mean/bullying duo but I don't remember them being particularly comical.

    Finally, I've noticed that in Ernest Goes to School, during the big football game, they seem to prevent the football players and repalce them with Ernest and the nerdier students, using the invention that makes them all smarter. But if they're going to use that to win at a football game, why not use it on the regular team? After all, it did work on Ernest...
     
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I wasn't entirely sure myself to tell you the truth, it was hard to tell, and according to sources, Skeeter was played by Debi Derryberry, however I did notice occasionally, someone would refer to Skeeter as "him", so I guess there are two sons as opposed to a son and daughter.

    Goes to School is just about the only Ernest movie I haven't gotten to see, is the Bobby you mention the same Bobby? And is Gertie basically another somewhat incarnation of Chuck like Tom was.

    And I agree about Moose, he was the only one of those last chance boys who really seemed to be given a personality, and at the same time, really the only one who seemed like a good kid from the start... he does seem to try and act like the other kids when needed to I guess, so my assumption is that he knew better than they did, but at the same time, didn't want them to regard him as a dumb little kid since they were the only "friends" he had... it's like when I was ten, my next door neighbor and I would play together almost everyday, but anytime her older sister made the scene, suddenly her attitude and disposition changed because she "had to" since apparently her older sister took charge.
     
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I can't exactly remember if her name was Gertie or Gerta. I can't quite determine if she's a female version of Chuck (though she's clearly smarter... and perhaps crazier), but it is the same Bobby. In that movie the two are science teachers who also act as mad scientists, inventing a machine which makes Ernest smarter.
     
  6. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I know a lot of people say Goes to Jail was the best of the Ernest movies, and I have to agree, it is one of the better ones, mostly because of Jim Varney's dual role as some other than a wacky relative of Ernest's (I LOVED Ernest's reaction when he makes it home and see what Nash did to it, "Oh no! I've been vandalized! By Elvis!") but there's one thing about the movie that bothers me... WHY do the prison guards wear PINK uniforms! WHAT was up with THAT? I seriously doubt a prison guard would be taken very seriously wearing a pink uniform!
     
    Yorick likes this.
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Actually, those two, like Ernest, got their start in commercials produced by the same people who made the Ernest commercials. And it seems like information is hard to find... Last I checked (which would have been a year or two ago) wikipedia didn't have any pages on the characters, and none of the commercials have popped up on YouTube (unless the tags aren't obvious), but today I did a google search and found an old newspaper article on them when they were starting out: http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...cUxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=1RMEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6060,7278687

    One thing that's interesting is that it mentions an "Ernest-and-Vern movie in 1987". I assume it means Ernest Goes to Camp, but I wonder if there were dropped plans to make Vern a big part of the movie (only to be reduced to being mentioned in a campfire story) or if the writer mistakenly thought Vern would be heavily involved (at the time when Ernest was mostly reduced to commercials where he spoke to Vern I guess it'd be fair to expect an Ernest movie to have the same kind of format). It also mentions that Chuck and Bobby's last name was Leasure (I wonder if it was mentioned in any of the commercials... and in Ernest Scared Stupid Boby's last name was Tulip).

    And I've often wondered if they got their names after the similarly-named Chuck and Bob from Soap (ironically, on that show Bob was the much-more talkative one).
     
    Yorick likes this.
  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I admit, I was a little surprised to hear at least one swear word in Scared Stupid, mainly because they seemed to strive to make Ernest movies as squeaky-clean for kids as possible... I know some of Jim Varney's more colorful language is bleeped in the gag reels on the Essential Ernest DVD... one thing that really impressed me were the trolls, and I saw the Chiodo Brothers were responsible for those... I think as far as the Chiodo Brothers' animatronics and puppetry go, I think they achieved what Jim Henson wanted to achieve with his Creature Shop creations like Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.
     
  9. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Getting back to the twin brothers who don't look anything alike, something just struck me...

    I was reading up about Gailard Sartain, and it turns out he's still alive... so that makes me wonder, why was Chuck absent from the rest of the theatrical Ernest movies, pairing Bobby with other similar characters? I mean, I assumed maybe Sartain maybe passed away at some point, hence why they replaced Chuck, but since he's still living, what happened? I read he's also an artist, did he retire from acting to persue a career in painting/illustrating, or was he perhaps a little fed up of playing Chuck since some actors grow to dislike playing a certain character, or what?

    Another thing that strikes me curious too, like I said, Bobby never spoke on Hey, Vern! It's Ernest!, and I'm assuming he probably didn't speak in the commercials, did they decide to add just a little more dimension to the character, since he spoke a little in some of the movies?
     
  10. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I don't know what his reason for leaving the movies was (and Bobby only appeared in two without Chuck), but Gailard Sartain has acted since Ernest Goes to Jail. He was one of the main characters in 1994's Getting Even with Dad, and he voiced Big Daddy in the Simpsons episode The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase.
     
  11. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I just happened to stumble on this today:

    http://jimvarney.org/Ernest/JimVarneyShow.wma

    It's a radio/phone interview with Bill Byrge, who played Bobby in the Ernest universe, it's funny to hear that for a southern fella, he actually talks like a mile a minute, lol.

    They do touch on the movies and Jim Varney in the interview, but it seems like they spend a majority of the interview on the subject of Christianity. And their anecdotes of Tennessee are pretty much true. :D
     
  12. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    You know, I've noticed that in many movies "silent" characters tend to eventually get some sort of line, sometimes brief, sometimes as a plot point/surprise/gag, and sometimes seeming like it's not much of an event (it seems Bobby's lines in the movies aren't that spectacular of moments... In Ernest Goes to School he says a brief line right when he first appears on-screen).

    Other examples: Mr. Bean got the occasional brief lines on his series and movies (including the memorable long speech in the first movie), Silent Bob gets a line in both Clerks movies plus other movies he appears in, Lyle starts talking in his final scene in Ernest Goes to Jail (and Ernest points out that he talked in the scene), the caddy in Happy Gilmore is silent for most scenes but gets a brief conversation with Happy and a brief line at the end, and in Looney Tunes: Back in Action Mr. Chairman has a henchman/bodyguard who doesn't talk, but does get a line that got cut from the movie.

    I wonder if there's any reason for so many "silent" characters getting dialogue in live-action movies.
     
    Yorick likes this.
  13. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Of the nine Ernest movies, rate them from your most favorite, to your least favorite.

    1. Ernest Goes to Jail
    2. Ernest Rides Again
    3. Ernest Goes to Camp
    4. Slam Dunk Ernest
    5. Ernest Saves Christmas
    6. Ernest Scared Stupid
    7. Ernest Goes to Africa
    8. Ernest in the Army

    Ernest Goes to School is the only movie I haven't seen... too bad about Jim Varney's untimely death, because I think Ernest the Pirate sounds like it would've been good.
     
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    1. Ernest Goes to Jail
    2. Ernest Saves Christmas
    3. Ernest Goes to School
    4. Ernest Goes to Camp
    5. Slam Dunk Ernest
    6. Ernest Scared Stupid
    7. Ernest Rides Again
    8. Ernest in the Army
    9. Ernest Goes to Africa

    The last three, I have only seen once each, in the order I listed, but I feel the order from most to least favorite is right there.
     
  15. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Scared Stupid is low on my list mainly because I felt it was on the long and dull side; I was really impressed with the troll army the Chiodo Bros created and executed, but I the whole battle sequence with the milk squirt guns and everything seemed like it lasted forever and I just wanted it to cut to the chase and end already.

    Goes to Africa and In the Army simply had weak and tired storylines, IMO, and they had really, really small budgets, and it showed.

    I think many will agree that Goes to Jail is the best one of the series mostly because of Jim Varney's duel role as Mr. Nash: it gave him a chance to play a serious character who wasn't part of Ernest's kooky family. Plus it was just a great story, and all of the characters were top-notch and on the ball (save for the last couple of minutes when it seems like all the actors were tired and didn't really put any energy in their performances).
     
  16. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Somebody has uploaded all of the deleted scenes from Ernest Goes to Jail on YouTube! Here is the first of them, you can find the others in the link

    Some of them are better than others. I remember seeing a few of them on TV (I've only caught a few TV broadcasts... In fact when I first saw it on video I wondered where a few scenes were, and then noticed more additional scenes when watching it on TV later).

    I particularly like the shadow puppets scene, the scene where Ernest tries to vault his way out of jail, the extended interview for the clerk job, and the ending where Ernest finally has a job as a bank clerk. I feel most of those should have been left in.

    One scene I'm confused by is the one entitled "Conjugal visit". By the looks of it it seems Nash is entitled to a prostitution visit, but why would a prisioner be allowed this kind of service? Especially one with a reputation like Nash? Does he have some sort of deal with those guards or something?
     
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Sometimes, movies do seem to actually benefit from having certain scenes cut, and this seems to be one of those movies: in watching those deleted scenes, they really didn't help advance the plot very much, and had they remained in the final cut, they would have kind of slowed the movie down (one of the reasons "Scared Stupid" is low on my list, because it was seemed slow and tired, especially the climax battle)... and I don't know, the extended/alternate ending didn't really do anything for me... "I came, I saw, I got blowed up" seemed like the perfect ending for the movie anyway.

    Another movie like this is Pee-wee's Big Adventure... there's a deleted scene where we actually meet Amazing Larry, and we see what exactly is up with his hair (it's his magic trick)... removing it was a good move, because it makes the later scene where Pee-wee blurts out, "Is there something you can share with the rest of us Amazing Larry?!" much funnier and random: you didn't question why, you just accepted that only Pee-wee would know someone who happened to be named Amazing Larry and had weird hair. A lot of the other deleted scenes were simply more nightmare sequences... there was an extended hospital scene where the Satan's Helpers visit Pee-wee in his room, while he lies in bed with depression (rather boring scene), and a much longer chase scene throughout the Warner Bros. Studios lot that was simply long and dragged out.
     
  18. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I feel the movie could have used a few more of those escape attempts. As the uploader said in one of the clips, after Ernest accidently pulled off a guards pants he drops only one prision ball, and in the next cut Ernest is getting a second ball chained to the other leg. Though the shadow puppet scene seems odd... Like he was trying to just walk out of prision at night.

    I recall in the TV broadcast after Ernest's final line it goes to commercial, and then the additional ending comes on right before the credits, kind of like a tag. I wonder how the transition would have been (cutting straight to the scene? Fading to the scene?). But if anything, it shows that Ernest DID get his dream job.

    And regarding the scene where the boss interviews Nash about the clerk job, I have been wondering a bit about that scene, whether it be the version shown in theaters or on TV. It looks like he's about to get the job, and then Nash purposely smashes a trophy, angering the boss. I sort of wonder why he did that... I know that he didn't really need the job because he was planning on robbing the bank that night. But since it was so close to him robbing the bank he could have just "accepted" the job, stole the money, and than ran off. Unless he thought he wouldn't be able to work as a janitor that night, eliminating his chances of robbing.

    And another thing, when Reuben called Nash after Nash switched places with Ernest, I wonder who made the call. Reuben wouldn't know where to reach Nash (he didn't appear to be using a cell phone, which wasn't even common back then), and if Nash called the prision guards, I wonder how he would have been able to say he wanted to talk to Reuben (did he disguise his voice?). And I thought that while prisioners can make phone calls, I didn't think a non-prisioner could just call the prision and ask to talk to one of their prisioners.

    And finally, in the scene where Nash threatened a prisioner who owed him money, how would Nash have been able to loan money while in jail, and how would the other be able to pay him back? And how would a prisioner have been able to spend money while in jail? I don't know if this is a question for somebody whose been in prision or if info is common knowledge.
     
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    There's a website called http://thatfellowinthecoat.com which includes many videos of reviews for movies (much like That Guy with the Glasses). One series on that website, Vaulting (found when looking under "other shows" and then "Morgan's videos"... By the way, the same Morgan uploaded all the Jim Henson Hour episodes on YouTube), which has reviews of the first four Ernest movies, as part of "Ernest month". I'd say the reviews are good, though I haven't been able to see all of the Ernest Goes to Jail review (a few times I clicked on that and it said "this video can't be viewed", and once I watched it but then for some reason a commercial suddenly appeared in the middle of the review and then the video stopped, and I've tried clicking on the time thing a few times to go straight to where I left off only for the video to freeze).

    While the reviewer does talk negatively about the movies, he also has a lot of positive things to say about them, citing Ernest Saves Christmas as a good movie to watch during the holiday season and Ernest Goes to Jail as being better than the first two, and disliking Ernest Scared Stupid the most. The Ernest Scared Stupid review is broken into two parts, though the second half of part two has him talking about the other movies, giving a mini-review of Hey Vern It's Ernest, and telling viewers NOT to request reviews of the other movies. It seems like with his Ernest Scared Stupid review he repeats many of the kinds of jokes The Nostalgia Critic used (including him looking up what "Miak" is, at the same moment The Nostalgia Critic did, and while he actually finds two descriptions, the first one is the exact same as what the NC read).

    In the first of those reviews, a copy of The Essential Ernest Collection DVD is shown. I had seen this in stores a few times, but after seeing the reviews decided to look up the contents online... And what kind of "essential" Ernest collection is this? Most of the contents are compilations of the commercials, which I agree are essential, but the only two movies included are the worst of the made-for-video films (Ernest Goes to Africa and Ernest in the Army). I feel that all four of the movies from Touchtone are essential Ernest viewing (I know, the DVD set was released by a different company). I thought all of the made-for-video films were released by the same company, and the two of those not included are much better.
     
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    My sentiments are pretty much the same, I feel "Goes to Jail" is probably the best of the Ernest movies, while I'm not too fond of "Scared Stupid"... but that whole thing about the definition of "MIAK" actually IS on the internet, I think it's listed in the Urban Encyclopedia, but it is pretty much word-for-word what they are reading, which begs the question... IS miak fictional or not?

    As for the Essential Ernest collection, I received that as a Christmas gift a few years ago and like, but I agree, it's kind of a lackluster set when it comes to content (there was also a smaller set called "The Ultimate Ernest Collection" which I believe only contained one of the discs from the Essential collection). Most Ernest titles seem to be distributed by Mill Creek Entertainment, they've released the collections, as well as more recently the complete series set, as well as a triple-feature set with "Goes to Camp", "Goes to Jail", and "Scared Stupid" (all of which have actually been restored much better compared to their previous single releases); I contacted a representative at Mill Creek about the possibility of a great compilation set that included all of the movies, the series, all of the commercials, and other such Ernest goodies, to which he said as much as he would actually love to compile such a collection, he's not sure all of the interested parties would be willing to participate, but apparently there may be some new Ernest DVDs in the works, so we'll just have to wait and see.
     


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