Fired Up!

February 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Nicholas D’Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen, Sarah Roemer
Directed by: Will Gluck (debut)
Written by: Freedom Jones (debut)

If debut screenwriter Freedom Jones didn’t seem so vigilant to create the next big movie catchphrase or T-shirt slogan in “Fired Up!,” there might have been more to the teenage-cheerleading-buddy comedy than goofball one-liners and catty shenanigans.

While its touting itself as the anti-cheerleading movie, “Fired Up!,” when stripped down (and we’re not talking about the unexciting skinny-dipping scene) is exactly that. The only difference between it and something like “Bring It On” and its two pointless sequels is that “FU!” plays out more like a parody of something awful instead of just something that’s truly awful.

In the film, actors Nicholas D’Agosto (“Election”) and Eric Christian Olsen (“Dumb and Dumberer”) play best buds Shawn Colfax and Nick Brady, two popular high school football jocks who forgo summer football camp in El Paso, Texas to join up with their less-than-formidable cheerleading squad and attend cheer camp so they can scam on girls.

With over 300 girls and only one straight guy (whose actually there to get earn a cheerleading scholarship) in attendance, Shawn and Nick don’t have much trouble adding notches to their belts as they “leave no girl unturned” during their horny tramping through cheer camp.

While “Fired Up!” could have easily been rated R if Jones were to have done what most teenage comedies do and replace actual dialogue with expletives for shock value, she pulls back and leave the F-bombs behind to get a generous PG-13 designation. Despite the rating, there’s plenty of sexual innuendo and lowbrow humor for those moviegoers who are into the most recent National Lampoon straight-to-DVD flicks that are plaguing your local video store by the dozens.

Still, “Fired Up!” – no matter how admirable it becomes by taking itself less and less serious with each exaggerate scene – is too smart-alecky for its own good. After Shawn says, “You’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit” for the fourth time, it’s evident that Jones and first-time director Will Gluck have heard the jokes far too many times and still considered them just as funny as the first time they read the script. Unfortunately for “Fired Up!” they’re not.

AnnaLynne McCord – Fired Up!

January 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Interviews

What made you want to play the character Gwyneth?

I actually really was turned onto the role simply because it was a comedy and I did a lot of dramas and I didn’t do anything too funny, so I wanted to be funny, and I got a chance to do that on “Fired Up!”  It was a lot of fun.

Since “Fired Up” is a comedy, I wanted to know how you would describe your sense of humor. What makes you laugh?

As far as my sense of humor, well, actually in life itself, personally, I laugh at myself, but pretty much on this film I was really a straight shooter and super serious and that can always be funny when things are a light matter and someone takes it way too seriously. Gwyneth is very serious about her cheerleading, so it’s pretty funny.

Did you have to audition for the role?

Yes, I did have to audition for the role actually. I went in and it was quite a funny story.  I went in and I did the whole audition process, and there is a part in the film where I do a little thing with my hands and I make a call and I say “Panthers” out [loud], and my whole team does it with me. And the director actually said can you just do some kind of claw thing while I was in the audition process. I did my little – I beat my hands together and put my claw out and he said, “That’s great!” Fast forward to the rehearsal process, once I had already been offered the role, he was like what’s that thing that you did in the audition?  And I showed him again what I did and it became throughout the film, something that my team, the Panthers, do every time we end a conversation. So it gave us a pretty funny process.

From “Nip/Tuck” to “90210” to now “Fired Up!,” how do you approach the role of antagonist differently?

It’s an interesting process playing the bad girl. It’s actually a lot of fun, because I get an opportunity to really play around and do some fun stuff and build extra layers. But it’s also a problem if it is something that you step into and you make sure that you step out of because you don’t want to be that person in real life. I listen to music. I have my I-Pod. Especially on the set of “Fired Up!,” I was pretty set in who I wanted Gwyneth to be and I wanted to stay serious. It’s a funny film, so a lot of times, the actors in between takes, are making jokes, and it’s important for me to stay serious in that time. So I would listen to music. I would go off by myself. I keep clear on what I want to do and just really separate myself from the rest of the cast, so I was a loner on that film. On “90210” and the other shows are obviously different in the way my characters are different levels of bad, but on “Fired Up!” I was definitely a bit of a loner.

Some people might argue that [cheerleading] isn’t a sport. Why do you consider it one?

Personally, I label it a sport because a lot of times people don’t label it a sport and I don’t think that they give the credit that’s due to cheerleaders and to athletes who are cheering and doing the work that they do in order to just do a minimal stunt. It’s incredible the amount of athleticism that goes into being a cheerleader, and the reason that I label it a sport is because you have to be a true athlete to play a sport, and you certainly have to be a true athlete to be a cheerleader, so I label it in that category for that reason.

Did you do your own stunts, and if so, did you encounter any injuries?

Yes, I did do my own stunts. I was very proud of myself actually. I didn’t have as many days training as the rest of the cast, because I was actually doing a project in New York at the time. I came in a couple of days late and I walked in and they said alright, you’re ready to go, let’s throw you up in the air, and I was like oh, my God, here we go. That was insane, but I actually learned three air stunts, two of which were cut out. I was very bummed about it that they deleted scenes later, but I definitely really loved the fact that they let me do my own stunts. Sometimes they don’t like the actors to do that because you can incur injuries, but I did alright. I had one incident where someone else fell and hit me, and I saw stars for a few seconds, but other than that, I was alright, so it was a good time.