Encino Man

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Kat

Plot: What’s it about?

Dave (Sean Astin) and Stoney (Pauly Shore) are best buds, but when they enter the halls of their high school, the other students consider them to be…well, losers. While this has little or no effect on Stoney, it bothers Dave, who wants to find a way to become popular and snag the girl of his dreams, who he has had a crush on since grade school. Dave’s plan is to construct a pool in his backyard, where everyone will party after prom, and he will be taken into the upper class of his peers. While Stoney thinks the idea is retarded, he agrees to help his bud dig the hole for the pool. While the two are digging, Dave hits something solid, and discovers an ancient bowl, similar to the ones discussed in he and Stoney’s anthropology class. After a little more shovel use, the pair unearths something even more impressive, a frozen caveman! Dave sees the caveman as his ticket to popularity, and he and Stoney put the chilled dude in his garage to melt. After he melts, Dave and Stoney teach him some basics and cart him to school, in hopes he can make them popular. What happens when a thawed cavedude is inserted into modern day high school? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out…
,br> Although some people might see Pauly Shore’s name in the credits and pass right by, even non Shore fans will find something to like with this film. Shore is not the focus of this film, he plays a supporting character, so this is not exactly a Pauly Shore vehicle. Since he has a lesser role here, perhaps this movie could serve as a test of whether or not you’ll enjoy more Shore driven pieces, who knows. At any rate, this is a very funny movie, but the comedy is at a pretty basic level, so don’t expect brain teasers when you watch this flick. But come on, who watches a movie with Pauly Shore expecting to have their minds stretched and challenged? While this movie might not have the complex storyline or deep characters of some films, Encino Man is a great way to take a break from demanding movies, kick back, and have a good laugh. If you’re a Shore fan, do not miss this film, but anyone who enjoys a good comedy should look this title up as well, as I recommend it highly.

The director of Encino Man is Les Mayfield, who also directed the remake of Miracle On 34th Street, Flubber, and the recent Martin Lawrence vehicle, Blue Streak. Mayfield manages to get some decent camerawork in, although nothing like his work in Blue Streak. The movie’s cast is basically three equal lead parts, then a supporting cast. Pauly Shore (Jury Duty, Bio-Dome) plays one of the leads, and give his usual humorous performance. While his work may be an acquired taste, I can’t get enough of it, I love this guy’s movies! Sean Astin (Like Father Like Son, Courage Under Fire) gives about as good a turn as the material allows, and plays off the other leads well. The third and final lead in this film is played by Brendan Fraser (The Mummy (1999), Gods and Monsters), who has gone on to become quite a movie star, with an even brighter future ahead of him, it seems. While he doesn’t capture the screen the same way he does now, it’s interesting to see him in an earlier performance. The supporting cast includes Megan Ward (PCU, Rated X), Rick Ducommun (The ‘Burbs), Michael DeLuise (Wayne’s World), and Robin Tunney (The Craft, End of Days).

Video: How does it look?

Encino Man is presented in a non anamorphic widescreen transfer, which is framed at the original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, although the case says 1.85:1. This transfer looks excellent, with bright colors, natural flesh tones, and well balanced contrast also. This is the best the film has ever looked, and is light years superior to the laserdisc, which sucked big time. There some problems with jagged lines, but not much, this movie looks awesome!

Audio: How does it sound?

This audio is used mostly for dialogue, but the surrounds will kick in when the soundtrack is blasting. Also you’ll notice some surround use during the earthquake scenes, but not much. The rest of the audio is focused on dialogue, which sounds great, no problems at all.

Supplements: What are the extras?

On this disc you’ll find the theatrical trailer and a short production featurette.

Disc Scores