|Runtime||1 Hour 2 Minutes|
|Release date||July 2007|
|School or Company||Red Flag Movie Productions©|
|Director(s)||Matthew S. Robinson|
|Film Editing||Matthew S. Robinson|
| Watch the movie|
A group of suburban teens in the greater Cincinnati area have just graduated high school and are preparing for one final summer of fun before heading off to college. But when a mutual friend of the general school population named Clayton is kidnapped by a suburban gang called The Tangerines who all dress in orange, the different social cliques band together to rescue him.
While the direct plot of the film is in a sense a showdown/rescue mission the bulk of the film actually takes place with preparation for the final showdown between the teens and the Tangerines. While assembling a gang to counter the Tangerines Matthew tries to assert himself as the main character and thus the leader of the gang. However the students reject Matthew as their leader, citing his weak persona. Matthew is then replaced as the main character by Jacob an all star athlete whom everyone in the school respects and admires. A sub-plot is then created that involves Matthew trying to regain his status of main character of the movie, and leader of the gang.
There are various other sub-plots in the film which are loosely connected to the final showdown and the attempt to rescue Clayton. Including a traitor amongst the ranks of the suburban teens, mistaken identity ranging including faulty racial identification and a bromance falling apart. Another notable sub-plot involves a suburban teen named Jesse who becomes chairman of the Corn Syrup Board of America and uses his new found power for corrupt means.
The film ends with a nerf and super soaker shoot out between the rival gangs with Matthew eventually being motivated by a rendition of the song The Final Countdown defeating the leader of The Tangerines and freeing his kidnapped friend. This after help from a reformed Jesse.
Cast and Major Characters Edit
All characters in the film used the same first name as the actors they played. Since the movie was based off episodic scripts that featured the real student population of Wyoming High School.
- Matthew Robinson The main character of the film who is at one point ousted from his role as main character. Matthew is at times oblivious of his own short comings and at times shows signs of social awkwardness. While Matthew is not portrayed as an idiot he often comes across throughout the film as inept. Still despite all this Matthew tries to assert himself as a leader though at times it appears he is more concerned with proving himself to others than rescuing Clayton. Matthew like many of the characters in the film has the ability to break the fourth wall.
- Gabe is Matthew's cousin. Gabe is hyperactive, paranoid (though all his paranoia in the film is later justified) and at times mean to his friends and family, in particular Matthew. He also has an obsession with rap culture and shaving his pubic hairs. According to Gabe the shaving of pubic hair offers some sort of mental/physical rejuvenation, though this claim is never validated.
- Clayton is the friend of everyone in the school. So when he is kidnapped by the Tangerines the entire school is willing to help save him. Clayton while the center focus in the film actually only appears in one scene of the movie.
- Louis The leader of the antagonistic Tangerines. Louis orchestrates the kidnapping of Clayton in order to lure Matthew Robinson into a trap and humiliate him.
- Jacob A star athlete who replaces Matthew as the main character of the movie but later relinquishes the responsibility to play pro football for the Bismarck Biscuits.
- Alex One of the leaders of the notorious Tangerines. Alex appears at multiple times throughout the film in unexplained ways. For example before his character is formally introduced he tries to steal a painting from Matthew's home. Alex at times makes homoerotic comments about Matthew and members of his own gang.
- Taylor The younger sister of Gabe, Taylor is one of the few to first suspect there is a traitor amongst the group. Taylor however generates a personal vendetta against the Tangerines after she is abandoned by one of her friends and is shot with nerf guns by leaders of the Tangerines.
- KayodeThe traitor of the group, while people like Gabe and Taylor suspect Kayo of being a Benedict Arnold it is Jacob who actually finds evidence of this. No reason is ever given by Kayo as to why he betrays the group. Kayo is eventually shot with a nerf bullet by Katherine which causes devastating effects on his body and mind.
- Jesse Jesse after learning that one of his classmates Elizabeth can bribe teachers with her homemade pastries uses them to become head of the corn syrup board of America. The job gives him unchecked power which he at first plans to use for corrupt means until he has a last minute change of heart and aides in the rescuing of Clayton.
- Jordan The brother of Matthew, Jordan is the only voice of true reason in the movie. Jordan urges Matthew and company to alert the police about Clayton's kidnapping and also refuses to get directly involved in the stupidity of the collective group.
- Chris One of Clayton's best friends who is in the car when Clayton is kidnapped. Chris however becomes sidetracked from the mission after a heated argument with his friend Zac over who is better: Kratos or Master Chief.
- Sam Is one of the members of the Tangerines. She has anger issues and is generally irked by Matthew and his friends. Sam also orchestrates sending Jacob away to North Dakota.
- Katherine Due to an unexplained accident believes she is African-American, she later helps rescue Clayton but is shot by a nerf bullet.
- David While at first uninvolved with the situations of the movie David eventually becomes the catalyst for the Tangerine's overall defeat after singing "The Final Countdown" to inspire Matthew
- Jon A member of the Tangerines who at the end of the film becomes a Hebrew rapper named "J.Krine"
- Justine A waitress who mistakes Matthew for Don Cheadle and tries to inspire him and is oblivious of her failure to do so.
Pre-Production began in April of 2007. People had been asking for an "Adventures of Matthew Robinson" movie for several years. The original series of episodic scripts ran from 2002-2005 the movie was always deemed a possibility and in 2007 it was finally put in motion to be created. Several people outside of Matthew Robinson had a hand in forming the story behind the film. Robinson in April passed out flyers to have people vote on several overall storylines.
The proposed storlyines that did not receive enough votes to become the plot of the film included a plot on the same strain of "Harold and Kumar" in which a group of friends attempted to reach Dayton, Ohio for a big party. Another idea pitched was for a farce surrounding the event of senior prom. The script was completed in May 2007 and the film was shot during May through early July. The biggest complication with the film was scheduling conflicts of the actors. Working with a cast of over 40 unpaid actors proved to be difficult and delayed shooting by several weeks.
Despite the low grade feel created by the camera most of the movie was not improved, as some critics suggested. The script was written by Matthew to play to the acting/personality strengths of each member. However Gabe Rousseau improved in several scenes most notably his lines during the rap battle. Also most of the scene where Molly, Taylor and Martel talk about celebrity crushes is improvised.
Almost all of the scenes for the film were shot in Wyoming, Ohio a suburb right outside of Cincinnati. Only photos featuring David Sanborn singing The Final Countdown and the fake legal disclaimer by Taron Jordan were shot outside of Wyoming, Ohio.
Very few establishing shots were actually taken, most establishing shots were stills of locations including the real Wyoming High School taken from the internet. The scene featuring the Wyoming library for example uses a still image of the New York City public library. The opening sequence of the film was made to resemble the style of the episodic scripts of The Adventures of Matthew Robinson and was flash animated. The film was not fully edited until one day before the premiere.
"The Adventures of Matthew Robinson: The Movie" was marketed more towards the community of Wyoming, Ohio with some marketing aimed towards the city of Cincinnati and eventually the United States.
The premiere was promoted through facebook and PWSforums. Before the film was released the opening credits sequence and two scenes from the film were previewed on facebook and youtube. Official movie posters were also displayed around the city of Wyoming.
Release and Reception Edit
On Friday July 20th, 2007 "The Adventures of Matthew Robinson: The Movie" was premiered at Wyoming High School. Attendance was considered fairly large with over one hundred people.
DVD copies of the film were made, but due to use of copyrighted material in the movie could not be legally sold. Thus all copies of the DVD which included a blooper reel were given out for free the very next week. At this time over 100 copies have been given out.
The film was eventually put online to download for those who missed the premiere and in under a year was downloaded over 2,000 times. The film was also uploaded to youtube where it received over a 1,000 views. The youtube release was a year after the original premiere of the film. It also featured video commentary from Matthew Robinson himself. Robinson plans to release audio commentary on both "The Adventures of Matthew Robinson: The Movie" and its sequel for a special 10th anniversary DVD pack for The Adventures of Matthew Robinson.
Critical reception for the film was mostly positive. Most reviews were favorable towards the entertainment factor of the film. Positive reviews usually highlighted the writing and balance of the large cast. Also some critics praised the film for incorporating the audience into local inside jokes. Certain characters also received positive marks in particular Jesse, Gabe, Jacob, Alex and Taylor. Certain quotes from the film also became inside jokes within the Wyoming community. One favorable review stated "Its pretty cool how easily Matthew was able to incorporate a casual viewer into the world of these students. I almost felt like I had gone to school with them."
Triple Threat Produx reviewed the film and had mixed thoughts about it. They felt that the movie has good elements, but may have benefited from it actually being a set of chronicles joined together instead of a movie, and felt it did not need to be an hour long. They however complimented the music selection and opening scenes, and particular jokes in the film that parodied and referenced pop culture. They also felt that the film should be remade once Matthew had a more respectable budget and directing skills.
Negative reviews and even some overall positive critiques of the film usually criticized the sound, lighting and cinematography which one review called "Amateurish". One critic felt that all the film's sub plots were distracting.
Differences and similarities between series and movie Edit
The Adventures of Matthew Robinson episodic scripts ran for about 4 years. Generally one page was episode and during that time over 1,050 episodes were produced. About four short lived spin off series were created by other authors most notably The Adventures of Gabe Rousseau created by Gabe who appears in the movie. Also a short lived spin off by Matthew Robinson was at one point created called The Adventures of Matthew Robinson: Wyoming High School Edition a pseudo prequel to The Adventures of Matthew Robinson.
Unlike in the series which focused on Matthew and his friends in college at various universities the movie took place in high school, this choice was made simply because all of the actors in the film were in high school. The series unlike the movie also features no adults, this was done in order to create an atmosphere that these student's action were unchecked by logic.
The original series was known for putting the audience inside the thoughts of the major characters. The movie never uses this technique which in the series was used to create several humorous conflicts.
Several prominent characters of the series do not appear in the film. Blake was a character usually involved in unsanitary gross out humor and hamster sacrifices. Also despite almost all of the characters attending different colleges in the series most sagas began in Blake's dorm or in taco bell. Neither which appear in the film. There was originally a scene written to take place in a Taco Bell parking lot, but it was scrapped early in production. Another character not in the movie is Jeff who is merely mentioned in the film as a traitor to the collective group for leaving early for college. The most notably missing character is Justin Mariol whose character in the series appeared in almost every saga. Justin however would later appear in the sequel. Also other characters were modified and or toned down for the film.
Despite all the characters in the film having attended high school in the series, the original series rarely ever featured Wyoming, Ohio as a location.
The film's sexual and violent humor was also toned down. In the original adventures characters were known to be killed and then return the next saga, sometimes with explanation sometimes without. The sexual humor was also made more appropriate for a general audience and for the comfort of the actors. Robinson was not willing to direct his actors in sexually inappropriate scenes.
The original Tangerines gang was featured in a saga that took place in Los Angeles where Gabe visited his hometown. The Tangerines like in the movie were a parody of the clothing identification of L.A. gangs. Alex, Louis, Sam, Cole, Guerin, Jesslyn, Mikie, Nathan, Jon and Kayo were never a part of the gang as in the series they were protagonists. Kayo also despite his betrayal in the film never had those characteristics in the series.
In both the original series and the movie the characters have the ability to break the fourth wall. However unlike in the series nobody ever interacts with a narrator. The narrator also never appears in the movie, as the narrator was depicted as an actual separate all knowing entity in the original series.
The movie did stay true however to much of the spirit of the series. Like in the series all of the characters except a select few are generally portrayed as idiotic, inept or oblivious. In the film everyone in the film except Jordan and Connor are depicted as such. There are also a few small homages paid to the original series like David's singing of The Final Countdown being able to inspire people to do great things. Also Clayton at the end of the film is said to live in Maine with a pet iguana. While Clyton's character in the series never resides in Maine he does own a pet iguana named Larry who is eaten by a hungry Blake. When a few dedicated fans did ask about some of the changes to characters Robinson explained that it was due to the film being a prequel.
- While this film was marketed as the first movie of The Adventures of Matthew Robinson there were actually three movies released previously, but in script form only.
- This was the first film to debut the Red Flag Movie Productions© logo.
- A video displaying an ad for the short lived NBC reboot show Bionic Woman can be seen in the background during the restaurant scene.
- During the meeting of the Tangerines Sam refers to Matthew's laugh as sounding like a donkey's on crack. This is an actually something Robinson was commonly teased about.
- The image of Connor being confused is reused in the sequel and other short film projects by Matthew Robinson.
- While shooting Katherine's scene where she shoots Kayo she was directed to say the word "negro". Katherine was a bit uncomfortable with using the word, but eventually did the scene however accidentally said the word "n*gger." Katherine was unaware of her mistake, Robinson never informed her of the error and instead cut out part of the word in editing. In the film Katherine says "Ni" and then "a, please." with the rest of the word being silenced out.
- You can see Robinson's camera bag during the celebrity crush scene.
- The ambush during the celebrity crush scene was originally meant to be a "Platoon" spoof scene, that would even feature the score from the original film. Robinson later removed the music and instead slowed down the audio.
- To avoid offending audiences three cases in which the word "douchebag" was used was removed from the film. However the facebook video preview of the film used for marketing remains uncensored and displays Gabe using the offensive term.
- Originally Clayton's rescue scene was going to be shot, followed by another scene with Clayton celebrating with friends at Gabe's house that would end by abruptly cutting to black in order to spoof the series finale of the HBO series "The Sopranos" however Clayton was unavailable to shoot during the day for most of the summer and the scene was cut.
- While never explained Guerin and Jesslyn are brother and sister.
- In the restaurant scene David is given a bill for two drinks that says he owes fifty-seven dollars. Justine who played the waitress wrote the bill and was told to write up a ridiculous bill. The script originally had the bill written as twenty dollars.
A sequel was announced for the film in January of 2008. The sequel was to focus more on select character and also stay more true to those character's original personas from the series, while still staying true to the previous movie. The movie was called The Adventures of Matthew Robinson 2: Ohio vs. California Barbed Wire Death Match.