Welcome readers to the first (and hopefully not last) installment of “The Everyview Correspondent Master Debate,” which was previously announced last week. The debated topics this week are two live-action Disney pictures, 1994’s “Blank Check” and 1996’s “First Kid.”
“Blank Check” tells the story of Preston Waters, a lonely kid whose dreams of high finance are fulfilled when a burglar runs over his bike and gives him a blank check to cover the damages. When he discovers Preston wrote the check for a million dollars, the burglar and his associates try to get their money back, only to discover that Preston (and his alias “Mr. Macintosh) isn’t the “blank” slate they had assumed he would be. Arguing on behalf of the film is Andrew Majors.
“First Kid” is the tale of Sam Simms, a goofy but lovable Secret Service Agent whose dreams of landing a gig in the White House finally come true…when he’s assigned to protect the President’s bratty teenage son Luke. Though initially reluctant of his new assignment, Simms forms an unbreakable bond with young Luke and grows to find that maybe, just maybe, that dream job was right in front of him the all along. Making a case for this film is Clay Cunningham.
At the end there will be a poll where you, the reader, can decide who made the better argument and which is the better film. Results will officially be tallied one week from when the arguments were posted.
So read up, and make your voice heard. And don’t be afraid to get your friends involved as well. Let’s all enjoy the wonders of democracy together.
Argument by: Andrew Majors
Blank Check is a film with no equal.
The story is simple. A kid is given a check in haste that, you guessed it, happens to be blank. The premise is simple. The execution of this story is second to none.
The main character, Preston, shows a trait that is lost in today’s live-action children’s movies: BALLS. He takes this blank check, and he writes it for ONE MILLION DOLLARS. He’s not greedy. He just wants a sum that will both repair his destroyed bicycle, and leave him with about $999,965 dollars in damages. Had he been greedy, he could have hired a lawyer and walked away with at least quintuple that sum!
The movie is just as relevant today as it was in 1994 ( A year in which is was possibly overshadowed by other great films like The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, and Pulp Fiction), and the real stand-out performance is given by Brian Bonsall as Preston. Older audiences might recognize him from Family Ties, (as the adorable Andy Keaton) He’s a kid and he handles his new found fortune with great maturity, choosing not to blow his money on worthless trinkets, but choosing to invest in his local economy by purchasing a home. Mature beyond his years, that kid. Bonsall delivers the performance of a lifetime,thrusting himself into a role so demanding and so emotionally draining, that even Daniel Day Lewis must have been impressed.
While First Kid can boast an all-star cast that Blank Check can not (Sinbad and Zachary Ty Bryan), Blank Check thrives off of a lesser-known cast, and achieves a sense of realism First Kid just can not. A real standout performance from a successful musician Tone Loc gives the film all the star power it needs. And while we’re at it, give me Tone Loc over Sinbad any day. Loc provides a performance obviously channeled from the greats like Brando and Nicholson, while Mr. Bad obviously is just playing for laughs, making actors like Jimmy Fallon look award-worthy.
I believe Disney really missed the boat by never cashing in, and making this a franchise. A world with three High School Musical’s, and one Blank Check? This isn’t a world I want to live in.
If you like intimate character studies, and love to laugh, Blank Check is a must-see. If you like seeing a young boys bare ass, maybe check out First Kid.
Argument by: Clay Cunningham
The fact this debate needs to exist is silly, but since it does, I will state what we already know: “First Kid” is a vastly superior picture.
It’s better because of the acting. Sinbad and Brock Pierce have undeniable chemistry as Sam and Luke, the secret-service agent and President’s son who have no choice but to get along with each other. To see the metamorphosis of their relationship from contempt to friendship is beautiful.
The stand-out performance is by Zachary Ty Bryant. FINALLY freed from the shackles of his Brad Taylor persona, ZTB gets to sink his teeth into the role of Rob, the school bully and knocks it out of the park. His performance will chill you right to the bone.
It’s better because of its prophetic view on race relations. Not only is the main character black, but so is the head of the Secret Service. It was great that in 1996 we got to see a multi-racial comradery in the White House. Would the Obama election have happened without this film? Not saying yes, but definitely not saying no.
Conversely, who’s the primary black character in “Blank Check?” A thief…named Juice. Nice.
It’s better because it’s not ridiculous in its execution. Are you telling me that young Preston could buy a lavish house, a go-cart track, a water slide and a shitload of other marvels and spend a mere $999,675? Can you imagine if everyone were to overspend this drastically? That could create a global economic crisis. Thank God that could never happen in real life, right?
Finally, it comes down to the message these movies leave for their impressionable young viewers. They each have the noble set-up of kids struggling to fit in, and both have an “everything will be ok if you just….” message. Here’s how each movie fills in the blank:
“First Kid”…believe in yourself
“Blank Check”…commit fraud and grand theft
Sure Preston stole from bad people, but so what? That little weasel would have stolen from a children’s charity and not given it a second though. Is it any wonder the movies star Brian Bonsall is currently a fugitive from the law? I don’t think so.
I’m not saying my opponent is a crumbum. His taste in movies says more than words ever could. If you like viable social behavior, or just better filmmaking, make the right choice. Vote “First Kid.”
Polls are close, sorry but you missed out. Check out the results here.