25th May2017

‘Pitching Tents’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Booboo Stewart, Jonathan Lipnicki, Richard Riehle, Jim Norton, Michael Grant, Eric Allan Kramer | Written by Rob A. Fox, Jayme Petrille | Directed by Jacob Cooney


If you have ever taken the time to listen to our podcast you will have figured out that I am a big fan of Kevin Smith, John Hughes, Cameron Crowe-style, dialogue heavy story driven movies. Throw one of those coming of age end of summer type movies and I’ll eat them up like a bowl of Shreddies (other cereals are available I just happen to be eating a bowl as I write this).

Pitching Tents is exactly this type of movie. Its 1984 its the end of the school year and Danny (Micheal Grant) has very little clue what he is going to do with his life past high school. Before he has to really worry about any of that he is having one last weekend at Trout Camp with his buddies. However, before his weekend can really begi,n he is cornered by over zealous guidance counselor Mr. Mulligan (Jim Norton) who has pretty much guaranteed Danny a place at a good college. Obviously though things are never that simple because Danny’s dad (Eric Allan Kramer) has gone to the liberty of securing him a job at the local factory.

Torn between his passion for art and his desire to please his father, Danny has a tough life choice ahead of him. Of course that can wait because a weekend of smoking weed, contemplating life, trying to get laid lies ahead of Danny and his closest friends. You know standard Dazed and Confused territory.

You could argue that there is not really anything original in Pitching Tents and you would right, we have seen these movies before and often done better. However I personally felt the tug of war between Danny, his father and the Counselor is an interesting spin on the teen “coming of age” drama. Add to this the supporting cast of friends all hugely believable and relate-able with good turns from Disney alumni BooBoo Stewart (Descendants) as Todd and everyone’s favorite child star Jonathan Lipnicki (who is all grown up nowadays) as Scott. Then there is the final third of the movie in which Danny is to make his choice and the movie shows a level of maturity rarely seen in this type of flick. Props to director Jacob Cooney on this count.

Pitching Tents is a recommend if these movies take your fancy, I know they are not for everyone but personally it ticked a lot of my boxes, and its always good to see what Lipnicki is doing these days. Oh, and then there’s the soundtrack – a typical 80s movie soundtrack – but hey who doesn’t love that!


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