USCAF: The Comebacks Special Preview
by Alex Billington
March 4, 2007
The Comebacks is an upcoming sports comedy from Fox Atomic about a coach who's become the worst coach ever for every sport ever, and now he's putting together a football team. At the US Comedy Arts Festival, director Tom Brady (no, not the football player) and actor David Koechner (aka Champ Kind from Anchorman or Todd Packer from The Office) presented and premiered a select 10 minutes of the film for a small crowd packed into the theater in Aspen, Colorado. Not only was it a chance to see a few select clips, but Koechner gave a hilarious stand-up comic introduction and provided hilarious quips throughout. Here's just a few of the highlights from the hour long presentation.
In addition to the three individuals involved in the film above, Fox Atomic President Debbie Liebling was in attendance, checking out the early response to the film.
During Koechner's introduction, he jokingly stated that the musical stage play version would be opening in conjunction with the film's release, stating he hoped it was "ok" from Debbie (the Fox Atomic President) that he announce that. Director Tom Brady and Koechner then acted out a quick scene from the musical version, between the coach and his "smokin' hot 17 year old daughter," played by Brady.
The film clips: I can't remember them scene-by-scene, because there were quite a few and they were rather short and thrown together quickly, but I'll tell you some of the highlights that may shed a bit onto the story and what you can expect in the movie.
The film is a farce / spoof on every sport and every last sports movie ever made. Just a couple that I saw mentioned or were mocked were: Radio, with a "retarded" kid named "ipod" running and tripping onto the water table; Invincible where the coach calls open tryouts and a Mark Wahlberg look-a-like comes up and gives a riveting speech about how all he wants to do is play football; Dodgeball where the coach has long shaggy hair and states that if you can dodge a linebacker, you can dodge a wrench.
Another scene they showed was where some team members were chatting in the locker room and it broke out into a complete music video with scantily clad cheerleaders for Journey's "Small Town Girl". The football team that he puts together consists of athletes from all kinds of other sports, where most of the other scenes that make fun of sports come from (in order to cover every sport). One of them is a girl from India who plays soccer, another is a baseball player, another is a basketball player - you get the idea. There were a couple of "inspirational speech" scenes where coach tells them to take a knee and they crowd around and listen to him before a game. The best of which was one where his speech came from words he saw around the room, like using names of cleaning detergent bottles to formulate sentences.
The ending Q&A was just as funny, with Koechner getting the audience to laugh nearly every question. A couple of the questions were fielded to director Tom Brady, where his responses were that the idea behind it is that it's really just an inspirational sports story but twisted and inverted. He also said that they just really tried to go out and make the ultimate sports comedy, a noble attempt I must say. Also in the marketing department there will be some special scenes that they created solely for the internet and the likes of MySpace, so stay tuned on YouTube and MySpace for those. Heck, maybe even this 10 minute clips reel will be online in just a few days anyway!
From L to R: Director Tom Brady, actor David Koechner, and a producer of the film.
Overall my feeling is that the strength of The Comebacks is certainly David Koechner but it could be nothing more than a bland and terrible spoof movie like Date Movie or Scary Movie. The scenes I did see had quite a few laughs but bordered on the edge of being too cheesy. And unfortunately not enough was shown to get a grasp on the broader story and whether the director's style, editing, and other aspects would be as good as the comedy. I'm looking forward to it and will say I'll be interested in catching it once it comes out, but I'll still be skeptical. It releases nationwide on August 24th.
I'll leave you with this last great quote from Koechner while answering a question; "it has been my Apocalypse Now."
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