DVD Review: Big Time Movie / Rags

There are milestones that let a TV band know how truly successful they’ve become. The first marker can be as simple as releasing an album of their music. A more bold step is performing to a paying audience instead of another freebie shopping mall concert. The ultimate sign that a TV band has made it is when the producers sit down with the folks controlling the Beatles catalog. The music of Paul McCartney and John Lennon comes with a steep price tag for TV performances. American Idol waited a long time before they opened the checkbook to secure the Fab Four’s tunes for their contestants. The cost goes even higher when you license the songs to be sold on an album and DVDs of the show. No producer is going to risk the Beatles on a TV band that’s not mega-hot. Big Time Rush’s Big Time Movie truly is big time with five Beatles tunes performed by Carlos, James, Logan and Kendall. Big Time Movie / Rags doubles up Big Time Rush’s film with a reworking of Cinderella.

Big Time Movie opens with a Dr. Evil character threatening a princess. She’s in need of big time help. She gets it along with Big Time Rush singing, “Help.” They rush to her on by driving a motorcycle, racing a sports car and skydiving. Their cover of the Beatle’s movie theme sounds like the one HH Gregg is currently using in their ads. They don’t try to mess too much with the songs. The quartet save the princess, but it’s all for naught since it’s all just Carlos’ dream. But the secret agent dream turns real when they arrive in London for the first stop of their first world tour. Kendall’s backpack gets swapped with an identical one. This leads them to getting caught up in international intrigue. They get further entangled in the espionage web when they help Penny Lane (Emma Lahana) locate her missing MI6 agent dad. If that wasn’t exciting enough, they still have to sing four more Beatles song..

The film was directed by the legendary Savage Steve Holland. Big Time Rush are lucky to have the man who called the shots on Better Off Dead… and One Crazy Summer making their Big Time Movie. The film is barely over an hour long yet Savage keeps the pacing frantic enough to feel like it’s still a half hour episode. The movie follows the time honored tradition of sitcom stars going to Europe without flying across the Atlantic. The band only gets as far as Vancouver. The English flavor is augmented by stock footage from London. At least they were able to afford the Beatles tunes. Would have been weird if they’d only sung the hits of Peter and Gordon. Big Time Rush has hit the big time thanks to Big Time Movie.

Rags is a musical reworking of Cinderella with a guy cleaning the floors needing the help of a fairy godmother. In this case Charlie Prince (Max Schneider) is a musician who needs a break, but his jerk stepfather and stepbrothers are keeping him down. His only escape is being the janitor at a recording studio. At night he plays with the equipment to make his own music. This is almost like the Kid Rock story. He has a chance encounter with pop star Kadee (Keke Palmer). Can the mop guy make music with her? This is an 88 minute movie and not merely an extended episode of a hit series. The songs are peppy enough to make it seem as long as the shorter Big Time Movie.

The video is 1.78:1 letterboxed on full frame. Both films look fine without an debris on the image. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. Both films are mixed so the musical numbers don’t overwhelm the dialogue. The movies are Closed Captioned.

There are no bonus features.

Big Time Movie / Rags is a musical double feature that gives us The Beatles music and a twist Cinderella. Both films do well with their tween intended audiences.

Nickelodeon presents Big Time Movie / Rags. Directed by: Savage Steve Holland and Billie Woodruff. Starring: Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena, Logan Henderson, Keke Palmer, Max Schneider and Nick Cannon. Boxset Contents: Two Features on 1 DVD. Rating: Unrated. Released: August 28, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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