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Published by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. CLICK FOR NEWSPAPER DELIVERY
Saturday, October 6, 2001

Max Keeble is an 8/10ths'-scale Ferris Bueller

Unflappable hero takes bullies in stride and prevails

Walt Disney Pictures
Zena Grey (from left), Alex D. Linz and Josh Peck are featured in Walt Disney Pictures’ ‘Max Keeble’s Big Move.’
If Ferris Bueller were a few feet shorter and in middle school instead of high school, his name would be Max Keeble.
   For Disney's new film "Max Keeble's Big Move," think Ferris and size up Max.
   Keeble and his self-titled fattitude ditches school with his best friend and his girlfriend and makes a fool out of the blundering principal, and in the process, becomes an idol of the under-appreciated student body. The only thing that's missing is singing "Twist and Shout" in a parade, but don't worry, there is a marching band scene.
   Even if it is a pint-sized carbon copy, at least "Keeble" maintains the young-at-heart demeanor and inserts 12-year-old sensibilities.
   "I had a new look," Keeble boasts before his first day of middle school. "I was a baller - a shot caller."
Walt Disney Pictures
Brooke Anne Smith (left) and Myra add to the young cast of ‘Max Keeble’s Big Move.’

   But before the first day is out, Keeble (Alex D. Linz) has two schoolyard bullies and an evil ice cream man after him, and to magnify the terror, his parents tell him they're moving in a week. With nothing to lose, Keeble devises a plan to get back at everyone and maintain his and his friends' dignity.
   Keeble always makes the best of a situation and is an ideal role model for kids. When a bully drags him through a mud puddle and a sawdust pit and tosses him into a rancid trash bin on Day One of school, Keeble showers off in the sprinklers, dries off with a leaf blower and treks forward.
   The movie is strongest in its characters, the baddies in particular. Bully No. 1 is Dobbs (Orlando Brown), a former Internet millionaire who lost all his money and is now rebuilding his portfolio at the age of 12 by stealing others kids' lunch money.
   Bully No. 2 is McGinty (Noel Fisher), who beats up a kid each day and ceremonially announces his victims by writing their names on his T-shirts in permanent marker.

Pop culture and media critic Ricardo Baca can be reached at 886-3688 or by e-mail at

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