Johnny Be Good / Youngblood Bud Smith / Peter Markle

MGM has paired these two movies because of their sports themes and their casts of ’80s brat pack heartthrobs. But there’s another reason to link them: they’re terrible. Anthony Michael Hall headlines Johnny Be Good, improbably cast as a high school football hero. He’s in love with the gorgeous Uma Thurman, best friends with the sycophantic Robert Downey Jr. and pursued by practically every college in America for his amazing sports prowess. The main issue of the movie is the unscrupulous measures to which recruiters will go to sign their star players (and the players will go to get good deals) but Hall’s character is so obnoxious and smug that we don’t particularly mind if his soul is in peril. There are yocks milked from flamboyant Southern universities putting on big shows for their athletes but they’re never exactly convincing or even slightly funny. The film is a total nonentity but I’d rather sit through it ten times than ever endure disc-mate Youngblood ever again. Rob Lowe is the farm boy who gets signed to a Canadian semi-pro hockey team with the hopes of becoming a star. We, in turn, watch the film hoping to get a credible scene. Our hopes are dashed. Of course he dates the coach’s rebellious daughter (Cynthia Gibb), of course he struggles, of course he nearly doesn’t make it only to show up for the final victory. Though the film is a compendium of every underdog sports movie ever made, it’s somehow more awful than all of them put together — the attempts at witty banter are feeble, the motions towards drama are phoney and the efforts at poignancy are cringe-inducing. You start the movie laughing at the camp and end up climbing the walls, praying for deliverance. Forget this disc and buy something decent. (MGM)