When I saw the title of the movie and the main crew (Sprouse twins) I thought: "It's another teen movie, with two boys trying to solve a mystery, on Scooby Doo style". Yeah, more or less like this, but in some cases I made a mistake. "Adventures in Appletown" or "The Kings of Appletown" as it is know, it's a good movie of mystery, action and adventure.The cousins Will and Clay are very close, but it's clearly seen that Clay have troubles to follow his cousin. They are training to participate of a competition to "hold on the breath", on the local fair. But the boy can't hold the breath for a long time, even with so many trainings. In a good open scene, the director Robert Moresco try to create a connection between the characters and the public. Sequence by sequence we know the life on the small town of Appletown and his residents, and more important, the relation between the two boys. Unfortunately, the director do not tried create a screenplay where the public could discover the personality of the boys. At the first scene we can see the difference. This is a good and a bad thing. The public these days are very accustomed to a "compact screenplay" and have lazy to think. Will it's determined, courage, clever and always take the lead. Clay it's fearful, unsafe and has problems to trust himself. As he says: "I'm not good in nothing", while his cousin can do many things. Suddenly they see themselves in a criminal event occurred on amusement park. A murder occurrence followed by theft. Now as witness, the boys have to choose: tell or not. This is the central thing on the movie. Beyond of that, we know the life of Will and his aunt that constantly try to do Will paint the fence (I remember Tom Sawyer at this sequence – in fact, all the story remember the tale of Mark Twain). The boys decide to solve the mystery and save an innocent. What is more interesting on this film is the relation between Will and Clay. They help each other and Will, even that more clever and strong than his cousin, never give up of him. It's a good movie for a Saturday night and has to pay attention because the mystery is very complex and the resolution can be discovered in the dialogues. The sequence on the Coach's house is very tense and his mom is very scary (the rate gave a PG - and with reason). It's not a movie with complex special effects. No, it's a simple movie about friendship, loyalty and courage to do the right thing. The love interest of Will is other point. Normally on teen movies, the love interest is part of the screenplay but here, it's put on second place. We know he likes her, but this is not exactly a important thing and the movie do not end with a kiss (as normally happen). Congratulations for the director. "Adventures in Appletown" it's still a teenager film, but different from the major movies of this genre. And that was what made me like this film!
Adventures in Appletown
Adventure / Comedy / Crime / Mystery
Adventures in Appletown
Adventure / Comedy / Crime / Mystery
Keywords: coming of agefalsely accused
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Will and Clayton witness a murder, but out of fear decide not to tell anyone. They and their friend Betsy, whose father has been wrongfully accused of the crime, go on a journey to find the real killer, and at the same time redeem themselves.
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A good movie for a Saturday night
Not bad at all. A good family movie.
The Sprouse twins - a little bit older, a little bit pudgier and less cute than in their Disney days - star in this movie as two cousins. One brother has had his hair dyed dark while the other remains blond, all the better to look like they're related but not actual siblings. One twin's character, Will, is brash and self confident, while the other cousin, Clayton, is dorky and lacking confidence. You may get a feeling of deja vu right from the early minutes of this movie. That's because this movie, although set in the present day, borrows heavily, very heavily in fact, on themes and scenarios found in Mark Twain's 'Tom Sawyer'. This is not a criticism however. The movie doesn't try to hide its source material and some of the references are actually done quite cleverly. For example, one of the twins lives with his Aunt Birdie (not Aunt Polly) who is always on his back about painting the front fence..... Similarly, there is a character similar to Becky Thatcher named Betty who has a crush on the more confident cousin and vice-versa - even though the two appear to be several years apart in age. And there is also a sinister character obviously based on Injun Joe who coaches the school football team and is named is ... wait for it... Coach Joe. A river also features heavily in the story, though I'm pretty sure it's not the Mississippi. As I said despite its roots in Mark Twain, this is all set in the present day. The plot has to do with the girl character's father being framed for a murder he didn't commit. I won't tell you who really done it! You can probably guess. There is also some stolen gold dollars that the brothers, whoops cousins... are trying to find in order to prove who the real murderer is. Instead of languidly sailing down the river on a raft, these boys race around on a jet ski. As a matter of fact, they seem to have access to a number of cool modes of transport, although who these items actually belong to or how the boys came to possess them isn't explained. Anyway that's basically the plot. The movie is shot beautifully and the scenery is picturesque. The acting is good from all concerned and while it starts off slowly, the movie becomes quite exciting at the end. We all know how it's going to end up of course, but it's fun getting there. My family were a bit restless in the first half of this movie, but once the action heated up their eyes were glued to the screen. It's not Tom Sawyer, but this movie is definitely quite okay.
This Aussie film is a very under-average remake on the Tom Sawyer theme of a child who sees a murder, but is afraid to report it, until the murderer comes after him.
The only other review here is by an Australian who obviously worships the twins who star in the movie, but to those of us not from Downunder, their talents are nothing to write home about. If you want to see truly good acting by children, then watch To kill A Mockingbird, or even The Goonies, and Matilda. The kids in Appletown come across like they are reading their lines from the phone book and simply lack charm. The plot is very average--something kids might enjoy, but there is nothing here for grown-ups. A good children's film has enough charm and good writing to amuse adults as well as children. Shrek is a good example of a movie that was just as entertaining for the adults who take the children to the movie as for the children they are taking. A good kid's movie also teaches the viewing children a valuable life lesson, and this movie doesn't do that either. Again, films such as To Kill A Mockingbird do that, as does Second Hand Lions, another outstanding film. To just pop in a DVD to entertain the kids, it's okay, but don't waste your time.