Side Out (1990) Poster

(1990)

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10/10
Great Movie!
mpavlic30 May 2007
How can anyone say this is not a great movie? Sure, you know what's going to happen, and it's lame, and silly, but so what? There are plenty of songs you hear that you know how they're going to sound less than 20 seconds into it. Pro wrestling is fake, but it's not about that. This movie is fun. People who look into it, and try to analyze the movie are missing the point. It's not Citizen Kane, or Schindler's List. The point is, there's a time and a place for those movies. This movie isn't supposed to be that. It's thoughtless fun, an escape just like anything else. Had a bad day, wanna relax without putting ANY thought into anything, just watch this movie. It brings a smile to my face every time i watch it. Where else will you get a movie with a guy named Wiley, or get to hear Terry kaiser say "I'll even throw in a company car." Classic, simply classic cheese ball movie.
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10/10
great b-movie
karchad14 February 2005
If you lower your standards and go in there expecting a B-movie, this one is fabulous. First of all, the cast:Peter Horton, C. Thomas Howell (wow, he grew up), Terry Kiser (he's alive for this one!), lovely Courtney Thorne-Smith. Even Kathy Ireland shows up... This movie came out right around the time that I was getting serious about volleyball, so of course my gang and I simply LOVED it. Of course it is totally unrealistic: a guy from nowhere ends up playing in an AVP final in 2 weeks! I wish. Anyway, it's also great to see all the legends of the game: O'Bradovich, Sinjin, Randy, Hov, Dodd, many of whom I have since met in person, wow, it doesn't get better than this. Even if you don't like volleyball, there's a decent plot. If you're a B-movie fan, you can't skip this movie. If every movie must have a deep inner meaning and soul to it, or has to make a statement, by all means skip it.
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10/10
This Movie Made Me Believe in God
cthomashowellisgod7 July 2008
Seriously, if you want to learn the meaning of life, one man holds the answers - C. Thomas Howell.

His embodiment of Monroe Clark is Christ-like without ever being obvious - we see his divinity in the way he sympathizes with Zach Barnes' financial plight, giving him communion through his generous offer to play volleyball with him. No other living actor could have captured the holiness and generosity of this basketball player turned lawyer turned volleyball pro from Milwaukee with such nuance and yet, such gusto. Holding hands high with Barnes at the end he evoked that incredible sense of pride, pity, and ultimately, hilarity that one gets when one sees a retard so proud of his Special Olympics participation ribbon.

This movie is an absolute delight. Deserving of its place in the canon of all-time great works of art.
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2/10
a disgrace to real beach volleyball players
latz6618 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
As an avid beach volleyball player I found this movie to be an embarrassment to true players everywhere. C. Thomas Howell's character lacks a lot of the basic volleyball skills(especially setting) to make it believable. Randy Stoklos/Sinjin Smith the opponents in the final were one of the greatest volleyball teams in the world at that time however they were HORRIBLE actors and had too many lines (more than one was probably enough). The scene that topped it off was the ridiculously bad(and illegal) set that Howell's character made on match point to win the championship! I can understand making a point of an underdog coming out of nowhere to get to an AVP final but the manner in which it was done was a joke to all those players who work their butts off to be on the tour year in and year out.
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Best V-Ball Movie EVAR!
kiron-115 June 2004
This is one of the truly great volleyball movies of all time. Not that I can think of any other volleyball movies that were released. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it when I first saw it. Remember, this came out in 1990, so of course it may not be up to par with todays standards of movies, but the same could be said about the original Star Wars trilogy. This movie is what got me into volleyball back in the day (my high school years). I'd recommend it to anyone. In fact, it comes out on DVD in early July. It's at least worth the rent! I'd give it 9 out of 10 stars.
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4/10
Could have been excellent
SleeperVB25 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those movies that I came across on HBO one night and although I did not "Hate" the movie I did think it had the possibility to be much better.

The movie is basically about a businessman (Monroe) who takes up volleyball and eventually wins the final tournament to become the world champion. I admit it is kind of a weak storyline but not all respectable movies have great storylines.

My basic problem with the movie was the shot selection. To me, being a respectable volleyball player both indoors and in the sand, much of the action scenes brought laughter to me. It is almost as if this movie pretty much ruled out Hollywoods desire to create a good volleyball movie.

Basically, the movie is not horrible by any means but could have been much better with better direction (no offense to Peter Israelson). I just hope Hollywood will overlook this production and give the sport another chance on the big screen with the growing popularity.

Overall: 4/10
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3/10
Poor sports movie – the sport might be different in this one, but the same old clichés just keep on coming.
barnabyrudge25 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Down the years there have been some pretty good sporting movies – Grand Prix, Slap Shot, Rocky, Raging Bull, Chariots Of Fire, and Any Given Sunday spring to mind. One sport that film-makers haven't done to death is beach volleyball. It's not a sport I know much about (in England, where I live, it is not a widely played game), but clichéd and totally predictable hokum like "Side Out" hardly encourages the uninitiated to want to become fans of it. Perhaps the biggest issue I have with this movie is the way that it suggests an inexperienced kid could go from zero to hero in the beach volleyball rankings within the space of two weeks. You don't have to know ANYTHING about ANY sport to know that things like that simply don't happen. Becoming a champion at anything takes years of sweat, tears, dedication and sheer determination. "Side Out" is an insulting movie - to its sport, to sports generally, and to its audience.

Milwaukee law student Monroe Clark (C. Thomas Howell) comes to Los Angeles for the summer, where he is meant to be gaining some work experience with his wealthy Uncle Max (Terry Kiser). It isn't long before the cocksure Monroe starts sniffing around for the affections of sexy Samantha (Courtney Thorne-Smith). And it only takes him a little longer to make friends with Zack Barnes (Peter Horton), a faded beach volleyball player who had the talent to reach the top but never quite made it. As the boring paper-work piles up, Monroe becomes more and more interested in learning how to play beach volleyball… and he believes Zack is just the man to show him the ropes. Pretty soon, Zack's passion for the game is re-ignited, leading to him and Monroe becoming a two-man team who enter an AVP tournament. Will the old pro and the young pretender be able to battle their way to victory?

A quick summary of the plot synopsis is enough to confirm that "Side Out" is a formulaic, predictable sports drama of the most simple-minded kind. If you find yourself doubting at any point what the outcome of the movie will be, then you ain't seen many films of this kind! But it is not merely the predictability that spoils the film. For one thing, the people who made the movie are so much in love with California that they virtually paint it as paradise on earth, sugar-coating every facet of life in Los Angeles with embarrassingly over-the-top glitz and glamour. Another weakness is the performances – Howell's cocky youngster comes across as too smug and irritating to truly root for; Horton acts better from the neck down; Thorne-Smith is undone by a typically weak "pretty face" role; and Kiser still seems to think he's playing a corpse (as he did in the previous year's "Weekend At Bernie's"). Those knowledgeable about the sport might find some pleasure in spotting several real players in guest roles, and those who admire toned female bodies in tight bikinis will find sufficient eye candy to occupy their mind. But for everyone else, "Side Out" is a tiresome trip down a road travelled too often in cinematic terms – the sport might be different, but the clichés and the outcome are as obvious as ever!
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10/10
An Honest Review
generationofswine12 January 2020
Sooooo many people are giving this an instant classic status in the reviews that I think if Hollywood were smart (and we all know it's not) that they would invest in another Volleyball movie.

Don't worry, I don't think this is an instant classic.

But I do think it is a fun and entertaining B-movie. And I can see the volleyball thing. I grew up in a Podunk, backwater, destroyed by NAFTA, factory town in the Midwest and among kids...Volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee were pretty big. So was disc golf.

Volleyball was actually so big, we even had a bar designed around it... no BS, but you had to have something to play, right? All the Sandlots were occupied by children, football was too big and organized to be a go to pick up... Volleyball you only need 4 people, easy to round up.

So the whole thesis that there is a kid from the Midwest that didn't know how to play Volleyball... not buying it. I'll believe he's not used to the sand, that's about it.

But you know Hollywood. They have the impression that the Midwest is Chicago.... and idiots that can only recognize corn and the children that live in it.

Anyway, take movies like "Over the Top,"movies like "Aireborne" "Karate Kid" movies about the kid out of water that arrives in a new place and wins people over because of his skill at... whatever... and you have this.

Or at least you have half of it. The other half is an extended version of the Top Gun volleyball scene, with worse music.
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They Will Make Films About Anything.
tfrizzell6 August 2002
A film about beach volleyball players in California. Do I need to continue? A near total waste as second-rate actors C. Thomas Howell and Peter Horton compete in volleyball tournaments all summer. Howell is a law student who came to California for a summer job but ends up going after good-looking women and spiking volleyballs over the net instead. A really sophomoric film that feels like it was submitted by a group of dumb teenagers that had nothing else better to do. Some very attractive women in swimsuits are the only real attractions here. That is not near enough to make "Side Out" anything more than a long advertisement for its sport. 2 stars out of 5.
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10/10
If you do not like this movie then you are not a beach volleyball player
michiganguy2815 June 2005
This movie is perfect.. If you do not like this movie then you are not a beach volleyball player. This movie provides the viewer with everything needed for a great plot... I can watch this movie everyday and want to hit the beach. An instant classic......If you think this movie is not good, then you are not a volleyball player or failed to be any good...Peter Horton plays an excellent part of an aging classic player... The cast is made up of a lot of pro volleyball players as it should be. If i had anything bad to say about this movies is that its not 2 hours long. I would have liked to see more volleyball practicing between Horton and Howell as student and teacher... Over all movie is A+++++++....
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The Ref Is Blind
tedg17 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

Sometimes the only value or pleasure you can get out of a film is to speculate on how you can make it better.

Here is the old saw about a washed up athlete coming back and winning the championship. Naturally a love interest also has role in the business. Naturally, there is youngster to coach.

The discriminator this time around was, I suppose, buff male volleyball players. But everything is so uninspired it makes my head hurt.

However, this could have been a really good film because of the nature of the game. Every interesting filmmaker gets around to a sports film sooner of later. The `large team' sports are all about masses of people moving about, so when Oliver Stone gets involved, you get an interesting cinematic experience that has little to do with the game and everything to do with the choreography of movement.

Boxing is something else that has been explored well, starting with Chaplin 80 years ago and peaking (for now) with `Raging Bull' which explored many approaches to engaging us in sharing the ring. Stallone exploited that as well. In these films, the handling of the sport is the excuse for everything in these films, and a worthy reason for a visual outing.

Beach volleyball is an interesting, untapped opportunity. It is highly dimensional; the movement of the game involves people moving as individuals and small groups and in a way unencumbered by equipment and costumes. It has confrontation and collaboration. It can be sexual, at least superficially so. (Athletics and sex are contradictory.) In filmmaking terms, volleyball is cheap; all you need is a talented visual eye, some `athletic' cameramen and corresponding equipment and a clued in editor.

So why haven't we seen for volleyball something as exciting as `Blue Crush,' which was far more challenging logistically?

How would you approach this? Supposing you kept exactly the same script and actors, you might try adding two types of shots:

--As it is, the contest itself has no identity beyond showing the scoreboard. But remember how in `Hoosiers' and `Cool Runnings' the contest itself was developed as a character? Remember how in `Slap Shot' and the first `Rollerball' the contest was as much with this character as with the opponents? So we'd need some shots that do this by assembling visions of all the mechanisms which define the contest: the ads, the promoters, and (in sweet self-reference) the TeeVee industry. mise-en-scene.

--Far more challenging is to solve the problem of the eye at least as well as Scorsese did with `Bull,' something he borrowed from `Red Shoes.' We'd need two perspectives: one placed in the court and shifting between points of view and moving shots of the dynamics of the two players' strategic placement. After all, the idea is high speed chess to get the other folks where they do not want to be and exploit it. Unless we see the space, we can't relate to the game. The other type of shot is the ball, similarly ranging from on the ball (as a player of sorts) to dynamically tracking its trajectory. After all, the ball is incredibly fickle in whose side it is on, and this can exploited visually. I think a lot of this can more cheaply be done with a computer. Lots of slow motion of differing speeds. Some `matrix-like' freezed rotations.

A ripe opportunity. Who will try it after the box office success of `Blue Crush.'

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 4: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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7/10
Surprisingly it holds up 20 yrs. later
samaels_venom19 March 2010
I remembered liking this back in '90 when I was 11 or 12 years old. However when I decided to watch Side Out's showing on Showtime yesterday, I did so believing that it would be awful just like the vast majority of shows from that time period that I once enjoyed. This movie surprised me though... it was funny (in a good way) and pretty well shot and well acted. You actually WANT success for Horton and Howell's characters. The women in this movie are gorgeous as well. Courtney Thorne-Smith looked hotter than ever in this (before the god awful Melrose Place)and Kathy Ireland was a pleasant surprise as part of Max's legal team. If it weren't for the horrendous soundtrack (B-52's "Roam" during a friggin' bar brawl?) I'd have given it a 7.5. Only a small gripe so I give it a 7 instead.
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7/10
bad plot, great volleyball...
mvoress21 June 1999
C. Thomas Howell and Courtney Thorne-Smith are the only two in the cast that really display any acting talent, but the parts are so poorly written that even they have trouble. The real focus of anybody watching this movie shouldn't be the plot (it's terrible) or the acting (equally bad), and god forbid that you try to follow the poorly-thought-out dialogue...the real focus of the movie is beach volleyball. The addition of such high-caliber players as Smith, Stoklos, Dodd, and Steffes saves this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed watching such incredible players, even though the games were scripted.

Anyone think Kiraly will show up in Side Out 2?
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2/10
Totally forgettable.
bustinbeats17 January 2011
This popped up on the retro Antenna TV network tonight , and brought back memories of watching it back in the early 90s with my girlfriend, who was SERIOUSLY into volleyball, and very stoked about a movie on the subject. Side Out was a huge disappointment for her.... I remember her ranting about how implausible it would be for a beginner to compete at the highest level , and how the scenes with actual volleyball play were unrealistic.

I watched it through tonight, and man , what a cheesy movie. Interesting only for a tongue and cheek early 90s flashback , and even that was pretty weak !
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5/10
Game over
Fluke_Skywalker14 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Plot; A young pre-law student from the Midwest (C. Thomas Howell) spends the Summer in L.A. working for his Uncle's firm.

While serving an eviction notice, he meets a washed up beach volleyball player (Peter Horton), forming an unlikely friendship that eventually leads to the two of them entering a high stakes beach volleyball tournament.

'Side Out' is insultingly contrived--even for the genre--and beyond stupid. Its limited appeal lies in the trappings of its era (released in 1990, but a total 80s movie through and through) and whatever charm its game cast can scrape from the bottom of its barrel.
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4/10
C. Thomas Howell not good
SnoopyStyle18 May 2016
Law student Monroe Clark (C. Thomas Howell) from Milwaukee moves to L.A. to work for his rich real estate lawyer Uncle Max. He's given a job to serve eviction notices. One of the tenants is beach volleyball player Zack Barnes (Peter Horton). He was the original local king of volleyball but he has been spiraling downwards. His business partner Kate Jacobs (Harley Jane Kozak) is tired of him but there's more to their relationship. The new king is Rollo Vincent. Monroe befriends local Wiley Hunter and falls for Samantha (Courtney Thorne-Smith). Monroe and Wiley play in a tournament and Zack comes in to coach them.

C. Thomas Howell is not a believable volleyball stud. On top of that, his character is not appealing at all. I think he's trying to be Tom Cruise but he's no Tom Cruise. His kissing scene with CTS made me involuntarily laugh. Peter Horton does have that washed-up beach bum vibe. This is all terribly cheesy and it's not the fun type of cheese. This is bad.
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5/10
For a Beach Movie This Wasn't Too Bad
Uriah4324 July 2013
"Monroe Clark" (C. Thomas Howell) is flying out to Los Angeles to work during the summer for his wealthy "Uncle Max" (Terry Kiser) who happens to be a real estate lawyer. Monroe's first job is to serve eviction notices to those who cannot pay their rent. In the process of serving a notice on a famous beach volleyball player named "Zack Barnes" (Peter Horton), he also meets an attractive cocktail waitress by the name of "Samantha" (Courtney Thorne-Smith). One thing leads to another and before he knows it another person named "Wiley Hunter" (Christopher Rydell) convinces him to team up with him in a beach volleyball competition. And then things begin to get interesting. Anyway, for a beach movie this wasn't too bad. Although the plot was somewhat routine and the acting was barely adequate, the thing that kept this movie entertaining was the fast-paced sports action and some nice looking ladies including Harley Jane Kozak (as "Kate Jacobs"), Kathy Ireland ("Marie") and the aforementioned Courtney Thorne-Smith. Again, it's a beach movie and so one shouldn't expect too much from it. I rate it as average.
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