DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Brian Robbins
Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson, Sinbad
Writing Credits:
Dan Schneider, Kevin Kopelow, Heath Seifert

A dim-witted teenager and his new coworker try to save the old burger joint they work for from failing after the opening of a brand new burger restaurant across the street.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 2.0
English Audio Description
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $17.99
Release Date: 7/5/2022

• 1994 All That Sketch
• Steelbook Case


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Good Burger: 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-Ray] (1997)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 13, 2022)

For years, the idea of 1997’s teen comedy Good Burger as a Criterion Collection release made the rounds as an April Fool’s joke. While the folks at Criterion have yet to make that fantasy a reality, at least the film does get a “25th Anniversary” Blu-ray release.

As he preps for summer vacation, teenager Dexter (Kenan Thompson) “borrows” his mom’s car for a joyride and causes an accident that damages the vehicle operated by his teacher Mr. Wheat (Sinbad). Dexter needs to pay for this, so he winds up in a summer job at a mom and pop restaurant called “Good Burger”.

In his new position, Dexter becomes pals with his less-than-intelligent co-worker Ed (Kel Mitchell). Due to competition from the chain Mondo Burger, the teens need to figure out a way to improve Good Burger’s fortunes and save the store.

If nothing else, it seems impressive to observe the success enjoyed by many members of the Good Burger cast and crew. Of course, Kenan Thompson joined Saturday Night Live in 2003, where he remains as the show’s longest-tenured performer ever.

In addition, director Brian Robbins and co-writer Dan Schneider rose from the ranks of actors on the 1980s TV series Head of the Class to pretty decent success behind the camera. Good Burger marked their cinematic debut in those positions and they’d continue to work for more years.

Mitchell didn’t enjoy the same degree of fame and success as Thompson. However, he got jobs steadily over the decades so that counts for something.

Good Burger features a very young Linda Cardellini – in her movie debut – as well as a very old Abe Vigoda and a few other recognizable faces. Heck, it even throws in a cameo from Shaquille O’Neal as himself!

What Good Burger doesn’t provide is an actual quality movie. Dumb and loose to the point of incoherence, the movie lacks much entertainment value.

With a flick like this, I encounter the Grumpy Old Man factor – or more charitably, the “This Movie Wasn’t Made For You, Grandpa” concept. Which is true, as the film aimed for adolescents, not dudes in their 50s – or even their 30s, where I was when the film hit screens in 1997.

This seems like a fair contention, but I would also argue that “it’s a kiddie movie” feels like the flimsiest of excuses for poor quality. We’ve seen skillions of flicks primarily meant for juvenile audiences that nonetheless offer entertainment for a broader crowd.

Even if we do accept that Good Burger didn’t care about any appeal beyond its youthful viewers, that still doesn’t excuse the general crumminess of what we see here. The film feels like little more than a collection of comedy skits, and not very good ones at that.

Sure, we get the “plot” about the battle between Good Burger and Mondo Burger, but that never adds up to much more than an excuse for hijinks. We get relentless shenanigans that attempt to amuse but don’t.

It doesn’t help that the film makes out Dexter to be unlikable right off the bat. Granted, some of this works to give him an arc and show how he improves as a person along the way.

Nonetheless, the filmmakers go too far and make Dexter such a jerk that it becomes tough to ever connect with him. Thompson’s performance doesn’t help, as he overacts relentlessly and forms an annoying personality.

Good Burger came out in the golden age of the catchphrase, and it often feels like the dialogue exists solely for that purpose. Maybe if the writers came up with some clever lines, this wouldn’t matter, but is “welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order” really the clever wit that one would find inspiring?

Probably not. Folks who grew up on Nickelodeon in the 90s might get a kick out of this blast from the past, but as an actual piece of entertainment, Good Burger falters.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D

Good Burger appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer came across fairly well.

Sharpness usually satisfied. A few shots could be a smidgen on the soft side, but those remained in the minority, so the film largely appeared accurate and well-defined.

No signs of jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and edge haloes stayed absent. Print flaws remained modest via a handful of specks, and grain became a benign facet of the image.

Colors stayed on the subdued side, and they satisfied. The image used a natural palette much of the time, and the hues fit the project nicely.

Blacks seemed dark and deep, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. This ended up as a mostly satisfying presentation.

As I'd expect from this kind of movie, we get a generally unassuming DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, though it complemented the picture to a positive degree. The front soundstage offered a reasonable amount of depth and range, as it placed sounds across the three forward channels.

While the rear speakers didn't get much of a workout, they contributed to the overall effect. A few scenes boasted decent usage of the surrounds, mainly related to some of the movie’s wackier beats.

The quality of the audio was always fine, with dialogue that sounded natural and concise despite a little edginess at times. Music showed nice range and delineation.

In addition, effects were clean and clear. Nothing special stood out here, but the audio was more than adequate for this sort of flick.

Only one disc-based extra appears here: the original All That “Good Burger” sketch from 1994. It runs four minutes and makes Kel Mitchell’s character feel like a rip of Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Kenan Thompson doesn’t appear as part of the skit. I can’t claim it provides comedic gold, but it’s funnier than I expected.

This “25th Anniversary” release comes in a spiffy steelbook case. That becomes the only difference from the Blu-ray released in 2021.

Though not the cinematic atrocity its reputation might imply, Good Burger also never threatens to become a quality movie. Essentially a compilation of fairly lousy sketches connected by a loose plot, the film feels forgettable. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio but it lacks substantial bonus materials. Nostalgic 90s kids might enjoy this flick but others seem unlikely to take anything much from it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main