The World Famous Kid Detective (NR)
Documentary 63 min. June 14, 2014
His efforts are complicated by two new, overlapping cases he takes on involving a serial robber who is making off with skateboards and cellphones. And there's a haunted house. Director Tim Kelly and screenwriter Margaret Langendorf work from a dated notion of children's film that makes their own seem unintentionally anachronistic. These characters don't resonate as 21st-century kids (even with the faux punk gear worn by a couple of them); they're a decades-out-of-season idea of childhood precociousness and innocence. Stanley's milquetoast world weariness and affectations (he uses the word "dames" a lot) might have worked in the shorts that once played on The Mickey Mouse Club but now are pointlessly antiquated. The film is like something an adolescent filmmaker from a sheltered, time-warped suburb made with a group of his friends — which then was jazzed up by a savvy adult splicing in clips from old movies.