Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" review

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995)

Directed by Gary Fleder
Writing credits Scott Rosenberg

Andy Garcia .... Jimmy 'The Saint' Tosnia
Christopher Lloyd .... Pieces
William Forsythe .... Franchise
Bill Nunn .... Easy Wind
Treat Williams .... Critical Bill
Jack Warden .... Joe Heff
Steve Buscemi .... Mister Shhh
Fairuza Balk .... Lucinda
Gabrielle Anwar .... Dagney
Christopher Walken .... The Man with the Plan

Jimmy the Saint is on the dangle. The Man with the Plan is paying 50 large for an action. Jimmy gets together a crew. He ropes in all the pig brothers from back in the day: Critical Bill, Franchise, Pieces and Easy Wind. They screw up the job and become Buckwheat's. Buckwheat's! Jimmy the Saint has things to do in Denver before he's dead. Someday he'll have his boat drinks.

Do real gangsters talk like this or only hyper movie gangsters? If the above dialogue amuses you, you may like this movie. Jimmy the Saint and crew botch a job for the boss and talk and talk about it. I liked the scenes where they would huddle together to have their skull sessions. If you're not in the mood for a gangster vocabulary lesson, stay away.

The rest of the movie is not that interesting. Jimmy has a love interest which goes nowhere. We get to see scenes from Jimmy's business which also go nowhere. There are some violent spots but nothing too outrageous. The only thing good about this flick is the dialogue. But even that tends to wear out its welcome. Still, it's worth a look if you like gangster movies.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 Hollywood gangsters

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"The Underground Comedy Movie" review

The Underground Comedy Movie (1999)

Directed by Vince Offer
Writing credits Vince Offer Dante

Barbara Snellenburg .... Supermodel #1/Virgin/Beautiful Girl/Boobwatch Girl #4 (as Barbara Snellenberg)
Rebecca Chaney .... Supermodel #2/Pregnant Girl/Lesbian #3/Co-host of Bag Lady Pageant
Vince Offer .... Batman/Fetus Salesman/JJ Cool/Flirty Harry/Vincenzo Bulafungu
Karen Black .... Mother
Ant .... Gay Man
Michael Clarke Duncan .... Gay Virgin
Joey Buttafuoco .... Sonny
Slash .... Miss America Bag Lade Pageant Host

My brother bought this for me after seeing an ad on TV. He had asked me if I knew anything about it before buying it. I had seen some ads for it, heard it was playing at midnight shows in L.A. and New York. I also heard Slash was in it and it was disgusting. So I gave him the green light. There were parts that were funny, parts that were disgusting. I just can't get over how bitter and jaded it is. This was made by a guy who must despise L.A./Hollywood and the lack of appreciation they've shown him.

We are reminded many times in the movie that the main characters name is Vince Offer. He was also the director/writer/everything else on the movie. He sings a take off on "The Naked Gun" song "I Love LA" called "I Hate LA". He's talking to mobsters and they say something like, "I'm going to make them an offer." To which Vince replies, "A Vince Offer?" Yeesh. If you were going to sell yourself, couldn't you be a little more cool about it? I hope he makes his peace with whatever is bugging him.

That said, there were some parts that I liked. The Gay Virgin was hilarious. So were the porn reviewers. I especially liked the Japanese porn movie. Unfortunately there were a lot more sketches that fell flat. The flat sketches outweighed the funny ones.

But the ending sums up the movie. I think it was made to get back at all the people who have given him a hard time in Hollywood. There is a jab in the credits to the people behind "There's Something about Mary". Some sort of bad blood there. This was the Vince Offer attack. Will there be a "Mary" counter attack? Probably not.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 Offers

Vince Offers

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"The Recruit" review

The Recruit (2003)

Directed by Roger Donaldson
Writing credits Roger Towne Kurt Wimmer

Al Pacino .... Walter Burke
Colin Farrell .... James Douglas Clayton
Bridget Moynahan .... Layla Moore
Gabriel Macht .... Zack

Talk about blowing it. Here you have a subject matter, CIA Training, which holds a lot of possibilities for a cool movie. But every part of this flick was as generic and dull as you could get. Technically it's not a bad movie. There is nothing wrong with the way it's made. The problem is in the story itself. It's just not interesting enough.

There are two parts to this flick. The first part is the CIA Training for the recruit. So they're going through the motions on the Farm. But every part of the training is dull and lifeless. Nothing was specific to the CIA. They could have just as well have been training at the FBI, NSA, or any other government acronym. Where was the cool spy stuff? How about how to assassinate someone? Or how to plant a car bomb? Or how to buy off a warlord in Afghanistan? Couldn't this flick have been a little timelier? We've seen people practice breaking into a house before.

This leads to part two of the flick. So the recruit "graduates". What assignment do they put him on? Follow the pretty girl! Wow. This movie went out of its way to be lame. Couldn't they have sent him to the Middle East or Afghanistan? The movie devolves into the standard double agent has got the code/disk/microfilm and someone else has got to get it from them.

Wasted opportunity. It should have been cool but it wasn't.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 recruits on the job

Monday, November 27, 2006

"Bulletproof Monk" review

Bulletproof Monk (2003)

Directed by Paul Hunter
Writing credits Ethan Reiff Cyrus Voris

Yun-Fat Chow .... Monk With No Name (as Chow Yun-Fat)
Seann William Scott .... Kar
Jaime King .... Jade
Karel Roden .... Strucker
Victoria Smurfit .... Nina

Chow Yun-Fat makes a kiddie action movie. He's a monk. The "Bulletproof Monk". He protects a powerful scroll that the bad guys want. He journeys to America to find a new guardian for the scroll. He comes across Stifler from "American Pie" and decides he is funny enough to hang onto the magic scroll. Fighting and B-movie goofiness commence.

I always try to get a feel for how a movie is going to be by checking out two things before the flick starts. One is the trailers they put before the movie. The other is the makeup of the audience. "Jeepers Creepers 2" was one of the trailers. I found this to be encouraging. Then I took a look at the audience. All families. All with little kids. I knew I was sunk.

"Bulletproof Monk" is not a bad flick. It's just a very juvenile movie. Much more so than I anticipated. Chow Yun-Fat is not in his usual mass killing mood. Of course he's a monk so that shouldn't be too surprising. One scene has him in his iconic pose with a gun in each hand. You can't help but cheer. But instead of blasting the bad guys away in slow motion, he shoots the guns out of their hands like he's in some Wild West show. Tragic.

Seann William Scott, (Kar/Stifler forever), shows up as the fast talking American who Chow takes a liking to. He is the Golden Child that Chow must protect and nurture. Scott is a funny guy. Although he bulked up for this role, I can't see him as a tough guy action hero. There was some mighty stretching going on to buy his kung fu routine.

On the plus side, the big fight at the end was good. Any movie with a super strong Nazi doing battle with a monk I have to like in some way. But the rest of the movie was very tame. It was a little too jokey and adolescent. Chow Yun-Fat and kiddie action movies are not the mix B-movie fans crave.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 Golden Child Stiflers

Sunday, November 26, 2006

"Shogun Assassin" review

Shogun Assassin (1980)

Directed by Robert Houston
Writing credits Robert Houston Kazuo Koike

Tomisaburo Wakayama .... Ogami Itto
Kayo Matsuo .... Supreme Ninja
Minoru Ohki .... Master of Death
Akiji Kobayashi .... Master of Death
Shin Kishida .... Master of Death
Akihiro Tomikawa.... Daigoro (as Masahiro Tomikawa)

A samurai called Lone wolf and his cub are traveling through the countryside. They're trying to get away from the Shogun and all of his ninja assassins. Thankfully the baby carriage Lone Wolf is pushing around is armed to the teeth. There are blades popping out of every part of this thing. His son is a quick study too. He knows where all the buttons are so he can get in on the killing action. It all leads to a final showdown against the "Masters of Death". They are three ninjas who look amazingly like the three main goons from "Big Trouble in Little China".

Highly enjoyable samurai movie. The blood was spurting out by the gallons. Sometimes you could even tell when a guy was holding a hose to his chest while the blood gushed out.The ninjas didn't count on facing the baby carriage from Hell. They die very badly.

SCORE: 3.5 out of 4 baby carriages of death

"Crawlspace" review

Crawlspace (1986)

Directed by David Schmoeller
Writing credits David Schmoeller

Klaus Kinski .... Doctor Karl Gunther
Talia Balsam .... Lori Bancroft
Barbara Whinnery .... Harriet Watkins
Carole Francis .... Jessica Marlow
Tane McClure .... Sophie Fisher (as Tane)

I bought this DVD. Karl Gunther, (Klaus Kinski), has a thing for his tenants. He rents out a couple of rooms to some hot women. Karl likes to see what they're up to so he has invented an elaborate crawlspace system to spy on them all. When he gets disturbed by what he sees, he makes a "Tap Tap Tap" sound. The women follow the tapping to his upstairs dungeon where many comical and deadly traps await them.

This movie is hilarious. You should see it. Karl has a trap waiting in every room in his apartment building. Karl used to be a Nazi and it's hard to shake the old habits. He doesn't like to get his hands dirty so he always has his booby trap remote control handy. For instance, when the women were just sitting around an apartment and boring Karl to tears, he pressed a button and a giant rat marched into the room. This is how Karl entertains himself. Watching women scream from the crawlspace makes for a fascinating pastime.

I enjoyed this one. Karl and his mania for crawlspace voyeurism and bloody traps entertained me.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 madman Karls

"Blue Sunshine" review

Blue Sunshine (1976)

Directed by Jeff Lieberman
Writing credits Jeff Lieberman

Zalman King .... Jerry Zipkin
Deborah Winters .... Alicia Sweeney
Mark Goddard .... Edward Flemming
Robert Walden .... David Blume

I'm sad. Despondent. Blue. I bought this DVD. Yep, I paid 20 something dollars for this movie. I had never seen it before but I read all of the reviews saying that it was a good thriller. So I bought it. I sold it within two weeks for $15.

"Blue Sunshine" is a big disappointment. The movie is set up as a mystery. But since every description of this flick mentions that bald hippies go crazy after taking bad acid, what's the mystery? I'm watching Zalman King run around trying to figure out why his friend went nuts and I just kept wondering when the attack of the bald hippies was going to start. The movie is more than halfway over before bald people attack and then I wondered: Why did I want to watch ex-hippies get homicidal? What was the appeal here? I don't know.

There is no gore or shocks in this flick. A bald hippy chick looked like she was going to slice and dice some annoying kids. That would have been demented enough for me. Nothing interesting happened though. That sums up the movie. It stole my sunshine.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 crazy bald hippies

"The Rundown" review

The Rundown (2003)

Directed by Peter Berg
Writing credits R.J. Stewart

The Rock .... Beck
Seann William Scott .... Travis
Rosario Dawson .... Mariana
Christopher Walken .... Hatcher

The Rock goes to the Amazon. He's looking for the wayward son of a local gangster. Stifler, I mean Travis, (Seann William Scott), is hanging out in the jungle looking for ancient artifacts. Unfortunately for him, he's looking in Christopher Walken's domain. This brings trouble. The Rock and Stifler/Travis head out into the jungle to escape Walken and have various adventures.

I was confused and bewildered by The Rock's initial stance on firearms. You don't use guns? Don't like them? Sacrilege! How can you maim and kill your countless enemies? Thankfully, The Rock comes to his action hero senses and picks up his guns when necessary.

Before The Rock's renewed love affair with firearms, there were plenty of good fight scenes. The best was when they ran into the tribesmen. "OK, Hip-Hop." That little guy was all muscle. Everybody gets a good thrashing in this flick.

Overall, it's a decent action flick. I enjoyed myself.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 Rocks getting a good thrashing

Saturday, November 25, 2006

"Scary Movie 3" review

Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Directed by David Zucker
Writing credits Shawn Wayans Marlon Wayans

Pamela Anderson .... Becca
Jenny McCarthy .... Kate
Marny Eng .... Tabitha
Charlie Sheen .... Tom
Simon Rex .... George
Jianna Ballard .... Sue
Jeremy Piven .... Ross Giggins
Anna Faris .... Cindy Campbell

Anna Faris is back and she's blonde. So far, so good. This "Scary Movie' outing focuses on spoofing "The Ring" and "Signs". Faris sees the ring and notices the signs. If you haven't seen those two movies, you probably won't get half the jokes. Leslie Nielsen pops in as the president and Charlie Sheen does a stoic Mel Gibson. There are other riffs on "The Matrix" and "8 Mile".

The "Scary Movie" franchise is turning into an annual event celebrating the previous year in film. If a movie struck any kind of nerve with audiences, (preferably younger audiences), the "Scary Movie" people want to send it up immediately.

As far as this "Scary Movie" sequel, it was all right. OK. Fair. Decent. 2 out of 4. The "8 Mile" segment was the best.That had me going. "Scary Movie 3" starts off hilarious, "The dogs are acting strange.", but then proceeds to miss, miss and miss again. This movie was made in a rush and it shows. By the midway mark, it was running out of gas and wheezing to the finish line.

But it's got some funny bits. It's worth a look.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 blonde Annas in pure terror

Speaking of blondes, who could forget this classic scene?

It heaves with goodness. This is actually the first Pamela Anderson movie I've seen. I know. I'm as shocked as you. Seeing this picture has made me realize how foolish I've been. I think it's time for some "Snapdragon". Or maybe some "Barb Wire". Or perhaps anything that has her mighty cleavage in it. You can tell I'm real picky about the movies I watch.

"The Core" review

The Core (2003)

Directed by Jon Amiel
Writing credits Cooper Layne John Rogers

Aaron Eckhart .... Dr. Josh Keyes
Hilary Swank .... Maj. Rebecca Childs
Delroy Lindo .... Dr. Ed 'Braz' Brazzleton
Stanley Tucci .... Dr. Conrad Zimsky
DJ Qualls .... Theodore Donald 'Rat' Finch
Richard Jenkins .... Gen. Thomas Purcell
Tchéky Karyo .... Dr. Serge Leveque
Bruce Greenwood .... Cmdr. Robert Iverson
Alfre Woodard .... Dr. Talma Stickley

One of my concerns before seeing this film was whether or not there would be any surprises under the Earth. As far as my limited understanding of the Earth goes, there's just rock and magma under the ground. So what could they whip out to make "The Core" cool? There were a few cool spots but "The Core" needed to take out an emergency movie loan from the bank to pump up their F/X.

So the usual gaggle of eggheads and military people hop aboard the U.S.S. Penis and proceed to penetrate the Earth's Crust in order to reach "The C-spot". Once there, they will eject their cargo in hopes of stimulating the Earth and making it come to life.

"The Core" probably sounded pretty awesome on paper. "It's like "Armageddon" except we dive into the Earth instead of outer space. Instead of asteroids, there are rocks! Underground!" The script called for a lot of chaos and destruction. It sounded good. But the piggy bank was empty. There were a lot of effects but they weren't that special. I should have been more astonished at seeing multiple nuclear explosions underground. I wasn't. The Earth's core looked like the inside of a lava lamp.

"The Core" wasn't too bad. I had an OK time. It just felt like a summer movie wannabe. Somebody should have given this bad boy a cash infusion. There should be low interest loans at the bank for just such emergencies. "Give me a $10 million disaster flick loan! My Rome destruction scene looks like a lego set! Help!"

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 out of control special effects - Well, not really

"Doom" review

Doom (2005)

Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Writing credits Dave Callaham Wesley Strick

Karl Urban .... John Grimm
The Rock .... Sarge
Rosamund Pike .... Samantha Grimm
Dexter Fletcher .... Pinky
Ben Daniels .... Goat

I had high hopes that "Doom" would be a little better than the usual B-movie I find myself watching. I thought it would show a little more imagination. Nope. It is as run of the mill as it gets.

I have seen this type of movie many, many times before. "Doom" is yet another entry in a long line of cheap creature features. You know, the ones that have soldiers walking through government labs with flashlights on the end of their guns as monsters pop out of the darkness and kill them one by one. "Doom" has the look and feel of a cheesy B-movie that should have gone straight to video. There should have been a little more effort made to keep "Doom" from falling headfirst into B-movie oblivion. What a shame.

So The Rock and some other soldiers head to a government outpost and run into some monsters. The rest of the movie writes itself. Monsters, soldiers with big guns, bang, splat, AAAAGGHH! The only thing remotely interesting in this one is a five minute stretch where the movie emulates the first person shooter feel of the game. This amused me for a little bit. The rest of "Doom" has a sprinkling of gore but doesn't even remotely capture the nonstop horror carnage of the game.

Needless to say, I was disappointed in this one. B-movie all the way, "Doom" has some gore effects and a few nasty scenes but it's not enough to save it. It can be skipped.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 doomed demons

"Creature Unknown" review

Creature Unknown (2004)

Directed by Michael Burnett
Writing credits Eric Mittleman Scott Zakarin

Kristin Herold .... Ally
Chase Masterson .... Kat
Chris Hoffman .... Steve
Maggie Grace .... Amanda
Cory Hardrict .... Lance
Betty Okino .... Coral

The key to a successful monster movie is to have a monster. Sounds obvious doesn't it? You'd be surprised how many B-movie filmmakers put a monster on their video box cover and then neglect to have an actual monster in the movie. "Creature Unknown" delivers the goods. Monster attacks dolts and there is much rejoicing.

A bunch of friends have a reunion at a cabin in the woods. How these people could possibly be friends is beyond me. I can't see many Goth girls hanging out with jock types. But what the heck right? Let's get all the stereotypes together so they can be slaughtered in harmony. They are there to remember one of their slain comrades. The dead guy's twin brother wants to have a cathartic group experience. A hyper, jumping monster shows up to spoil the fun. Could this unknown creature be the reason for their friend's death? Hmmmmm...

I enjoyed "Creature Unknown". There was a monster on the video box cover and a monster appeared in the movie. Eureka. He ripped apart people with much joy. My kind of beast. It doesn't take much to make me happy. I was satisfied.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 hyper freefalling creatures

Friday, November 24, 2006

"Stigmata" review

Stigmata (1999)

Directed by Rupert Wainwright
Writing credits Tom Lazarus

Patricia Arquette .... Frankie Paige
Gabriel Byrne .... Father Andrew Kiernan
Jonathan Pryce .... Cardinal Daniel Houseman
Nia Long .... Donna Chadway

Patricia Arquette bleeds and screams a lot. See, she's possessed. When you find out by who, (not a demon or the devil), you'll realize that this is not a horror movie but a wacky anti-Catholic Church movie. It is far too serious for a supposed to be horror flick. Or is it supposed to be? It sure was sold that way. It's very disappointing to have a possession movie and no horror.

So Arquette starts breaking out with a case of the Stigmatas. Who knew you could catch it like a virus? Dr. Gabriel Byrne, (a priest), comes to check her out and gives her his diagnosis: "Why you can't have the Stigmatas because you have no faith!!" But doc, it's Stigmata season! There's a lot of it going around! Byrne does what he can and runs into church politics and the viewer is bored. Too uneven, (is it horror, is it drama, is it a slam on the Catholic Church, is it trying to make my head hurt with all this screaming and loud music?), to be enjoyable.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 wailing Arquettes

"Steel and Lace" review

Steel and Lace (1991)

Directed by Ernest D. Farino
Writing credits Joseph Dougherty Dave Edison

Clare Wren .... Gaily Morton
Bruce Davison .... Albert Morton
Stacy Haiduk .... Alison
David Naughton .... Dunn

I bought this video for three bucks. There's just something about the tagline, "She's all woman...and all machine.", that speaks to me. Actually, it shouts at me. The video screamed, "Why are you not watching me?!". I had to obey.

"Steel and Lace" is about a Robobabe on the rampage. A hot blonde rape victim kills herself after being denied justice. Her scientist brother won't let those filthy rapists get away with it. He creates a new, hi-tech version of his sister: Robobabe. His robot sister embarks on a mission of truth, justice and dismembering lots of rapists.

I enjoyed this one. A killer woman robot causing havoc. That's enough for me. She had a lot of different options for wasting rapists. I especially enjoyed the weed whacker springing out of her chest so that she could drill for oil in the guy's stomach. Now that's how you take care of business.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 robobabes

"Beavis and Butt-Head Do America" review

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996)

Directed by Mike Judge Yvette Kaplan
Writing credits Mike Judge Joe Stillman

Mike Judge .... Beavis, Butt-Head, Tom Anderson, Mr. Van Driessen (voice)
Bruce Willis .... Muddy Grimes (voice)
Demi Moore .... Dallas Grimes (voice)
Cloris Leachman .... Old Woman on Plane and Bus (voice)
Robert Stack .... ATF Agent Flemming (voice)

It's official. The suspense is over. I don't like Beavis and Butthead. They're too stupid and annoying for me. There, I've gotten that off my chest and I feel better for it. Their nonstop laughter grates me. So why did I bother watching this? Because when it comes to movies, I'm an eternal optimist.

So Beavis and Butthead hit the road to find their stolen TV. The dips get embroiled in a weapons smuggling scheme and are chased by a body cavity searching G-man. Somewhere along the way they hope to score with the opposite sex. Don't we all?

This movie was fair. I laughed at a few spots. But B&B annoy me too much for me to really like this movie. The show was kind of funny because B&B gave a running commentary on the videos they watched. Unfortunately their TV was unplugged for this adventure. This left us with only Beavis and Butthead and their shrill cackles echoing across America. Heh heh ehhhhhh...

SCORE: 2 out of 4 brain dead dips

"Dark Blue" review

Dark Blue (2002)

Directed by Ron Shelton
Writing credits James Ellroy David Ayer

Kurt Russell .... Eldon Perry
Scott Speedman .... Bobby Keough
Michael Michele .... Beth Williamson
Brendan Gleeson .... Jack Van Meter
Ving Rhames .... Arthur Holland
Kurupt .... Darryl Orchard

Every white cop is a murdering, evidence planting scourge of the community. The black cops go to church and pray to bring justice to the community. So says "Dark Blue". Kurt Russell and sidekick bring justice to the mean streets of L.A. - white cop style. Beating, killing, lying and just being white. The black cops are disgusted and are going to bring them down. The Rodney King riots are going on in the background just for emphasis so that the audience can make the connection that bad white cops brought the riots down on L.A.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the movie goes for a simplistic notion of good guy/bad guy. I can't believe that the situation in L.A. is so, (forgive me), black and white. I didn't buy it. James Ellroy seems to have a thing against LA cops. After the cop massacre at the end of "LA Confidential" and now this indictment from "Dark Blue", I have to wonder why he has such strong feelings against them.

All that aside, I thought Kurt Russell did a great job. It was definitely one of his better acting performances. "Dark Blue" tells a pretty straight forward corrupt cop story. Nothing too exciting except for Russell. The L.A. riots happen near the end but it didn't seem all that horrific. It was more of a distraction for Russell's character than anything anyone was really interested in. The riots were background noise.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 corrupt Russells

Thursday, November 23, 2006

"Silent Predators" review

Silent Predators (1999)

Directed by Noel Nosseck
Writing credits Patricia Arrigoni Fred Brown

Harry Hamlin .... Vic Rondelli
Shannon Sturges .... Mandy Stratford
Jack Scalia .... Max Farrington

There was this giant snake head on the video box cover lunging at me. I flipped the box over and read something along the lines of, "Mutated snakes attack small town..." Its B-movie venom was deep in my bloodstream. I had to see it.

Now, when they say mutated snakes, they mean the snakes have bred with other snakes to become meaner and more aggressive. That doesn't mean the snakes will actually LOOK any different, i.e. mutated. But they're different. Trust them.

So a bunch of normal looking snakes attack the town and Harry Hamlin must do battle with them. It was a fair B-snake movie. I just wish the snakes had mutated into something resembling a mutation.

One last thing, since when are rattlesnakes considered Silent Predators? Most of the snakes doing the attacking in this movie were rattlesnakes. Mutated rattlesnakes. I'd like to point out the obvious that the rattlesnake has, in fact, a rattle. A rattle that the snake likes to shake a lot. Hence, rattlesnake. Did the filmmakers realize this before they named the movie "Silent Predators" or did they just not care? Does anybody care? Ahh, whatever.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 not so silent predators

"Body of Evidence" review

Body of Evidence (1993)

Directed by Uli Edel
Writing credits Brad Mirman

Madonna .... Rebecca Carlson
Michael Forest .... Andrew Marsh
Joe Mantegna .... Robert Garrett
Charles Hallahan .... Dr. McCurdy
Anne Archer .... Joanne Braslow
Willem Dafoe .... Frank Dulaney

Madonna is on trial for murder. She loved a man to death. Her body is a lethal weapon. She used her basic instinct a little too much. Is she really as evil as the prosecution says she is? Did she purposely seek out an old man with a bad heart just so she could rock his world and send him to heaven? Does anybody care how this trial ends up? Of course no one cares! Bring on the Madonna sex!

I have good news for you. Madonna shows us what she's got in three or four scenes of intense Dafoe lovemaking. We get hot wax, handcuffs, car hood sex and various other forms of action. I was not disappointed. As a courtroom drama, "Body of Evidence" is ridiculous. Surprise witnesses, lies, accusations and other things no one cares about. Dafoe needed to blow off some steam between courtroom appearances and needed to closely consult Madonna's body of evidence. As an excuse to stare at Madonna in all her glory, "Body of Evidence" is a fine film. If you're looking for anything else, you've got the wrong movie.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 because Madonna's body is Exhibit A+

"Suckers" review

Suckers (1999)

Directed by Roger Nygard
Writing credits Roger Nygard Joe Yanetty

Joe Yanetty .... Joe (as Joe Yannetty)
Jake Johannsen .... Lance
Daniel Benzali .... Reggie
David Ackert .... Shamin
Louis Mandylor .... Bobby Deluca
Lori Loughlin .... Donna Deluca

My brother told me that I had to see this movie. He watched it as part of his salesman training at a car dealership. He said, "You want to see how car salesmen really act? Watch "Suckers". Then you will understand." So one night we were at the video store looking for something to watch. I suggested "Hamburger Hill". My brother took a glance at the comedy section and saw "Suckers" sitting there. He yanked it off the shelf and sprinted to the counter. It was "Suckers" time.

"Suckers" is about car salesmen. It is a brutally honest look at how car salesmen lie, cheat, and scheme to get you to sign the deal. My brother was cringing while watching it. He said, "Wow, this is bringing back some memories. Man, it was brutal. Oh, you can make some money at a car dealership if you don't mind working for twelve hours a day. The guys at the dealership would say to me, 'Only twelve hours? Hey, that's only half a day! Where else could you POSSIBLY make $100,000 a year?' The kind of person who should be a car salesman is like the guy in "Suckers". Only the most desperate, broke, soon to be divorced, starving for food guys should be car salesmen."

Most of the movie is spent listening to Reggie, (Daniel Benzali), and his Saturday morning sales pep talks. These monologues are the backbone of "Suckers". Reggie gives some important pointers to the sales force. "Keep nodding your head. Soon the customer will start nodding his head with you. " Or, "Tell the customer to follow you into the office. Whatever you do, DO NOT TURN AROUND. They will follow you like a lost puppy." Reggie is usually right.

There is a second storyline playing in the background of "Suckers". It has something to do with embezzlement and gangsters. There is also some gratuitous nudity thrown into the mix as well. But the most important aspect of "Suckers" is learning about how car salesmen are out to screw you and seeing the level of contempt they have for the customers (suckers). I enjoyed my car salesman training lesson. It has taught me to fear the car salesman. Yes, I've been screwed on a car deal. I've been a Sucker too. I'll have to ask my brother for guidance the next time I do battle for a new car.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 car salesmen looking for suckers

"Once Upon a Time in Mexico" review

Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Writing credits Robert Rodriguez

Antonio Banderas .... El Mariachi
Salma Hayek .... Carolina
Johnny Depp .... Sands
Mickey Rourke .... Billy
Eva Mendes .... Ajedrez
Danny Trejo .... Cucuy

In the beginning of the movie, as the credits were rolling by, one particular credit caught my attention. It was a "Chopped" credit for Robert Rodriguez. It may have been the most truthful credit ever given in the history of motion pictures. "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" was hacked and slashed harder than Freddy's and Jason's bodies in "Freddy vs. Jason". A string of cameos were filmed, cut to ribbons and then super glued back together to make a rough facsimile of a movie. Fortunately, the violence level is high which saves "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" from the trash heap.

All of the actors seemed to have filmed their scenes separately. Dafoe pops in and out. Depp keeps eating pork for some reason. Salma Hayek is barely in this movie although she is prominently displayed on the poster. The Desperado himself (Banderas) shows up sporadically. Depp is still eating pork. The actors must have been filmed together for a day or two just so they could try to give the movie some coherence. This flick barely holds together.

The good news is that the violence is as hyper and as stylized as the first "Desperado". That's the only good news. This was the first movie that I have ever seen with a "Chopped" credit. The filmmakers seem to have taken a perverse glee in how quickly they can throw a movie together. Perhaps they should have taken a closer look at what they were throwing into the movie blender. Once upon a time there was a thing known as Quality Control. Now it's just "Chopped".

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 Depps eating lots of chopped pork

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"Slayer" review

Slayer (2006)

Directed by Kevin VanHook
Writing credits Kevin VanHook

Casper Van Dien .... Hawk
Jennifer O'Dell .... Dr. Laurie Williams
Lynda Carter .... Colonel Jessica Weaver
Joyce Giraud .... Estrella
Kevin Grevioux .... Grieves
Ray Park.... Acrobatic Vampire Twins
Danny Trejo

I was sent this DVD. “Slayer” stars that man among men, Casper Van Dien. When I saw his name on the cover, I knew that good times lay ahead. Well, if not good times, at least it’s Van Dien time. I’m still looking for Van Dien to team up with Mario Van Peebles and Jean Claude Van Damme for the triple threat, sure to be B-classic, “Kill Shoot Destroy II”! I don’t know what it’ll be about but it doesn’t matter. With that much Van Damage going on, it’s sure to be a winner.

Anyway, “Slayer” has Van Dien leading an army of commandos through the jungle. They stumble upon some vampires. Vampires that attack during the day! What madness is this? Never fear, Van Dien is here. He shows the bloodsuckers why this flick is called “Slayer”. Soon Van Dien will get the call to go into full time Slayer mode when his hot blonde wife gets mixed up with some more vamps. It’s jungle warfare with some bloodthirsty vampires.

“Slayer” is an out of control B-vampire flick. This is a movie that doesn’t care one bit if it’s making any sense as long as it stops every 10 minutes for another bloody fight scene. “Slayer” was holding together for awhile but by the midway point it spun out of control and stumbled to the end. Coherence was not the top priority for “Slayer”.

The good news is that there’s plenty of blood and guts to keep you happy. Necks get punctured, bodies get ripped in half and various other organs are torn, maimed and generally plundered for blood hungry vampires. There’s also a hot vampire woman running around which makes me happy. Blood drenched hot women. It never gets old. Well, at least not for me.

Most of “Slayer” is taken up by fight scenes. Van Dien and friends try to kill as many vampires as possible. “Slayer” has aspirations to be “Blade” in the jungle and although it doesn’t quite reach those heights, it’s still not too bad for a Van Dien B-flick. If you’re in the mood for some Van Dien vampire slaughter, “Slayer” is worth a look.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 Van Dien vampire slayers