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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Shattered Innocence

Yet another entry in the never would have seen it if it hadn't been for Lifetime Movie Network genre.

This film based loosely on the life of Shauna Grant,(who was based on the adult films star, Colleen Applegate) a 20 year old adult film star who shot herself in 1984. Allegedly Colleen's parents used the money they got from selling the rights to purchase her tomb stone.

The film centers around the character of Pauleen Anderson, a young girl from the Midwest who goes to Hollywood to become a star. Like a lot of girls Pauleen instead falls into the world of adult films and cocaine. Disgusted with what she's become, she tries to get out of that world by moving in with a kindly, older, cocaine dealer (ironically portrayed a kind and caring character. However when he gets busted and goes to prison, Pauleen sadly returns to the world she left behind, eventually committing suicide.

This film would have been a simple run of the mill little girl lost tale if it hadn't been for Jonna Lee, who played Pauleen. She gave the character an innocence at reminded the viewer that despite what she was doing for a living, she still was a teenager. The film also interestingly doesn't blame it all of the adult film industry. Instead it shows how easily a naive girl can be drawn into the glitz and glamor of the industry and not see what's underneath it all.

Jonna Lee oddly stopped acting shortly after this film aired. The movie also stars Melinda Dillion and Stephen Schnetzer who Another World fans will remember as Cass Winthrop.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Unleashing The Cheese On A New Generation

If you were a preteen or teenage girl in the 1980s, you probably have heard of Sweet Valley High. Well it looks like Random House is dusting off the series and updating it in an attempt to woo teenagers back into the trials and tribulations of the blonde and perfect Wakefield twins.

The updates according to a letter from Random House, will have Elizabeth as a the editor of the school website not a school paper, the twins will drive a red Wrangler not the iconic red Fiat, and the twins will be a perfect size 4 not a 6. As a perfect size 9, I'm a little offended that they felt the need to change that detail. Teenagers have enough body issues as is.

The most interesting change is the model who will be the new face of the twins on the covers. It's Leven Rambin, who currently stars on All My Children. Leven is no stranger to playing identical characters she plays an autistic girl named Lily and her older lookalike half sister Ava.

It should be interesting to see how a new generation will react to these books. If you want some snarky takes on Sweet Valley you should visit 1Bruce1 or The Dairi Burger, they are pretty hysterical.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Our Very Own

All in all Our Very Own is a heartwarming and moving film. The film centers around five teenagers in Shelbyville, Tennessee in 1978. The main plot point is the alleged arrival of actress Sondra Locke who grew up in that town. Melora (The O.C.'s Autumn Reeser) plots to meet her, seeing her as a ticket to stardom. The secondary plot centers on Clancy (Jason Ritter of Joan Of Arcadia) who watches his family slowly deteriorate due to his father's drinking.

The script is warm and uplifting, blending drama and comedy perfectly. It doesn't go for the warm and schmaltzy feeling that a lot of coming in age in a small town films go for. In fact the ending is left rather ambiguous which impressed me as most films would have gone for a perfectly wrapped up ending.

Two of the actresses in the film literally steal the spotlight. Allison Janney is mesmerizing as a woman trying to keep her family together no matter how much it hurts her. One Tree Hill's Hilarie Burton is perfect as tough and wild Bobbie who doesn't let minor things get in the way of her happiness.

If you want a whimsical, emotional film that captivates you, Our Very Own is a must see.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sisters (2006)

The most disappointing aspect of this film was that I was really looking forward to watching it. It had Chloë Sevigny who is one of my favorite actresses and Stephen Rea who is awesome. The story also seemed original. So where did this movie go wrong?.

Let's start with a confusing plot, after the film was over I was so puzzled that I went straight to The Internet Movie Database to see if someone on the message boards could explain it to me. It was hindered by tons of boring unnecessary scenes before cramming all the major plot lines into 20 minutes.

There was no character development and the main characters were so boring and unpleasant that you really can't even begin to care about their motives or what will become of them. They wasted 45 minutes on a plot in the beginning that could have been done in 20. They then just had to add a "love scene" that was so gratuitous that it bordered on offensive. To add insult to injury the time they wasted with that scene alone could have been used to make the film a little less random and confusing.

Just avoid this film at all costs.

Cady McClain Returning To All My Children

Good news, our favorite spitfire from Pigeon Hollow is returning to her old stomping grounds. Bad news she will only be on for one day. Dixie's spirit will return to reunite Tad with their long lost daughter on May 2.

For those of you who don't watch the show, Dixie was an awesome character who first joined the show in 1988. Her character was sensitive, loving, and sassy. And she was a true joy to watch. Despite leaving in 1996, she would return twice more before being "officially" killed off in 2007. It was rumored that Cady was fired from the show after verbally chastising the show for letting go of longtime cast member Julia Barr. Cady fired back via her blog saying no such thing happened. Between her stints on All My Children, McClain also took over the role of Rosanna Cabot on As The World Turns

Her death in my opinion was a slap in the face to all the loyal Dixie fans out there. We spent all this time mourning Dixie and sat through a dull storyline that introduced her sister, Di, whom everyone thought might have been Dixie. When her character finally did return, she was cold and unsympathetic, nothing like the Dixie we'd grown to love over the years. And then she dispatched via poisoned pancakes in the equally dull Satin Stalker storyline.

Just because she appears as angel does not mean she simply can't come back. Lots of characters appeared as ghosts on the soaps only to return alive and well. General Hospital did that twice once with Edward and another time with Robert and Anna. Only time will tell if AMC will come to their senses.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Woods

I came for Bruce Campbell but I stayed for a pretty decent film. Agnes Bruckner plays Heather, an alleged troublemaker who is sent to a pretty, swanky, girls school. As she is tested for some mysterious scholarship, she begins to have weird visions and prophetic dreams. As she begins to manifest powers, she becomes interested in mysterious voices that may be tied into a mass murder orchestrated by witches a hundred years ago.

This is a great horror film filled with suspense and an actual plot. There is none of the abject goriness that seems to plague a lot of horror films today. The movie is slightly predictable but it will not hamper your enjoyment of the movie.

Warning to Bruce Campbell fans, he only appears in the movie at the beginning and in the climatic ending. His character is Heather's father and does not have any bad ass Ash type scenes. Even though he gets to carry an axe at one point.

The movie also stars Patricia Clarkson and this awesome actress named Kathleen Mackey. If they ever go through with that alleged Poltergeist 4 movie she would make an awesome adult Carol Anne.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Friends 'Til The End

I stumbled upon this film on one of the Lifetime stations and thought "Cool Shannen Doherty gets terrorized in it all it's mid 90's glory. Sadly this film couldn't even live up to the cheesy expectations I had for it.

This script was practically a love letter to Shannen Doherty. She plays Heather who is the lead singer in a popular band, girlfriend of a studly band mate (Jason or Jeremy London), popular member of a sorority but nice to everyone, beloved daughter of a happy suburban family and a good student to boot. She is also a bitch and a lover and a...........

She meets Zanne ( a weird deritive of Suzanne) an awkward girl who seems to worship Heather. She schemes to get her hands on an important paper and delivers it to a panicked Heather moments before she has to turn it in. She asks Heather to help her get to know the sorority that she is rushing. Despite the sorority's dislike of Zanne, Heather convinces them to take her.

However Zanne begins to plot against Heather, getting her in trouble with school, alienating her from her friends and stealing her boyfriend/band. A determined Heather investigates Zanne's past and learns that she and Zanne participated in a pageant when they were younger. A pageant that Heather won. Zanne is determined to be Heather even if she has to lie, cheat, and murder to do it.

The film also stars Jennifer Blanc, Marisol Nichols and Shanna Moakler

Spoiler Warning

The ending is ludicrous. Zanne and Heather compete in a battle of the bands together. Heather tells her she'll choke as usual but Zanne says that she's Heather now. Heather tells her she needs to get help. Zanne is first to perform but sees her mother in the audience. She begins to panic and see the specters of the people she killed. She of course chokes and Heather rushes to the stage with her band mate and the band plays the song Heather wrote. They play it perfectly despite having A.) never heard it before and B) Having never played it before. Zanne watches our angel Heather sing as she cries in her mother's arms.

After all that craptacular story AND Shannen Doherty singing there should have been a more intense ending. A fight to the death or even a lame get her to confess unaware that all her new found friends are listening. Anything other than a public breakdown and crying.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

South Of Nowhere Cancelled

Yes The N has done it again. In their attempt to push more craptacular fare such as About A Girl, they plan to jettison fan favorite South Of Nowhere. The show has been shafted around a lot lately with delayed premieres and too long gaps between episodes. With some of the actors turning their attention to films it's no shock that they might not want to stay with a show whose own network doesn't give them enough respect. We don't want rehashed moldy oldies like Saved By The Bell or pathetic attempts at wit like the aforementioned About A Girl.

Shows like South of Nowhere and The Best Years were innovative shows with awesome acting and great story lines and now their replaced by mediocre filler material. South of Nowhere in my humble opinion was one of the best representation of teen LGBT characters since Sugar and Spice and deserved to have a shot at more seasons. Instead we got three seasons stingily stretched over a year while The N pimped less deserving shows.

Once the current cast of Degrassi splits the scene next season, I'll no longer have a use for The N. That's probably a good thing as The N no longer has a use for me as a viewer. There is a petition to save the show on for those who want the show to continue.

The final season will commence airing April 11th.