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Monday, December 13, 2010

UnSweetined or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the eBook

  I'll be the first to admit that I didn't think much of eBooks. I regarded them as impersonal and rather unnecessary. I never really gave them much though until the day I accidentally bought one. The verdict: Not that bad. I had the instant gratification of reading it right away and it was refreshingly cheap. The PC app that Barnes & Noble had also came with Pride and Prejudice, Dracula, and Little Women, completely free so double bonus.

   UnSweetined is a refreshing change from the usual memoirs that child stars are known to produce. It's not a sleazy tell all exposing the secrets of her co-workers for profit. Nor is it a I-Did-Drugs-But-It's-Not-My-Fault whinefest that's been so overdone.

    Jodie tells you exactly how it was going from unknown child to sitcom star and all the bad things it can bring. Being teased at school, people slipping autograph books under toilet stalls, and even cursed out by a "fan" for not signing an autograph. This book is probably the first book by a child star that made me truly understand how difficult it was.

   The thing that really made me think was that at the age of 14, her career was considered over. Imagine a career over at the age where most kids are getting their first jobs. Also, refreshing is how she approaches her drug/alcohol abuse. Most people blame everyone and everything for their drug use, Jodie is smart enough to accept responsibility for her actions.

    This memoir definitely ranks high on the list. It's honest, enlightening, and doesn't stoop to the level of the gossipy trash memoirs that seem to be littering the bookshelves lately. Whether you are or aren't a fan of Full House, I would recommend this book. It's worth the read.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Retro Flashback: Drop Dead Fred

  Drop Dead Fred is probably one of the most surreal movies I've ever seen. No, I am not talking about the plot. I am talking about the fact that this vulgar little gross out flick managed to garner such a top-notch cast.

   Fred centers around a young, childish woman named Lizzie (Phoebe Cates) who  loses her husband, car, and job in a single day. Forced to return to her domineering mother, she accidentally releases her long captive imaginary friend; Drop Dead Fred.

   With predicable results, Fred totally destroys what's left of Lizzie's life and she spends the rest of her life in an insane asylum. Just kidding. Of course, she becomes a strong independent woman who tells her hubby and mother where to stuff it. She gets a love interest five seconds later, because movies hate female characters who could actually live a happy life sans relationship. And Fred moves on to improve some other child's life.

    I am not sure what the creators of this film intended it to be. Was it a kid's film or an adult's film? Certainly it was aimed at children with it's near manic use of fart jokes and slapstick comedy. However the sexual jokes and the psychological abuse inflicted at the main character are certainly not kid-friendly.

    The most puzzling part of this film is the star power this silly little film managed to get. The great Marsha Mason forced to play fourth banana to the love child of Yahoo Serious and Jim Carrey? Try not to cringe when Carrie Fisher yells at an empty chair thinking it's Fred. Or the cute and talented Phoebe Cates ending her iconic career on this note. Well, Drop Dead Fred merely stunned her career, Princess Cariboo delivered the death blow.


Monday, November 15, 2010

True Confessions Of A Go-Go Girl

    Attention Lifetime: Next time just have the balls to do a movie about a stripper and save us a lot of pain. We meet plain Jane (Chelsea Hobbs) who commits the grievous sin of forgoing law school in order to (gasp) act. Her parents are against the idea so they refuse to support her decision.

    Jane meets some random stripper go-go dancer named Angela. Angela informs Jane that guys will pay lots of money to see a girl dance fully clothed. At the same time her acting professor wants her to create an alternate persona as an assignment. Jane considers this the best of both worlds and throws herself into it.

    Jane now flush with cash moves in with Angela whose druggie boyfriend has just stolen all her cash. Jane indulges her bad girl behavior at night while trying to keep her head above water. She is such a bad girl that she starts wearing black clothing and pleasuring her boyfriend in public. Unfortunately her new found persona falls flat at school as she is tempted to take drugs but doesn't.

    Angela continues to fall apart and becomes increasingly jealous of Jane's success. She gets fired for showing up high and flashing her bosoms. Jane and Angela audition at a higher end club that's less go-go and more ho-ho. Angela is told to get a boob job and Jane is offered a job which only fuels Angela's jealousy.

    Jane takes the job and continues to keep it from her boyfriend. She confides in Donna, an older go-go dancer that he just wouldn't understand. Donna is played by Rachel Hunter. What the hell happened to poor Rachel that she would be reduced to treacle like this?

    Unfortunately, Jane's father and boyfriend show up at the strip club and catch her big debut. Here's a question: Why would her boyfriend and father be going to strip clubs together? Kind of creepy if you ask me. Her father begs her to quit and promises to pay her not to strip and her boyfriend dumps her.

    Jane finds out that Angela is working a sleazy club sans her top. Oh, the horror, the unfathomable horror. She promises to quit if Jane joins her for a bachelor party. Like a moron, Jane accompanies her to a storage room full of drunk middle aged men. The unthinkable happens, one of the men has the audacity to treat Jane like a sex object. Angela is forced to mace a party goer and the girls make their escape.

     Due to her unexplained absences and overall bad acting, Jane is kicked out of acting school. Angela dies from a botched boob job. I am not kidding. A botched boob job. Lifetime just hit a new low in melodramatic stupidity.

     Jane learns the error of her dirty sinful ways but learns that Angela stole her mother's earrings and pawned them. Donna loans her the money to buy them back and Rachel Hunter dies a little inside. Jane confesses everything to her clueless mother who can't understand how her little girl could fail so epically.

     Everybody forgives Jane including her acting professor and Jane hangs up her stripper heels. She passes her class, reunites with her boyfriend, and learns a larger lesson in life.

    Seriously, Lifetime, seriously? Go-go dancing? You couldn't have just made it about a stripper? The main character spends her half the movie writhing on stage but don't you dare treat her like a sex object. And we're supposed to believe that men will waste hard earned money on a fully clothed woman, they can see that for free.

     And Rachel, all is forgiven, this awful movie wasn't your fault.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Give me chocolate or I will cut you"

Glee. Rocky Horror. Two things that should have gone together like white on rice. How could something so potentially good go so so wrong.

Let's start with the sanitizing of the content. If you are going to pay tribute to a popular adult musical then you better have the cajones to do it right. Glaringly obvious during Emma and Will's rendition of "Toucha Toucha Touch Me"

"I thought there’s no use getting into heavy sweating"

"Then if anything shows while you pose"

  So words like heavy petting and if anything grows is considered to risque for FOX. FOX! The home of such ribald pleasures such as Family Guy and American Dad. Seriously?

  Then there is the serious miscasting. Mercedes steps up to fill the shoes of Frank N Furter and fails miserably. Granted the actress who plays Mercedes has a phenomenal voice, but she is all wrong for the role. John Stamos, Kurt, or even Sue would have been a better choice for the part. Other dishonorable mentions go to Quinn in the role of Magenta. Magenta is supposed to be dark and sultry, not bland and sweet.

    There were some good moments John Stamos got to do a number, Sue was hysterical, and Kurt made an awesome Riff Raff. It even featured a cameo by Rocky alumni Meatloaf and Barry Bostwick  The subplots were so-so dealing with male body image and Will and Emma's angsty romance yet again.

   My belief is that if you are going to pay tribute to an iconic musical, stay true to the material. Don't sanitize, butcher, or modernize it. Treat with the respect it so obviously deserves. Case in point, I present to you the butchering of Time Warp.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lost Boys 3: The Thirst

  It's time to forget about Lost Boys 2: The Tribe (except for my fab review of course). The Thirst is the true sequel to the 1987 classic.

   The films reunites Lost Boys stars Corey Feldman and  Jamison Newlander as the now grown up Frog brothers. Edgar Frog is a destitute vampire hunter who is approached by a vampire romance writer whose brother has been kidnapped. Yes, the film pokes a bit of fun at Twilight but then again who wouldn't?

  Upon investigation, Edgar learns that a vampire DJ is using vamp's blood in order to create his own vampire army. With the reluctant help of his now vamped out brother, Alan, Edgar prepares to face the head vampire and save the world.

   Lost Boys 2 was okay but it seemed very loosely linked to the original. Lost Boys 3 is all about the original and not just with the actors. They quote the original film and tell you the fates of the characters of Michael, Starr, and Laddie. It's not only a movie but a kind-hearted tribute to fellow Lost Boys actor, Corey Haim who died recently. Numerous flashback scenes of him and the Frog brothers feature in the film. Yes, there is a version of Cry Little Sister in this as well, just not as cool as the original by G Tom Mac.

  This film doesn't have all the charm of the original but it's still fun. It's like Lost Boys with a bit of Blade and James Bond thrown in. It's action-packed and funny and a must see for any fan of the original film. I have seen a lot of '80s films given terrible straight to DVD sequels but The Thirst isn't one of them.

   I'll admit it, when the obligatory, tacked on, hinting at future sequel scene came on, I was excited. Based on how good this film is, I would definitely welcome a Lost Boys 4. And oddly I felt that long dormant teenage crush of Corey Feldman coming back again.

Monday, October 18, 2010


  Suck is a refreshing addition to the vampire genre. For way too long, vampires have been approached with just too much angst and not enough fun. Remember fun vampire films such as Lost Boys, Once Bitten and My Best Friend Is A Vampire?

  Suck brings back the fun of the vampire genre. It centers around a mediocre rock band who are (pardon the pun) dying to get their big break. Their big break comes in the form of bassist, Jennifer, who gets turned into a vampire. As the band slowly join the ranks of the undead, their career takes off and it looks like nothing can stop them. Except for a rabid vampire hunter (Malcolm McDowell) and the lead singer's choice of whether to make it big or stay alive.

  Suck is funny and intelligent with a lot of wonderful one liners. The music is awesome and the cast is one of the most top notch casts I have seen in a long while. Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Moby, Alice Cooper, and Malcolm McDowell, how many other movies can boast that cast. Jennifer is played by Jessica Pare who was wonderful in Lost and Delirious and Matt Foley is hysterical. I was suprised to see Mike Lobel who I loved on Degrassi show up in the film as the band's drummer.

    To future vampire movie creators, take note of this movie. This is the way to go. Insert more humor, more vampire pride if you will. I think fans of the vampire genre have had their fill of whiny pretty boys who do nothing but angst and brood.  It's about time that we, the movie viewers get something that's dark without being depressing, or funny without resorting to repulsive body humor.

   Suck stays original even up to the very end, it doesn't portray vampirism as this awful horrible thing that most vampire films would have done. If you like intelligent comedy and want to go back to the days where vampire movies were actually fun, then Suck is definitely a must rent movie.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What Jessie Spano Did On Her Summer Vacation

It's every teen idol's worst nightmare, being stereotyped and forced to play the same tired role for all eternity. All a male actor has to do is take a serious role as a drug dealer or cop and all is forgiven. A female actress unfortunately has to go slutty to get that same respect. Alyssa did it, Drew did it, but Elizabeth Berkeley took it one step forward. After Showgirls, people not only forgot Saved By The Bell, they forgot about Elizabeth as well.

Elizabeth plays Nomi Malone (No Me I'm Alone) a dancer with a dream. The movie opens up with her hitchhiking to Vegas. She is promptly picked up a guy who is already mentally preparing his Dear Penthouse letter. Nomi dashes those hopes with a switchblade and even insults his choice of music in the same breath.

Nomi's so-called street smarts evaporate when he claims that his uncle is a big muckedty muck at casino who can get her her dream job. She leaves her suitcase in his truck and goes off to gamble while he makes her dreams come true. She realizes soon enough that she has been scammed.

Nomi must have the most awesome suitcase ever. A guy gave her ten dollars in order to distract her in order to steal it. Nomi becomes unhinged and starts beating up the car next to her. The car's owner, Arlene, tries to stop her. Nomi promptly gets sick and then tries to throw herself in traffic. Seriously, what is in that suitcase.

Arlene sees this emotionally unstable drifter and thinks only one thing, perfect roommate material. Within weeks, they are super best friends. Nomi's a dancer at a sleazy strip club and Arlene works for a casino as a costume designer. Nomi attends one of the shows and meets Cristal (Gina Gershon) who insults Nomi's work. She promptly runs out and whales on Arlene's car again. That poor abused car.

She blows off work to go dancing in a club. When I say dancing, I mean something that's a cross between the Robot and the Macarena with some jazz hands for flair. Some dude named James tries to pick her up earning him a kick in the danger zone. Despite that, he still bails her out after she gets arrested.

Cristal shows up at the club with her agent/manager (Kyle MacLachlan) Zack in tow. She forces Nomi to give Zack a private dance with a happy ending. This scene is disturbing for me because essentially I am watching Jessie Spano give a lap dance to Orson Hodge. Cristal gives her the money implying, yet again, that's she's a whore. Well if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck.....

So the movie goes into a long boring 45 minutes consisting of Nomi slowly slutting her way to the top, James telling Nomi not to sell out before he then sells out, an epileptic love scene in a swimming pool and finally Cristal and Nomi's creepy love/hate relationship.

Nomi finally shoves Cristal down a flight of stairs and takes her place as the headliner of the show. Arlene is disgusted on how low her friend has stooped. She begs Arlene to forgive her and attend her premiere party. Arlene hooks up with her favorite rock star who like everyone else in this film (including the script writer and director) turns out to be a sadistic pervert. He puts Arlene in the hospital.

Of course, since the rock star is also a headliner, he is being protected by Zack. Zack plans to pay off Arlene and then tells Nomi that he knows that she used to be a hooker. There were about a half dozen scenes in this film where someone implies that she's a hooker and she gets offended. What was the point? Were they trying to make Nomi look less trashy in the film? If so, they failed.

Nomi won't allow that and exerts her own brand of slut justice on the rock star. She heads to the hospital to bid goodbye to Cristal and Arlen before hitchhiking off into the sunset. And you'll never guess who picks her up, yes the same sleazebag from the start of the films.

His trucks ricochets off to Hollywood as a knife happy Nomi demands to know where her special suitcase is.

Sorry for the month of blog silence. The boyfriend and I have decided to sell our house and move from Cali to Washington. No one told me that the act of selling a house can be so time consuming. But I'm back and there will be more entries to follow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Halloween Movie Guide

First it was Friday The 13th. Then came Nightmare On Elm Street. Now I present to you the Halloween movie guide.

Halloween (1978): In 1963, a young boy named Michael Myers brutally murders his older sister. 15 years later he escapes back to his hometown with his psychiatrist in hot pursuit.

The Good: This is the granddaddy of the slasher film genre. It laid out the rules that other horror movies would follow for decades later. Without Halloween, there would have been no Jason, Freddy, or Chucky haunting the cinemas. The film boasts some top-notch acting, some genuine scares and a memorable soundtrack.

The Bad:
Absolutely nothing.

Notable Stars:
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles & Kyle Richards.

Halloween 2 (1983): The unkillable Michael Myers continues his reign of terror in the unsuspecting town of Haddonfield. But some unexpected family ties may cause danger for one of his victims.

The Good: Still helmed by director John Carpenter, the movie does have some suspenseful and memorable moments. Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence are wonderful and really improve a slightly mediocre sequel. There is also a television version of this film with cut scenes that better explain the film, a must watch if you can find it.

The Bad: Halloween 2 takes place the very same evening that Halloween ended on. With three years having past between films, the actors have grown older. It's hard to suspend disbelief with this film. The kills are gorier but less scary.

Notable Stars:
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Dana Carvey, and Billy Warlock.

Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch (1982): A mask maker schemes to kill all the children on Halloween night.

The Good:
This movie is not a bad movie nor is it the greatest. This film is best known as the Halloween without Michael Myers. Halloween was never intended to be a slasher franchise, it was supposed to be an anthology featuring a new big bad in every film. But the studios wanted another Michael Myers movie and the die was cast. The movie unfairly suffered due to the backlash.

The Bad
: The mask company's theme song. An insipidly evil ditty that becomes trapped in your head never to escape.

table Stars: No one. It is rumored that Jamie Lee Curtis did a voice only cameo in the film.

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988) After 10 years of being locked up, Michael escapes and heads back to Haddonfield.

The Good: This is what a Halloween movie should be, suspenseful, scary, action packed. Donald Pleasence reprises his role as Dr. Loomis. Jamie Lee Curtis is gone but replaced by two of the greatest scream queens Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris. It also has one of the most powerful endings in horror movie history

The Bad:
I understand that every slasher film needs a bimbo character to show her goods. But the one they cast in Halloween 4 is especially annoying. Any scene with her is a scene too many. The whole teen love triangle subplot was too soap opera like and was not right for the field.

Notable Stars: Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, and Sasha Jensen

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) Michael Myers is still killing, but will the audience care?

The Good: Donald Pleasence and Danielle Harris reprise their roles. This upgrades the film from intolerable to mildly tolerable.

The Bad:
Let's see a rushed and confusing storyline with many plot holes hanging. Ellie Cornell is killed off seconds after she appears. The cast is one of the most annoying, unappealing, and virtually talentless group of people I have ever seen. Halloween 4 was gold and to follow that film with this is a slap in the face to all horror fans.

Notable Stars:
Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, and Ellie Cornell.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) After seeing Halloween 5, I said "Well the series can't get any worse." I was wrong.

The Good: Donald Pleasence returns, giving it the old college try.

The Bad: Another poorly thought out script. Thorn Cults! Danielle Harris doesn't return but her character Jamie does. Thorn Cults! Unlikable characters. Did I mention the damn Thorn Cult? Thorn Cult, Thorn Cult, Thorn Cult! Gahhhhhhh!

Notable Stars: Donald Pleasence, and Paul Rudd
Halloween H20 (1998) Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her rightful place in the series. The audience breathes a sigh of relief.

The Good: Again, this is what a Halloween should always be. Suspenseful, scary, with a talented cast and coherent script. There are great cameos and even a nod to the late Donald Pleasence who passed away after Halloween 6.

The Bad: The movie retcons every that happened since Halloween 2. While it erases the horrid world of haunted masks and thorn cults, it also eliminates the existence of Danielle Harris' character, Jamie. I wish they could have kept the character but oh well. It was a small price to pay in order to have a decent Halloween movie.

Notable Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, LL Cool J, Jodi Lynn O'Keefe, Janet Leigh, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Halloween Resurrection (2002) The last nail in the coffin for the original series. It ended with a whimper, not a bang.

The Good: Jamie Lee Curtis is kind enough to reprise her role in order to give her character a final send off. It's not the worst Halloween movie in the world. It lacks the suspense of the better films but is still a good watch. Busta Rhymes is hysterical and proves that a singer can be an actor and not fail.

The Bad: If movie producers want to make a million movies about killer Internet/phone/videos, they have my blessing. Just keep the tech-horror out of the slasher genre. The whole Internet reality show plot came off as a desperate attempt to appear cutting edge and trendy.

Notable Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, Sean Patrick Harris, Katee Sackhoff, Thomas Ian Nichols, and Tyra Banks.

The Rob Zombie Halloween Series has already been reviewed. In my opinion those are a reboot and like the Friday The 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street guides, reboots really have no place in the original series.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

10 Things I Learned From Watching Little House On The Prairie

Damn you, Hallmark channel!

1. Kidnapping Is Not Illegal: If you kidnap a child in Walnut Grove, you are in luck. As long as you are super sorry and learn a larger lesson in life you are forgiven (and never seen again).

For example in My Ellen, a young girl named Ellen Taylor drowns while swimming with Laura and Mary. The grief-stricken Mrs. Taylor eventually kidnaps Laura and keeps her in the cellar. Laura is rescued and Mrs. Taylor accepts her daughter's death. Nothing happens to Mrs. Taylor nor is the kidnapping incident ever mentioned.

In Bless All The Dear Children, Laura's baby is kidnapped by a woman who desperately wants a baby. Of course, they get her back. The kidnapper not only gets off scott free but receives a conciliatory orphan. Speaking of orphans......

2. He Followed Me Home Can I Keep Him:
Why bother kidnapping kids when orphans are easier to get than a carnival goldfish? Pa meets Albert, a little street urchin and promptly takes him home. No signing papers or anything official.

In the two-parter Remember Me, Charles has to find homes for the orphaned Sanderson children. Grace Snider wants to adopt them but she is unmarried. As the prospective parents come for the children, Mr. Edwards swoops in with a proposal. Nobody gets mad at Mr. Edwards for bogarting the orphans.

3. Pa Ingalls Fails As A Fighter: We all remember Charles Ingalls as a man quick to throw a punch defending his family. But how many fights do you remember him winning? For example Bully Boys and As Long As We're Together, he gets the crap kicked out of him and his friends have to finish the job.
In Child Of Pain and Town Party/Country Party, Charles meddles in some guy's life and a fight ensues. However mid-fight the guy realizes that Charles was right to interfere and apologizes.

4. Spare The Rod And Tell Her She's Pretty: How do you deal with a bitch like Nellie? That curly haired tornado of spoiled evilness destroying everything in her path. Beatings don't work, neither does punishment or humiliation. How do you tame the beast? Just tell her that she's pretty.
In He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, Nellie meets Percival who's supposed to teach her to cook. Fed up with her diva ways, he tells her off then tells her she's pretty. Instant bitch removal ensues and Nellie never shows signs of her old behavior.

5. The Original Full House: Half of Little House's episodes deal with the Ingalls encountering some financial issue. The farm is always thisclose to failing. Pa is continually doing as many odd jobs as possible to keep the family afloat.
What do you do when you live in a one room shack with three children and barely enough money to feed them? Adopt two more. In The Lost Ones, Charles adopts the recently orphaned James and Cassandra and welcome them to his happy poverty stricken little home.

6. Little Town In The Bermuda Triangle: Walnut Grove is supposedly a small town where everybody knows everyone. Yet dozens upon dozens of characters are suddenly introduced only to vanish, never to be heard from again.

Where are the townspeople going? Indians? Eaten by wolves? Has Mrs. Oleson gone into the meat pie business? Inquiring minds want to know.

7. The Ingalls Played Favorites: In I'll Ride The Wind, Charles has no problem allowing a 13 year old Mary to get engaged to John Edwards. But when a 15 year old Laura wants to marry Almanzo, Charles flips out fighting the couple every inch of the way. He even insists that she wait until she turns 18.

Also in Sweet Sixteen, Charles begins to accept Almanzo and Laura as a couple. Caroline says that she is "dying to call him Grandpa." So we're just gonna pretend that Mary didn't have a son who died in a fire. Pretty insensitive.

8. Pa Fails As A Farmer: This guy could barely keep a houseplant alive, let alone maintain a farm. His crops have been destroyed by heavy rain, hail, and even a tornado. And when did he have the time to do all that farming when he is doing odd jobs in order to feed his family.

9. Did They Have To Blow Up The Whole Town?: In The Last Farewell, evil landowners claim the town of Walnut Grove. Deciding that they can take the town but not their homes and businesses, the town blows everything up. Other towns vow to take the same action if the landowners try to take their towns. The landowners back down and the town of Walnut Grove walks off into the sunset.

Happy ending? An entire town is now homeless, jobless, and likely to never see one another again. What a way to end the series.

10. Family Friendly Programming: Let's see dead babies, kidnappings, blizzards, fires, people constantly dying and mime rapists. Little House On The Prairie makes an average Lifetime stalker movie look like The Bernstein Bears.

And I wasn't joking about the rapist mime.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Runaways

I admit I was a little leery about watching this. I am a huge Joan Jett fan and was afraid this movie would be an exploitative hack job.

The film's trailer would have you believe that it's nothing but sex and scantily clad women with a little rock thrown in. The film however is very sensitive to it's subjects and avoids being just another rags to riches story.

I had concerns about the casting of Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, and Scout Taylor Thompson. I had yet to see a movie with Kristen and Scout that I actually liked and I am still trying to accept Dakota Fanning as a grown-up. But after seeing this I have to say I am seeing all three actresses in a new light.

Kristen was especially impressive, in looks, mannerisms, and voice, she embodied Joan Jett. Scout made a great Lita Ford, but due to Lita's refusal to participate, she is barely seen. Dakota as wild child Cherie Currie steals the film. If she can avoid the pratfalls of other teen stars there's no telling how amazing an actress she can become.

Other actors in the film are Riley Keough, Tatum O'Neal, and Michael Shannon. Michael plays the girls manager, Kim Fowley. He is hysterical and almost every line he utters is comic gold.

Another impressive point was their handling of the much touted lesbian scene between Joan and Cherie. Instead of being some Skinemax wanna-be, it was an honest tender seen with the smutty parts happening off screen.

As for anachronisms I'm afraid there quite a few of them. But I understand that some things had to be altered for the sake of the story. The movie has a great soundtrack and awesome musical performances. The actors actually sing and play their own instruments which gives the film a better sense of realism.

This is a film I would definitely recommend to Joan Jett fans and music lovers. Don't let the trailer or cast scare you away, this film is worth the rental.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Face On The Milk Carton

I've been searching for this film for years. Lifetime failed me, ditto Amazon and Netflix. I begin to wonder if I would ever be able see the movie version of one of my favorite books. Be careful what you wish for. There's a very good reason this film still languishes in the VHS hell in our modern age of DVD.

Let's start with the movie's length. The producers of the film inexplicably crammed both Face On The Milk Carton and Whatever Happened To Janie into a two hour format. Not even two hours, it originally aired on national television, so a half hour consisted of commercials.

Can a film be too rushed and overly drawn out at once? This film can. Barely a minute after the film starts Janie finds her picture on the milk carton. In less than half an hour, Janie learns about Hannah and the cult and then the film grinds to a halt. Reading about Janie agonizing over whether to contact the people looking for her is better than having to watch it.

The second part where she returns to her family is considerably better. Richard Masur plays her biological father. I have an unexplainable crush on him dating back to My Girl in '91. I'll watch anything with him in it. The movie has some awesome casting including Sharon Lawrence and Richard Herrman.

You probably noticed that I did not include Kellie Martin who plays Janie. The reason: As good as an actress she is, she just isn't who I pictured as Janie. Janie struck me a normal, average girl next door type. Kellie unfortunately brings to Janie the same nervous, precocious, energy she brings to all her roles. If Juno had been released ten years earlier, she would have been a shoo-in for the role. But Juno is no Janie.

Also, Janie looks nothing like her siblings. A big deal in both the book and movie is how she looks so much like her other siblings.
This is not how I pictured Janie when I read the book.

Awesome casting, the actors actually look like brother and sister. But Janie looks nothing like them no matter what the film wants you to believe. She doesn't even have the same shade of red as her mother and siblings do.

The story would have been better off as a four hour miniseries. It would've given the film more time for plot and character development, both missing from the movie version. I am both glad to have finally seen the film but disappointed in how it was handled.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jessica Simpson: Blond and Ridiculous

The sad thing is that Jessica Simpson can act, she has a great sense of comedic timing. Given a strong supporting role and a decent cast, she could be wonderful. But these endless stream of ditz out-of-water films have got to stop.

Jessica Simpson plays Megan Valentine. An actress and singer with a string of bad films on her resume (Sound familiar). Of course, when her fairy tale life comes crashing down she hightails it to the army.

This film is strictly movie by numbers. She's the worst soldier ever. She gets her groove back and impresses everyone. Learns a larger lesson in life. Gets a hunky love interest. Need I say more? Even Simpson seems to have checked out during the film, she seems to be phoning it in waiting for the check to clear.

I was briefly in Air Force boot camp. I cannot speak for the Army Boot Camp but I assume the rules and regulations are the same. Privates do not get warm pep talks and pats on the head from their Drill Sergeants. Privates do not give attitude to Drill Sergeants and First Sergeants and have nothing happen to them. I understand that it's a fantasy movie but try a little harder for realism.

Simpson is not the only one suffering through this film. Cheri Oteri, Steve Guttenberg, and Vivica A. Fox also appear in the movie. Congratulations, Steve Miner, you've finally directed a movie worse than Friday The 13th Part 3. Bravo!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy

If you are a Nightmare On Elm Street fan, you simply must watch this documentary. Narrated by Heather Langenkemp this film explored the legacy of the Elm Street series and it's impact in horror cinema.
Something rare happened when I watched this, I simply watched it. Usually I am too restless to simply sit in front of a movie. I may work out, I may thumb through a magazine, or putter around the house cleaning. Not with this, I sat on the couch pleased as punch for four hours.
Yes, the film is four hours long but worth it. It covers every film from Nightmare 1 to the much lamented Freddy VS Jason. You learn everything, from the film inception, special effects, earlier script drafts, the casting of the actors, everything you wanted to know about Freddy but were afraid to ask.

Former actors return to share their memories of their times on the film. It seems everyone, cast and crew turn out to celebrate the series. Conspicuously absent however are some of the bigger name actors that starred in the series. Johnny Depp, Patricia Arquette, Jason Ritter, Breckin Myer, and Kelly Rowland make no appearance. I hope that time constraints kept them away, it would be a shame to see them dissing the franchise that started their career.

Since Nightmare On Elm Street 4 was my personal favorite, I looked forward to that installment. It was wonderful see my favorite film delved into with such detail. Seeing the actors 20 years later was fun as well.

I always considered Lisa Wilcox to be a beauty, she still is. 1988

But, what the hell happened to Tuesday Knight?

Circa '80s


Attention Hollywood actresses: Growing old is not the end of the world. We all age. Don't ruin a beautiful face just to appear sexy. Wrinkles are attractive, plastic is not.

Okay, rant over. Like I said, all Nightmare fans must check this out. It's a real cinematic treat.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Deception by Leigh Nichols

This awesome books came to me via giveaway hosted by the The Unprofessional Critic. If you haven't checked out the blog, it's awesome. And it was also the first giveaway that I actually won.

The book is Deception by Lee Nichols. It centers around a teen named Emma whose parents disappear. She is whisked off to another school by a family friend and starts to see dead people. She learns that she is a ghost keeper and finds herself being menaced by a evil force.

I liked the book. It's fun, mostly fast paced, and not too predictable. There are too many books that I end up figuring out the ending long before getting there. I have learned to appreciate books that I can't figure out.

I especially liked Emma's relationship with some of the ghosts. Usually ghosts are portrayed as menacing or saints that can do no wrong. These ghosts are given a more human perspective. Having Emma develop a familial bond with the house ghosts was sweet.

I wasn't too thrilled with the romantic subplot. I understand that it's a young adult novel and romance is required. However, a lot of the scenes were unnecessary and slowed the plot down some.

Still, all in all, great book. I actually look forward to reading the rest of the series in the near future.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Werewolves, Werepanthers, and Werefoxes, Oh My!

Club Dead is the third installment to the Southern Vampire Mysteries and by far my favorite. It's a wonderful blend of action, romance, and comedy.

Club Dead introduces a new supernatural element to the series, the Weres. Weres are not limited to wolves but also include tigers, panthers, and foxes (oh my.) I find the idea of a Were Fox to be the most adorable thing ever.

The book follows telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse and her search of her missing boyfriend that leads her to Mississippi. She is accompanied by her bodyguard, Alcide, a werewolf forced to protect her by Eric. Some sparks fly between the two.

For the first part of the book I liked Alcide but the character is quickly revealed to be weak and indecisive. The love/hate relationship among him and his Were girlfriend, Debbie, slows the book down some. I did adore the snarky dialogue between Debbie and Sookie, though.

Eric and Sookie are sizzling in the novel and I am glad to see the connection among her and Bill fade some. Bill is unlikable in this book and shows signs of weakness as well.

Watching the current season of True Blood will be interesting. I watched the first two seasons with no knowledge of the books. If anything, reading the books have enhanced my love of the television series. Both Alcide and Debbie have been cast in Season 3 and I cannot wait to see them show up.

Bring on the cat fighting (pardon the pun.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mother May I Sleep With Danger?

Why not? You've slept with everybody else.

Next to 15 and Pregnant this is one of my favorite Lifetime Movies. It's so deliciously bad, yet you can't not watch it. Like another Lifetime "classic" A Secret Between Friends, it's set in my old hometown of Seattle.

The movie begins with a handsome young lad knocking on his girlfriend's door armed with a teddy bear. The guy is played by Ivan Sergei who you may recognize from Charmed. He becomes unhinged when he sees that she took his pictures down and promptly kills her.

We are then introduced to Laurel Lewisohn (Seriously?) played by a briefly red-haired Tori Spelling. Like all Lifetime heroines before her she has a bright future but has no time for love. Enter "Kevin" who flashes his dimples and promptly wins her over.

Unlike her daughter, Laurel's mother has a brain. She picks up on the oh so obvious warning signs emanating from her new beau. Like what he chose to wear to dinner.

Of course, Laurel is clueless. Even when he stalks her, displays signs of jealously, and acts downright abusive. She forgives him over and over again. She even dyes her hair blond like his former girlfriend used to. Because this Lifetime and they hate us.

But trouble looms on the horizon, psycho boy is obviously not "Kevin." The real Kevin has been in Alaska all this time. The real Kevin is played by Lochlyn Munro, who coincidentally starred in both A Secret Between Friends and Charmed.

Eventually Laurel wises up to her boyfriend's craziness and bails on him. Instead of say, going to the cops, she goes to a dance club and dances with another guy. "Kevin" beats him up and lures Laurel outside to talk. It wasn't that hard to lure her out, he dangled something shiny.

He talks a pretty tale about getting help but drugs Laurel's drink and kidnaps her. "Kevin", this character is clinically brain dead, you didn't need to go to all that trouble. Just tell her you're taking her out for ice cream.

Luckily for Laurel, her mother has been doing some snooping and finds out the truth. She tracks down her daughter who is being held hostage at a family cabin in the woods. Mrs Lewisohn, your daughter's an airhead and this will likely happen again, lo jack the bitch and save us some trouble.

Laurel manages to get away and we get a long boring chase scene. Mrs. Lewisohn shows up at the cabin without any police accompaniment. Like mother, like daughter I guess. She promptly gets knocked out and more boring chase scenes ensue. Tori finds a canoe but doesn't go far. Hard to paddle a canoe with only one oar. "Kevin" capsizes the boat but sadly, Laurel can swim.

Mother and daughter reunite to kick some psycho ass. Damn it, "Kevin", next time you have an axe and are five feet from Tori Spelling, use the damn thing. Laurel knocks Kevin into the water with an oar and he vanishes.

He shows up at another college dressed like a reject from Grease and finds a new blond girl to love. Hopefully she'll ask her mother before she sleeps with danger.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

They Shoot Housewives Don't They?

So awhile ago I had the "pleasure" of watching Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story on Lifetime. I wanted to find the other movies since it has been ages since I have seen them. Thanks to the awesomeness of cable and Netflix, I finally got my wish. Here's how the three movies stacked up.

Amy Fisher: My Story a.k.a Lethal Lolita (1992) : . This NBC offering is from Amy Fisher's point of view. Typical tale of a teen seduced by a married man and convinced to kill his wife. Amy sold her rights to her story to help with her bail. NBC was originally going to air it on January 17th until they learned that CBS and ABC were airing their versions 4 days prior. The film ended up airing on December 28 of 1992.
Newcomer Noelle Parker plays Amy. She is the best Amy of the trilogy, in accent and looks. The movie doesn't sanitize or gloss over the gritty details. Unfortunately it gets boring rather quickly. A half hour of the movie is literally Amy arguing with Joey, he doesn't want her dating other guys but refuses to leave his wife for her. Or Amy arguing with her lover Paul, he wants her to leave Joey but refuses to leave his girlfriend for her. Ad nauseum. The movie ends with Amy going to prison regretting ever meeting Joey.

Casualties of Love: The "Long Island Lolita" Story
: This version aired on CBS in January of 1993. It is obviously from the Buttafuccos point of view. Joey is portrayed as a faithful husband and father tormented by a teenage seductress. The movie ends with Amy getting her just desserts as the family rejoices. Alyssa Milano shed her good girl image in order to play Amy. As far as accuracy goes, Milano is the least believable in the trilogy. Alyssa makes no real effort to channel Amy and she comes off as one note and boring.

It's understandable though. It's the Buttafucco's version so they concentrate more on themselves and not so much on Amy. Reportedly they were paid 30,000 for their story.

The Amy Fisher Story a.k.a Beyond Control (1993): To this day, I still have no idea whose point of view this story is supposed to be from. I don't even think that ABC knew. Half the movie portrays Amy as a poor misled girl being unfairly punished. The other half portrays Amy as a manipulating, sex driven, seductress determined to get her way at all costs.

Drew Barrymore played Amy Fisher in this film. While she may not have looked too much like Amy, she did a good job of behaving like her. Her accent is halfway decent and if anyone fits the persona of a Lethal Lolita, Drew does.

I didn't like this film when it first aired but second time around I adored it. This version in my opinion is the most fun and entertaining of the trilogy. B grade cheesiness at it's finest.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Nightmare On Elm Street 2010

I tried my darnedest to watch this movie with an open mind. I made a silent deal with this film, be entertaining and I'll forgive your lack of Robert Englund goodness. Needless to say, the movie did not keep it's end of the bargain.

Let's start with Jackie Earle Haley's portrayal of Freddy Krueger. It was boring and totally lacking of any malice. As the human Freddy in flashback he did very well, he is a good actor just not suitable for this role.

Another problem I had was with the makeup. I understand that the film wanted to go less cartoony and more realistic but come on. Something that looks like a blend of the Borg Queen and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is not scary.

Kyle Gallner, Ella Cassidy, and Kellan Lutz are pretty talented actors. Shamefully, they are stuck with dull as dish water roles. You don't root for these characters, you simply don't care. Also, the kids are way too quick to believe in Freddy. Ella's character Kris is forced to watch her boyfriend kill himself after telling her about Freddy. Despite the fact that the character is known to be on medication does not hinder her instant belief in Freddy.

The original Nightmare On Elm Street was dark, scary, and campy. It had some talented actors and some memorable characters. It was more than a film series, it was a legacy. If people want to re imagine great horror film then do it for the love of the genre. Don't do it for the paycheck.

And a note to the girls sitting a couple rows ahead of me. Yes, Kellan Lutz was in Twilight, we all know that. There was no reason to squeal about it and chatter about Twilight for a few agonizing minutes until someone shushed them. If you wanna talk about Twilight go see a Twilight movie and don't torture the rest of the audience.

Friday, May 7, 2010

2010 Season In Review (Mild Spoilers)

As this television season draws to a close I thought I'd share my thoughts on how my favorite shows fared.

Melrose Place: I worshiped the original Melrose Place and was excited to learn about the reboot. Granted, the season started out boring. They bring Sydney Andrews back from the dead only to kill her off five minutes later.

Auggie (Colin Egglesford) and Violet (Ashlee Simpson) were the most boring characters on the show and they have been removed. Riley and Jonah were boring and I wished them off the show as well. Until Jonah hooked up with Ella....Riley can still go. Heather Locklear is still awesome as Amanda Woodward and it's great to see Thomas Calabro, Josie Bissett, and Daphne Zuniga reprise their former characters.There is buzz that the show may be cancelled and that would be a shame. Melrose Place has finally smoothed out the rough edges and has begun to gel. It deserves a second season.

Big Love: Seriously, what the Hell happened this season. It was like a bad hangover following the prior season's awesomeness. You changed the theme song which is just awful. The story lines have degenerated into pure garbage. Illegal bird deals? Bill was just insufferable. And Margene's story lines have lapsed into a coma of stupidity that the show may not recover from.

To the Big Love writers, two of my favorite actors have left the show. I need something to keep me tuning in. Shape up and be as awesome as I know you can be.

Lost: For the shows' final season, I have been mildly disappointed. The alternate time line ran on way too long. It was good see some of the shows' former actors return but enough is enough. Only a handful of episodes left and nearly nothing has happened. There are questions that need to be answered and only two weeks left to get on the ball.

Oh, and last week's little slaughter fest of original characters made me cry. Not only because the victims were all favorite characters but Jack is still alive. Seriously, Lost, give a devoted fan something to treasure.

Degrassi: The Next Generation: How can you be my guilty pleasure show if I can no longer watch you. I have probably missed half of the season and the episodes I do watch are just deja vu. How many times can Sav and Anya break up in a season? How many times can Ally and Johnny insist they are over? How many times can Riley come out of the closet? Too many new characters and old favorites shuffled into a corner. I miss my guilty pleasure but thank God for Boycott The Caf.
Glee: Started out awesome. It has great characters, fun musical numbers and awesome guest appearances. But the recent episodes have been lacking in entertainment. We spend all this time rooting for Emma and Will but get nothing except angst and fighting. Same for Rachel and Finn. There is still hope for the show and hopefully it will get out of it's slump.

The Secret Life Of The American Teen: If it had just been the teenagers, I would've have never been sucked into this show. It's the adult cast that keeps me coming back. Molly Ringwald, Jennifer Coolidge, Mayim Bialik, Kathy Kinney, and Josie Bissett are simply awesome and make the show watchable.

Plus the show has that unapologetic, awesomely over the top dialogue and story lines that Degrassi used to be famous for. A girl convinced that her fantastic sex killed her father, classic. However enough with the pregnancies, couple swapping, and blink and you'll miss them love interests.

Desperate Housewives: This season has been 100% awesome. Great story lines, great use of humor and drama. The Fairview Strangler was predictable but the back story made is an awesome storyline. Love Drea De Matteo and was happy to see her on the show. Katherine's final storyline was wonderful. It was refreshing to have a lesbian storyline not be for ratings but be a natural evolution for the character. Top notch.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Living Dead In Dallas (Spoilers)

Thankfully, Season 2 of True Blood doesn't follow Living Dead In Dallas to the letter. I am actually happy about that. As much as I loved Dead Until Dawn, reading that after watching Season 1 was kind of anti-climatic.

Callisto the maenad has less of a presence in the book than she does in series. Nothing against Michelle Forbes who played Marianne (renamed for the series) she is awesome. But Season 2 could have been appropriately renamed everyone loves Marianne.

I also like the fact that True Blood did not kill of Lafayette like the book did. Aside from Tara and Eric, Lafayette is one of my favorite True Blood characters. Tara does debut in this book but has nothing to do with Callisto/Marianne.

However True Blood improved on one aspect of the book. The sacrifice of Godfrey (a.k.a Godric in the series. In the book he has no connection with Eric or Bill. Sookie still witnesses his death but as more of a stranger. It didn't have the impact that the series did. Case in point...

Another interesting aspect of reading the series is the change of my allegiances to certain couples. When I watched the series I was rooting for Sookie and Bill to be together. But as I read the series, I find myself more and more interested in an Eric/Sookie pairing.

It will be interesting to watch the new series with a knowledge of the books, unlike when I watched Seasons 1 & 2.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Danielle Steel's Remembrance

So I attempted to review the miniseries of Danielle Steel's Remembrance. Unfortunately the film was so dull that I just couldn't get through it. I did however find the copy of the book at a thrift store and hilarity ensued.

It's books like this one that makes it hard for me to admit that I like some Danielle Steel novels. The movie centers on the blond haired, green eyed, Italian goddess Serena. Yes, no brown haired, brown eyed Italians would do in Steel's world.

Serena is a Princess forced to flee Italy and live in the States during Mussolini's reign. Why, you ask? Because apparently, Serena is so beautiful that she will likely be raped by soldiers any minute.

After the war is over, Serena returns to Italy and learns that her beloved grandmother has died. Are you aware that Serena is totally gorgeous? If you forgot, the author is quick to remind you a hundred times. Serena moves in with her grandmothers' maid and becomes a maid as well. Which is supposedly a horrible thing because she's so gosh darn beautiful.

She meets John Stamos at an airport and he tells her that she's pretty. Not really, she meets an equally good looking soldier named B.J. He is so instantly in love with her that he dumps his fiancee and begs her to marry him. But she won't, she's only a poor princess who would destroy his life.

B.J. eventually is relocated to Paris and a heartbroken Serena wastes away to practically nothing. Of course, he sweeps her off her little Italian feet and eventually the two wed and learn that she is pregnant. They have a beautiful daughter, obviously.

B.J's family hates her but that's okay because she is so beautiful. She is widowed but her brother in law, Teddy, watches out for her because she is so beautiful. She has no career skills but becomes a model because she's so.....Hey when did blood start trickling out my ears?

Moving on, Serena meets a Greek god named Vaseline or Vagisal or something like that. Anyway, she and Vag Cream fall in love and get married and have another beautiful daughter. Vag Cream turns out to be a horrible drug addict who kills Serena.

Serena's eldest daughter, Vanessa, witnesses the murder and goes into shock. The other daughter, Charlotte is spirited away by Vag Cream's brother. Vanessa completely blocks out the fact that she ever had a sister. B.J's family suddenly takes an interest in Vanessa and a custody trial ensues. Luckily, good old Uncle Teddy gets her and is the best father he can be.

The movie ends on this note, which is the only good thing about it. The books however keeps going and going. Vanessa grows up to guessed it beautiful. But the trauma of her mother's death keeps her from committing to her boyfriend.

Teddy marries some gal and they have a baby. The very second Vanessa holds the tyke, memories of her sister come flooding back and she must find her. She goes to Greece, where Charlotte is conveniently on a trip. But Vag Cream's brother is there to welcome her with open arms.

Danielle Steel has a strange common theme in some of her books. The main heroine is traumatized and unable to commit to a man who loves her. She then indulges in hot, sweaty, affair with some wonderful guy who cannot have a future with her. This gives her the courage to then commit to the nice guy waiting in the wings.

In Vanessa's case the temp guy is none other than Vag Cream's brother. He also has cancer and begs Vanessa to take Charlie with her. Yes, stick your foster daughter with someone she barely knows. Deprive her of having any kind of closure in her foster father's death. But who cares if she gets traumatized? There will be some guy in the wings waiting to boink some sense into her.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fifteen And Pregnant

"Don't your brain ever hurt from thinking so much?" This is one of the first sentences to welcome us to Fifteen and Pregnant. Accompanied by a cheesy pop tune, Kristen Dunst loses her virginity to her boyfriend. "Don't tell me you love me if you don't" she whispers to him.

Tina's parents are divorcing, her brother is leaving to live with her father, and her bad boy boyfriend has just dumped her. Don't be sad they dated from July to October, that's like a century in teen years. Tina is a good Christian girl, in a Lifetime movie, and she's had sex. Doom, Doom, Doomedy Doom.

Tina's mother starts to notice that Tina is sporting a baby bump. Poor Park Overall, she was my favorite actress in the '90s. In this film, she is just a whiny, walking, talking PSA. Tina takes a pregnancy test and confesses all to her mother.

By the way, abortion is the most horrible, wrong, grossest thing ever, according to Tina. Really, Lifetime, you really wanna go there? She worries about things all teen moms worry about. Will she have to give up soccer? Who wrote this movie, The Church Lady from SNL?

Morning sickness rears it's ugly head for Tina. There are many scenes in this film that makes me laugh, but the morning sickness scene takes the cake. Despite being suddenly sick, Tina has the time to turn on the shower to mask the sounds. Who really has the time to do that when you are suddenly ill?

A clueless Ray shows up at Christmas but Tina's mom sends him away. Tina's younger sister can't take the insanity and wants to live with her father. Enter Tina's friend, the other teen mom, juggling the weight of work, day care, and two whole college classes. She's the walking, talking, PSA for abstinence.

Ray has heard about the pregnancy and vows to be a better father than his dad. He's got nothing better going on, why not have a kid? Seriously who writes this movie? Tina's worst fear is confirmed, she can no longer play soccer. The school wants to send her off to one of those special unwed mother schools. Do special unwed mom schools really exist? I've known a couple of teen moms and they were allowed to continue going to school.

Tina is by far the whiniest character that Lifetime has to offer. I understand that she's supposed to be immature and hormonal but she's irritating as hell. Kara Thrace (a.k.a Starbucks from BSG.) plays a single mom and another one of the movies many object lessons.

Ray pulls the how do I know the baby's mine card and skips out. And promptly starts screwing other women. Ray then has the audacity to get mad when she doesn't invite his relatives to his baby shower. He offers her a car seat and a stroller, such a prince. Tina catches him making out with a girl in the mall and confronts him. She warns the girl that he will knock her up too.

There's a useless grandmother character who shows up and lectures everybody. And for some reason her theme song is some banjo/accordion monstrosity. There was no reason for this character at all.

Tina must live in the town without pity because nobody shows up for her baby shower. The younger sister decides to move back in and help her sister out. Tina's parents begin to fall in love all over again. If I can't hate Tina more, she refers to one of her classmates' baby as fat with ugly hair. Seriously?

Tina and her teen mom get into an argument over who's the worst teen mom ever. Tina has a hissy fit when her sister fractures her ankle and takes over the couch that Tina was sitting on. They tell this poor injured girl to move so her whiny sister can be happy. Hey, it is possible to hate this character more. The sisters do attempt to bond but it doesn't go well.

The younger sister grows tired of being in her sister's shadow and goes off to live with useless grandmother. As soon as sister leaves dad moves back in. Way to make the younger sister feel even more unloved.

Tina goes into labor with her mom, dad, other teen mom, and other teen mom's mom in attendance. Don't hospitals have rules about immediate families only. Ray shows up for the birth with his girlfriend (classy) and is told to get out by Tina's father. She gives birth to a boy.

Useless grandmother and unloved sister show up to see the kid. Everything oohs and aahs in slow motion as Tina chirps about how hard it's going to be being a teen mother. Lifetime, you owe me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Danielle Steel's No Greater Love

Before James Cameron tackled Titanic, Danielle Steel dipped her literary toes into the Titanic's icy depths.

The 1996 film based on the 1991 novel centers around Edwina Winfield, a young woman who loses her parents and fiancee in the Titanic disaster. Faced with raising her family and protecting her parents legacy, Edwina turns her back on love. But given this is a Danielle Steel creation, her back won't be turned for long.
The opening scenes on the Titanic are quite possibly the most interesting scenes in this film. And that is only because the Titanic scenes were edited from the film S.O.S. Titanic shot in '79. Like the ship, the movie sinks quickly into a repetitive maudlin waste of 105 minutes.

Normally, I love Kelly Rutherford but she is simply a blank slate in this movie. What happened to the fire and passion that she brought to Melrose Place and later Gossip Girl? It's hard to root for a porcelain doll.

The film also wastes an inordinate amount of footage on the character of Alexis. Like most Danielle Steel heroines, her head is turned by the prerequisite sleaze old enough to be her father. Alexis' character in a word annoying. I mean, ripping out your hair annoying, from her first appearance as a little moppet to her last as a sullen teenager.

Something else in the film really bothered me. Edwina turns down suitors left and right. Even though she is attracted to the fabulous Sam Stone, she still can't get over her lost love. Until she finally boards a ship again and meets Mr. Right Now.

Of course, he is charming but simply can't marry her, so there is no threat of a future. He does take down her hymenal iceberg and teaches her that she can settle for Sam. Sadly, a girl having a fling with one man in order to be able to love another man is nothing new in the land of Danielle Steel. This plot rears it's ugly head in other Danielle Steel novels as well.

The other actors are equally as blank and unmemorable save for the appearance of a young Hayden Christensen as Edwina's brother, Teddy.

If you like Danielle Steel and have a couple hours to kill, this is a great rainy day fare. It's a typical romance film with the ending tied up in a perfect happy bow. Titanic enthusiasts beware: disregard this film as it brings nothing to the table.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Retro Flashback: Dance Til Dawn

For starters, this has to one of the worst DVD covers I have ever seen. This screams bad photo shop in large, pink, neon letter. Dance 'Til Dawn is from the same era as Camp Cucamonga where networks crammed their latest and greatest stars into TV movies for our amusement.

The plot of the film consists of a group of students and some parents on the evening of their prom. The film stars Christina Applegate as Patrice, a snooty princess who is determined to make prom the best night ever. Check out future Friends star, Matthew Perry as her much beleaguered boyfriend, Roger.

Alyssa Milano plays Shelley who is dumped by her sex-crazed boyfriend (Brian Bloom) the day before prom. Determined not to let anyone find out, she winds up hiding out with the school geek, Dan. Dan is hiding from his father (Alan Thicke) who is under the mistaken impression that his son is popular.

Alyssa Milano was very hard to buy in this role. She didn't even look old enough for high school, let alone being a senior. It is even harder to accept when she interacts with her older looking cast members.

Tracy Gold plays Angela, a nerdy girl with over protective parents. She is asked to the prom by Shelley's ex boyfriend, Dan, who believes that she will be an easy conquest. Unbeknown to her, her parents (played by Kelsey Grammer and Edie McClurg) are following her and watching her every move.

The movie is a typical and predictable '80s fare. All the good kids get their happy endings and the bad kids get their comeuppance. The adults don't really seem to have a place in the film and it would've been a better idea to keep it the parent free haven most '80s films were.

This film is still entertaining and a must watch for fans of the '80s.