|by Ryan Arthur
The first third of 2005 ranks among the worst in recent memory for quality films; January and February generally being a cinematic graveyard of flicks that studios hold off on releasing because they realize just how bad they really are...before dumping them like so much illegal cargo in the dead of winter. But at HBS/eFC, I like to think that one good thing comes out of sitting through such über crap as Elektra, Boogeyman, Diary Of A Mad Black Woman, Alone In The Dark, Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (both of them...TWICE!), and yes, even Mansquito: our writers can watch that so that you don't have to. It's far more satisfying - for me, anyway - to have a well-written slamming of a film that so richly deserves it than having to endure said crap spectacle my own self. So this is a celebration - a great big, sloppy, wet kiss of thanks to the writers who have made me (and you too, hopefully) laugh, which was really my sole criteria for inclusion. This is, after all, Hollywoodbitchslap.com (and our Aussie equivalent, eFilmcritic.com): the site was started with the whole purpose of trashing what needed to be trashed, and the first four months of 2005 featured an awful lot of bad flicks...but some pretty spectacular writing from our crew. You might have missed some of these reviews (mostly negative, though there are a few positive reviews in the bunch), but as I mentioned with the last quotes roundup, the ultimate point of this is simple: our writers run the gamut from teenagers in high school finding their voice to veteran, published writers and reviewers. I want you to get a sampling of what they have to offer. Our most prolific writers are well-represented here, but there are also some new voices, some writers that you may not be familiar with. Hopefully, you'll see something you like, and that'll keep you coming back.
Quick plug: check out The Quotable HBS/eFC: 2004, the year in review which spawned this article.
"The man has directed good films, including 'Phone Booth' and 'Tigerland,' but when he directs bad ones, he directs the hell out of them."
"For a fun drinking game, watch him closely and any time his eyes or eyebrows move, take a shot. By the time the film is over, you will have taken two shots. But of course, no one wants to see a movie in which characters' faces register emotion. No, wait. That's wrong."
EricDSnider on The Phantom Of The Opera (2004) 1.2.05
"Dimension pushed it back on the schedule numerous times before finally deciding to cut its losses and dump the thing into theaters on Christmas Day 2004. What better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus than to watch a film about satanic sacrifices and the unleashing of evil? This movie will disappear faster than wrapping paper at Rite-Aid on Christmas Eve. (Sorry, that's the best one-liner I could come up with. Cut me some slack, I just sat through 'Darkness.')"
EricDSnider on Darkness 1.5.05
"I'm not going to bother even justifying my review with a qualification of whether or not I like the original stage musical. Because this site is called Hollywoodbitchslap, not Broadwaybitchslap right? We're concerned with films here, and as a film 'The Phantom of the Opera downright sucks. Or, to phrase it as it would be in the film, 'It suuuu-uuuuu-CKKKS!'. Quite why a film adaptation still has to have practically every line of dialogue sung in a really annoying fashion is a question neither justified or answered. So instead of characters saying 'What is it?' 'It's a letter,' we have 'Wha-tttttt is itttt?' 'It's a lett-ahhhhh!'"
MP Bartley on The Phantom Of The Opera (2004) 1.5.05
"Foreign relations are going just fine until the king's wife, Helen, ups and runs off with hunky young Paris, probably because he spends the first part of the movie bare-ass naked. (Come on. Naked Orlando Bloom versus naked Brendan Gleeson? No contest. Hell, maybe in between sex sessions, he can give her tips on how to be fabulous.)"
David Cornelius on Troy 1.6.05
"(Speaking of how these things work, is the move toward HDTV and satellite radio cutting down on ghosts' abilities to contact people via EVP? When appearing as images in television static, do North American ghosts just naturally manifest in NTSC's 60Hz raster format while European ones appear as hidden PAL or SECAM images? If someone dies via strangulation, can they still communicate verbally via EVP? Do other people ask these questions?)"
Jay Seaver on White Noise 1.7.05
"If loved ones insist on contacting me from another dimension to foretell the future, just come out and tell me the important stuff-lottery numbers, whether I wind up dating Angelina Jolie or Keira Knightley, those kinds of things-and keep the Yoda-like riddles to yourselves."
Peter Sobczynski on White Noise 1.7.05
"To my surprise though, each minute lasted longer and longer, as the movie progressed, which means the last minute equaled precisely 1 trillion hours (or something like that). To say White Noise is slow-moving is a huge understatement and implies there is some kind of emotional depth or intelligent, complex thematic elements replacing the usually quick-paced formula of its genre. On the contrary! White Noise was dragged, pulled, hauled, almost against its own will, to the end."
Laura Kyle on White Noise 1.10.05
"This is not suspense. This is surprise, the best scares Dolby Digital has to offer, and it's a major cheat. Of course the audience jumps out of their seats - the very volume startles you. It's the cinematic equivalent of someone sneaking up on you while you sleep and setting off an air horn. Cheap."
David Cornelius on The Village 1.10.05
"(Oh, it does stop now and then to give us overly detailed pole dances by cartoon whores. These moments are remarkably unsexy and unfunny, and yet I can't help thinking of the lonely animator who spent months in his mom's basement trying to get the cartoon on his iMac to "work it." There are moments here that come straight from the heart of somebody who really, really, really needs to get laid.)"
David Cornelius on Lil' Pimp 1.12.05
"'Coach Carter' is based on a true story that happened in 1999, though the film is set in the much hipper 2004. (1999 is so five years ago.)"
EricDSnider on Coach Carter 1.14.05
"'Racing Stripes' feels like the films Disney used to make, the ones about mules that kicked field goals, or dogs that practiced law, or lions that developed cold fusion, or whatever. It is about a zebra that wants to run races -- which, when you think about it, isn't exactly an absurd idea, since zebras are related to horses, and horses run races all the time. I mean, it's not like the zebra wants to drive a bus.
Mr. Walsh used to train horses to race there but has not done so since his wife was killed in a racing accident, which must have been one HELL of an accident. I mean, how often are jockeys killed in the line of duty? Was the horse gasoline-powered or something?"
EricDSnider on Racing Stripes 1.15.05
"I jotted in my notes that Raymond is an enormously fat British man whose neck hangs from his chin like a purse. I can't figure out how to work that into my review, though, so I'm not going to mention it.
Anyway, through Raymond, Jonathan meets another mourner, Sarah Tate (Deborah Kara Unger), who has been communicating with her dead fiancé, who is probably just trying to tell her that he wants the ring back."
EricDSnider on White Noise 1.15.05
"They meet in the bathroom of a gay dance club, where she is slitting her wrists and is rescued by him. We are not told specifically why she is suicidal, but I do think that if a pretty girl like her would spend less time at gay dance clubs, she might feel better about herself.
And then they have sex. It is mirthless and unpleasant, both for us to watch and apparently for them to have. He cries afterward, for no discernible reason. His thoughts are narrated in a woman's voice. This is one of the Frenchest movies I have ever seen."
EricDSnider on Anatomy Of Hell 1.16.05
"Oh, yes, I almost forgot about this being an action movie. Aside from the slow one hour stretch of no action, 'Elektra' has some action in it, which is especially awesome if you're into bed sheets flying around. I'm not, so I didn't get much excitement from it, but that's just me. Some of the action revolves around the character Tattoo's state fair artwork coming to life and flying out of him. Another member of The Hand is a beautiful Asian woman who apparently has such a foul odor that she causes plants to die on the spot as she walks by them (at least that's my interpretation)."
Collin Souter on Elektra 1.16.05
"Oh, and it's directed by someone named 'Pitof,' and how I wish I were kidding. Pitof is the kind of name given to a prissy fashion designer or other ridiculously pretentious artist, and every time I hear the name, I envision Will Ferrell in 'Zoolander.' Pitof knows nothing about movie direction, but he can sure make Halle Berry look sizzling in leather! (Pitof is in reality a former visual effects dude who has worked on such projects as 'Alien Resurrection' and 'The City of Lost Children.' But the fashion designer angle is funnier, isn't it?)"
David Cornelius on Catwoman 1.17.05
"When The Hand fails to obtain the treasure, though, a squad of villains barges into the boardroom to, I'm afraid I must report, talk to The Hand. They offer to take the job on themselves, but a Hand representative tells the ringleader, 'Your forces are an abomination!,' and, well, when even The Hand thinks you're too evil, you must really be evil, that's all I'm sayin'."
EricDSnider on Elektra 1.17.05
"It's the cinematic equivalent of a Barbra Streisand CD - high production values, time-tested songs, but so painfully un-hip and full of itself that you can't help but cringe during the duration."
Beth Gilligan on The Phantom Of The Opera (2005) 1.19.05
"Technically, it had no hope of being 'original' anyway, since it's a remake of a 1976 film that was itself a modernized version of 'Rio Bravo' anyway. Indeed, the story of police officers who must join forces with criminals in order to fight off the murderous rogue cops who lurk outside the stationhouse is as old as drama itself, having first appeared in the works of Sophocles, Euripedes and ... oh, I'm full of crap, don't listen to me."
EricDSnider on Assault On Precinct 13 (2005) 1.19.05
"Because this is a comedy aimed at families, there are multiple instances of people being hit on the head with things and being hit in the groin with things. There is also an old lady who farts, played by Nichelle Nichols. Old ladies who fart are commonplace in family comedies -- why, I can't remember the last family comedy I saw that didn't have one -- but they are not usually played by Lt. Uhura. So we are clearly breaking new ground here. She was half of TV's first-ever interracial kiss, and now she's breaking wind in a mirthless January comedy."
EricDSnider on Are We There Yet? 1.21.05
"By the final act, we're stuck rooting for the Predators, leaving us with the inevitable scene in which the last surviving human actually teams up with the Predator, which turns the movie into the goofiest buddy cop picture you've seen since 'Cop and a Half.'"
David Cornelius on Alien Vs. Predator 1.24.05
"Enough about the plot, let's get to the good stuff. There is a car chase and a shootout where Boll inexplicably cuts to slow-motion for absolutely no explainable reason beyond the fact that he thought it might look cool. There is the explanation that the monsters hate the light, perhaps because it would allow us to better see the cheesy CGI effects. There is every single moment where Tara Reid does archaeological stuff, such as put on glasses to let us know that she is Really Smart (though I wish that someone could have explained to her how to pronounce 'Newfoundland' properly.) There is Slater's brilliant explanation of why he hasn't spoken to her in six months. There is the out-of-nowhere sex scene that, alas, spares us a look at the infamous breast augmentation that might have generated the one true moment of horror to be had here."
Peter Sobczynski on Alone In The Dark (2005) 1.28.05
"Officially relinquishing his title as Greatest Living American Actor for good, Robert De Niro stars as David Callaway, a brilliant psychologist whose wife (Amy Irving) kicks off the story by committing suicide in the early hours of New Years Eve. (Apparently the switch from Dick Clark to Regis Philbin was too much for her.)"
Peter Sobczynski on Hide And Seek 1.28.05
"Oh, and the final reel. Hoo boy. I'm certainly not going to start spraying spoilers all over the place, but let's just say that 93% of this movie takes place in the dead-center of inner-city sprawl. And then for some unknown reason (test-marketing reshoots, I'd bet) the last ten minutes take us into...a forest! Who knew that downtown Detroit had so many lush and moody forests scattered amidst the abandoned police precincts and dilapidated gas stations?"
Scott Weinberg on Assault On Precinct 13 (2005) 1.29.05
"Am I in danger of sending out the wrong message if I give this awful movie a 3-star rating or above? Many people who look at critics' reviews never bother to read the full article. They see the 4-star rating and think, 'Wow, it must be good. Honey, pack up the kids and let's go see "The Woodsman."'
That would be fine in and of itself, but as an added bonus, we also have his on-again-off-again love interest Aline Cedrac, played by the bubble with boobs Tara Reid. She plays an anthropologist. With nuances that evoke only the finest porn stars, she ties her hair back and she wears horn-rimmed glasses to fit the role. Come the love scene, she strips herself of this oppressive façade and 'OH MY GOD, SHE'S HOT! I HAD NO IDEA!' Better yet, she pronounces Newfoundland as New...FOUND...land.
The best way to sum up what kind of blissful awfulness this movie contains is to look at said love scene. Aline basically stops by Carnby's house to nail him. To music. Bad music. Bad LOVE BALLAD music. AND IT'S THEIR SECOND OR THIRD SCENE TOGETHER! When played straight, this tender moment achieves the exact same effect as the sex scene between the two puppets in 'Team America: World Police,' music and all. The movie pretty much operates on that level all the way through, right up to the finale, which contains probably the most unintentionally hilarious closing credits song of all time. Seriously, you would think Trey Parker wrote and directed this movie."
Collin Souter on Alone In The Dark (2005) 1.30.05
"The movie is pretty much 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' sandwiched against 'Underworld' with even less of an idea or through-line- And those who have read my reviews know I have called hell and reserved a special fire for the makers of LXG. I will say one positive thing- this movie gives it audience, albeit poorly, the Werewolf/Vampire fight so curiously absent from 'Underworld.' There. I'm a fair guy again."
Grandma Dynamite on Van Helsing 1.31.05
"To say that Alone in the Dark will go down as one of this year's (nay, decade's) worst movies would be a stunning display of understatement. This, indeed, could be one of the worst movies ever made. Since the Earth's sun was born."
Scott Weinberg on Alone In The Dark (2005) 2.1.05
"Christian Slater plays Edward Carnby, an investigator of unexplained phenomena. Dressed in a full-length leather coat and black wife-beater with two-day stubble on his face, Slater looks like a midget-version of Lorenzo Lamas as TV's 'Renegade' - but less convincing. It's a sad experience to watch an actor once hailed as the next Jack Nicholson perform lame martial arts maneuvers against inconsistently colored zombies."
Lucas Stensland on Alone In The Dark (2005) 2.1.05
"You know 'Alone in the Dark' is going to be bad just by looking at the cast list. Tara Reid as a museum curator/archeologist? Who do they think they're kidding? The only role she's equipped to play is that of a drunken whore, which she does regularly in the tabloids and on 'Inside Edition.' Anything smarter or classier than that is a stretch for her."
EricDSnider on Alone In The Dark (2005) 2.6.05
"So, yeah, 15 years later and Genius (acted out as an adult by Barry Watson) has a job working for a magazine. How he got any job that involves being indoors remains a mystery, seeing as how he can't look at a doorway without freaking out and having a flashback about his father getting killed in a closet. It's not even out of an obsessive compulsive disorder. He just looks at every door and thinks, 'My dad was killed near a door once. He was never alive again.'"
Collin Souter on Boogeyman 2.6.05
"The incident, real or imagined, scarred Tim very badly, though, and now he is afraid of ... doors. Yes, doors. Probably more specifically of the Boogeyman who might pop out from behind a door, but definitely afraid of doors, too. He has a glass door on his refrigerator so he can see what's behind it, and all the doors from his kitchen cabinets are gone altogether. He probably did not see the Val Kilmer movie 'The Doors,' and he probably thinks 'Monsters Inc.' uses inappropriate humor to gloss over the real problem of monsters who live in closets."
EricDSnider on Boogeyman 2.9.05
"I haven't even gotten to the bank robbing Portuguese supermodels yet, because I still need a little time to digest this one. It is perhaps the lamest excuse for T&A I've seen in a while (and trust me, as a guy, I'm always looking for lame excuses for T&A), although honestly, I wouldn't have minded had they tried to do something with the idea, not just 'hey, we're supermodels who rob banks, look at our underwear!' I can't even tell if the supermodel thing was supposed to be played for laughs, because the comedy here is handled so ineptly that the whole movie just becomes varying degrees of Not Funny: the serious, earnest parts are at one end of the spectrum, the failed jokes are on the other. And the whole movie manages to hit every spot in between. (Side note: The explanation for how Latifah's character is fluent in Portuguese tops every other bit of stupidity the movie has to offer. You've been warned.)"
David Cornelius on Taxi 2.17.05
"Oh, and I nearly forgot. Adam's mom is not just supermodel beautiful, she's also a successful photographer, which is not in any way weird, because every single female role that comes out of the Hollywood system is either:
A: A magazine editor or a famous playwright (see 13 Going on 30, Something's Gotta Give).
B: An art gallery boss (see What Dreams May Come)
C: A photographer/reporter (see Godsend, Sky Captain, Superman)
D: A famous scientist (see The Peacemaker, The Saint, Mimic)
E: A hooker (see anything written by Joe Eszterhas)
There are no other women alive in the Hollywood world but those women mentioned above. All the men, on the other hand, are either cops, wacky criminals, mafioso, teachers or hitmen. It's like the law or something. In Hollywood, nobody sells insurance. Nobody works in Burger King's drive-thru. Nobody delivers your paper unless they yell something like 'I want my two dollars!' over and over again."
"And they name the new child... Adam. Ew! Aside from the obvious 'Adam and Eve' connotations that the writer is clumsily trying to put out there, how could you name your kid after an already dead son? That's just gross! 'Hey corpse... I mean, Adam... wanna go out for ice cream?'"
Chris Parry on Godsend 2.17.05
"Much is made in the opening scrawl about the 'Spear of Destiny' which puts the fate of the world in the hands of whoever wields it and (gasp) has been missing since WWII. Who had the spear that delivered the final deathblow to Jesus Christ before, I'd be very curious, and what made them think hiding it in a deeply religious country like Mexico would do the trick? Not since the Ajanti Dagger in The Golden Child has a knife been such a center of importance, but we never quite understand it. If it leaves behind symbolic stigmatas on those who come in contact with it, why does Angela's sister have it? What's it used for? Can it cut cans?"
Erik Childress on Constantine 2.18.05
"Thankfully, the film wisely skips over any more details (which might have made the oeuvre of David Cronenberg seem light-hearted by comparison) and gives us baby Alvy, who apparently has been genetically encoded with the powers of the mask; basically, he can inflate his head like a balloon, projectile-urinate and imitate the frog from the classic cartoon 'One Froggy Evening' (a 'tribute' to the immortal Chuck Jones, who is no doubt looking down upon us, yadda, yadda, yadda). The only worthwhile aspect of this bit is that it allows the filmmakers to kill time with long clips from the original cartoon; it is always a pleasure to see this seven-minute masterpiece of wit in any form, but to see it in the context of something this vile and wretched is truly disconcerting, sort of like having Gene Kelly dancing and singing in the rain in the middle of a snuff-porn film"
"Look, I am not someone who is that sensitive to the cinematic sight of a child in peril (I still laugh at the thought of the various perils that little Nathan Jr was put through in 'Raising Arizona'), but if I wanted to watch an Australian-lensed film in which a dog tried to kill a baby right under the nose of an oblivious parent, I would put 'A Cry in the Dark' on my Netflix list."
"That it is impossible to conceive of any situation in which Alan Cumming could believably play either the Norse god of anything or the offspring of Bob Hoskins is also a given. That this is the worst film that either one has ever participated in goes without saying-and bear in mind, both of them appeared in 'Spice World.'"
Peter Sobczynski on Son Of The Mask 2.19.05
"To make the Brian/Debrah situation even more convoluted, Debrah doesn't want their daughter to join the church choir because it was music that got her (Debrah) on drugs in the first place. She doesn't say whether it was a church choir specifically that did it, but I like to think it was, because the image of pious altos and sopranos in choir robes passing syringes back and forth in the choir loft makes me laugh. But anyway: What the F, movie? Seriously, what the F?"
EricDSnider on Diary Of A Mad Black Woman 2.25.05
"Glover remains deceptively calm and coolly handsome; I noticed in my brief encounter with him at the Sundance Film Festival, where his film premiered, that he is so quietly likable that he's either the last person you'd expect to be insane, or the first."
EricDSnider on What Is It? 2.25.05
"109 minutes and not one good punchline. That's one joke less than in 'Schindler's List.' How is this humanly possible?"
David Cornelius on White Chicks 2.25.05
"Basically, the girls help solve everyone's problems with the kind of selfless tenacity not seen since Winn-Dixie bounded onto screens a couple of weeks ago; the difference is that it is much more fun to have one of them jumping onto your lap, licking your face or humping your leg (though I suppose that might require a two-drink minimum)."
Peter Sobczynski on Man Of The House (2005) 2.26.05
"No more than 15 minutes in, Ellie and Jimmy get in a nasty car wreck (thankfully Cursed doesn't go into I Know What You Did Last Summer territory though), one that ends up with another driver, Becky (a fully clothed Shannon Elizabeth), being ripped out of her toppled vehicle by what appears to be a werewolf. Well, that's what Jimmy thinks, but of course no one will believe him.
I always feel so sorry for the horror-flick protagonists. No one ever takes their word; I imagine it's difficult for them to get bank loans."
Laura Kyle on Cursed 2.27.05
"Here's all you need to know about Man of the House (and I mean that as literally as possible): Five curvy Texas cheerleaders witness a murder. Tommy Lee is the tough-as-nails (and surprisingly aged) Texas Ranger who must shack up with the buxom witnesses. 'Comedy' ensues. Scenes involving Cedric the Entertainer as a shady preacher feel like they were leased from another unfinished (and equally witless) movie.
That's it. Really. It all feels like something Troy McClure could star in."
Scott Weinberg on Man Of The House (2005) 3.4.05
"I will say this. Children under the age of 12 and teenagers who never set foot in a library might get some cheap thrills out of this refuse. During the preview I attended, every fart joke, vomit gag, and diaper changing scene met with a gaggle of prepubescent giggles. The adolescents particularly enjoyed a groin-biting duck that waddled in and out of frame intermittently throughout the film. In point of fact, any and all testicle crushing moments brought forth thunderous, high-pitched merriment."
Uri Lessing on The Pacifier 3.4.05
"Right from the beginning, they are strapped for cash, and of course, there happens to be a karaoke contest nearby. So, Kit, Mimi, and Lucy sign up and promptly dress like sluts. During their singing performance, soloist Mimi freezes up on stage and Lucy must take over. Suddenly: she's hot and sexy! Singing 'I Love Rock and Roll!' She's FOUND HERSELF! She was just hiding under things like clothes- brilliant character development here."
Laura Kyle on Crossroads (2002) 3.7.05
"It's as silly as you'd hope, complete with Guy In Rubber Suit playing the title character. And, come on, it's hard not to love a movie in which a beleaguered cop moans, 'I can't put out an APB on a seven foot mosquito!' Or, better yet, one in which Parker Lewis stares down our monster, yells 'Hey! Mansquito!!,' then shoots him with a rocket launcher. That's good movie, right there."
David Cornelius on Mansquito 3.14.05
"But perhaps the best scene, and one of the finest sequences ever put to film, is where he teaches a young, slim Chris Penn how to dance. Cue a montage of hysterical dance sequences in fields, gyms and courtyards of Bacon and Penn prancing about to 'Let's Hear It For The Boy'. And when you consider that the scene right before this is in the gym showers with lots of buttocks, naked male bodies and talk of getting 'creamed' I'm sure you'll agree when I say that it's the gayest thing since Liberace. But this is not necessarily a bad thing."
MP Bartley on Footloose 3.17.05
"Now, imagine how terrifying that must have been, waking up in a strange place with that blonde afro-wearing nimrod sticking his tongue down your throat. It sure gave me the willies, but then, the mere sight of Christopher Atkins making out with anybody is enough to produce a particularly nasty tasting vomit-burp."
"But does Mabel mind? Nope - the damn 'Happy Ending' song kicks up again and they're off to Makeoutsville, population: creepy. And then the song fades out, and the credits begin, and...that damn 'Happy Ending' song starts again!!! Is there no relief? (The song remains stuck in my head to this day, like some unstoppable doomsday machine.)"
David Cornelius on The Pirate Movie 3.22.05
"That said, it's not the sort of thing around which I would build an entire movie. A Slinky going down the stairs is kind of cool too, but if you made me watch 90 minutes of Slinkies descending staircases, intercut with scenes in which the Slinkies complain how they aren't getting enough respect from polite society, I think I'd want to kill myself in pretty short order."
"It's not just that Breakin' builds its entire film around a handful of dance sequences in even more egregious fashion than Singin' in the Rain did (and I hope that's the only time those titles ever appear in the same sentence). It's that the rest of the film is so bad, so singularly awful, that any hope the dancing might have had to carry the movie through its rough patches is obliterated in a hail of unintentional comedy."
Robert Flaxman on Breakin' 3.28.05
"Naturally, this comes as a bit of a shock to Arthur (though amusingly enough, the rest of his crew are much, much faster on the uptake making him look pretty much like a clueless twit), and he begins to question where his loyalty lies- luckily, the wecently wescued Woad woman, Guinevere, aside from being a starved, tortured (minus the actual torture scars), fatigued prisoner of war, is also an excellent Woad recruiter, barely taking two steps out of the dungeon before embarking on a spirited campaign of Woad conversion on Arthur and Lancelot the likes of which would make the most door-slam dodging Jehovah's witness blanche with envy. It's a ridiculous role, serviced as well as possible by everyone's favorite carny attraction, Keira Knightley the unattainable human skeleton, minus her breasts which appear to have been cut off Amazon-style for her warrior woman role. Mercifully, the twins appear to have made a full recovery and are back to their normal standard of the proverbial dead-heat in a Zeppelin race most Hollywood starlets are expected to maintain."
Grandma Dynamite on King Arthur 3.29.05
"They then filled their cast with a Solid Gold dancer, guys named 'Shabba-Doo' and 'Boogaloo Shrimp,' and Christopher McDonald, fresh off his starmaking turn in 'Grease 2.' Oh, and Ice-T is in it, thus beginning his lifelong obsession of appearing in very awful movies for low sums of money."
"She shoos him away, opting instead to journey down to what could possibly be the gayest part of the entire universe, a beach where all men dance while wearing purple leotards so tight that their packages earn their own zip codes."
"The dance-offs make me hungry for the genius of 'You Got Served,' that's how bad the dancing is here. Which is kinda weird, you know, considering this is a movie about dancing and all. Chalk it up to Silberg's innate sense of what's 'def,' 'fresh,' 'dope,' and, oh, I dunno, 'da bomb.' (It's a skill he showed again in such later films as 'Rappin'' and - yes! - 'Lambada.' Who better to show us the hot and sassy ways of our urban youth than a 40-year-old Israeli?)"
David Cornelius on Breakin' 4.3.05
"A good place to begin, I suppose, would be to mention that 'Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo' was released less than seven months after the original 'Breakin',' which is a good way of keeping your sequels timely but not a good way of keeping them, you know, good. I'm guessing that physics were bent to the point that the Golan-Globus team was able to make the picture in less time than it takes to actually watch it[/]i."
"While the main plot's busy trying to find ways how to raise money to save the center - enter montage of Cute Kids washing cars and selling lemonade - we also see the dreaded return of the dreaded rivals Electrorock. It seems after being so thoroughly served in the last movie, they've graduated from dance troupe to dance gang. I repeat: a dance gang. And so they roam the street like the Bloods, only these gangbangers don't carry guns. They carry the hottest dance moves yet."
"'Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.' Sweet mother of mercy."
"Yes, boys and girls, 'Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo' features gang warfare redone as a dance-off. Not the kind of unique ballet found in 'West Side Story,' no sir. This is hardcore stuff straight from the streets, one-on-one dance-off serveness, 'New Jack City' in leotards, beeyatch. Well, it's only PG, so go light on the beeyatch. Ice-T's still here, though."
David Cornelius on Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo 4.3.05
"Bacon and Latifah have the film's second-stupidest joke, too. Repeating the same theme about his ownership of the salon, he tells her, 'My name is on the moniker!,' and she thinks 'moniker' is 'my n*****,' which greatly offends her. Ha ha, it's funny, she thought he said the N-word. Except guess what: He's misusing the word 'moniker.' It's not a physical thing that you can put your name on; the word MEANS name or nickname, as in, 'That's Kevin Bacon, who often goes by the moniker "Weasel Face."' Jorge -- and by Jorge I mean the screenwriters -- probably confused 'moniker' with 'marquee.' Or maybe they realized their mistake but declined to fix it because then they'd have lost the priceless 'moniker/my n*****' joke. Either way, this is what happens when dumb people are allowed to make movies."
"Gina brings someone with her from Jorge's, too: a blond cracker named Lynn, played by Alicia Silverstone with what is, without question, the single worst Southern accent I have ever heard. It is so exaggerated and drawn-out that I wonder if maybe Silverstone had never met a Southern person and had to have the accent explained academically to her, the way you'd have to explain to an Ethiopian actor how to react to snow. Surely no one who has ever heard a Georgia drawl first-hand would think Silverstone's approximation of it is even remotely acceptable."
"(And what's Alicia Silverstone doing here, anyway? Who let her out of oblivion?)"
EricDSnider on Beauty Shop 4.5.05
"The $2,000 movie in question is 'Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker!' (The exclamation point belongs to the title, not to my sentence.) It gives a new low to homemade movies that managed to scrounge up a nationwide DVD release; this is a work of sheer incompetence, an unholy mess of a film, the kind that makes you hope and pray for the quick release of death. But hey, at least it's got a nifty title."
David Cornelius on Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker! 4.8.05
"Then there's the plot. Except for the characters knowing each other, Breakin' 2 practically acts like its predecessor didn't exist - there is no real suggestion of what might have happened to the big show they were starring in just a few months before. The relationships are just weird - Kelly and Ozone act like they're just friends, but then kiss each other every now and then. Ozone has a crazy ex-girlfriend who screams at him to stay away from Kelly and then screams at Kelly to stay out of the neighborhood; no real motivation is ever given for this. Turbo falls for a Spanish-speaking girl who, with no prompting of any kind, shows up at his house to find him dancing on the ceiling, and kisses him."
"The dancing on the ceiling scene embodies the other weird thing about this film - scenes that couldn't happen in real life are played as though they're completely natural. In one scene, Ozone is trying to show Turbo how to dance with a woman by using a doll; the two start seeing their respective love interests in place of the doll when the other is dancing with it, and end up tearing the stuffing out of the doll while fighting over it. You simply cannot get any odder than that."
"Or maybe you can, as in a later scene at a hospital where patients covered in casts and bandages start dancing as though nothing is wrong with them. This isn't just a kooky music video - it's supposed to be a movie with an actual plot and some connection to reality. Instead, though, much of the film looks like it was conceived by someone doing a lot of drugs."
Robert Flaxman on Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo 4.11.05
"It's too bad John Ford or Anthony Mann never got a chance to make a western about hookers turned gunfighters, because....Actually, I take that back. After watching Bad Girls, I don't think even they could've constructed a watchable oater about pistol packing outlaw whores."
mattmulcahy on Bad Girls 4.12.05
"Whatever evil caused the first guy to go nuts is still there, however -- it was not sold at the yard sale, I guess -- and no amount of worrying or half-hearted exorcising by local priest Father Callaway (Philip Baker Hall, slumming) can evict it. The evil then begins to affect George, who turns grumpy and is subject to many odd visions and eventually to madness. The manifestations of the house's inherent evil are the same as in all movies in which a creepy house plays a part. There are dark whisperings, strange creakings and groanings, and much unexplained flickering of the lights. (Evil loves messing with the electricity.)"
EricDSnider on The Amityville Horror (2005) 4.14.05
"It's all hush-hush, so he has to break Stone out of prison, during which approximately 25 guards have an opportunity to shoot Stone yet don't even try. Apparently, if you attempt a break from a maximum-security prison, they will engage you in as many fistfights as is necessary to subdue you, but under no circumstances will they draw their guns and shoot you. (What are the minimum-security prisons like? Are they just allowed to yell at you?)"
EricDSnider on XXX: State Of The Union 4.29.05
link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1489
originally posted: 05/27/05 04:55:56
last updated: 07/23/05 08:41:41