Friday, December 28, 2012

Grease 2 (1982)

Number Rolled: 9
Movie Name/Year: Grease 2 (1982)
Genre: Music
Length: 114 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: Patricia Birch
Writer: Ken Finkleman
Actors: Maxwell Caulfield, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lorna Luft, Maureen Teefy, Alison Price, Pamela Adlon, Adrian Zmed, Peter Drechette, Christopher McDonald, Leif Green, Didi Conn, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dody Goodman, Tab Hunter, Dick Patterson, Connie Stevens, Eddie Deezen

Everyone has heard of, or seen, or worshiped, Grease. The one where John Travolta plays Danny Zuko, the leader of a motorcycle gang, the T-birds and Olivia Newton-John plays all around good girl, Sandy Olsen. Sandy is taken in as a kind of mascot to the Pink Ladies and together they turn her into a vinyl-cat-suit-clad bad-girl in order to win over Danny’s heart. Musical hijinx ensues.

What else could one expect Grease 2 to be about? Michelle Pfeiffer plays Stephanie Zinone, a member of the Pink Ladies, who’s looking for a “cool rider.” Enter Maxwell Caulfield playing the nerdy British exchange student, Michael Carrington, who’s taken with her from day one and has to fight to be recognized as a member of the T-birds by teaching himself how to be “cool” and ride a motorcycle.

Do I sound like a broken record yet?

What did we expect? You can’t take one of the single most popular musicals to date, make a sequel and expect it to be better than the first. Not going to happen. I don’t like that they tried. They copied the story, swapped which gender was the geek and attempted to redo Grease.

That being said, if you take it on its own merit and not as a sequel, it’s not bad. It’s campy and funny and the actors do well enough. However, it’s all mediocre stuff, until you add in the soundtrack. I have to admit, “Cool Rider,” is one of my favorite songs from the movie. I haven’t seen it in maybe five years, but I can still sing every words of that song along with the music.

If you watch it, keep in mind, the story is exactly what you expect it to be. Watch it for the music.

Overall Opinion – 3/5

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Serious Moonlight (2009)

Number Rolled: 99
Movie Name/Year: Serious Moonlight (2009)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: R
Director:  Cheryl Hines
Writer: Adrienne Shelly
Actors: Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Derek Carter, Bill Parks, Kimberlee Peterson, Nathan Dean, Andy Ostroy

This movie gave me a headache. The first half hour was mostly screaming and overacting.

On the heels of that note, I have a confession to make. For as popular as Meg Ryan is, and as well known as she is, I’m not familiar with her work. In fact, I have never seen any of her movies. If I did, then I don’t remember. If this movie was any indication of her overall acting talent, I’m not sure I’m interested in seeing them, but I believe everything deserves two chances. Everyone has an off day or a bad project; everyone makes mistakes. So I can’t, in good standing, write her off just yet.

Eventually, the movie does get slightly interesting, but continues to flop hard as a comedy. I didn’t so much as giggle once during the entire film. However, while trying to figure out what I would categorize it as I couldn’t pick another category, either. Maybe it’s a drama, kind of, not really. So I can’t really complain about the genre chosen. I think that was as good a guess as any.

I wasn’t impressed.

Overall Opinion – 2/5

Monday, December 24, 2012

Crimes of Fashion (2004)

Number Rolled: 95
Movie Name/Year: Crimes of Fashion (2004)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Stuart Gillard
Writer: David Mickel
Actors: Angelo Celeste, Dominic Chianese, Kaley Cuoco, Louis Di Bianco, Shannon Duff, Catherine Emmanuel, Megan Fox, Joyce Gordon, Hazel Gorin, Graham Harley

This movie was quite obviously one meant to air on TV. Even if there weren’t breaks in video that were meant for commercials, the basic premise and acting would lead you to believe it.

I don’t hate Megan Fox, but one needs to wonder why she plays the stuck-up bitch so easily. Everything from Transformers to Jennifer’s Body to this. I have yet to see her in something where I don’t want to smack her character upside the head with a chair. Kaley Cuoco, however, I do love, but in this she seems to have reprised her role as Billie on Charmed… only without the really cool powers and an added love of fashion designing.

The storyline was very “The Princess Diaries”. A plain type girl who’s in fashion school learns that her grandfather was a mob boss and is given a make-over to bring her into the family and give her control of it. Replace a couple of words, actually, and the synopsis is exactly that of “The Princess Diaries (2001).”

I found myself bored. It’s a recipe movie. Not a very good recipe movie. It’s the kind that really doesn’t push the envelope much and makes little to no effort to be original in any way. If you like that particular recipe, it’s fine. If you don’t prefer that recipe, stay away, “Crimes of Fashion” won’t convince you to.

Overall Opinion – 2/5