Friday, February 15, 2013

Not Another Teen Movie (2001)

Number Rolled: 51
Movie Name/Year: Not Another Teen Movie (2001)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Joel Gallen
Writer: Mike Bender, Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, Phil Beauman, Buddy Johnson
Actors: Chyler Leigh, Chris Evans, Jaime Pressly, Eric Christian Olsen, Mia Kirshner, Deon Richmond, Eric Jungmann, Ron Lester, Cody Mcmains, Sam Huntington, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Lacey Chabert, Samm Levine, Cerina Vincent, Beverly Polcyn, Ed Lauter, Paul Gleason, Mr. T, Molly Ringwald, Randy Quaid

This was a movie about… ok, the plot doesn’t matter at all. Take all the teen movies you’ve ever seen, slap them together and you have the plot. Spoof movies don’t really require a plot of their own. It’s all about how accurately they tear apart the movies they’re spoofing.

I’m not usually one for these spoof movies. Granted, I like a couple of them, but they’re few and far between. This one, I thoroughly enjoyed; maybe because it risked taking on some of the greats, such as “The Breakfast Club” and “American Beauty.”

In my research, I’ve come to find that a lot of people disliked that the references had no subtlety. Really? I mean, come on. That’s kind of what movies like this are supposed to do, right? Isn’t that like hating a romance movie because there’s too much romance? It is my understanding that spoof movies are meant to show us the state of popular movies and highlight their flaws like your basic everyday boardwalk caricatures. When you sit down with an artist to allow him to draw a caricature, he will take your slightly bigger front teeth or that tiny mole under your eye and exaggerate it to make it look funny. That’s what a spoof film is. If you dislike a spoof film because it blatantly makes fun of other movies, stop watching them because you just don’t like spoofs. There’s nothing wrong with that; to each his own.

The actors were hilarious. Sometimes, I’ll watch something that makes me believe Chris Evans was born for comedy. Incidentally, this makes me forget he has acted in things like Captain America. I think that’s the sign of an amazing actor, because when I watched Captain America I thought the same thing about Superhero movies.

I also loved that the creators of this movie paid attention to detail. Like playing the A-team theme when Mr. T was done talking or having Paul Gleason from The Breakfast Club revisit his role as Richard Vernon and, finally, having Molly Ringwald, the 80’s Queen of Teens, weigh in with her opinions.

It’s an amazing movie for the type of movie it was. I was laughing the entire time, in fact, I found this movie to be less ridiculous than some of the “serious” movies I’ve watched.

Overall Opinion – 4/5

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)

Number Rolled: 59
Movie Name/Year: All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
Genre: Children & Family
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: G
Director: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, Dan Kuenster
Writer: Don Bluth, Ken Cromar, Gary Goldman, Larry Leker, Linda Miller, Monica Parker, John Pomeroy, Guy Shulman, David J. Steinberg, David N. Weiss
Actors: Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Judith Barsi, Melba Moore, Daryl Gilley, Candy Devine, Charles Nelson Reilly, Vic Tayback, Rob Fuller, Earleen Carey

Charlie, a German Shepherd, is framed and sent to be euthanized in the pound. His friend, Itchy, a Dachshund, frees him and they attempt to get Charlie back to work. Early on in trying to get back into the swing of things Charlie’s ex-partner, Carface (a bulldog), kills him and Charlie ascends to heaven. Bored as all hell in the place where all dogs go, Charlie obtains the watch that represents his life, winds it, and finds himself back alive on Earth. He goes on an adventure with Itchy to kidnap a human girl that had already been kidnapped by Carface for her ability to talk to animals in order to fix horse/mouse/frog races.

This is one of those cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid, that looking back, isn’t really for kids that age. I was six years old when this movie came out, possibly five considering my birthday is at the end of the year; keeping that in mind, think about the characters and histories. Charlie is a gambling con-man, or con-dog as the case may be, and his ex-partner is quite obviously a spoof on Scarface. Several deaths and violent interactions occur, insinuations of a sex life for Charlie, etc.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think my mother should have kept me away from it. I don’t care. However, I do know that, if this movie came out now, some parent or uptight person would have made a huge stink over its rating.

Although I like musicals, I found the music in this movie to be undeveloped and forced. Personally, I think the movie would have benefited from less or no music. The themes and storylines of the characters were geared more toward young to mid-teens, where as the music seemed to be more geared toward the six to ten years olds that voluntarily opt to see rated G movies. I preferred the movie as a child, before I really understood all the ins and outs of the storyline, but I still enjoyed it now.

Regardless of how I feel about this movie at this point of my life, I will always remember it fondly from the past. I will also perpetually hug my dog for hours after the movie has ended.  

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cherry Bomb (2011)

Number Rolled: 24
Movie Name/Year: Cherry Bomb (2011)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 82 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Kyle Day
Writer: Kyle Day, Garrett Hargrove
Actors: Julin Jean, Nick Manning, John Rodriguez, Allen Hackley, Jeremy James Douglas Norton

Cherry Bomb, played by Julin Jean, is a stripper. She’s attacked in the champagne room by a group of guys one night and learns that the police don’t see fit to believe her account of what happened. After some aid from her brother, Brandon (played by John Rodriguez), she vows revenge on the men who hurt her and escaped justice.

It’s a pretty typical kind of storyline. Girl is hurt. Cops don’t believe girl. Girl gets angry. Girl arms up. Attackers feel pain. That’s pretty much the storyline. I’d flesh it out a little bit, but I just can’t. There’s nothing else to it. It’s like the writer set up a dartboard of everything he knows about action/adventure films, strippers and women and whatever he hit with his dart just kind of got thrown in. Apparently, he’s a bad shot, too.

The actors were horrendous, except for John Rodriguez. He was pretty good. Every other actor, though, I’m going to groan whenever I see their name credited on a movie I watch. I just know it.

So, if it sucked so badly, why the extra “.5” in the overall opinion? There are two reasons. First, this was a low budget film that managed to not seem like it. There were moments that gave up that knowledge, but it didn’t look like patched together home video, the sound was done well and the lighting was pretty spot on. Second, there were a few scenes that were highly entertaining. There weren’t a lot of them, but they were sandwiched between crap, which means they were more appreciated than they would have been otherwise.

It’s a short movie, so it’s not something I’ll outright warn you against, but I certainly wouldn’t suggest it either.

Overall Opinion – 1.5/5