Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)

Number Rolled: 43
Movie Name/Year: Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)
Genre: Romance
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: Ron Underwood
Writer: Sara Endsley
Actors: Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Lopez, Timothy Bottoms, Markie Post, June Lockhart, Kyle Howard, Vanessa Lee Evigan, Gabrielle Miller, Layla Alizada, Cedric De Souza

When the man Trudie is seeing randomly breaks up with her the same day he’s supposed to go with her to her family’s Christmas weekend, she has a nervous breakdown. On a whim, she kidnaps one of her customers and forces him to pretend he’s her boyfriend.

This movie, surprisingly enough, wasn’t terrible. Between it being a TV movie and starring Melissa Joan Hart, I went into this thinking I was going to be bored to tears. Actually, it wound up being pretty creative. Don’t get me wrong, it ended exactly the way you’d expect this kind of straight-to-TV film to end, but it delivered a pretty decent path to get there.

In all honesty, some of the reason I liked the movie could involve a touch of biasness. It was about a black sheep who did something crazy just to get her family to notice her. It’s something very easy for me to relate to. Granted, I’ve never randomly kidnapped some guy and made him pretend to be my boyfriend, but there’s a certain kind of crazy that comes with wanting nothing more than for your family to be proud of you for just one day. When you feel like you just don’t meet everyone’s standards and they don’t need or, in most cases, want you around, it’s easy to see how someone might have a little bit of a nervous breakdown.

I’m a little sensitive to this kind of storyline and so I probably liked it a little bit more than the majority of viewers would. I can’t even comment on the acting because I was so wrapped up in the script that I can’t remember anything worth discussing.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.1/5
Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

Movie Trailer: (No working official trailer was found, instead, I've included video of the first 14 minutes.)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004)

Number Rolled: 6
Movie Name/Year: Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004)
Genre: Sci-fi & Fantasy
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Phil Tippett
Writer: Edward Neumeier
Actors: Billy Brown, Richard Burgi, Kelly Carlson, Cy Carter, Sandrine Holt, Ed Lauter, J.P. Manoux, Lawrence Monoson, Colleen Porch, Drew Powell, Ed Quinn, Jason-Shane Scott, Brenda Strong, Brian Tee

For those of you unfamiliar with the Starship Troopers storyline, it is based around an intergalactic war featuring humans vs. super alien bugs. The second movie, however, has very little to do with the first and third of the series. It follows a group of troopers as they seek shelter after being overrun. They find a survivor in the building they use to bunker down and things begin to go a little haywire.

I mentioned in an earlier review for “Starship Troopers 3: Marauders,” that I’d heard this movie was supposed to be one long soft-core porn. I don’t agree. Yes, there was a large amount of nudity in it and a whole bunch of people kissing, but there really wasn’t any sex. In fact, there was very little implied sex for that matter. I’ve seen more sex scenes in mainstream rom-com’s. It was terrible, but it wasn’t the porn that people seem to think it was.

When it comes to sequels, I don’t really expect “good.” I know that’s a strange thing to say but hear me out. The purpose of a sequel is to further the storyline and enhance what has already been established. If I were to give an example of what I consider a good sequel, it would be “My Girl 2.” Critics weren’t overly fond of it and I can absolutely understand why. It was overly sappy and kind of failed as a stand-alone film. However, as a sequel, “My Girl 2” added greater depth to the main character and her oft-mentioned mother. It didn’t create its own story, rather it elevated the original so that the nuances could be understood at a greater level. The best sequels, in my opinion, don’t have to stand alone; they only need to enrich the existing storyline.

Where the Starship Troopers series is concerned, I wish I’d never seen the second or third sequels. They not only did nothing to elevate or enrich the story of the first one, but cheapened it to such a degree that I can’t even watch the first one anymore without rolling my eyes a little. It angers me, because the original was once one of my favorite movies.

I’m hoping to leave the trauma of the sequels behind me sometime in the future.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.3/5
Overall Opinion – 1/5

Movie Trailer:

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dirty Deeds (2005)

Number Rolled: 45
Movie Name/Year: Dirty Deeds (2005)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: UR
Director: David Kendall
Writer: Jon Land, Jonathan Thies
Actors: Milo Ventimiglia, Lacey Chabert, Tom Amandes, Matthew Carey, Mark Derwin, Charles Durning, Michael Milhoan, Billy L. Sullivan, Zoe Saldana, Arielle Kebbel, Ray Santiago, Erin Torpey, Alex Solowitz, Danso Gordon, Wes Robinson, Keith Britton, Michael Sullivan, Dave Power, Fred Meyers, Jaymee Ong, Daniel Hilfer, Todd Zeile, Michael Bofshever,

Zach Harper really couldn’t care less about school spirit. He doesn’t even have interest in the semi-rebellious tradition of doing the dirty deeds the night before homecoming. However, when a bully forces one of his friends into a corner, Zach takes on the deeds in order to get his friend out of trouble.

Milo Ventimiglia is a great actor. I could watch him sing the alphabet and be happy with the time I spent on it. Even in this movie, surrounded by other actors trying to be as cheesy as they could possibly manage, Ventimiglia managed to pull off such an amazing performance that it elevated the entire film for me.

The movie had all the obligatory parts of a teen high school comedy; all the stereotypes were met. In fact, all those parts were exaggerated to a point where I was no longer able to suspend disbelief. I knew a lot of strange, evil, awkward people, when I was in high school, and none of them spoke like they were reading off cue cards. The truth is, I’m a fan of this kind of recipe movie. I love the low brow, raunchy, dirty humor that’s utilized – masturbation jokes, fart jokes; it’s all part of a guilty pleasure. The problem with it is that it’s so bottom of the barrel that if the actors don’t step it up, the jokes get lost among the stuff that’s not supposed to be funny.

There were a lot of issues in “Dirty Deeds” but there’s one thing that outweighs them all for me: I liked it. I’ve lost a little respect for myself because of it, but I really could sit here and watch the film a second time.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.9/5
Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

The Random Rating: R – For implied sex scenes and prolonged nudity

Movie Trailer: