Reviews written by registered user
|9 reviews in total|
Wow, this is bad. This is the story of a gay couple, one American
(Kyle) and the other French (Marcel). Marcel marries a lesbian in order
to stay in the country, while Kyle's trans sister is forced to remove
her breast implants and returns to being a man, and moves in with the
couple. Cue a whole lot of jealousy on the part of Marcel.
This movie strikes me a lot like The Room. The dialogue is awkward and stilted, and the two main actors deliver their lines with a complete lack of emotion or affect. The only thing they're apparently able to do is vary their volume: when they're supposed to be angry, they get louder, and when they're supposed to be sad, they get quieter. The movie is generally shot from Marcel's point of view, and he, like Tommy Wiseau's Johnny, becomes increasingly unhinged over the course of the movie. He's jealous, possessive, and nasty when he doesn't get his way. Of course, Kyle is no prize, and does some awful things in the movie as well, but with the focus on Marcel, it's hard to see him as anything other than the bad guy.
There are multiple songs cut into the film, performed by Kyle, his sister, and some other guy who I don't think actually had any lines. They serve no purpose other than to showcase the actors' musical "talents".
About the only good part of this movie is the lesbian character: she's actually played by a decent actress and mostly stays above the fray. Otherwise, I cannot recommend anything about this movie.
The basic plot of this film, such as it is, involves two young men
(high school students? college students? like most everything else, it
is not made clear) who are in love; one of them is the son of a local
preacher, who grows increasingly unhinged over the prospect of his son
being gay. Meanwhile, there is a seemingly unrelated plot involving a
cruise line putting together a gay-themed cruise on the Erie Canal.
This movie is a completely disjointed mess. It jumps from scene to scene with no rhyme or reason; characters aren't introduced so much as they just show up. One scene in the movie has two Asian break dancers auditioning for... something? And they are never seen again. Acting is local community theater quality, as you would expect. And the ending, without giving away plot details, seems like it was shot to be a promotion for the Upstate New York Tourism Board or something.
Dropped in the middle of the movie, causing it to grind to a screeching halt, is a ten minute "play" about Matthew Shepard and Tyler Clementi. This is cited as a high point of the movie by others, but it's incredibly portentous, overly long, and doesn't fit in with the rest of the story (as much as anything else fits in to the story at least).
Also, there are too many characters in the movie to keep track of, especially since so many of them are so one-dimensional and either disappear from the narrative after one or two scenes or completely change their one character trait. Robert Altman this ain't.
I'm giving this two stars because there is at least a decent acoustic cover of "Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money towards the beginning. Otherwise, this is just a complete mess of a film and should not be watched without copious amounts of alcohol and snark.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Poor Marina Sirtis. She goes from a steady job at Star Trek: The Next
Generation, to being the go-to actress for playing women of a certain
age from the Middle East (she even got a turn in the Oscar-winner
Crash), and now she's reduced to this. I guess the recession has caused
Trek convention speaking fees to dry up, or something.
Anyway, in Annihilation Earth, another entry into Sci-Fi's Bulgarian cinema oeuvre, she plays a vaguely official woman with an atrocious Southern accent who oversees a magical Large Hadron Collider-based futuristic power source. Part of which proceeds to explode, nuking a quarter of France. So she rides the head scientist, played by Luke Goss, to figure out what went wrong and fix it.
That's honestly about all the plot that makes sense, because stuck in the Sci-Fi plot blender is some stuff about a fellow scientist being a suspected terrorist sympathizer, a bunch of catastrophic things happening, like earthquakes, electromagnetic pulses, and satellites being pulled out of the sky, and, of course, a bunch of explosions. Either way, it ends with the world exploding, because Sirtis gives the wrong order. It's a tragic ending, especially because this film didn't get taken with it.
If you didn't know the title of the movie coming in, you wouldn't know
which DeCoteau movie you were watching. Once again we have the exact
same silly tropes: pretty young people go to a secluded wooded location
(yes, he shot this at the same exact place as his last six movies) and
bad things happen, interspersed with random shirtlessness, the "scary"
dream sequences punctuated by a heartbeat in the background, and the
obligatory three-minute shower scene, where a hot young guy rubs his
abs and chest over and over. (They still haven't figured out: it works
better if you use soap.)
I was about a third of the way through this movie, more bored than usual, when I realized with horror what the best part of David DeCoteau's films was: the copious amount of male shirtlessness. It's like Skinemax for the gays. Stem Cell takes a decidedly hetero bent, and basically jettisons the only redeeming quality of a DeCoteau movie: rampant homoeroticism. At least Beastly Boyz was bad enough to be mockable; this movie is just boring.
Like many other people, I saw the hilariously cheesy trailer for Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, and was plenty amused by it, so when I saw it was coming on the Sci-Fi Channel, I thought it might be hilarious all the way through. Boy, was I wrong. Once you get past the whole "it's Debbie Gibson playing a scientist who has to fight giant sea creatures" ironic humor appeal, there's absolutely nothing appealing about this movie. It's ridiculous, but not in a funny way, just in a dull, bland, generic, cheap CGI monster movie way. Lorenzo Lamas chews scenery, Debbie Gibson is about as believable as you might expect an aging teen pop star to be as a scientist, and the whole endeavor was a chore to sit through for 90 minutes. There's no reason to sit through the entire thing when you can just chuckle at the two-minute trailer.
Being gay, I'm subjected to a lot of bad gay movies. It's solidarity; we know they're bad, but we watch them anyway, out of loyalty more than anything else. This is why I'm glad to report that Make the Yuletide Gay is, well, not bad. It's not great, but when I was going in expecting another cringe-worthy gay romantic "comedy", I got a pretty decent... gay romantic comedy. The writer needs a few lessons in subtlety, given the vast number of over-the-top stereotypes and often wince-inducing double entendre in the film, but the actors take the material and make it work pretty well. As a long-time fan of Degrassi: The Next Generation, I primarily was interested in Adamo Ruggiero's movie debut, and he acquits himself nicely. His character starts off as vain and somewhat obnoxious but becomes sympathetic as the film progresses, and when Ruggiero smiles that beautiful smile of his, I can't help but love him all the more. It's a fun little film, and if you can get past some of the writing, it's worth a watch.
Alien Presence is yet another DeCoteau horror movie. This time some grad students are accompanying their professor on a field trip to some kind of government installation where something weird is going on and... You know, it kind of makes my head hurt trying to describe the plot of this movie. I'll admit, for once, he does manage to come up with a decent idea, but it's essentially a ripoff of other alien invasion movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. As usual, the cast is a bunch of pretty young people who can't act their way out of a Maxi-Pad commercial, and I guess it's one of the more watchable DeCoteau films, but that's not really saying much, is it?
David Decoteau seems to have earned, rightly so, a reputation as the Roger Corman of gay horror schlock, having produced a dozen such movies in the past four years. He uses an interchangeable cast of nobodies who probably just came off of a modeling shoot or out of the nearest twink bar, and has an Uwe Boll-like proclivity for reusing the same sets and locations over and over, probably because it's cheap to film there. Beastly Boyz takes a slightly different tack from most of his movies, because the script is about as long as the Preamble to the Constitution. Instead of silly things like plot and dialog, we get treated to extended scenes of the main character rubbing a knife up and down the bodies of lithe young men. These sequences literally last for several minutes at a time. The movie is 74 minutes long, but it feels much longer, just because it doesn't ever bother to *do* anything. If you have a fetish for knife play, then this is the movie for you, but I don't think anyone else needs to see this.
"Star Runners" is what happens when you take every science fiction movie or TV series of the past three decades, put them in a blender, then take the result and set it on fire. The best part of watching this movie is identifying which sci-fi franchise they're ripping off at the moment. It may be Star Wars in one scene, Firefly in the next, then Starship Troopers and Aliens down the line. At least with this film, the Sci-Fi Channel blew most of their budget hiring a couple of decent actors, Star Trek: Enterprise's Connor Trinneer, and Heroes' James Kyson Lee. Of course, most of the rest of the cast comes from various former Soviet republics. But that's okay, because Star Runners is probably the best Sci-Fi Original Movie to come out yet... Not that that's saying much.