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Ring of Darkness (2004)
So bad it's goood! (And I'm a straight hetero female!) You gotta believe... 1) A potential boy band member is a budding astrophysicist and Yale student. 2) Another boy-band candidate is an investigative journalist. 3) A cheap, child sized guitar is "A vintage Fender".
All of the above good for lots of laughs. Likewise, the too precious, over-done hairdos and carefully distressed t-shirts.
The plot was sort of plausible and the screen-play had some bite, a few very funny side comments. Blonde bimbo was funny!
I've covered the good-bad. Now the bad-bad.
Ryan Starr. So unappealing on American Idol because she seemed to think she was soo hot. She is absolutely ineffective on screen. Clamp your hand over your mouth and nose, and try to talk in a high pitched screech. That will give you an idea of her speaking voice. ANY third rate starlet would have been better, and would have made the film acceptable, rather than a guilty pleasure.
Stage for the audition looked crappy. Signage too. Couldn't they have ironed the tablecloth?
Very good use of the few locations. Great boy-band parody. Eric Dearborn as Max, and Jeff Peterson as Jonah came off quite well. Loved Joshua Jackson's snarky, faux sincere performance too!
Well directed. Even tho' it was dopey, the film moved fast. Except when Ryan Starr dragged it down.
Thank God for the numbers denoting each segment, or I would never have known when this thing was gonna end. Not much positive to say, except I did enjoy the Grandfather. He was the only spark of life in the plot. O-lan Mitchell (Dixie) provided about the only acting spark. This HAD to be a student film or experimental film, judging from some of the end credits. I want my dollar back!!! Lots of words, just no meaning or conviction. I did get a few of the mild, sly jokes that seemed to pertain to Patti Hearst. Also a bit offended by the "cookout" scene, it just seemed somehow anti-American. The jacket cover said the film was based on a novel. Was it a sci-fi novel? Hope someone knows.
Star 80 (1983)
Love and Hate
When a performer can make you love and hate their character, feel pity, shame, worry, and all of the above simultaneously, that is great acting. Eric Roberts achieves all this and more ! Only Shirley Booth in "Come Back Little Sheba" and Eric Roberts in "Star 80" have had this kind of impact on me. Incredible film. Sort of off-topic now, but if you look closely, you will see "Victoria Porter" from "All That Jazz" as an auto show "hostess" and the dance mistress/choreographer's assistant, also from "ATJ" as a script supervisor during a movie filming scene. The entire film was very believable! Had a right here, right now feeling to it.