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After several years of house training and etiquette classes, he is almost respectable.
Steamy Vignettes will appeal to even those who don't speak Spanish
Okay, the acting is flat out awful, and you've seen 3rd graders write better dialog. That said, the actors are all really good looking, the story lines are based on real life events, and you'll see women in next to nothing within 5 minutes after the start of every episode.
The show is a series of one hour vignettes. In each episode, the characters are faced with key decisions that help decide in what direction their life will take them. Since the plots always involve relationships, there's usually several people involved. There's always scandals, and most recently, the show's covered such controversies as marijuana and also homosexuality (no, not in the same episode).
Since many episodes deal with tough relationships and dramatic scandals ("I slept with your mother after she did a nu-die calendar in my studio", etc), there's usually a good cat fight or a "bitch slap". In the instance of "bitch slappin", you'll hear a loud clapping sound, a violently turned head, and a lot of flying hair. Apparently, getting slapped around is standard fare on Latino shows because these actors are really good at it.
For those who speak no Spanish, the show's captioned in English on CC3. But you don't really need to speak Spanish to understand these plots.
Because of the steamy nature of the plots, the frequent clothes shedding and the cartoony violence, I highly recommend this series to fans of campy shows, soap opera addicts, and those who wonder where ideas like "Ugly Betty" come from.
E yu tou hei sha xing (1978)
"That Black Guy" Is one bad mofo...
Jim Kelly is one of the unsung heroes of Blacksploitation. His role as "Roper" in the movie "enter the dragon" exposed the world to this amazing martial artist. His solo movies were the stuff of legend, as they were usually very funny (unintentionally) and happened to feature an afro-centric black man (daishikis and afros are everywhere in his movies) who totally kicked butt! Among Jim Kelly movies, Enter the Dragon is by far the best. But his solo career, mostly consisting of independent movies about a black martial artist, is well worth exploring.
If you are a member of the Wu Tang clan, or a kung fu movie junkie, you gotta love this actor and especially this movie. It has all the elements of a great 1970's style Kung fu movie: Bad dubbing, plenty of fight scenes, an odd plot, and a protagonist with a Jackson 5 afro and the attitude to carry it off.
This is not an Oscar caliber movie, but rather an independent flick with serious potential. Yes, it's really campy, and yes, the fight scenes are outdated, but this movie is worth checking out at least for the poorly dubbed dialog. Jim Kelly is never given a name in this movie, and is instead referred to, over and over again, as "That black guy". For real, the movie features such gems as "You got beat up by that black guy again" and "Let's go fight with that black guy".
To sum it up in a short sentence: That Black guy is awesome!
Weird Science (1985)
A childhood favorite worth revisiting
I grew up watching Weird Science and watched the movie dozens of times as a kid. My mind had totally stashed away the memories until this week when the movie was on TV. WOW! If you haven't seen the movie recently, it's worth seeing again.
The plot (for those who can't remember it) centers around these two nerds (gary and Wyatt) who decide to create a virtual woman on their computer during a weekend sleepover. The plan goes awry when a real woman (Lisa) pops out of their computer. She not only looks like a goddess but has super powers. In scenes inspired by classic shows such as "I dream of Jeanie" and "bewitched", the guys spend the entire weekend doing damage control for the crazy things that she causes to happen. in the midst of it all, there is a coming of age for the boys, who must face bullies and unpopularity in their quest for girlfriends and acceptance among their peers.
Lisa does everything to make these guys the epitome of 80's cool. Big hair, skinny ties, suits with shoulder pads, a Ferrari and 911 Porsche, the classic pink Cadillac, etc. The soundtrack is distinctly 80's, with songs by the General Public and Oingo Boingo as some of the stand outs.
A pleasant surprise about this movie is how well it has held up over the years. The scene when dorky Wyatt and Gary end up in an all black bar with Lisa still works. Un-pc as it is, the scene where Gary gets drunk and tries to talk like a black man is still hilarious.
This movie has several elements I really dig as an adult that were beyond me as a kid. First, Kelly Lebrock's powers and sensuality are both great analogies for the explosive sexuality of a woman and the insecurity of what it is to be a teenage boy. Much like "Bewitched" and "I dream of Jeanie" an incredibly sensual woman uses her "powers" and these dorks spend all their time begging her not to use them. Despite the fact that she is supposed to do whatever Gary and Wyatt ask of her, she is still totally intimidating to them.
In one discussion of why the movie "Elektra" failed, the critic mentioned that while teenage boys find older women really sexy, they also find them scary. To keep it's appeal to the under 18 set, the movie constantly plays on how intimidated regular guys would be if a real woman were to just pop into their lives.
With the old school modem and graphics, the movie also gives a peek into how the world viewed computers not even 20 years ago. There was clearly a belief that someday, computers would be able to do anything, even create life. Author William Gibson envisioned an internet where people would literally plug themselves into their computers. In this movie, the computer has the power of creation. Time has proved that these things are possible, just not quite as sci fi types envisioned them. We do have an internet, but we don't plug our bodies into the computer. And while games like "Sims" and "GTA: San Andreas" make it possible to have a "virtual girlfriend", it's not quite what this movie envisioned.
The clutch of this movie is of course the girl herself. Kelly Lebrock sizzles in this movie. She has an understated sexy confidence about her that has not been replicated by anyone other than Angelina Jolie, and her sense of comedic timing is spot on. It's a shame that she more or less disappeared after this movie was made, because she is very memorable in this film. The scene where she picks up Gary at his parents house is the best take on "meet the parents" EVER.
Finally, this movie served as a great launching pad for a lot of careers. Anthony Michael Hall would have probably become a star if only his next movies had been good (instead of the silly "Out of Bounds" and the pathetic "Johnny Be Good"), but Bill Paxton (who's role as Gary's older brother alone is worth the price of a rental) went on to become a well known a-lister and this early role is classic Paxton (I'd argue that his role as "Hudson" in the 1986 movie "Aliens" is probably Paxton at his best).
So, for the soundtrack, the old school science fiction, the bikini-concept of women's sexuality as something dangerous, and the launch of some great stars, this is a movie well worth revisiting.
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
Eh, not bad
The ending for this movie totally rocks! Much to my surprise, I feel pretty excited for the day when the sequel comes out.
The effects were cool, and there are lots of cool fights in this movie. There are several subplots, and some really help out the movie in droves (the bounty hunter scenes in this flick are the bomb diggedy!), but others seem to work really hard to bring this flick down (Dame Judy Dench needs to go back to making 007 movies, and that prison scene was so-so). Also, Vin Diesel took off and put on his goggles in just about every scene, like an action star security blanket. That was maybe a bit too much.
The change of character in his sidekick (from sexually androgenous pre-teen to early 20's hottie) didn't really do much for this movie. Though Riddick is a loner, his friendship in the last movie helped flesh him out as a little bit more than just a cold blooded killer. Finally, I really took issue with the lame costumes the alleged "bad guys" wore. They looked more funky than menacing.
However, the bad guys themselves were wonderfully fiendish, the bounty hunters are ruthless, and Vin Diesel is pretty believable in his role.
Overall, I'd say that if you like movies with impressive scenery (the CG man got PAID in this flick), lots of explosions (like I do), ruthless bounty hunters (like everyone does), bone crunching fight scenes (you know you do), and Vin Diesel kicking some serious ass (someone does, check out his box office receipts), you will enjoy this movie.
Oh, if this helps, I thought it was cooler than Pitch Black, and I also enjoyed that movie.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Best movie of 2004
This movie is a genx love fest and it made me feel better than any movie I have ever seen. Essentially, this movie is a remake of "welcome to the dollhouse" and a lot of the other slacker-esque movies of that era. The film follows the misadventures of a complete loser (Napoleon Dynamite is a near sighted high school kid with a penchant for medieval warriors and tall tales), his best friend (the new kid in town, a Mexican immigrant who must comprehend life in rural Idaho), their shared love interest (she is deliciously quirky on her own), and a few other random characters (Napoleon's scheming "get rich quick" uncle and his internet chatroom obsessed loser 32-year-old-but-still-living-at-home brother). In terms of story, this one is tops. All of the "good" characters grow and become much more than they were when the movie began. This film celebrates friendship at it's basest level and demonstrates the triumph of good people above overwhelming odds. The true appeal of this movie though, for me, was the close attention that the director paid to making this movie feel like the early 1990's or late 1980's. Characters wear zubbas and hand out friendship bracelets. Even the vocabulary the actors use comes from this era (when was the last time you called someone "retarded", for example), but it is done so in such a genuine manner. The music and the style are very appropriate, and you can really feel the social awkwardness of Napoleon and his friends. While this movie was made in many ways to appeal to those who can most relate to the awkward years of growing up (the unpopular kids, the new kid, the medieval warrior obsessed clique, the metal heads, the stoners, all the general low lifes you probably associated with, or possibly were at school), this will nevertheless appeal to everyone else. The comedy is not made to be knee slapping, but it's sublety is wonderful and I found myself laughing throughout the entire film. If you have ever rooted for the underdog, this is the movie for you. I can't spoil the ending for you, but for real, no movie has ever made me feel as happy and as inspired as this one. I can't wait to see what this director comes up with next!