Trailer Thursday 8/25

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on August 25, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Many famous faces were born this week, Barbara Eden, Sean Connery, etc., but I figured since it has been awhile, give a little love to Gene Kelly.

Check out the trailer for Summer Stock

Honey

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Honey Daniels holds down jobs as a bartender, a record store clerk and a dance teacher at a community center run by her mother in New York. Honey’s dream is to make it as a backup dancer in music videos.

When Honey visits a club where her rival Katrina works, the two are recorded as they try to out dance each other. When Honey and friend Gina leave the club, they encounter brothers Benny and Raymond street dancing with other kids from the neighborhood. Honey invites them to attend her classes at the community center, where they work together to inspire new dance moves. The video from the club catches the attention of music director Michael Ellis, who gives Honey a job as a backup dancer in Jadakiss’ new video. Unimpressed with his current choreographer, Michael decides to let Honey choreograph the video. Before long, Honey is asked to choreograph for Tweet, Sheek Louch, and Shawn Desman.

Honey’s new choreography career makes it tougher for her mother to maintain the dilapidated community center. Wanting to help, Honey finds an old store for sale and decides to turn it into a dance studio for the local kids. Honey’s parents want her to teach ballet classes and refuse to help with the new dance studio, but Honey puts down a deposit. Meanwhile, she convinces Michael to let her use the kids she teaches at the center as backup dancers in Ginuwine’s new video.

Honey makes plans to take Gina to Atlantic City for her birthday, but Michael convinces her to make an appearance at a black and white party instead, where he subsequently makes a drunken pass at her. She refuses his advances and leaves the party. Michael later fires Honey and the kids from Ginuwine’s new video, replacing her with Katrina and blackballing Honey from the business.

The kid dancers are heart broken about this turn of events. Benny starts working for street corner drug dealers and soon lands in juvy. When Honey visits him there, Benny refuses her help and insults her. As she leaves, Honey asks him how often his drug friends visit and he is visibly saddened by her question.

Depressed, Honey is relieved when Gina renews their friendship and helps Honey realize she can still make her dreams come true. Honey has been struggling to make the full down payment on the studio, and eventually comes up with the idea to hold a dance benefit at an abandoned church. Benny, released from juvy, brings his dance friends to help prep for the benefit.

Michael has been hired to manage a new video for Missy Elliott. He pushes Katrina as the choreographer, having her do a short routine for Missy. Missy is unimpressed and makes it clear that she will postpone the filming of her video until Michael fires Katrina and brings in Honey, whose work she has seen. Michael begs Honey to work for him and even offers to buy her the studio but she refuses, saying she will pay for the studio on her own.

Gina talks to the bank manager, who calls some local arts community donors to attend the benefit. The benefit is a full house, including Honey’s parents, Benny’s disapproving mother and Honey’s boyfriend Chaz. The audience is wildly enthusiastic about the performances. Benny’s mother sees the future he has as a choreographer, while Honey’s parents change their mind about forcing her to be a ballet teacher. Tweet is in the audience and joins Honey on stage to celebrate her victory. Missy Elliott arrives as the benefit finishes, wanting to finally meet Honey in person. As the credits roll, we watch a music video for Blaque, which has been choreographed by Honey on Missy Elliott’s recommendation.

REVIEW:

Sometimes you just want a little Honey added to your tea, right? Ok, that was a bad excuse for a pun, but it got the title in, so that’s all that matters. Back in the day, this was one of my guilty pleasure films. Fast forward about 10 years and let’s see how it holds up, shall we?

What is this about?

Honey, a tough, sexy dancer from the inner city, becomes a successful music video choreographer, but her career is threatened when her mentor blackmails her into the following choice: either sleep with him … or be blackballed.

What did I like?

Shut up and dance. There are quite a few dance movies out there. Some are good, but most are unwatchable. You have to be the judge on this one, but the choreography is on point and really reflects what was going on at the time in the world of hip hop/r & b. Throw in some of the hot acts of the time and some sweaty, sexy dancers and  the viewer is captivated, whether they care about dancing or not. Smart move on the part of the director and overall good dancing from all involved.

Kids will be kids. Can you remember the last movie you saw that didn’t have a cute kid in it (not counting animation or porn)? I think for me it was Little Caesar. At any rate, these days kids make or break films, as it would seem. The pair of kids that Honey interacts with are no different. The one played by Lil Romeo (I guess he’s changed his name to just Romeo and, now that he’s retired, is going by his real name) even has his own storyline involving a gang. The younger of the two is the one to make the audience go “awww”, and it works.

A taste of Honey. These days, Jessica Alba just doesn’t do it for me. I don’t really know why because she doesn’t look much different than she did when she filmed this picture. That said, she was at her peak in this flick. Not only was he body toned to near perfection, but her acting chops didn’t seem as lifeless as in other films. What happened to her after this flick, I wonder? Maybe she just got the best direction of her career in a film she seems to be happier to forget. At any rate, she is a bright star shining in the sea of mediocrity that is the rest of this cast. Definitely, this is her film, and she owns it!

What didn’t I like?

Big. Remember the kid that was the young version of Tom Hanks in Big? Well, he resurfaced to play the sleazy antagonist of the film. Where should I begin with this guy? Perhaps I should bring up that he seems like he’s a prototype for Will Schuster from Glee with the hair. Second, his plan reminds me of Rob Lowe’s character from Wayne’s World but with a slight alteration. So, what I’m saying is that this guy just isn’t that great of a character, even for this film. I guess that is why they dug out some no-name guy to play him.

Cliche’ Stop me if you heard this before. Main character works their butt off for a better life and, through some twist of fate, manages to make it to the big time. After living with fame for a bit, they decide to give back to the community, but before that can happen, they run afoul of the person that brought them their fame, in turn making a villain who wants to destroy the rec center (or reasonable facsimile). Before this can happen, the entire neighborhood and some famous friends come together at the last minute to save it. That pretty much sums up this and about a dozen other similar flicks with the same cliché plot that we have all grown tired of.

What could have been. I always wondered why Jessica Alba was chosen as the role of an inner city dancer. Nothing against her, I think she was a dancer before she became an actress, now that I think about it, but she is a lone Latina in an African American neighborhood, plus her parents seem to be upper middle class, at least. Well, it turns out that this role was meant for Aaliyah, and the only reason we didn’t see her in it is because she died before filming started. Such a shame. I feel this would have been a different film with her in the role. Whether that is good or bad, I can’t tell you.

Final verdict on Honey? This is a nice little dance movie that showcases much of the urban music of the early 2000s, as well as some hot dancers and dance moves. Jessica Alba owns the screen when she is on it and the supporting cast tries to keep up, but they aren’t really given enough to make any sort of impact. The cliché plot just isn’t redeemable and seeing Alba show off some serious skin and show off how genuinely cute as a button she is/was can only go so far. Do I recommend this? Yes, but only as a weekend afternoon flick or as part of a dance film marathon.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Jane Got a Gun

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , on August 24, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Jane Hammond has built a new life with her husband Bill “Ham” Hammond after being tormented by the Bishop Boys gang. She finds herself in the gang’s crosshairs once again when Ham stumbles home riddled with bullets after dueling with the Boys and their relentless leader, John Bishop. With the vengeful crew hot on Ham’s trail, Jane has nowhere to turn but to her former fiancé Dan Frost for help in defending her family against certain death. Haunted by old memories, Jane’s past meets the present in a heart-stopping battle for survival.

What people are saying:

“A silly movie with a poor cast–Natalie Portman is not good in this “Western.” She and a former beau are able to hold off a dozen outlaws? Don’t waste your time.” 2 stars

“Hollywood has forgotten how to do a decent western. Sub par acting with a lame, contrived story.” 1 1/2 stars

“The movie had a lot of trouble being made from changing multiple directors, delays, and shifting around roles. Which becomes apparent throughout the movie. All the actors do a very good job to keep the movie relevant though. Even with good performances the movie never able to overcome its troubled past. ” 2 1/2 stars

“Not just confusing, predictable and mis-sold as a feminist film, the calamity that is Jane Got A Gun is hobbled by the dullest of plots.” 2 stars

“Slow and tedious with the worst sound editing I can ever recall. An hour and thirty-eight minutes that seems like a lifetime. Those shot in this western suffered less than we who watched it.” 1 star

Robinson Crusoe on Mars

Posted in Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Classics with tags , , , , , on August 24, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

When his spaceship crash-lands on Mars, astronaut Kit Draper must figure out how to survive on the barren, lifeless planet with only a monkey to keep him company. Eventually, he discovers that the dead planet may actually harbor life.

What people are saying:

“It’s exactly what the title says it is. So if you’re a fan of sci fi films shot in glorious technicolor, you should enjoy this throwback to a time when movies went to mars.” 3 stars

“I lasted about 30 minutes and had to shut it off. The monkey element was lame and the astronaut sucking air from rocks ended it for me. Maybe if I was 10 when this came out it might have had some appeal. Stick with Planet of the Vampires…” 2 stars

“Classic 1960’s sci-fi B movie, yes its low budget and the special effects aren’t that great but the this movie is 50 years old (not 40 years old as one review who cant count thinks) so what do you expect. Sit back and watch a slice of movie history.” 4 stars

“A space version of the movie “Castaway”. Imagine being on another planet by yourself or are you? A great movie to escape into, especially a space movie made in 1964.” 4 1/2 stars

“A film made by small children in a sand pit . Maybe one of them was luck enough to own a pet monkey which they brought along for kicks. Who knows or cares? Perhaps one day when the human race is no more and all that we achieved is buried and gone. Perhaps then… this film may be unearthed by some future beings or visitors from an alien world, and serve as the only reminder of a once noble race. Even then, i doubt, even if they had some sort of pay to view streamlining service, would they deign to offer this for public consumption.” 1 star

Trailer Thursday 8/18

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on August 18, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Down here in Baton Rouge, most of the city is still reeling from the massive rains and flooding that we were privy to this weekend. I count my blessings that I was unaffected by this, especially when I see that my previous addresses in the city were underwater by Saturday morning!

With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to find a film about flooding. So, let’s take a look at the trailer for the 1976 film, Flood!

Trailer Thursday 8/11

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on August 11, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Remember how in almost every episode of MTV Cribs there would be someone who would have a room dedicated to a certain movie that they swore up and down was the greatest in the world, Scarface? Sometimes they would have multiple copies of the movie on DVD.

Well, how about we take a look at the trailer for this overrated film

Sahara

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on August 10, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

While investigating a deadly water-borne epidemic along the Nile River, adventurer Dirk Pitt uncovers a secret dating back to the U.S. Civil War and battles an evil industrialist bent on killing every living thing in the world’s oceans.

What people are saying:

“Sahara was a surprise find by my wife at a garage sale. Expecting the worst, it turned out to be about the best knock-off of a James Bond film that we have seen, so well done, and with its own plot (though with a few scenes right out of actual Bond films), that if someone had told us that it was put out by the Bond people to inject new blood into the mix, or to rejuvenate “the Franchise”, we might have believed them for a few moments.” 3 stars

“Despite the vast beauty of location settings in Morocco and Spain, the vast lack of chemistry between the two stars is appalling.” 2 1/2 stars

“This is a silly fun movie with a world class cast. Look it’s not a drama, so lighten up. McConaughey and Zahn are well matched. And in Wilson, Macy and the lovely Miss Cruz and you have fun. Good sound track beautiful locations. Give it a try. ” 4 stars

“Sahara was just like sex with a cactus, a terribly painful and scarring experience, but for some reason, I just couldn’t stop.” 1 1/2 stars

“Road to Morocco meets James Bond. A movie with fun written all over it. While an iron clad taking down a modern assault helicopter is a bit of a stretch (even for this movie), Sahara is a personal favorite that delivers on many levels: star power, love story and a happy ending. Two adventurers and a WHO doctor battle an evil warlord and corrupt solar power corporation on their way to finding an ancient civil war ironclad and source of a mysterious illness. Good cinematography, music and clever writing. Stand out performance by William Macy.” 3 1/2 stars

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