Archive for Lark Voorhies

How to be a Player

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2011 by Mystery Man


Drayton “Dray” Jackson (Bill Bellamy) is a playboy with only one goal in his life: to have sex with as many women as possible. While he is doing that, he is busy trying to keep these women a secret from his girlfriend, Lisa (Lark Voorhies). But, Dray’s sister, Jenny, (Natalie Desselle-Reid) and her friend Katrina (Mari Morrow) strategize to invite all the women Dray has been playing to the same party that he is attending.He begins to make the moves on his sister’s friend, almost succeeding until the one girl he really has true feelings for shows up at the door.


I think at some point in time, all guys (and maybe even some girls) ponder what it takes to be a player. While it crosses some of our minds, a few actually go through with it, this is how we get plots to films like Boomerang and this one, How to be a Player.

Personally, I’m no player, just a flirt. As a matter of fact, one of my friends called me a “horn dog flirt” this week. Be that as it may, I’m as faithful as they come. Having said that, I actually enjoy these films where the guy who can’t keep it in his pants, has all sorts of issues.

The plot of this urban comedy from the mid-90s is quite simple. We have our “player” who is in a relationship with a drop dead gorgeous woman, but still manages to go around town getting his freak on with other gorgeous women. His friends want to know the secret, which is how we get the title, and his sister and her friend want to expose him, under the guise of a sociology project. The sister’s friend also wants a little piece of the action, as well. This all leads to the many comedic moments and an entertaining ending.

I guess if you’re going to be a player, then you better have the looks to back it up, and many women seem to think Bill Bellamy was the living end back in the day. I wonder whatever happened to him? In this role, he does a pretty good job, but I’ve seen him do better. Any Given Sunday, anyone? Still, he’s come a long way since hosting the beach house and various urban parts of MTV program back when they actually could justify the M in their name.

The women in this film are all pretty hot, especially the sister’s friend, and of course the girlfriend, Lisa…played by Lark Voorhies (is she always playing characters named Lisa?)

Adding more comic flavoring to the mix are the…let’s call them sidekicks. These guys don’t really bring anything to the plot or story, but they are a nice compliment to the cast.

The good thing about films from the 90s is that they never took themselves too seriously…well, the comedies didn’t. If this film was made today, I would be you would barely be able to tell it was a comedy. My, my, how times have changed.

The comedic moments are what make this film entertaining. If you take those out, then you actually have a pretty unwatchable movie.

The way Bellamy swerves out of the situations when he is surely caught are nothing short of a show of skill and luck.

I didn’t care too much for the plot by the sister and her friend. To me, it just seemed like they were there as a plot device, and not a very good one, at that.

What is the final verdict on How to be a Player? I think it is pretty decent, but could’ve been better. No, it doesn’t necessarily teach you how to be a player. Well, I guess it kind of does, but you better hope that the women you’re using these tactics on haven’t seen this before. This isn’t the greatest film, but if you take the time to watch it, I’m sure you’ll get a couple of laughs, at least. If you get the chance, why not check it out?

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

How High

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2010 by Mystery Man


The plot is centered around two underachieving pot smokers – Silas (Method Man) and Jamal (Redman). When Silas’ friend Ivory (Chuck Davis) dies, Silas uses his ashes as fertilizer for a new batch of marijuana. While both are sitting in the parking lot before taking their THC (Testing for Higher Credentials, as opposed to SAT) exams for college, neither is able to smoke their individual marijuana stash without the help of the other. They soon discover that smoking Silas’ new batch summons the ghost of the recently deceased Ivory. Ivory gives them the exact test answers and both of them pass with perfect scores.

Several dubious colleges offer the pair scholarships, but none of them are appealing. Eventually, Chancellor Huntley (Fred Willard) suggests the two apply to Harvard University. They accept the offer and continue using the magic weed to succeed at the university. They meet several interesting students, such as Tuan (Trieu Tran), an Asian child prodigy, Bart (Chris Elwood), a snobby rowing team captain, and Jeffrey (Justin Urich), their roommate who is forced to perform humiliating acts as part of a fraternity initiation. Jamal brought along his fellow pot-smoker “I Need Money” (Al Shearer). Jamal falls for the daughter of the Vice President. Bart is set against Jamal in sports, and Silas in love when the latter falls for his girlfriend, Lauren (Lark Voorhies). The “Ivory” bush is eventually stolen by the nerdy volunteer student guard Gerald (T.J. Thyne), who smokes all of it except for a few tiny leaves. With the “Ivory” now gone, the pair try studying first with no success then try to dig up and smoke the remains of John Quincy Adams, but it doesn’t fare any better either. Silas concocts a “truth serum” using the remnants of “Ivory” in an attempt to get a passing grade in botany. In the end, Benjamin Franklin (whose bong was discovered by Lauren) appears back with Ivory at an alumni meeting to convince the congregation that Silas and Jamal should stay at Harvard.


Stoner movies are never meant to be anything more that sheer fun, and How High fits that bill to a ‘T’.

You may know Method Man and Redman from the rap group Wu-Tang clan. Well, they branched out into acting with this little picture, and did a mighty fine job with it. Neither is the straight man to the others follies, per se, but Method Man seems to be the more driven, level-headed of the two.

Two television beauties that many have seem to all but forgotten show up in the picture, Lark Voorhies and Essence Atkins, from Saved By the Bell and Smart Guy, respectively. Atkins plays the vice-president’s daughter who wants a thuggish man, but can’t necessarily be seen with him due to her dad’s election bid, yet she ends up with Redman. Vorrhies is the straight laced, underappreciated girlfriend of the douchebag crew captain who doesn’t treat her right, so she leaves him for Method Man who has been all up in her grill since they came to Harvard.

True, most stoner flicks don’t have much of a plot, but this one actually does. These guys want to escape the hood and make a better life for themselves. Method Man’s best friend has a series of unfortunate accidents that lead to his death. Following his death, his ashes are ground up into the soil of some weed that Method Man is growing. Somehow Ivory’s ghost is contained in that weed and whoever smokes it can see him. Ivory, being dead, now knows the answer to all the questions, and helped th two guys get perfect scores on their THCs, which allows them to get into Harvard. Hilarity ensues.

Not much to really say about this picture. It’s a stoner flick, so you know what to expect, lots of weed smoking, hallucinations, and ridiculous situations. In the midst of all this, there is a good story that is overlooked. Unfortunately, the humor dies off near the end and the film ends abruptly. I expected a bit more closure, such as the guys graduating, Method Man coming up with some other way to smoke Ivory since they smoke all of the Ivory plant, etc. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you probably see the title How High and immediately think you should avoid this picture like the plague, right? Well, you’d be wrong. This is actually a good watch. No, it’s not for everyone, but it is sure to brighten your day, and in these dark times, couldn’t we all use a laugh or two?

4 out of 5 stars