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Profile for Cherie Priest > Reviews

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Content by Cherie Priest
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Reviews Written by
Cherie Priest "Cherie Priest" (Chattanooga, TN)

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House of Dead [Import]
House of Dead [Import]
DVD ~ Jonathan Cherry
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 8.06
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars it could have been worse ... i bet., June 30 2004
This review is from: House of Dead [Import] (DVD)
in this movie's defense, it was not technically the worst thing i've ever seen. there were some easter eggs for fans of the game, and there was even the occasional token stab toward continuity. for example--rather than simply depositing the victims on a beach and having them magically sprout machine guns, the writers saw to it that the island is being used to hide smuggled arms from the Coast Guard. a bit too easy? yes, i suppose. but many movies wouldn't have bothered, so they get half of one hesitant thumb up just for investing the effort. also, there was a rather hunky lead victim, Rudy, who looked like a teenaged Wolverine charging wildly through the jungle with an axe--which is not altogether unpleasant; though the accompanying "male underwear model" is inexplicably unattractive in comparison. a word with the casting director is most definitely in order.
and i'm sorry, but i've just exhausted my creativity. the truth is, this movie is more or less irredeemable and no one should ever watch it--not even with alcohol, not even for the sake of mockery.

Bubba Ho-Tep [Import]
Bubba Ho-Tep [Import]
DVD ~ Bruce Campbell
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 38.88
21 used & new from CDN$ 6.98

5.0 out of 5 stars gobsmackingly brilliant, June 29 2004
This review is from: Bubba Ho-Tep [Import] (DVD)
Something that really struck me about BTH--in addition to the surprising level of narrative density--was the sense of epic that this small movie manages to establish. And it IS a small movie; this is a small story told on a small budget about small souls in a small town. It's ninety minutes of two guys ambling around a nursing home, for heaven's sake, but it feels huge. For all its diminutive scale, this is not a story of The Hero in Everyman™. This is no retiree fable wherein ordinary guys rise up to finally achieve a long-denied glory--so far as the audience is concerned, the protagonists are Kennedy and Elvis. By the middle of the movie, no one cares that JFK is an old black man or that Elvis Presley may well be naught but an impersonator. For the purposes of the tale, these are two of the greatest icons of the 20th century--back one last time to save the day.
With this in mind, Bubba Ho-Tep is not afraid to take itself seriously. Yes, this is a silly monster flick and yes, we have two dubiously-identified heroes, and yes, Elvis goes after the mummy wearing a white sequin jumpsuit and cape. So what? It's a damn fine story that is masterfully put together and exceptionally well-written. BHT refuses to apologize for being what it is, and I respect that more than I can take the time to explain here. It's ludicrous, and it's deep; it's wacky and it's profound. It's hilarious and heartbreaking, sometimes only a few seconds apart. For all its bizarre fictional liberties, this is one of the most "true" stories I've ever been told--and it effectively enters my canon of all-time favorites.

The Haunted Mansion (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
The Haunted Mansion (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Eddie Murphy
Price: CDN$ 5.00
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars oh god. the horror., June 29 2004
this movie is a hopeless failure as a YA suspense story, and it's all but irredeemable as a comedy. Honestly, the best part of this movie is the opening credits sequence--a pleasantly Victorian and abstract couple of minutes peppered with T.S.Eliot-esque tarot cards, red wine poisonings and tragic suicides. The credits promised me a movie that would not suck. A curse upon those credits and their misleading level of quality, for the movie that followed them made me weep for the Eddie Murphy I knew in Beverly Hills Cop.

The Medallion (Bilingual) [Import]
The Medallion (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Gordon Chan
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 15.00
43 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars *gah*, June 29 2004
there is absolutely nothing surprising or innovative going on in this story, which is too bad, because there is a grand (though badly typecast) appearance by Julian Sands as the Devilishly-Handsome British Villain Seeking Superhuman Powers and Immortality Whilst Nancing About the Secret Lair in a Black Swishy Coat. and of course there is Jackie himself, reprising his perpetual role as Unappreciated and Underestimated Hong Kong Secret Agent Who is Kind to Animals and Small Children, Though Still Manages to Kick Ass in a Creative and Entertaining Fashion. also in this terrible flick, you will find The Mysterious, Adorable Asian Kid Who, Despite His God-Like Powers, Is In Constant Need of Rescue from the Aforementioned British Villain. Meanwhile, you can ogle Claire Forlani, the Eye Candy Who Serves as an Unconvincing Romantic Foil to the Sweet, Self-Effacing Hong Kong Agent Old Enough to be Her Father. and don't forget Lee Evans, the Bumbling British Agent Who Insists on Being In Charge, Yet Clearly Is Incapable of Leading a Raid On a Taco Stand, Much Less Taking On a Criminal Mastermind.
and what the hell was John Rhys-Davis doing in this travesty of celluloid? well, i'll tell you. he's the Unspecifically-Foreign Director of Some Interpol Division Whose Job it is to Provide Deus Ex Machina, or Possibly He Was Just Looking for Harrison Ford, It Was Kind of Hard to Tell Since He Was Boasting the Exact Same Suit and Nondescript Accent That He Had in All the Indiana Jones Movies.
of course, none of this is to say that we didn't enjoy it,
'cuz we did. but that does not change the fact that it was a terrible movie.
that's all i'm sayin'.

The Triplets of Belleville
The Triplets of Belleville
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 24.49
25 used & new from CDN$ 8.44

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars eh., June 29 2004
This review is from: The Triplets of Belleville (DVD)
TOB is a beautifully-made movie--there's no arguing that. It's eye candy in every frame, and the fact that it was largely hand-drawn was not lost on me. There are lots of individual things and scenes about this film that make me want to sing its praises; the characterization is subtle and thorough, and there are a few (far between) moments of laugh-out-loud funny ha ha. But overall it was just plain boring. I realize that it's supposed to be "subtle," but there's a fine line between "subtle" and "tedious," and the makers of TOB did not manage to skirt this line terribly well. Indeed, they opted to eschew skirting altogether, and they leaped that line Pitfall-style to plunge past subtlety into outright dullness. I'm sorry, I really am. I know a lot of people have gushed over this flick and handed it awards left, right and center--but until the last thirty minutes, it put me to sleep.
Yeah, Jerry Lewis aside, the French notion of comedy is freaking LOST on me. This is easily one of the most depressing 80 minute stints of entertainment I've ever subjected myself to. From the opening shots where we watch poor Grandma floundering to connect with her new charge, to the scene where the rescued frog is run over by a train ... this is not a happy flick. By the time the straggling cyclist is shot to death because he can't pedal another step, my beloved and I had taken to drinking heavily and pondering the nature of our existence. Now available on DVD--from the country that gave you *Les Miserables* and *The Man in the Iron Mask* ... experience the outrageous comic stylings of THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE!
Anyway, maybe you'll get more out of this than we did. For what it's worth, my boyfriend and I both have pretty good attention spans; he adores epic Russian writers, and I've been known to compose the occasional novel, so we're not exactly an ADHD pair of fourteen year olds. But this was one of those times where we recognized the quality of the work being presented unto us, but we still failed to plug into it.

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (Special Edition) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (Special Edition) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
DVD ~ Larry Blamire
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 73.08
10 used & new from CDN$ 18.49

2.0 out of 5 stars okay, but not great, June 29 2004
If you're going to revisit something old-and-bad-yet-cherished-by-the-cheese-loving-masses, you should either (a). seek to improve upon it or (b). strive for irony--neither of which TLSOC accomplishes. Mere modern reproduction does not irony make, and if you're deliberately tossing "stylistic improvement" out the window, then the ironic element is critical to the story's success.
Sure, it was mildly entertaining to watch the rigid reinforcement of stereotyped binary gender roles ... but The Rocky Horror Picture show addressed this theme better. Yes, it was entertaining to observe the age-old "fish out of water" scenes wherein the alien couple tries to plug in to humanity's social structure ... but hell, the SNL Coneheads were more convincing. Indeed, Animala represents the personification of "otherness" inherent in aggressive feminine sexuality ... but everyone from Eartha Kitt to Vampyra has done it with more depth and panache.
I appreciate what The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra was shooting for--really I do--and I get the jokes. I understand what they were aiming for with this film ... but unlike the people whose raving reviews I've read, I didn't think it was very special. Its in-your-face terribleness is so ham-fisted that it defies analysis, and its strict insistence on imitation permits no commentary on the form. TLSOC severely limits itself even while it pats itself on the back for being so true. That's dandy and all, and I surely appreciate the attention to detail. But what the producers of this film have missed is this: the old black-and-whites are great because they took themselves seriously and pop culture's long run failed to--not because they weakly poked fun at the creative and technological inadequecies of the past.

Pink Think: Becoming A Woman In Many Uneasy Lessons
Pink Think: Becoming A Woman In Many Uneasy Lessons
by Lynn Peril
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.29
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars sad, and awesome, June 11 2004
My mom makes a whole lot more sense to me now.

Versus - Special Edition
Versus - Special Edition
DVD ~ Tak Sakaguchi
Price: CDN$ 34.99
15 used & new from CDN$ 5.70

5.0 out of 5 stars loved it loved it loved it., April 29 2004
This review is from: Versus - Special Edition (DVD)
this Japanese mobster movie takes place in an enchanted forest populated by gun-toting zombies and a 500-year-old evil Samurai wizard of DOOM. no, seriously. and it's great. imagine *Reservoir Dogs* meeting *Night of the Living Dead*--with lots of really kick-ass asian people wearing leather and carrying very big sharp things that go "swish."
i absolutely adored it.

DVD ~ Malgorzata Foremniak
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 71.84
12 used & new from CDN$ 6.27

2.0 out of 5 stars you've got to be kidding me, Jan. 12 2004
This review is from: Avalon (DVD)
two hours of gorgeous, sepia-toned screensavers.

Last Resort
Last Resort
by Wendy Webb
Edition: Paperback
9 used & new from CDN$ 8.13

5.0 out of 5 stars a sharp beginning to what will surely be a great series, Feb. 1 2003
This review is from: Last Resort (Paperback)
Beluga Stein is funnier than Hercule Poirot, sharper than Miss Marple, and looks better in a tent-sized frock than Sherlock Holmes. Of course, she *does* have some help from her wonderful cat--a talented, opinionated beastie who makes a perfect familiar to this wonderful new detective.
In short, this is a great read. One part ghost story, one part mystery, and one part marvelous writing -- which all adds up to a fast-paced, entertaining tale that will make you wish there was more of Beluga to love.

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