Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Can't-miss hits

Recently, I took a trip to the local Blockbuster to rent a few movies. I ended up picking Religilous and W. Of course that sounds like loads of fun, but that's not even half the story.

When I go to Blockbuster - or any DVD rental establishment - I love to scan the aisles for hilariously bad movies, movies you know are terrible just by looking at the cover. Back in Boston, I recall seeing "Frankenthumb" available for rental once. It had smash hit written all over it.

Set aside the question on who in the world thinks these movies are worth making and enjoy the the sheer entertainment of the corny title and the campy cover. I took mental notes of a few beauties and I feel you should know these movies are out there, waiting for you. They're like those cute puppies you see in the commercials. They may be a bit worn down, but all they need is a good home.

1. Single Black Female: From the people who brought you Black Oleander, Black Christmas, Black Velvet, The Hunt for Black October and The Color Fuschia comes a modern remake of an aging classic. She's single, she's crazy and she's African-American. The Bridget Fonda character's name in this is Karma. Deep stuff. The crazy woman is named Sky. Like she's sky-high nuts! How can you pass this up?

2. Sharks in Venice: As someone who has visited this grand city, the mere thought of vicious sharks lurking in those waters sends a shiver down my spine. Of course this movie has to star Stephen Baldwin. Couldn't pass on this script. The basic plot outline: A man, haunted by the death of his father, finds a trail to an ancient fortune in Venice. The mob finds out and kidnaps his girlfriend and forces him to find the treasure. If that's not bad enough, there are SHARKS IN VENICE!!! So you have the brave, manly hero tortured by the memories of his dad, a useless, kidnapped female companion, the mob and SHARKS .... IN VENICE!! How did I resist renting this film?

3. Nights in Rodanthe: Not quite as campy as the previous two entries, but the title just oozes pretension, like you're required to wear a polo shirt and penny loafers to watch this. Richard Gere finally took a break from his Golden Globes acceptance speech for Chicago to film this romantic film with Diane Lane. You have all the staples of the Danielle Steel-type story: Lonely woman besieged by the evil men in her life takes a brief vacation on a scenic beach. Lo and behold, a sexy, mysterious doctor happens to be in the area. And then a storm hits. Can't you feel the passion? I really hope J.R. Schaible is forced to watch this movie at some point in his life.

4. Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous: This was the movie that was supposed to cement Jessica Simpson as a serious actress. Oh well. Just from the short blurb on the back I can outline the entire movie. Beautiful celeb is humiliated in public, causing a crisis of confidence. Then, one day, Rob Schneider becomes a carrot.

Sorry, wrong paint-by-numbers movie. OK, so one day she accidentally enlists in the army and hilarity ensues. At first, she can't keep up with the strict lifestyle of boot camp. She probably has a few physically funny pitfalls during basic training. Simultaneously, she has to deal with a group of hard-boiled trainees who think she's just another dumb blonde. There will be one particular, dashing man who isn't as vocal as his compatriots, but agrees with them. Eventually, through sheer pluck and determination, she will win the respect of her once-skeptical drill sergeants and the heart throb. At the end of the second act, she will be framed for some grievous error by a devious trainee and everyone will turn their backs on her. After a pep talk from a kooky friend, she works up the courage and wins them back with a gutsy victory toward the end of the movie and graduates with the class alongside her new love. The end.

I just saved you four bucks.

5. Afro Ninja: Destiny: Just because something is funny on Youtube doesn't mean we need a movie about it. Should the dramatic chipmunk get its own star vehicle? (Probably, starring Samuel L. Jackson.) Apparently, this movie has a plot, though I doubt more than three minutes of thought went into it. A post office worker finds a magic sword and turns into a ninja. As long as it holds up to the standard set by Beverly Hills Ninja, it can't be all that bad, right?

Rent it and let me know.

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