Monday, February 18, 2008

A Frank Review of D.E.B.S. and MINDHUNTERS

Some important to know about me, as an indivual, and in case you hadn't picked up on it, is that I am a contrarian. If you present to me a movie hailed as a masterpiece, I will set my eyeteeth upon its arteries. If you present to me a movie cold or with heavy reservations, I will endeavor to either keep an open mind or actively pursue its virtues. This should help to understand why I might give both of these overly hated flicks a free pass, and I'm here to explain why.

D.E.B.S. I bought on VHS at a dollar store some time back, likely before I had a Netflix account. I knew little about he movie, but I figured for a buck it should at least pay for itself in prurient value. I was mistaken, as every actress in this movie needs to be put on the Morgan Spurlock McDonald's diet so that their thighbones no longer protrude through their dresses. I have to assume they're all wearing wigs and false teeth. That criticism aside, the film isn't about hot chicks in schoolgirl outfits. It is instead a sort of modern riff on Dino's Matt Helm movies mashed-up with "...But I'm A Cheerleader," as it might have been handled by Amy Heckerling. The movie isn't especially funny, but it is amusing, sweet nature, and gay friendly. In fact, the film was expanded from a ten minute short by lesbian filmmaker Angela Robinson, who makes the most of a two million dollar budget, little of which likely went into the charmingly cheap CGI. None of the characters rise above cyphers, but it seems to me part of the point of the movie is playing the lesbian relationship as innocuously as possible, without any social agenda beyond popcorn entertainment. Even without that angle, the movie is unrelentingly cute and the best kind of lightweight. My only real complaint was that star Sara Foster doesn't quite have the same charisma and presence of Hayden Christianson.

I could find neither the trailer nor original short at YouTube, but here's the first ten minutes, and you can see the rest free as well...

Mindhunters is the 7,432nd play on the old "Ten Little Indians" saw, but is made to look like only the 849th Seven/Lambs knock-off. It sat on a shelf from 2002-2004, then was shown everywhere before coming back to the U.S. another year later. This should explain why its box office was about double D.E.B.S. production budget. The trailer sells you a film starring Christian Slater, Val Kilmer, and LL Cool J. Less than a safe bet to begin with, the flick then delivers a vehicle for Kathryn Morris and Johnny Lee Miller, sporting the worst Southern accent since-- well, limeys always tend to do lousy Southern accents. You need Aussies to pull that sort of thing off. Anyhow, the team of elite candidates for the position of FBI profilers are only slightly less moronic than your usual horror movie bait, but twice as arrogant. I tell you this not to dissuade you from a viewing, but to prepare you for a movie that rebounds off the wall of shame back into the land of flashy, gory, and unintentionally campy goodness. Besides, Slater plays another character named "J.D.," so I think I was compelled by a higher law than man's to view it and find pleasure within. Preferrably for free, as my checking this out at the library really helped push the flick into the green. Now if only they stocked "Roadhouse 2..."

1 comment:

Damian said...

I'm just not going to comment on D.E.B.S.

As for Mindhunters, it should be right up the alley of anyone wishing to fill an hour and a half with unlikable characters trying to figger stuff out.

The bonus is that Slater goes early, and in an almost satisfying manner.


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