In theory Gold Diggers is another remake of the The Ladykillers in which bumbling crooks are constantly thwarted trying to kill an old lady in order to amass a fortune or in this case two old ladies (Louise Lasser and Renee Taylor two excellent actresses who are simply embarrassed here). Except writer/director Gary Preisler thought it would be funnier if the young crooks were also having sex with the old ladies and that the elders would be impossibly flatulent randy and murderous themselves. The result is the worst treatment of the elderly since Momma was Thrown From the Train. Murder is attempted using poison shotgun and snake. And sex with the elderly is attempted using handcuffs food and the world's oldest condom.
Will Friedle (Boy Meets World) and Chris Owen (American Pie) are the two young hoods who grew up in an orphanage and then turned to crime because apparently everyone who grows up in an orphanage turns to crime. Friedle was OK in the excellent and underrated Trojan War (the best of the John Hughes rip-off comedies) but that was seven years ago and he's done nothing but voiceover work since. It's easy to see why; his total lack of charisma or screen presence makes Chris O'Donnell seem like Humphrey Bogart. Lasser manages at least an accidental chemistry with Owen but she seems to be the only one willing to take this movie where it needed to go which is somewhere very strange and way beyond left field. Taylor tries to inject some life into the material but her repeated stripteases only to serve to point out how sad it is that a woman of her age and talent must stoop this low to get work in Hollywood. Nikki Ziering of Playboy fame turns up near the end looking great in a bikini but her awkward attempts at the meager lines she's given make you wish she just didn't say anything at all.
Director Preisler has no concept of the tone or timing needed to make this work. Gold Diggers is a wannabe raunchy comedy but it's a tame PG-13 that doesn't contain the raunch that drives teen male audiences. No one says Porky's or say The Girl Next Door was a great movie but at least they delivered the R-rated goods. And Gold Diggers is a wannabe black comedy that has a gooey and predictably sappy ending in which characters learn life lessons and live happily ever after. This is what happens when someone takes a set of great influences like The Ladykillers Fargo and American Pie and then mangles them horribly. It's like watching the lamest cover band ever perform some your favorite songs screechingly out of tune. It makes you want to grab a tire iron and some chloroform and throw them in the trunk. In fact the only reason to see this movie would be for the score which cribs so generously from the score for Fargo that if you close your eyes and completely ignore the dialogue you can transport yourself to a better version of this movie. The National Lampoon imprint spawned some of the funniest comedy writers in America the same group that gave us Saturday Night Live Animal House and other definitive '70s comedies. Today it's a signal to run like hell for the exits or better yet ignore it completely.
Based on a true court
case first tried in 1953 Evelyn recounts the story of a man on a mission. Rumpled pub-crawler Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan) has a streak
of bad luck when he loses his wife to another man the day after
Christmas and then loses his three
children Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur) Maurice (Hugh McDonagh) and Dermot (Niall Beagan) to the Catholic
church and Irish courts. That he's without a wife and a regular job prompts the courts to place the tots in an
orphanage which he unsucessfully tries to steal them from. This of course was not a good move. He
gets caught and the courts see this as a strike
against him. Doyle does not give up--instead he gets his life together. But it
turns out that an obscure law that has never
been tried in the courts before requires that Doyle's estranged spouse give him
custody of the kids so he enlists several lawyers (Alan Bates
Aidan Quinn and Stephen Rea) to help him get
In the end the story ends happy ever
after but not without its up and downs. Doyle must
face the hardship of living without his children and
his children must suffer through living in a miserable
Although this story line is based in predictibility-land the actors
still come out on top. Brosnan's character with his native Irish accent anti-Bond dishevelment and
pitful story is charming. Each time he leaves the
screen he leaves you wanting more. It seems
as though this role was made for him. We are used to seeing
him in the coolly unrealistic role of James Bond and this is a refreshing change. He shows the
true acting skills that he really has as a father in
agony. Julianna Margulies
also surprises with her protrayal of Bernadette
Doyle's love interest. She is charming and feisty as
a bartender who enlists her solicitor brother's help to put the devastated father's family back together again.
He may be a double Oscar nominee but Bruce Beresford's directing here is mediocre. The director whose only decent film in recent years was 1999's Double Jeopardy makes a script that is already too obvious painfully so. Pacing is a little slow some of it is corny (ie: rays of sunshine representing faith) and some of it seems unnecessary (a love-triangle plot). The great acting and chemistry between Doyle and his kids especially daughter Evelyn is the best part about this movie.
Sidney Poitier has certainly been pushed back into the limelight after receiving an honorary Oscar Sunday night--and so have his movies. Warner Bros. has optioned the rights to remake the 1970s trio of Poitier/Bill Cosby films (also directed by Poitier): Uptown Saturday Night, Let's Do It Again and A Piece of the Action, with Oscar nominee Will Smith attached to star in at least the first feature, Uptown. The comedy centers on two husbands trying to recover stolen money and a winning lottery ticket before their wives find out they are missing.
Smith and his business partner James Lassiter plan to produce all three films under their Overbrook Entertainment banner. "For eight years, Will and I have been trying to track down the rights to this project because Uptown Saturday Night is one of our favorite movies," Lassiter told The Hollywood Reporter.
Blade scribe David Goyer has a thing for bloodsuckers. He will be directing a new tale about vampires called Darksiders, in which a band of vampires turn into special operatives for the FBI. The film for New Line will start production sometime in the fall.
The cast list for Woody Allen's next film project continues to grow. Glenn Close and Danny DeVito will be coming on board the untitled production, joining the already cast Christina Ricci and Jason Biggs. Typical of Allen's style, the film is being kept closely under wraps, but The Hollywood Reporter reports the story revolves around three young adults. Close is believed to be playing Ricci's mother.
As if anyone in their right mind would care about such a movie, apparently it has been decided to turn Anne Robinson's autobiography, Memoirs of an Unfit Mother, into a feature film. Yes, we are talking about the host of the game show The Weakest Link. The film Anne Robinson: The Movie is going after such actresses as Renee Zellweger and Anna Friel to play Robinson as a young woman. Good luck with that.
ABC News and its coverage of Sept. 11, and Fox's The Bernie Mac Show were two of the Peabody Award winners announced Wednesday, honoring those who have exhibited broadcast excellence. Other winners included HBO's Band of Brothers and ABC's Nightline.
A man was hospitalized while performing a stunt on the new NBC game show Dog Eat Dog, where contestants combine stunts with trivia questions to compete for $25,000. The Associated Press reported the man was suspended by his ankles in water, where he held his breath for two minutes. Paramedics were called when the man appeared unconscious after being pulled out, but Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey told AP when they arrived that the man was "conscious, alert, breathing on his own and talkative." The show has not aired yet.
British actress Jane Seymour, otherwise known as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, has come out with her own line of contemporary clothing, inspired by her floral paintings. The clothes, which range from size 6 to size 22, are intended for all women. "This isn't necessarily runway-friendly clothes; they're real-woman-friendly," Seymour told AP.
Shaolin fighter monks have taken their act on the road. What are Shaolin fighter monks, you may ask? They are ordained Buddhist "soldier monks" of the Shaolin temple, the apparent birthplace of Chinese martial arts or "kung fu"--and 25 monks have put together a spectacular stage show called Shaolin--Wheel of Life. Since it premiered in London two and a half years ago, the fast-paced martial arts show has been playing to packed audiences across the world.
Rock legend David Bowie signed a multirecord deal Wednesday with Columbia Records and will be releasing the album Heathen on June 11, his first album in three years.
The vampire Lestat de Lioncourt (Stuart Townsend) wakes from a hundred-year sleep to the rock 'n' roll present day and likes what he sees and hears. Tired of the vampire's solitary life he becomes the frontman for an unknown rock band and transforms it into the latest greatest thing gaining the adulation of millions. He also decides to disregard the unspoken rule that vampires must hide away from the rest of world and writes songs encoded with specifics of the secret life of vampires. As expected Lestat's lyrics draw the attention of both the bloodsuckers who want to destroy him and the human vampire scholars (called the Talamasca) who want to study him. One young Talamascan student Jesse Reeves (Marguerite Moreau) becomes obsessed with Lestat after reading his journal from the 1800s. She learns that Lestat had a brief encounter with Queen Akasha (Aaliyah) the most ancient and dangerous vampire to ever exist and the mother of all who walk the Earth in search of blood. He gets his chance to meet Akasha again when his music awakens her from an ancient slumber. She rises and seeks out Lestat to become her king and join her in ruling the world.
The film truly belongs to Townsend and fans of the Anne Rice's novels will be happy to know he completely embodies the charismatic vampire Lestat. The little-known Irish actor who starred in last year's indie About Adam with Kate Hudson rules the screen whenever he is on it and luckily he's on it quite a lot. He's especially powerful when he is in rock star mode. Although Moreau's Jesse is fairly one dimensional she comes alive in her scenes with Townsend. Let's hope they keep asking him to play Lestat (when and if they make any more films from Rice's vampire novels) and next time give him an actress he can have some real chemistry with. The late R&B singer Aaliyah made her second film appearance in Damned as the queen. Even though she is only in the film a short time she possesses a certain charm as the ancient and evil Queen Akasha and makes a great first impression by destroying a vampire coven. Yet her acting skills are just not up to par with the rest of the cast including the charismatic Vincent Perez as the vampire Marius and Lena Olin as the kind-hearted vampire Maharet.
Damned was set to be released in the fall of last year but word of mouth had the film destined for the video shelf before it even made it to the big screen. Then tragedy struck and as the news of Aaliyah's untimely death echoed throughout the world of entertainment Warner Bros. wisely decided to hold onto it and release it in theaters at a more favorable time knowing there would be an audience who'd want to see the singer's last film. Yet for all the bad press surrounding it Damned actually pleasantly surprises you due largely in part to Townsend's mesmerizing performance. Michael Rymer's direction is not a masterpiece of filmmaking by any stretch of the imagination but it has a certain MTV quality about it which makes it appealing. That same quality however also makes it too slick glossing over the meatier parts of Rice's novel making the dialogue and action trite and sometimes downright silly. Come to think of it the 1994 Interview With the Vampire also suffered from the same thing. Maybe translating Rice's words is harder than it looks.