In the ever-expanding pantheon of MTV VJs--and now MTV VJs making movies--Duff rules. Go on--argue for perky Martha Quinn, saucy Daisy Fuentes, even scary Nina Blackwood or kooky Kari Wuhrer. I don't care. While I'm insanely obsessed with those gals, too, they don't quite radiate Duff's sparkling combination of spunk and smarts. Now acting under the pseudonym "Karen Duffy," the videotrix is surrounded by an almost "A" cast in an almost surprising futuristic story which almost compensates for the cruel use of body doubles. Despite her grimace-heavy "stern" acting style, Duff remains charmingly spunkified. How spunky? She removes her own "goad." (You don't really want to know.) PAUSE.
SINGLED OUT: THE DIRT ON THE DATES
The current MTV vid queen I obsess over is ex-Playboy centerfold Jenny McCarthy, co-host of Singled Out, the music channel's hyperactive version of The Dating Game--for people who positively should not be encouraged to meet and reproduce. The only dirt here is how filthy you feel witnessing such smugly witless single-entendre banter. Jenny, we're through. BULK ERASE.
Having your mind ripped is far worse than having your goad removed. In fact, it's much like watching a monster movie without any monster suit. This Alien plot-ripper offers a shirtless, Fabio-style pretty boy becoming increasingly less pretty as he "evolves" into the perfect killing machine. This he accomplishes by writhing and vomiting. Ever since Halloween, nobody stays dead anymore, but the triple-resurrection cheat ending is not nearly as scary as screen psycho supreme Lance Henriksen playing a loving dad. EJECT
Choice: Lonette McKee or a 1931 Bugatti? Billy Dee Williams goes so gaga over the car, he lets Carl Weathers run off with wife McKee. One would think that such studly hunks locked in a love triangle would set the VCR to steaming. Instead, co-executive producer (?) Weathers is topless far more than McKee, and while, thankfully, Billy Dee keeps his clothes on, I fast-forwarded through the "love scenes" in hopes of finding some action, jackson. "I never thought it would end like this," gasps McKee at one point, though it was obvious from Frame One. EJECT.
UNDER THE GUN
Trying to follow the plot will give you a severe case of whiplash, but credit Aussie martial arts star Richard Norton with trying to add some maturity to the adolescent chop-socky genre. Not an unadvisable plan for a 40something kung fu fighter, but Norton is big on Down Under charm and can act well enough to suggest that with a coherent script he might take a flying leap at an A actioner. But then, the executive producer is listed as "Richard Norton," so maybe he's content with putting on a nice suit and, maturely, kicking people silly. FREEZE-FRAME.
BLONDES HAVE MORE GUNS
By no reasonable standard a good movie, but proof that if you throw enough expletive deleted at the screen something's gonna stick. So I caught myself laughing out loud several times at this relentlessly juvenile Airplane-style parody of Sharon Stone films, among others. Occasional flashes of near-wit--like a "twin half step-sister" character--aside, don't tell anyone I'm almost recommending it. PAUSE.
One entire tedious plot comes and goes before we get to any massage, which lasts maybe 40 seconds and is hardly enlightening. But this is women's erotica, meaning the nakedness is in the sympathetic service of topics like economic empowerment, sunbathing and the art of pool boy maintenance. Sorry, ladies, but playing "Spot the Investors" during the party scene wasn't diverting enough to prevent one from longing for a house call from Mr. Mind-Ripper. EJECT.