Brother Ron puts him in all his big-budget pictures, but in "Apollo 13," Clint Howard didn't get to stare at the screen with an oozing, pustulated face and scream, "I'm infested--SHOOT ME!" I'm predicting Opie grabs a statue come Oscar time. Tragically, I fear the Academy will once again ignore Clint's efforts. True, other than some tick-cam imagery and a tick stampede, this isn't quite as commendably absurd as Frogs (with Oscar-winner Ray Miland). But Clint seems happy, maybe because he's working with his father, Rance. Dad smiles pleasantly in one scene before his lifeless corpse is pulled from a swamp in the next. Who says Hollywood doesn't understand family values? With respect for Clint, and my ex-flame Ami Dolenz--PAUSE.
FEMME FONTAINE, KILLER BABE FOR THE CIA
It's been more than 70 years since the film industry abandoned New Jersey for the West Coast. Somehow, the feverish folks at Troma Films haven't gotten the news. Typically, most of "Femme's" creative thought went into the catchy title. One would think that having characters like Master Sun, Madam Li, and lesbo Nazis would guarantee some intrigue. But the plot is so huge, most of the film is spent just getting to the next sadistic complication. Quadruple threat writer/producer/director/star Margot Hope plays a secret agent/assassin/avant-garde artist/peeping tomette who is also a mistress of 1,000 disguises. None of them, however, quite hide the shame. BULK ERASE.
Triboro Entertainment Group
Can't anyone make a decent lap dancing movie? Instead of "Showgirls'" overblown score, this visit to Silicon City offers bad Jersey rock and lyrics Richard Marx wouldn't even write: "Does anybody hear you scream, on the boulevard of broken dreams?" Innocent starlet Angie fails her big audition, flubbing the line: "I'm sorry that I can't be everything to you--mother, sex-goddess, businessperson." But after a week writhing all over strangers, she learns the meaning behind those words: "It's more than dance moves--it's an attitude." Now she can dance the lap dance of her life and get the part. More importantly, she cares: "You're a battered woman! You need to go to a battered woman shelter!" Soft-core with an imagined message. Makes me wanna shout, I'm infested--SHOOT ME! FREEZE-FRAME
OUT OF SYNC
"Get that money!" "A'right." "Get that money!" "Ow! I'm gonna get it! I'm gonna get it!" "Get that money, man!" "Oof! A'right, man. A'right, man!" LL Cool J finally gets the money, but he certainly doesn't deserve it. The usually likeable rapper is LL One Note in this uninformed crime story about a DJ with a past who gets involved with The Wrong Woman. Mostly he gets people dancing lethargically to lame rap ("Say 'Yeah!' Wave ya hands in the air!"), when he's not clenching his jaws and flaring his nostrils to bad Quiet Storm music--even in the sex scene, which takes place during a quiet storm! But everyone keeps their raincoats on, so all we get is some wet shoulder action. Of the many unanswered questions in this slow-going caper, this I want to know: Where did they find that 1972 chunka-chunka, wah-wah guitar car-chase music? EJECT.
Poor Elizabeth Hurley--such bad luck with boyfriends and screenplays. Here she plays a scientist with a smart collection of satin lingerie who works at The Institute. Days are spent giving a psycho killer brain injections of her hormone discovery, "BFND." At night, she, too, imbibes. Instead of mellowing Psycho out, BFND causes everyone in England to disappear except the lead actors, who wander around in each other's stylish nightmares while Nutboy does a fair Freddy/Hannibal Lecter impression. Two points: A. The producers don't insult us by trying to explain everything; B. What the hell is going on here? Liz apparently cooked up gallons of BFND. For this, the generic brand brain injection seems more appropriate: Wild Turkey. EJECT.
Next: Virtual Virtues