The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Monday, December 7, 2009

Single Black Female (2009)

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There are just some movie titles that when my friends hear them they think "uh oh, another one of Matt's movies!" The feeling they have, of course, is that I like these things, nay, enjoy them to the point of unctuousness, as if I was a foodie spending a Wednesday night in, proudly comparing the nuances of various brands of Bologna I bought at area grocery stores. Well, sometimes even I have limits to the amount of Bologna I can stomach.

Single Black Female is neither a sequel to the Single White Female movies or an Asylum picture trading on the name of the other movies. Instead it's an urban film starring Farrah Franklin, formerly of Destiny's Child, as an aspiring singer looking for a new roommate after her other one mysteriously kills herself. The film then goes off on a tangent parading a series of that kind of guys and that kind of girls (you know, like the guy we all know who does this, or the girl we all know who does that), then people start acting weird, then out of nowhere a bunch of people die, we find out who the killer is, it makes no sense based on the previous plot, and the credits roll.

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This was bad, but not bad in a Death Warrior or Wrong Turn at Tahoe kind of way. It was just a sloppy mess of a film that could've been pared down to 10 minutes and made into a YouTube video. It starts off with something happening-- a girl is found dead of an apparent suicide-- but then it just spirals out of control into craziness. The scenes of the girl interviewing new roommates would've been funny if they hadn't dragged on so long. And then, these jokes that weren't funny to begin with, kept coming back to haunt us as people associated with them were inserted back in at random points. It was like the guy at a party who tells a bad joke, and when he doesn't get the laughter he expects, he keeps going, annoying everyone even more, and making the people around him look for an excuse to escape. I ended up being the dumb schmuck who didn't think quickly enough to say he had to go to the bathroom, or pretend his phone was ringing.

As with Hoodrats 2: Hoodrat Warriors, when I'm reviewing urban films, there's always the cultural issue I have to mitigate. There's a knee-jerk reaction to my making fun of it that says "that white boy from Maine just doesn't get it." I do get good writing, directing, and acting, though, and this had none of the three-- and if it has none of the three, it needs to be fun, not a boring mess. You can put all the inside jokes you want in your movie, but if the dialog comes off as stiff, unnatural, and forced, I don't need to get the inside jokes (of which I got more than you'd think), because I'm too annoyed by the headache I have from having to listen to that bad dialog. None of these people talk in real life the way they did in this film, ie overly rehearsed to the point you could envision them all beforehand going over their lines before they went on set. And the plot twist was ridiculous. No one shot in the head from across the room would have his or her death ruled a suicide. Just because you tell the police it's a suicide doesn't mean they or the coroner will believe you. I mean, these are twelve-year-old kids' YouTube video type mistakes here, not an issue with whether or not I get it.

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What I did get was how hot Farrah Franklin is. Again, as the white guy from Maine, I'm supposed to be automatically attracted to the blond, but it didn't work out that way. As an actress, she left a little to be desired, but so did the woman who acted opposite Dolph in Command Performance. That would've been a better role for Franklin over this one, and she would've been better for that part than the original actress. One thing I will say, though, is she had this weird thing she did where she moved her head around a lot while she delivered her lines. It made it hard to get an image for the blog.

The supposed crazy white girl was played by Kelle Cantwell. Her name comes up in the credits after the film, and you see it on the cover I have at the top, but her name's not listed on the imdb entry. Hmm... could she be trying to distance herself from this project? I would if I were her. The reality is I should be distancing myself from reviewing it for the blog, but I figured since I wasted a Saturday morning waiting for the English soccer games to start on this sack of asscrack, I might as well get some use out of it and write a post.

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Finally, I made a potentially interesting cultural observation while watching this. When the blond is given a tour of the house by Farrah, instead of saying "and here is the bathroom", she says "and here is the restroom". Later, the blond herself refers to the bathroom as a "restroom" when they're at a strip club together. At no point, though, does an African American character call the bathroom a "restroom" to another African American. Is this a common myth that us white folk call the bathroom the "restroom"? I know it says that at the store, and I know the clerks at the store are paid to call it that, but in common everyday standard parlance, we call it the bathroom, or the little boys/girls room, or the shitter. I tend to say "the can", as in "I'm going to hit the can." See, even I can use my blog as a Teachable Moment.

The most important Teachable Moment here is to stay away from this bad boy. Maybe, if you have Watch Instantly, and you and your friends want to make fun of a bad movie, but even then it's a dicey proposition. For someone like myself, who considers himself a veteran at making fun of bad films, I found myself going "what? really?" more than anything else, and that's not that funny.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1087475/

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