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Movies C-D

Cop (1987), Detroit Rock City (1999), Dogma (1999) Coyote Ugly (2000)

more to follow...

Cop (1987)

An OK movie about a cop

Well, like I said, this is an OK movie about a cop who "goes outside the rules" to track what he suspects is a serial killer. Like other people I've talked to, I laughed at stuff that was probably not supposed to be amusing just because Woods was so damn funny. He plays a fairly sleazy guy, which is what he does best.

Charles Durning is also very good, as is Lesley Ann Warren, though I just wanted to slap her character a couple of times for being so stupid and whiny. The sudden, no BS ending is awesome--I love it when movies end with an abrupt blackout like that, and he gets a great ending line. I played the ending back a few times it was so cool and badass.

This movie was actually surprisingly disturbing in parts, there's a really gruesome scene where Wood's character (I can't remember the cop's name, it was probably Jake or Jack or something snarky like that) finds a murder victim about 3/4 of the way through the film that really shocked me and gave me the creeps. Anyway, a fairly good underrated film with a kick-ass ending.

Grade: B-

Detroit Rock City (1999)

I liked this movie better the first time I saw it...

...when it was called "Rock N Roll High School".
I still am not sure whether the moviemakers meant this as a "tribute" or just a ripoff. Before I even saw the movie, I saw the poster and trailers, and figured it out. I could go on and on about the similarities, but if you've seen RRHS you know exactly what I mean, if you haven't, you probably are already mad at me and will never read another review I write again.

I'm not a big KISS fan, so I didn't get into that part. It was worth a matinee though. The kids who played Trip and Lex were especially good, the kid who played Jam got on my nerves for some reason, just the guy's face.
On the negative side, the movie had some pretty predicible moments. There was some gross-out humor that was unnessacary, just nasty and seemed tossed in to jump on the recent trendy grossout bandwagon. The movie ended too suddenly. The 70's retro stuff was a little too contrived. (I hate when they go out of their way to mention and show 8 track tapes and happy face logos, Nixon, etc)

Most of the ideas were stolen from Rock-N-Roll High School. Edward Furlong just sorta gives me the creeps for some reason, maybe I read too much about his personal life and it affected how I see him even when he's acting. The dialogue needed work. Stupid Blair Witch Project take-off print ads.

On the plus side, there were lots of twists to the plot that I didn't expect. There were a few Ramones songs used to great effect on the soundtrack (the more I think of it, the more I think the filmmakers, or someone involved anyway, were Ramones fans). Lex is a dead ringer for DeeDee Ramone in the late 70's. The kid who played Trip was pretty talented and funny. Good period detail and costumes. Cameo by Ron Jeremy (another trend lately, but so far it hasn't been run into the ground yet). Some good laughs, and some satisfying moments.

You do feel for these kids and want them to get in to the show...we all can identify how bad we wanted to see our favorite band live in high school. And hey, it's not supposed to be Citizen Kane, so why not go and enjoy yourselves? You could do worse.

I could see how this would be, like, the ultimate movie to a KISS fan, just like Rock and Roll High School is to a Ramones fan. But let's face it, if RRHS had never been made, the filmmakers defintely wouldn't have come up with this movie on their own. No way.

Grade: C

Dogma (1999)

I wanted to love this movie so bad...

Unfortunately, it looked better on paper. I hate to say it, but it's true. I'm not saying this movie sucked (though my husband, who I dragged to go see it, thought so) not at all. It just didn't live up to my expectations, and to the screenplay I read. In all fairness, I had high expectations. I was expecting it to be one of my 5 favorite movies of the year. No dice.

I read the screenplay at least a year ago-maybe more like a year and a half-when it first got put online. I wasn't a big Kevin Smith fan at the time but I needed something to read. It just blew me out of the water, I was laughing my butt off and thinking how brilliant it was. Unfortunately, lots of the scenes I was looking at the most either weren't filmed or ended up on the cutting room floor. I do remember reading that the first cut was around 3 hours, so obviously they had to do a lot of trimming. But man, cutting out the "Fat Albert" scene? Now THAT scene would have been politically incorrect and blasphemous.

Speaking of that, I don't see what all the protesters are so riled up about. I guess I could see Disney being not too amused by the "Mooby" boardroom scene, but it wasn't any more offensive than Life of Brian. Also, all they're doing is drumming up publicity.

Anyway, I've talked to a few people who felt the same as I did- we all read the screenplay and liked the movie OK, but felt let down. We all agreed that the script was brilliant. The special effects were pretty low-rent too- lots of the cool stuff I saw on "News Askew" didn't even end up in the movie. The angel wings looked good, but the rest...looked too low-budget.

I know people are gonna get super-pissed at me for saying that, but I was really surprised at how kind of slapped-together most of it looked. The acting was fine--Chris Rock and Salma Hayak stood out, but I'll see a movie just to see them. Chris Rock is always funny, but it seemed like after his first scene they sort of didn't know what to do with him. Which isn't so hot, because the part was actually written for Rock (at Rock's request). Jay and Silent Bob I never was too amused by before, but I loved them in this, especially Bob's facial expressions. Janeane Garafolo was underused. Fiorentino I like, but she got on my nerves at some points. Alan Rickman was great. George Carlin was also hilarious. Affleck and Damon- they were better than I thought. Ben Affleck is actually more talented than I gave him credit for.

But anyway, it just didn't come together.

When someone asked what I thought of it right after the movie, I thought and finally said, "It was just kind of all over the map". The audience was packed full of Kevin Smith fans who lovedJay and Silent Bob, but even the most diehard fans didn't laugh when Bob took care of the Golgotha monster. There was just this kind of awkward silence in the theater. A couple people even booed. No-one clapped after it was over--and I saw some people walking out with the same let down expression as me. I think when you've been looking forward to a movie for over a year, that's bound to happen to a certain extent.

Again, not a terrible movie by any means. I think it's Smith's best yet, but he could have done better. I wish I'd had more fun seeing this movie than I did--I really wanted to.

Grade: C+

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Coyote Ugly, 2000

If I have to hear I Will Survive one more goddamn time...

Warning: Im doing a sort of play-by-play review of this thing, so if you dont want to know how the movie ends-even though you would figure everything out way before it happened-skip it. But I think reading about this movie would be better than having to sit through it like I did.

Time: 10:00 into the movie: The heroine, Violet, has a dad (John Goodman) who you can tell she worries about. I see he wears a uniform of some sort. Hmmmm, I wonder what will happen with him.

15:00; Oh hey, Theres Ellen Cleghorne! Shes always great.

16:00: Realize ECs character is outta there.

17:00: Realize that the main character is not only annoying, but stupid as well. And how the hell can she afford an apartment in the city when shes unemployed? Well, since her Big Dream is to write songs, Im sure if she goes around trying to shove it in busy, stressed receptionists faces, theyll hire her right away.

18:00: A horrible band plays an ever more horrible song in a club.

20:00 Vi and her Love Interest meet cute. She gets pissed off at something he does and stomps off while he runs after her yelling things like, Wait, just let me explain! Hmmmm, I wonder if Vi and LI will end up together?

21:00 realize belatedly that its a bad sign that I keep rooting for the rude receptionists instead of the heroine.

25:00 another terrible song.

26:00 a kindly guy working in a diner, seeing thats Vi is very low on cash, kindly gives her a large slice of their best pie, smiling and saying it is on the house. She doesn't even say thanks.

27:00 Oh cool, theres Tyra Banks!

28:00 After watching only 10 seconds or so of her dancing, I make a bet with myself thatT Tyra Banks will be the best dancer in the movie.

30:00 Maria Bello shows up. Cool! Then I realize shes supposed to be the older mentor to Vi, and shes what, 30.

32:00 Here we are at the titular bar. Waitresses are dancing on top of the bar, and doing gigantic shots of booze that the men buy them. Cool job! You get to dance, but dont have to strip, can wear about whatever you want, and get drinks bought for you. Neat.

33:00 Or maybe not. The bar is set on fire (Im still not sure how this could be done in real life without damage to either the bar or a patron)

35:00 Yep, it looks like the only really good dancers are professionals (other than Banks). The others are OK, but I notice the shots of them mostly consist of quick shots of them doing some flashy dance move, like whipping your hair around, then cutting away a second later.

37:00 Wonder why they decide that picking out the nickname Jersey is much more glamourous and sexy than Violet. Jersey? Whats up with that?

40:01 fashion montage for the guys (and women who like women) consisting of the hot bodied young women trying on and buying new clothes, almost all of which are so tight and tacky that they make the Bada Bing! girls look classy. The music for this montage? Youre Unbelievable! Great, now its stuck in my head.

43:00 I wish that I had a job where I could pour a bucket of ice over a customers head if he got on my nerves, then announce on a megaphone to the other customers that hes a jerk.

45:00 Vi is mad at LI (Love Interest) when he shows up at the car. Whats she gonna do? She grabs the trusty ole megaphone and starts auctioning off LI to the highest female (I assume) bidder! LI starts taking off his clothes! Hes really into this!

46:00 I notice that the women who are REALLY into the bidding the most are over 35 or so! Well, we all know after you hit 35 thats the only way to get a sexy guy younger than you into bed. Wait, since this is a PG-13 movie, whats gonna happen with the winner? Is he going to say sorry, just kidding, and keep the money? Is he going to follow through and screw around with her? Boy, that would make Vi and LIs relationship interesting.

49:00 The origin of the term Coyote Ugly is defined for all the 6 people out there who didnt know what it meant. I dont know about you, but I sure as hell wouldnt want to work anywhere, let alone a bar, with that name.

50:00 its revealed LI didnt do more than let the poor desperate old 30ish woman grope him. I bet she was pissed. For $250 she could have hired a good-looking guy from an agency to do an outcall to her home.

51:00 we find out LIs quirky character trait: he collects comic books! What a raving nonconformist! Sorry guys, True Romance did it better, and first.

53:00 Annoying, trite dialogue between Vi and LI as they lay on the hood of his car on their backs, gazing up at the stars and talking about their Big Dreams.

57:00 hey, more dancing back at the bar! Hey, maybe I can pick up a could new dance moves.

58:00 ...or maybe not.

59:00 Alright! One Way or Another by Blondie comes on! Now this is more like it!

60:00. Oh, sh*t. Vi is grabbing a mike and singing over it, and she aint no Debbie Harry.

1:03 Nooooo! Vi is warbling an appalling song on the rooftop again, this time while playing an acoustic guitar! Realize the middle set piece was probably the Blondie song scene. Sigh.

1:04 seduction scene ripped off from--oh, excuse me, I mean inspired by Flashdance.

1:06 NOOO! Shes up on the rooftop again, this time with a synthesizer. Thank God, it looks like maybe shes just going to talk to LI.

1:07 I was wrong. I remember the scene in Animal House at the toga party where John Belushis character grabs the guitar away from the hippieish guy and smashes it.

1:08 Gratuitous product placement. Annoying montage.

1:10 After he witnesses Vi running out into traffic and almost getting hit several times, her Dad asks her, What are ya, some kind of moron? Vi changes the subject.

1:11 Vi is revealed to have stage fright, which is interesting considering she boldly jumped up on the bar a few scenes ago and started singing and sexily dancing.

1:12 back in the bar. Wet t-shirt time, guys!

1:13 Vi and her dad have a fight. Plot development can be seen walking up 5th avenue.

1:14 Hey, Rock this Town is on the soundtrack, the Stray Cats version! oops, I spoke too soon. We cut away quickly.

1:16 I see the third act crisis point coming as Vi and LI have a spat. Vi acts like a spoiled, ungrateful b*tch to him. For no reason, really.

1:17 Yep, heres the LI crisis.

1:18 the LIs big, deep, dark secret is revealed. Within 30 seconds, I think of at least 10 alternate secrets that would have been more interesting.

1:19 Vi has gotten a real attitude. Also, not only is she a smart mouth but shes swearing much more than she used to. Im probably supposed to feel sorry for her character, but now I dislike her even more. I doubt this was the filmmakers intention.

1:21 Oh Sweet Jesus, more rooftop singing by Vi! It couldnt get any worse.

1:22. Im just a Love Machine comes on the soundtrack. Oh yes it can.

1:23 For all those 2 people who didnt see the plot development with Vis dad coming the first 2 minutes of the film, its telegraphed all over the place.

1:24 I Cant Help Falling in Love, the Elvis version, is slow danced to at a wedding. I thank God we (my husband and I, not Elvis) were married years before this movie was released, since that was our first dance song, and then there would have been the horrible possibility someone would have associated our wedding reception with this movie.

1:26, Yep, I was right about Vis dad. Surprise, surprise.

1:27 Hospital scene with dialogue out of a daytime soap.

1:28 Crisis with LI made worse by misunderstanding,

1:30 More cliched dialogue is someone tries to convince Vi Not to Give Up On Her Big Dream. I wonder why I didnt just watch Flashdance instead. Beals is about 60 times more likable.

1:31 Horrendous disco song.

1:32 Another product placement.

1:33 A tough cookie character is revealed to just be a big softy at heart.

1:35 Oh goodness, could Vi's Big Dream finally be about to happen?

1:36 Small crisis! Is that Big Dream going to happen or not? Gee, Im on pins and needles.

1:37. Well, guess what.

1:39 In the name of all that is sacred and holy (imagine Chris Farley yelling this) Good LORD what a terrible song she wrote! Plus, I hate this kind of music. If I was at a club where someone on stage started doing this, I'd get up and leave in about 3 seconds, unless the performer was someone I knew and I didnt want to hurt her feelings. In that case Id stay maybe 45 seconds tops.

1:40. oooo, a celebrity cameo! Unfortunately, the celebrity playing herself is Leann Rimes.

1:41 Whats worse than Violet's song/writing/singing and watching Leann Rimes perform? Watching BOTH OF THEM do it at once!

1:42 Tyra Banks shows up for about 6 seconds again.

1:44 One of the worst last lines of a movie possible.

1:49 I wander back into the room to see that after the credits, theres an atrocious video. Well, the video part is OK, the song is atrocious.

1:50 *click*

Grade: D+