by Louis Fowler
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. Every week, you can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
The cover of Stripped Naked got me visibly excited: it was tricked-out to look like an exploitative, trashy Grindhouse-meets-Russ Meyer homage that had the feel of last year's immensely entertaining Bitch Slap. Instead, I got a sexless, charismaless, talentless, z-grade, late-night, cable crime-flick that is as amateurish as they come, acting-wise, script-wise and direction-wise. Utterly unlikable stripper Cassie lucks upon a botched drug deal, running off with $90,000 and a brick of meth that she (and her pet lizard) plans to use to fund a trip to Paris. Of course, no one forgets about that much money and drugs, so a hitman tracks her down, along with her skanky ex-boyfriend, her skanky roomie and her skanky club-owner boss, who all just have to get involved in the unbearable proceedings. Luckily, you, the viewer, have the choice to not get involved at all. Lucky.
The whole time I was watching Miami Vice director Michael Mann's critically-acclaimed The Last of the Mohicans, I just could not keep my eyes open. It took at least three time for me to finish it, and every time a struggle. To me, it was The Last of the Mo-ZZZZZZZ-Cans, am I right, guys? Ahem. Based on the even more boring novel by James Fennimore Cooper, Mann stylistically glams up the 1700s with a well-chiseled Daniel Day-Lewis as the adopted Mohican trapper Hawkeye, who constantly runs through the forest, screaming and hurling hatchets at Huron warriors who've kidnapped the aristocratic daughter of a British Colonel. They, of course, fall in love as New Age Celtic music wails in the background. I know I'm wrong about this, as Mohicans is widely regarded as a cinematic masterpiece, but, sorry, it just didn't do it for me, and God knows I tried.
What are the makers of Family Guy gonna do when America starts to see through its thin premise, recognizing that it's nothing more than a mixture imbecilic shock-value and constant references to '80s pop-culture? Of course, that's probably me giving America more credit than I should, especially when the whole “Hey, look! It's Optimus Prime giving Teddy Ruxpin a golden shower! That's funny! But I don't know why!” cultural vibe is stronger than ever. But maybe the fact that the abortion-themed episode, “Partial Terms of Endearment”, was banned from television and, instead, relegated to a lone DVD release, is a little glimmer of hope. Lois agrees to be a surrogate for a childless couple, the couple dies and she wants to get an abortion, but, when Peter gets “brainwashed” by Right-to-Lifers, puts his foot down, cue lame musical number. Like every other Family Guy episode, this one-off also belongs in a back-alley dumpster.