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Well we thought it could not get much worse but we were wrong: The Chill Factor (1999)

The Chill Factor had a budget of $34,000,000—the question I want answered is where the other $33,500,000 went because it certainly didn’t go into the script.  Cuba Gooding Jr. (of Jerry Maguire fame) manages to soil what was left of his acting reputation as well as illustrates a complete inability to pick the right movies to enhance his career—that or his agent is totally brain dead.  In fact I recently came across an article looking at Gooding’s downward spiral since winning an Oscar stating:

“Perhaps it is as simple as the Oscar curse. Before his fervent acceptance speech at the 1996 Academy Awards, Cuba Gooding Jr. was an A-lister on the rise; after that, it all seemed to go downhill.  Cuba Gooding Jr.’s career choices, to put it mildly, became erratic.  Could behind-the-scenes management kerfuffles also have been to blame?  Should Gooding not have chosen, as Tropic Thunder‘s Kirk Lazarus might say, to “go full retard” in Radio?  And who will answer for the abomination that was Boat Trip?  (And Snow Dogs?  And Chill Factor?  The list goes on…)”

The “Plot” of this Hollywood red headed step child is exceeding cliché.  The Army develops a horrifically dangerous chemical weapon that detonates if it temperature rises above fifty degrees and is nicknamed “Elvis.”  The film sounds like it is the cousin of that odious movie Speed (Sandra Bullock) except contending with heat and not velocity.  Of course the experiment goes wrong on an island killing a squadron of soldiers and their commanding officer is held responsible to the tune of ten years in Leavenworth.  During the commanding officer’s tenure in prison, he plots his revenge to steal this deadly weapon of mass destruction and sell it to the highest bidder.  Actually I don’t think I need to continue because you already know what happens, the mercenaries chase the two fish out of water and the chemical weapon is neutralized at the end with the bad guys dying a graphic and gruesome death.

Dr. H thinks that this movie would appeal to people who believe that Brittany Spears is the creative genius of our generation and that G.W. Bush is an intellectual force to be reckoned with.  I agree.  The main difference between The Chill Factor and Chain Reaction is that Chain Reaction at least had a decent cast while the Chill Factor has nothing. 

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Movie Reviews

 

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The Return of the King in Viva Las Vegas!

Viva Las Vegas (VLV) is often hailed as Elvis’s best movie—an assessment I happen to agree with.  What makes VLV different that the typical EP movie?  Simple Ann Margaret.  Not only is she beautiful, but almost as talented as the King himself.  I say almost because when you watch these two magnificent performers singing and dancing you can tell Margaret is counting her steps (perfectly of course) but when looked at next to Elvis he glides moving as naturally as breathing a sign that he really had the music inside: a true natural.

As in many of his scripted movies, VLV Elvis plays the fiercely independent “fight the man” character in some sort of car racing event.  Here, Elvis refuses the proposition of wealthy count to handsomely compensate him for “blocking” for the count in the race thereby increasing the chances of the counts victory.  Even when Elvis looses all of his money after falling in the hotel pool, he would rather wait tables than sell out to the count.

Enter Ann Margaret.  She rolls in and captures the eye of both Elvis and the wealthy count both try to find her by touring the Vegas hotel shows hoping to be the object of her affection.  The competition for Ann Margaret’s attention becomes almost comical as each man tries to out do the other.  Along the way Elvis takes her on the ultimate date.  In one day they water ski, have a western-style showdown, tour Vegas in a helicopter, shoot skeet, ride scooters, and dance in a gymnasium.

The final musical scene is the hotel employee talent show and Ann Margaret gives Elvis a run for his money with her hotter-than-hot striptease “Appreciation.”  Naturally Elvis pulls it out in the end and perhaps rightfully so.

If you didn’t know that Margaret and Elvis were lovers during this film you would figure it out by the chemistry created during their performances.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2010 in Movie Reviews

 

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J.P. Reviews “The King” in Spinout (1966).

The King, Elvis Presley (like I even need to mention his name), plays Mike McCoy a lead singer in a band and (as usual) a part-time race car driver trying to get by with his comrades all while he is being pursued by three different types of women wanting his hand in marriage.  The first is Les (my favorite), the tomboy red-headed female drummer of his band.  The second is a spoiled heiress and a Daddy’s girl.  The third is a famous book writer who specializes on men and how to reel one in.

In many of the reviews I’ve read about this movie, others seem to think that Spinout is not one of the King’s best or most memorable films, I think they are full of it.  One reason is that we get to see the King in his element: as a free spirited living on the edge race car driver caught up with multiple chicks.  Yes we have seen this before, but who cares?  Another item of interest is the band plays electric guitars or simulates playing them while the King sticks to his trademark regular wooden model.

Spinout wraps up nicely with a big race and you know the King is the winner while the race itself part of the fun.  Just so there are no loose ends, each of the women pursing the King find marriage (and presumably happiness) with other characters in the movie allowing the King remain the free spirited rambler he proclaims to be throughout the movie.

While no top 40 songs came out of this one for Elvis, he makes up for it in the vocal and comedy department.  Spinout is a great movie for fans of the King, the rest of you can go to hell.

Naturally a rose.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2010 in Movie Reviews

 

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