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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: Natasha Henstridge

My Date with Drew (2004)

A date with anyone? Where does one begin?

Aspiring filmmaker Brian Herzlinger has been in love with Drew Barrymore since he was a young boy. So in love that he even joined her fan club at a very young age, receiving all sorts of letters and pictures that drew him even closer and closer to his Hollywood crush. After buying a video camera from Circuit City, Herzingler and his crew have 30 days to find Barrymore, date her and return the camera for a full refund. Unfortunately, Barrymore is Hollywood royalty, and Herzlinger is just a guy from New Jersey. It will take every ounce of charm Herzlinger can muster to make his way through the minefield of agents, publicists and bouncers to reach his prize. But to make it even worse, Herzingler is constantly finding himself running into roadblocks, whether they be people who aren’t willing to help him out, or the simple fact and reality that he doesn’t have a job, needs money, and can’t do anything else involving this project without it. Needless to say, it’s an impossible mission, but it’s one that Herzlinger won’t stop trying to complete.

Uhm, why?

My Date with Drew isn’t necessarily the kind of hard-hitting, thought-provoking that it sometimes intends to be. You’d think that a movie about a guy trying his absolute hardest to get a date with his Hollywood crush, while not just creepy, would have a little something to say about the Hollywood culture, the stalker culture, and the relationships celebrities hold with their fans, and how far they can go, but nope, not really. It’s literally just a documentary of watching, waiting and wondering when, or even if, this dude is ever going to get a chance to date Drew Barrymore.

And is that okay? Yeah, sure.

Would it have helped to been about something deeper, or better yet, try to make this situation more interesting? Yeah, possibly, but even without any of that here, My Date with Drew still works because it’s entertaining and never seems to slow down. In fact, the idea that it doesn’t try too hard to harp on the hard-hitting, possibly serious issues a situation like this could bring up, actually helps it out in not taking away from the action, or what actually matters: Finding and dating Drew Barrymore.

Considering that the movie was made for a little over $1,000, it’s interesting to see how all of that money is spent, what it goes towards, and just how easy it can be to shoot a documentary on the cheap, even with such a subject as this. It’s an ambitious mission for sure, but it helps that the camera is there literally every step of the way, giving us a better idea of how one outsider could possibly get a date with Drew Barrymore (in the early-aughts, that is, times have definitely changed), and also never forgetting that the sole focal point of this project isn’t just Barrymore herself, or the movies she’s made, but Herzlinger himself.

But even with him, I’m still a little bit put-off.

Not because what he sets out to do is creepy, or even downright weird, because in a way, I kind of respect the guy – he knows that he’s being weird for having this crush and knows that going about this idea is even weirder, but still, he chugs along, trying his absolute hardest, leaving nothing off-screen. The camera is always there and Herzlinger wants it that way, so of course, we get to see a whole lot of him, hear him talk, and try to keep his cool persona, even when it seems like he’s creeping every person out around him. He’s a likable presence, too, which makes it all the easier to watch him in interviews, even when, once again, he’s literally asking random people within Hollywood about Drew Barrymore, and even they know it’s a little weird, but aren’t sure if they want to, or know how to say it.

Once again, why? You’re fine! She was married to Tom Green, after all!

But then there’s this other part of Herzlinger’s that’s odd and nothing to due with the whole Barrymore-aspect – it’s the persona he actually puts-off to the camera. There’s plenty of real, raw and rather genuine moments that Herzlinger shares for the camera, but then there are these other, like when he’s showing his body off to people, working out, having random conversations with needy exes, that it feels like he may be putting on a bit of an act. Or, if he isn’t, then it’s a wonder why he includes any of this stuff in this first place; the work-out/grooming scenes are tedious, and the whole ex-sequence within the film could have been taken out and not have at all changed the film, considering how random it is.

I’m not saying that the Herzlinger we get in the movie isn’t the real guy, but a part of me feels like, possibly, he’s acting a little bit.

Just a little bit.

Then again, maybe that was intended; maybe he wanted it to appear like he was this way-more charming guy than he actually was in real life and maybe, he was just doing it all for the sake of the movie and in hopes that he wouldn’t scare Barrymore away, had he actually gotten a date with her. Makes sense and okay, whatever, I’ll accept it. But still, there’s some weird stuff about him that goes beyond the Barrymore stuff that yeah, threw me for a loop, if only a bit. And then I realized that, “Oh wait, it’s about him, but also this date. So who cares?”

And it all got better from there.

Consensus: My Date with Drew isn’t particularly deep, but then again, doesn’t need to be with its entertaining idea, and likable, if flawed subject in Herzlinger.

7 / 10

My Date with Eric? Make it happen, Hollywood.

Photos Courtesy of: Rotten Tomatoes

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Species (1995)

Sexy Alien: two words that don’t seem like they would go together well until now.

When government scientists (led by Ben Kingsley) receive a transmission from space containing alien DNA, they create the ultimate femme fatale: a hybrid woman named Sil (Natasha Henstridge) with supermodel looks, deadly shape-shifting abilities … and raging hormones. When Sil escapes, a team of specialists scrambles to find her before she can reproduce.

If you have ever seen the sight of an alien, they are always known to be ugly, hideous, and just downright nasty. Finally, somebody came up with the idea of actually having a sexy female alien but it’s just a shame that the idea wasn’t cool enough really.

To be honest this is actually a clever premise that is a creature feature, horror film, and altogether a total B-flick that does well with what it has. You have some good cheap thrills that come when you expect them but still effective, and the idea of having this sexy female alien looking for her next prey and the people she encounters along the way actually kept me glued.

If you are also looking for some nice gore, action, and explosions to be popping up out of nowhere than look no further than this film because half of the demographic actually looking at this film, will expect that and actually get it.

However, despite the actual good action and premise, there’s not much else here other than some pretty lame dialogue with an even more disappointing screenplay. I thought it was pretty funny how they made this film with a super-sexy and horny alien who just basically wants to get it on, but when she doesn’t get it, she get’ pissed and kills people. This was a pretty funny idea considering the film actually has us taking it seriously and trying to get scared by this idea, even though it had me doing just about neither.

There are also many lines of total cheesiness and just bad wording overall that will make you cringe even worse. There’s this one incident where the whole team stumbles upon one of Sil’s murders and a member of the crew says, “Something bad happened here”. Wow, no shit Sherlock. And just about every other scene where these people are talking just reminded me how cheesy it was and took from other sci-fi films as well.

The cast here is actually impressive with a lot of good names that I didn’t expect to actually take material like this. I have no idea why Ben Kingsley was even in this and he’s pretty cheesy as Xavier Fitch; Michael Madsen is his usual bad-ass type as Lennox; Forest Whitaker is sweet and confused as Dan Smithson (although other times people call him Darren); Alfred Molina is just here as Dr. Arden; and Marg Helgenberger is just there to keep this team of scientists from just being a total sausage fest. Nobody here is that good really but they at least try, but to almost no effect thanks to the script.

The best performance of the whole cast here is actually Natasha Henstridge as Sil who is very sexy but also scary as well and with a “character” like this, that really means a lot. It’s a shame that she showed so much promise with this performance, and nothing really happened with it other than The Whole Nine Yards and that unspeakable sequel. Also, be on the lookout for a short little kiddy performance from Michelle Williams, which makes me see why she was picked for Dawson’s Creek a couple of years later.

Consensus: There’s enough gore, action, sexy scenes, and some good shock moments to keep you watching, but the script’s problems with believable dialogue and even worse plot holes, just make this another cheesy sci-fi B-flick.

5/10=Rental!!

The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

A mobster movie based in Canada. This has got to be interesting.

Just about every person in the neighborhood eventually wants someone dead, even a dull, panic-prone dentist named Oz Ozeransky (Matthew Perry), who is married to monstrous Sophie (Rosanna Arquette) and lives next door to mobster-on-the-run Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski (Bruce Willis). Will Sophie get Jimmy to off Oz for insurance money?

My favorite part, and yet my least favorite part about this film has to be the screenplay. The reason why I liked it is because there are a lot of good lines here that surprisingly work, and some nice little twists, that keep you watching and entertained.

However, it was my least favorite as well because some jokes are just drop dead terrible. I think they were aiming a little bit too high for these jokes, and it just ended up not doing anyone, any good. I didn’t like how there was dumb slapstick involved with this film, because I don’t think any of these stars should have to be reduced to that type of material. I also didn’t realize that this is some pretty dark material as well. People are getting killed left and right at times, and they act as if nothing happens, with a big smile on the face. I understand being a “dark” comedy, but there are certain elements of a dark comedy that are acceptable, and unacceptable. This is the unacceptable one.

The stars are what did save this film for me though. Bruce Willis is perfect as “The Tulip” as he gives that cool-guy charm, we all know and love him for. Matthew Perry is very funny here as the nervous square, Oz, who actually gives off very good slapstick, and proves to be one of the funnier things with this film. It’s a shame that this guy hasn’t done much else lately, cause he really can make comedy work. Amanda Peet is funny here as Oz’s assistant, as well as Rosanna Arquette, as Oz’s crazy wife. Michael Clarke Duncan brings his mean guy persona to the screen and it works with a lot of scenes, and as well as Kevin Pollak‘s performance. But the one miscast person in this film had to be Natasha Henstridge. She doesn’t really bring much to here character other than good looks, and some pretty cheesy lines.

Consensus: It has some nice plot twists, and charming moments mainly due to the cast, but The Whole Nine Yards has problems with some jokes being too flat, and an utterly serious tone that they try to smear down with bad slapstick.

5/10=Rental!!