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     " I despised this movie when it was free... "

      Title: Tangled by Dimension Home Video

      Format: DVD Thriller

      Reviewing Monkey: Genghis Kong

      The Hype: "Sizzling young stars Rachael Leigh Cook (Josie & the Pussycats, She's All That), Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Velvet Goldmine, Titus) and Shawn Hatosy (Outside Providence, John Q) become caught in a dangerous web of passion and intrigue in this seductive suspense thriller!" Okay, that's what it says on the box. Two friends, one girl, tangled romantic interests… where have we heard this one before? Well, maybe it's an old theme, but it's never too late to invent the bicycle, now is it? It is? Damn, I guess Genghis Khan needs to go back to the drawing board and move on to another "Get Rich With Little Effort" scheme. So does that mean the movie is no good, either? Well, my review can answer that question for you, but allow me to point out that very little good comes out of anything that went straight to video, and boy is this movie straight to video.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Story and Acting: Shawn Hatosy plays a college student who falls head over heels for a girl (Rachael Leigh Cook) who is all things to him but who views him as a big brother. Along comes Hatosy's roommate, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who is more interesting and better looking, and who makes a play for this girl when Hatosy decides he's too macho and cool to admit he's in love with her, and it all sort of goes to shit after that. The story plays out exactly like you think it would--the geek resents his buddy, the couple is happy, then the buddy messes up and the couple breaks up. The buddy wants to get back together with the girl, but he goes sort of psycho and gets sent to jail, and the geek puts the moves on the girl. They hook up, the buddy comes back and goes bug nuts, and bad things happen. The movie actually begins with Hatosy passed out in the middle of the road, and is him telling his version of events to a police officer in the hospital (where all three of them end up). As you probably guessed, his version isn't the real version, and he's responsible for most of the bad stuff that went on because he hamstrung his best friend to get the girl. And don't we all do that sometimes? I mean, I'd stab Chimpan-A in the back for some nachos, and they wouldn't even have to be good nachos. All kidding aside (because no one offered nachos), the acting is tolerable at best, annoying at worst, with Hatosy yokeling up the screen with his bad teeth and unsympathetic acting, and Rhys-Meyers coming across more flaky than was intended, which generally makes you wonder what Cook saw in him in the first place. Speaking of her, she does a fairly good job in the film, but there's just no script to work with, and the plot is so hackneyed that you find yourself not giving a damn about it halfway through the opening credits. 1 out of 5.

      Visuals and Directing: There are no real special effects to speak of, and the plot is strung along on such a thin thread that it actually frays and snaps in places, leaving you with scenes that simply do not belong in the movie. In my day, we roped directors like this to the back of our warhorses and rode through the steppe, using the blood-and-skin trail they left to mark the path back to the Mongrel Horde. Make no mistake, my monkeys--this is a B-movie, and as such, if you expected the camera to be in focus you'd be expecting too much of it. 1/2 out of 5.

      DVD Extras: There are no extras. There just aren't. It doesn't come with any, and you won't want any. No deleted scenes, no documentaries, no interviews. Just the movie, which means once it's over, it really is over. All it gives you are previews of other movies that look equally bad. 0 out of 5.

      Soundtrack: I put this last because it is the only good thing about this movie, but man is it a good thing! The movie sucks so bad it could eat the event horizon of the Czernobog black hole, but what talent on the music! This monkey found himself rewinding scenes just to listen to the tunes, though having to hear the dialogue again was like a wet grub worm in my ear. Emiliana Torrini and the Elysian Fields stand out as the two groups most notable on this soundtrack, and while I'd never heard of them before, I sure do know their work now. Unfortunately, the soundtrack was never released as an album, which means the jaw-droppingly good Elysian Fields cover of Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue" can only be heard at the end credits of the film. This monkey would literally pay good money to get a decent quality copy of that song--it was that good. Unfortunately, all of this fantastic tunage is wasted on a film so bad I wouldn't wipe my ass with it. 5 out of 5, but it will not count toward the end total--this magical fluke of good taste is completely negated by the choice of not releasing the soundtrack.

      Value vs. Price: I despised this movie when it was free--handed over gratis for the Conqueror Ape to view, so that he might write in the blood of his enemies this review which you are now reading. But I recently wandered over to Amazon to see what the list price is, and monkeys, Genghis Kong nearly bit the head off of his Kangaroo Jack stress doll when he saw that some pygmy marmoset in marketing was trying to charge THIRTY DOLLARS for this worthless dung bucket of a motion picture. THIRTY! I could buy enough copies of Bio Dome to build a bio-dome for thirty dollars. I am almost tempted to buy a copy, however, so that Bobby Bukowski can take his cut of the earnings and buy enough cereal to send the box tops in for a degree in something other than film directing. 0 out of 5.

      The Verdict:

       The numbers may not add up to zero, my monkeys, but trust me--watching that movie will make you forget basic arithmetic, too. In fact, you'll forget a lot of things, but the awfulness of the movie will not be one of those things. I apologize to any of you who saw this movie before reading my reviews--you have my sympathy. However, that will teach you to make these kinds of decisions without checking with Genghis Kong first.

      The Good: An AMAZING soundtrack…

      The Bad: …which didn't get it's own album. Everything else about this movie should have been left on a cold cliff in the middle of winter so the Great Monkey could reclaim it as the stillborn rectal cyst it is.

      The Overall Ugly: Ain't nothin' about this movie pretty except Rachael Leigh Cook and the soundtrack, and even Rachael Leigh Cook looks less attractive after watching her in this role.

      What it's Worth: A swift kick to the nuts to anyone who bought it and watched it more than once.

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