Rick Alvarez

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A Haunted House Review


Weak

Yet another spoof from Wayans and Alvarez, this movie isn't nearly as bad as it could have been (they also produced the resolutely unfunny Scary Movie 2 and Dance Flick). There's the germ of a clever idea here, mainly satirising the Paranormal Activity series in the context of a new relationship. But of course, they can't resist resorting to random pastiche and silly gross-out jokes instead of actually clever comedy.

Wayans plays Malcolm, a cheeky guy who is far too thrilled that his girlfriend Kisha (Atkins) is moving in with him. She's a little more reticent about it all, especially because she thinks there's a ghost creeping around the house. So Malcolm installs a security camera system, secretly hoping to videotape their sex life. As the paranormal shenanigans increase, their friends (Ubach and Daly) introduce them to a psychic (Swardson) and then a priest (Cedric). And it turns out that Kisha has a history with evil spirits.

Filmmaker Tiddes plays merrily with the found footage genre, shooting everything as if through a video camera, webcam or CCTV, while indulging in the format's voyeuristic possibilities. This gives the premise, of a couple moving in together, a smart kick. So it's very frustrating when some genuinely amusing scenes are interrupted for cheap toilet gags and only weakly comical set pieces. After setting things up, the screenwriters just get lazy and stop bothering to make scenes funny or engaging at all.

Continue reading: A Haunted House Review

A Haunted House Premiere held at ArcLight Hollywood in Hollywood, CA

Rick Alvarez, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Michael Tiddes - Rick Alvarez, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Michael Tiddes Hollywood, California, United States A Haunted House Premiere held at ArcLight Hollywood in Hollywood, CA Thursday 3rd January 2013

Rick Alvarez, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Michael Tiddes

A Haunted House Premiere held at ArcLight Hollywood

Rick Alvarez, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Michael Tiddes and ArcLight Hollywood - Rick Alvarez, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Michael Tiddes Hollywood, California, United States A Haunted House Premiere held at ArcLight Hollywood Thursday 3rd January 2013

A Haunted House Premiere held at ArcLight Hollywood

Rick Alvarez, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Michael Tiddes - Rick Alvarez, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Michael Tiddes Hollywood, California, United States A Haunted House Premiere held at ArcLight Hollywood Thursday 3rd January 2013

Dance Flick Review


Unbearable
The recent spate of dance-based movies is ripe for parody, but this pastiche never manages to find an actual joke. We're left with a painfully convoluted non-plot trying to link together a series of lead-ins to never-realised punchlines.

Megan (Bush) is a perky teen who always wanted to be a ballerina but wound up in the inner-city Musical High School instead of Julliard. She's befriended by the sassy Charity (Atkins), whose brother Thomas (Wayans Jr) catches her eye and offers to teach her some new dance steps. But Thomas and his pal (Crockett) are in debt to a local gangster (Grier). To pay up they need to take on a rival team in The Streets dance-off, which happens to be on the same night as the school's Senior Showcase.

Continue reading: Dance Flick Review

Little Man (2006) Review


Unbearable
Not even White Chicks can prepare you for the badness brought on by Little Man. This "Li'l Bubba's House" is my early Razzie favorite and definitely the worst theatrical release so far this year. Its awfulness stems primarily from its central conceit, so before like a ravenous lion I tear at its vulnerable wildebeest flesh, a brief synopsis is appropriate.Calvin Sims (Marlon Wayans) is a little criminal, "little" being the operative word. At just three feet of height and with a silky smooth face, he is known in the underworld as "Baby Face" Sims. On the day of his release from prison, Calvin teams up with his partner Percy P (Tracy Morgan) to rob a jewelry store of the giant Queen Diamond. The diamond inadvertently ends up in the hands of Vanessa (Kerry Washington) and Darryl Edwards (Shawn Wayans) who unknowingly escort it to their home in the Chicago suburbs. Calvin utilizes his "little man" status to bluff his way into the Edwards household, pretending to be a baby to get himself close to the misplaced prize. Of course, hilarity ensues when the Edwardses grow attached to Calvin and start to treat him as they would their own baby boy. Bring on the rectal thermometers!Wait. Hilarity? Wrong word. Typo. Error. The more apt choice would be banality, or even creepiness. Little Man is a project misconceived on every possible level. The most prominent of these levels is also the most central: Calvin, the little man himself. The entire time I watched I could not shake the feeling that something was seriously wrong with the very idea of the movie. It isn't just that there isn't a funny moment in the thing or that every character is less than paper thin, there was something sorely wrong with the concept of attaching an adult's head to a child's body. Here we have a "man child" having sex with his supposed mother, clutching at giant fake breasts and growling every time he sees a firm buttock. It was plainly irksome. However, if that doesn't seem wrong to you, and the idea of Marlon Wayans' head on a little body is fine, certainly the shoddy execution will offend. The visual effects team have literally transposed footage of Wayans performing each scene onto the body of a child actor performing the same scenes with the cast. The result is seam-full and distracting. Laugh-free moments such as Calvin sticking his tongue down the throat of a hot blonde, played by Brittany Daniel, are made that much worse by the poor quality of the visual effects. It all lends an otherworldliness to Calvin: He is the oddest and most unsettling child, man, thing, to hit cinemas for a long time. I include recent and past Damiens in that calculation.One could forgive bad effects and cringing characterizations if the movie was at all funny. It isn't. The closest it comes to humor is a running gag about white people viewing black people as criminals. Not exactly fresh and as a running gag runs out of puff the second of about thirty times it is repeated. The entire movie is similarly stale. Director Keenen Ivory Wayans chooses locations and colors for the film that are noticeably drab. He also demonstrates an amateurish tendency to let some scenes (Calvin pooping his pants for example) outstay their welcome while cutting away from others at the most inappropriate of times. Shawn Wayans as Calvin's newfound father figure is bland, while Kerry Washington as the mother has her smile set to high beam and her performance is garishly overplayed to match.Little Man is a depressing experience that critics will rightly savage. I have no doubt however that our cries will fall on deaf ears. Orthodontic surgery would be more fun than watching this, but some will still venture, cash in hand, to the weird and wonder-less world of this latest Wayans Brothers mess. Money will be made, minds will be lessened and much to my chagrin, future Wayans green lights will be lit.Whatcha talkin' 'bout, Mini-Me?

White Chicks Review


Unbearable
No one does sick bathroom slapstick better than the Wayans brothers - their work on Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2 proves that. They curiously didn't return for the third movie in that franchise. Maybe they realized (or someone did for them) that their brand of humor had run its useful course and it was time to move on. White Chicks is the product of their departure. Unfortunately, it's far from original, or entertaining - in fact, it takes the Wayans' brand of gross-out humor to a whole new low.

Two FBI agents, Marcus (Marlon Wayans) and Kevin Copeland (Shawn Wayans) have a knack for screwing up their assignments. Their supervisor (Frankie Faison) is pissed, and the pair have become the joke of the department. After blowing their cover on their last assignment, Marcus and Kevin are given "one final" opportunity to prove themselves. They're assigned to escort high profile, cruise ship heiresses Brittany and Tiffany Wilson (think Paris and Nicky Hilton) to a party in the Hamptons without getting kidnapped. I guess shipboard credits and shore excursions are hot commodities for East Coast socialites.

Continue reading: White Chicks Review

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