"You break the rules, there are consequences."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 05/23/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"First off I think it's important to note that the scene depicted on the DVD case for the direct to video release The Number One Girl (2005) is nowhere to be found in the actual feature. While it is true actor Vinnie Jones does appear in the film, at no point are there any explosions of any kind, nor does he go flying backwards brandishing two guns...while the DVD cover may not portray any actual events from the movie, it does succeed in one area in that its more entertaining than the movie itself. I know, I know, promo material is meant to sell a movie, and may not be entirely accurate in terms of relevance to said film, but given what an absolute dog this movie was, I want to keep people from being overly swayed (as I was) by the glossy exterior. Directed by Luc Campeau, his first feature in such a role (prior to this his listings include production managing and second unit direction credits in numerous television and direct to video productions), the film stars Tony Schiena (Wake of Death) and Vinnie Jones (Gone in Sixty Seconds, Swordfish, X-Men: The Last Stand). Also appearing is Lisa McAllister (Pumpkinhead III: Ashes to Ashes) and Pat "Mr. Miyagi" Morita (The Karate Kid, Honeymoon in Vegas), who recently passed away near the end of 2005.
Tony Schiena plays Hollywood action hero, four-time martial artist champion, and all around schmuck Joey Scalini. After wrapping up on a current production, he travels to England to visit his long time gangster friend Dragos Molnar (Jones), and to act as a co-judge in an internationally televised beauty pageant called the Miss Fashion and Cosmetics World Competition, which, by the way, is also sponsored by Dragos, the intent being to put a legitimate face on his criminal enterprises. Joey soon finds himself surrounded by beautiful women, but one in particular catches his eye, the contestant from the United Kingdom named Tatiana (McAllister), who, in fact, turns out to be Dragos' number one girl...you see, Dragos, while married with children, shares his home with any number of women whom he grooms for success, the only stipulation being they allow him to snog them whenever he feels like it (apparently Dragos and his wife have an understanding). Anyway, as the "competition" begins, we're treated to some really rotten lip syncing by various contestants (here's a tip, when fake singing, actually hold the microphone to your gob instead of waving it around...that way it might appear to the more moronic viewers the words coming off the tape are actually coming from your mouth), followed by the swimsuit competition held in Dragos' new nightclub (the Nigerian contestant sure sports a lot of junk in her trunk). After a couple really lousy, hideous rap acts stink up the joint, the contestants and judges start dancing, allowing Joey to grind on Tatiana in front of Dragos who's sitting in audience, to which he reacts by kicking out the audience, barring the doors, and turning the place into an Ultimate Fighting Championship arena, as Joey must now fight not only a series of Dragos' muscle bound bodyguards, but finally Dragos himself in an all or nothing scenario. If Joey wins (no one wins with this film, especially not the viewers) he gets to leave with the girl, and if he loses, well, let's just say it's the end of his supposedly promising career (along with his life)...oh, did I mention all of this is being televised around the world?
I wanted to like this movie (I like the Vinnie Jones), I really did, but it was just so damn disappointing. If you're coming into this looking for some action, I'd suggest skipping the first hour all together, as it's only a overly long, drawn out, and painful set up for the big fight sequence at the end. Even when the action does cut in, it's really not worth it given how poorly it was executed and shot. I did learn a number of things while watching this film, though...
1. Internationally televised beauty pageants sponsored by gangsters are most likely fixed.
2. London is the style capital of the world.
3. One way to deal with being in love with a woman you can't have is to make it with two, sleazy women simultaneously.
4. If you're a beauty contestant who is also the property of the guy running the show, don't sing a song about being in love with someone else and make cow eyes towards that person while performing, as it tends to really upset your sugar daddy.
There were quite a few things wrong with this movie, the main elements being the rotten script, predictable story, and the simplistic direction. The acting felt shoddy throughout, but I'd attribute that more to the three, previously mentioned factors than the performers themselves. I really didn't care for the main character much, as he seemed like a real sleaze, only interested in scoring with babes. At one point he claims to be in love, but then we see him making the scene with two women while looking at the headshot of the woman he's supposedly in love with, as if to say "Yeah, I'm making it with two babes, but I'm really thinking of you", which comes off as somewhat repulsive. To top it off, the guy was a real idiot, putting the moves on a woman he had been told numerous times by his gangster friend to stay clear of, with the threat of severe bodily harm implied. The dialog is incredibly insipid, often trying to sound all cool and such, but failing miserably, which really drags that first hour out into a real painfest. This isn't helped by the direction, as the movie is populated with flashbacks, recollections, unsteady, up close shots, and a whole lot of slow motion sequences and establishing shots (we get it, the story takes place in London given all the cockney accents and the visual of Big Ben...enough with the traveling montages already). It seemed like the director tried to incorporate an `arty' feel using tricks he'd perhaps seen others employ, only here it was obvious and only served to disrupt the overall flow. The big fight sequences in the last fifteen minutes wasn't all that thrilling, especially since one would have to figure Joey would make it through the various thugs in order to get to the big showdown with Dragos. As far as Pat Morita, I don't know what his purpose was in the film, other than to pick up a check and lend his name to the production, as his character was fairly insignificant to the story. All in all unless you were in this film as an extra, or are a glutton for cinematic punishment, I really can't see anyone going out of their way to see this dud as it was about as much fun as stepping on a toenail clipping imbedded in the carpeting in the middle of the night on your way to relive yourself.
The picture quality on this DVD release looked decent enough, but while it states its available in widescreen anamorphic on the DVD case, I only saw the fullscreen version here. Perhaps I needed to change a setting on by player to see it in this format, I don't know, and I really didn't much care. The audio came through well, and is offered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 along with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. As far as extras, there are English subtitles, a trailer for the film, and previews of other features including a Dolph Lundgren film titled The Defender (2004), Citizen Verdict (2003), Irish Jam (2006), and House of 9 (2005).
Painful to watch
Chloe Duncan | nevada | 08/10/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This was so awful. Words cant describe how ...in a word, LAME this was! Every scene was so contrived. I think a 14 year old could have written this more smoothly. Just awful. 2 hours of my life ill never get back!!"