Within a month of each other two movies with more "style" than you can shake a stick at have come to DVD, where they may turn the heads of some easily-led movie-watchers. Both contain things to recommend within their frail but stylish carapaces, but neither is, ultimately, very good. They wear their "style" as though they're parading down the runway with attitude and fashion to spare. But since neither film has much to offer in the way of original plot, interesting or unusual characters or even decent dialog (though one of them borrows heavily from a classic author), all this "style" begins to smell a bit. For veteran film-lovers, the watch will grow wearying, fast.
|From the start, exposition rears its head (and shoulders, butt, legs and extremities) in big soggy lumps. Once you wade through that, you're offered a couple of nice musical routines (Ms Miko's initial audition is aces, but then her opening night number is nothing much -- so-so music and lyrics set to would-be Busby Berkeley choreography that actually would not even be able to be seen by the audience at the night club -- only by us viewers with the help of the overhead camera. The photography, sets and costumes are fun (it was filmed, the credits tells us, in historic Los Angeles), but the sub-standard plot has to do with family betrayals and a public utility company (very dim shades of Chinatown, including its barbed wire fence), and the cliches keep flying fast and furious. By the finale, about the only thing the film has going for it is its darkness. The moviemakers are intent on not making us happy. Or, as the script tells us with undo relish -- twice, if I'm not mistaken -- "The meek don't inherit the earth; they're covered by it."|