Friday, November 09, 2007

Bless the Child

Good evening Sporefans. Tonight we've got an extra special craptastic review for you because I'm feeling absolutely vicious tonight. Yes, tonight's movie is one that I'm going to rip to shreds, Hellraiser style! According to IMDB, the tagline for this movie is " Fear the Darkness. Fight the Evil. Bless the Child." and as if you needed to be told, the movie for tonight's review is "Bless the Child".

What do I have against this movie Sporefans? A better question would be, "what don't I have against this movie?". Its a piece of Hollywood schlock. Before I even get into this crapfest full of plot holes and wooden acting, lets take a minute to pick apart that "tagline". Three lines, each one is a command to the viewing audience. "Fear the Darkness!"... whooo boy, just drink in that original piece of work right there. "FEAR THE DARKNESS!" OOOOOOOHH!!! SCARY!

"Fight the evil!", again, more unoriginal crap. How about you, sir? Did you fight some evil today? No? You brushed your teeth and ate some cereal? How about you ma'am? Did you fight evil today? And by that I don't mean, did you do something worthwhile for mankind. I mean, did you go out and physically wrestle the devil himself. No? You didn't wrestle the devil? No? How are you supposed to fight the evil while you're afraid of the darkness anyway? Anybody got a mag-lite?

And finally "Bless the child!". How many of my readers are priests? No one? Hey, that guy has his hand up. No, you can't just use a priest in a video game, I don't' care how entertaining or free it is. If you can't turn tap water into a deadly weapon to be used against vampires, then its just not good enough to fight evil in the fearful dark of the darkness.

Am I to understand that this movie somehow wants me to grab a torch and a pitchfork and go out into the world quoting the bible to put a hurting on "evil"? Because that's what watching this movie makes me think of. If you're the type of person who thinks the devil is responsible for all the evil in the world, that today's youth is troubled because they're tainted with sin, and that things that confuse and scare you must be evil, than "Bless the child" is definitely for you. On the other hand, if you're, ohhh, I dunno... sane, you're not going to enjoy it.

Lets get to the rotten meat and rancid potatoes of the movie. The plot is that autistic child Cody O'Conner (played by Holliston Coleman) has "special powers". Cody's aunt, Maggie O'Conner (played by Kim Basinger) has custody of Cody after her mother (played by Angela Bettis) abandons her to score some more heroin. Or crack. Whatever.

Hold your tounge and say "truck" Cody.

Several years later, millionaire, cult leader and Satanist Eric Stark (played by Rufus Sewell of Dark City. Remember that movie? That movie didn't suck. What happened Rufus? What happened?) search for a "special child". He sends his patently ugly guy, Stuart (played by Eugene Lipinski) to collect and test children. Oh, and get this:

The children who are not "special" enough are killed.

Kind of goes against what you learned on Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood about everyone being special. Eventually when they stumble on upon the right one, they try and turn her to the dark side.

Wanna see my Darth Vader impression? "Luke the Evangelist, I am your father! HOOO-SHHHH!" What? Not funny? Then jump Cody, God will save you. Go on, jump. Here, let me give you a little push...


To get to Cody, Stark marries Cody's estranged mother and feeds her some drugs and uses his evil Satan powers to somehow make her not look like a junkie. They barge into O'Conner's apartment, demand custody of Cody, and when Maggie refuses they kidnap Cody. When the police won't help...

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait one frickin' minute here. Despite the fact that the mother accompanies Mr. Satan worshipper to reclaim her blessed child, she still can't take the kid from her guardian's residence without a court order. If you want some facts, check out section 1 of this F.A.Q. on legal custody in New York:

"To obtain legal custody of a child, a parent must go to court." -

Yeah. So, that guy... in the movie... Mr. Satan... just committed felony kidnapping, and the police are "helpless". That is one huge plot hole. If an inebriated movie watching fungus-man can pick out a legal issue central to the development of the story, something is wrong with the movie. Terribly, terribly wrong. Like, don't they-have-people-to-catch-this-type-of-thing-and-why-did-they-drop-the-ball-so-badly wrong.

Anyway, when the police won't get involved, FBI agent John Travis (played by the eternally typecast Jimmy Smits) offers to help Maggie O'Conner reclaim her blessed child. By, uh... not really doing a whole lot till the end of the movie. Then he shoots some people. Don't worry, they were all "bad". Sure, he could have been off collecting evidence, or interrogating witnesses and forcing them to talk by showing them Dennis Franz's ass, but he wasn't. Nope, all the work in this movie gets done by Kim Basinger, who starts hallucinating half way through the film.

Oh, I'm sorry. They were "visions".

Jimmy Smits play F.B.I. Agent John Travis. He does... stuff...

What other plot holes are there in this movie? Oh, lets see... First, Christina Ricci who has a minor part in the film is attacked by some "hoodlums" and killed in a subway. Mostly Ricci's character dies because O'Conner can't fire a gun. I could do an entire paper on the impotent phallic imagery throughout this movie, but that's another day. For now, lets go over the aftermath of the attack in the absolutely desolate subway platform. O'Conner walks up to Ricci's "corpse" and the head falls off. The problem? The only "hood" with a bladed weapon had a switch blade, everyone else had pipes and sticks. Have you ever tried to decapitate someone with a switch blade? Its really hard.

Not that I'd know that from personal experience, but I imagine that it would be really hard.

So, are you on "the drugs"? It's OK, you can talk to me. I'm "hip" as the kids say these days. Right? Right?

And certainly not something you could do either cleanly or during the several seconds that O'Conner spent being "woozy". I've seen more convincing acting from WWE superstar HHH, who's "wooziness" is part of any main event sleeper.

This leads to a whole string of plot holes. O'Conner goes to the apartment of Mr. Satan and tries to get her baby back. When she leaves her bag on the couch, Mr. Satan sits on it and apologetically hands it back to her. Somehow, not only does that slick devil know O'Conner had a gun in her purse, he was able to unload a snub nosed revolver one handed in less that one second and palmed the bullets, all before closing it neatly and tossing the bag to O'Conner. Looks like worshiping Satan allows you to bend the laws of time and space.

Stuart, the ugly child kidnapper who works for Mr. Satan knocks O'Conner out with some ether and a hankie. Evil. Then, to make her death look like an accident, they put her in a car with a bottle of Vodka, some pills and cut the break line and let it loose on what they're claiming is the Brooklyn bridge (its actually a bridge in Canada). How exactly is an unconscious woman capable of guiding the car enough not to just crash into the nearest truck and sustain a slight injury? Magic? Remote control Buick? Somehow she gets this thing up to a high enough speed to crash over the side of the bridge, but she's saved by an angel at the last moment.

At the same time, Agent Travis is having some sort of crisis of faith, so another angel appears to cheer him up in the guise of a creepy janitor. They make some banter about faith, and I think it went something like this:

*disclaimer: Text does not reflect actual dialogue. Spored_to_Death was too drunk when watching this part of the movie and made most of it up.

Agent Travis: Man, things are really bad. I feel so alone in the world.

Creepy Divine Janitor: No man is alone if he has faith! Have faith, and you will never be alone.

Agent Travis: Huh... thank you. I feel much better now.

Creepy Divine Janitor: I mean it. You're never really alone if you have faith. You're not alone when you're raiding the fridge at 2 in the morning either. You weren't alone when you stole those cookies when you were 7...

Agent Travis: Hey, this is actually kind of creepy...

Creepy Divine Janitor: ...and when you shower... and while you sleep. I just wanted you to know... you're not alone.

Agent Travis: Uhhh... I gotta go do... uh... cop... stuff... now. Right now, as a matter of fact.

Creepy Divine Janitor: See ya.

The remainder of this predictable flick follows O'Conner and she stumbles about trying to get her kid back. The movie would have been OK, except Blackcloud had to ruin it for me. We had a little discussion during the scene where O'Conner confronts Capitan Satan in his Posh apartment. It went something like this:

Blackcould: God I can't stand Kim Basinger. She's so wooden.

Spored_to_Death: Wha? Whaddya mean? She's fine. You know.... OK.

Blackcloud: No she's not. You're just being a typical guy.

Spored_to_Death: I don't get it.

Blackcloud: If you weren't so busy staring at her chest, you'd see how bad she is.

Spored_to_Death: Fine, lets put it to the test.

Spored_to_Death rewinds the movie and uses his hand to shield the lower half of the screen from his vision.

Basinger: (from on screen) Close your eyes baby.


Blackcloud: Told you.

From that point on I had to watch the rest of the movie with the veil of Basingers... natural charm... removed from my mind. And in retrospect it was like that episode of the twilight zone where the dummy changes place with the ventriloquist, but there was no ventriloquist. Just a giant blonde block of animated wood.

Another great thing I noticed is that Cody gets noticeably less autistic as the movie progresses. At the beginning she can barely function, but by the end she's mostly normal. Looks like exposure to Satan makes you smarter.

The movie thankfully drew to a close as Smits began shooting Satanist who were conspicuously unarmed. Basinger gets her baby back, Cody doesn't join the dark side, and Capitan Satan gets blown away. Everything is wrapped up in a neat package, and I'm $2.95 poorer for the experience. And much, much drunker.

The movie has reached critical mass! Run!

I think that one of the telling aspects of this movie is... its box office business. According to IMDB, Bless the Child made $29,374,178 in theaters. Too bad it cost $40 million to make it. So add in all the people who bought the DVD, and the fact that I rented it from On-Demand, and I estimate Bless the Child made abooooouut... $29,374,180.95.

Anyhoo, if we estimate and make things easier, Bless the Child made $29,375,000 before it was pulled from theaters. If you divide that by $7.50, which I estimate was the price of admission in the year 2000, then the total number of people who went to see Bless the Child was 3,916,666.6666666666... people.


Boy, that's a lot of sixes!

Now, I'm not going to post the youtube trailer to this piece of crap movie. Instead, I'm going to post the trailer for another movie that I ordered which will be infinitely better than Bless the Child. You may have to verify your age to watch it, but how can you pass up the opportunity to watch the trailer for...

Anus Magillicutty.

And as always, check out the Sporeboard for comments and other cool stuff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


pure gold