April 19th, 2008

THE SEDUCTION (1982) **

Okay, I think it’s time to come clean about my unhealthy obsession with Morgan Fairchild.  Seriously, has there been any hotter female actress of the 20th century?  

 

I think not. 

 

I don’t know when my unnatural longing for Morgan began.  Could it have been all those Falcon Crest episodes I was forced to watch during “Quality Time” with my family growing up?  (Of course, any time a young prepubescent boy can spend ogling Morgan Fairchild is the very definition of “Quality Time”.)  Maybe it was when she was the sexy ringmaster for the Circus of the Stars.  Or perhaps it was her awesome cameo in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.  It doesn’t matter.  The woman is sex on two legs and I’d pretty much go through Hell and high water just to lust over her. 

 

Kinda like Andrew Stevens in this movie. 

 

He lives next door to Morgan and is always spying on her, taking pictures of her, oiling himself up while worshipping over his Morgan shrine, calling her endlessly on the phone, sending her flowers, following her around town, etc. 

 

Basically he’s the hero of the story. 

 

Anyway the movie begins with Morgan skinnydipping. 

 

Automatic Four Stars. 

 

I mean you see EVERYTHING, and even though it’s kinda blurry cuz she’s underwater, that’s okay because A) She’s naked.  B)  She’s wet.  And C)  She’s naked AND she’s wet. 

 

So Stevens starts stalking her, but unfortunately, Morgan kinda forgets to get naked for a bit.   

 

Automatic one star deduction. 

 

Then the film starts getting all melodramatic and begins to reek of Made for Lifetime bull-honky.

 

Another one star deduction. 

 

Then after about 50 minutes of Hallmark Hall of Fame bullshit, director David (Puppet Master) Schmoeller finally remembers WHY we all came to see this movie and makes Morgan take a bubble bath while Stevens watches. 

 

We’re back to four star territory again.

 

Just when things started to get interesting (i.e. the bubble bath scene), the film sadly devolved into the usual CBS Movie of the Week theatrics. 

 

Guess what?  We’re back down to three stars again.

 

Then Stevens threatens her on television (She’s a newscaster, did I mention that?  Does it really matter?), which makes Morgan hysterical and plot, plot, plot.

 

We’re talking two star city.

 

But, then out of nowhere Morgan hops into the Jacuzzi without the benefit of a bathing suit.  Her husband comes in and bones her like he owns her and while in the throes of passion, Stevens sneaks up on him and knifes him in the back. 

 

Four stars, here we come. 

 

Finally Morgan’s had enough and starts blowing things up with her 12 gauge shotgun.  Really, that’s something I could get behind, but then there’s a lot of third wheel nonsense about a chick who works with Stevens who loves him and she tries to encourage him to love HER and not Morgan Fairchild, but since the chick is obviously NOT Morgan Fairchild, Stevens politely declines.

 

Yet again; too much plot is threatening to usurp the film’s true purpose, which is to show Morgan Fairchild nekkid. 

 

I’m getting a little tired of this aren’t you?  I’m knocking two stars off this time for blatantly refusing to show Morgan’s mammaries. 

 

Finally Morgan gets fed up with all this foreplay and decides to finally take Stevens to Happy Town, but the idiot can’t even get it up for her.  (How can you not get it up for Morgan Fairchild?  Illogical plot point.  Half star deduction.)  Stevens then goes nuts and tries to murder Fairchild once and for all.

 

Luckily, Stevens’ lovelorn co-worker shows up to blow his guts out with a shotgun. 

 

The gut shot is good enough to cement the flick’s two star status but little else. 

 

This movie exists only to show Morgan Fairchild’s luscious rack and nothing more.  If you’re like me, and love ogling her naked, this will certainly fit the bill.  Unfortunately if you’re looking for a movie with interesting characters or surprising plot twists, this won’t be the film for you.  While the flick shows us Morgan in the buff a handful of times, it’s not nearly enough to qualify this thing as a three star picture.  Had Schmoeller went down and dirty and tried to make himself a sleazy exploitation picture where Morgan lost her top every ten minutes, The Seduction would’ve been a classic.  But no, he had to go all “respectable” on us and tried to turn Morgan into a “legitimate” actress.  This woeful miscalculation derails what could’ve been a quality flick, but I’m sure it’ll satisfy the Celebrity Skin addicts out there who will undoubtedly beat their meat for all of the two minutes Fairchild’s flesh lights up the screen. 

 

Another thing that irked me about this movie:  Why the heck is it even called “The Seduction”?  Stevens doesn’t seduce Fairchild, he STALKS her.  I guess you could make a case that Fairchild seduces him in order to lure him to her house so she can get her revenge, but I’m not convinced. 

 

Colleen (Smokey and the Bandit 3) Camp co-stars as Morgan’s spunky best friend and gets the best line of the movie when she says, “Art, fart!”

SMART PEOPLE (2008) **

 

Okay, well if you’ve just read my review for The Seduction, you’ve heard all about my unwholesome fixation on Morgan Fairchild, so now I guess it’s time to fess up about my man-crush on Dennis Quaid.  Unlike Morgan, I can pinpoint exactly when this odd (but totally platonic) fascination began.  It was the constant exposure to Quaid movies in the mid 80’s on HBO.  There was never a day that the Quaidster wasn’t on that network.  Specifically I’m talking about the Holy Quaid Trinity here, Tough Enough, Dreamscape and the immortal Jaws 3-D.  I don’t know about you but there's something about a guy who can knock out ten boxers, fight an evil snakeman and blow up a great white shark that commands a five year old’s total respect and (non-homosexual) love. 

 

Quaid’s got a new flick out this week and it’s called Smart People.  It’s all about Quaid being this bearded asshole intellectual snob professor who is a widow and has to deal with raising his asshole intellectual snob daughter (Ellen Page from Juno) and put up with his shiftless lay about adopted brother (Thomas Haden Church).  After a convenient accident (courtesy of some sloppy screenwriting more than anything), Quaid gets conked on the noggin and goes to the hospital where he meets a doctor (Sarah Jessica Parker) who also happens to be a former student.  They fall in love (or what passes for love when you’re a bearded asshole intellectual snob) and she teaches him not to be so damn aloof and scholarly all the time and helps him reconnect with the real world. 

 

What saves this movie from being a total femmy Lifetime Original is Quaid’s performance.  You can always tell when Quaid is full on “actor” mode because he’s got facial hair.  Remember him “acting” in Enemy Mine?  Beard.  Gang Related?  Homeless Beard.  Wyatt Earp?  Handlebar moustache.  He imbues his character with a bunch of odd quirks (potbelly) and tics (his gait is something approximating Quasimodo with a rock in his shoe) and really succeeds in making him into a fully three dimensional bearded asshole intellectual snob. 

 

The problem with a movie about a bearded asshole intellectual snob is that it gets awfully depressing after awhile.  (If Church wasn’t in this flick to give it a little comic relief, it would be like attending a funeral.)  Parker and Page are equally dour (Page is basically playing a more morose version of Juno) and both of them at one point get out-acted by Quaid’s beard. 

 

The film is equally aloof as Quaid’s character and always keeps the audience at arm’s length, only warming up to them at the very end.  It’s okay to make a movie about terminally gloomy people; it’s just too much to ask that it be entertaining I guess.  It’s no Dragonheart that’s for sure. 

 

Open statement to Quaid:  Quit making baloney like this and start work on Dreamscape 2:  Snakeman Bugaloo immediately.