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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cindy Prascik's Review Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of & Wild Card

 Dearest Blog, by my count there were no less than seven movies opening this weekend.

Four of them looked pretty good, and the other three are playing at my local cinemas. the cable box we go for Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of and Wild Card.

Okay, dear reader(s), if we're being honest, and fair to my local cinemas (even the gross one), it would have taken a helluva movie to compete with folks as near to my heart as BSB and Jason Statham.

Were The Hobbit still in play, I'd almost certainly have paired one of the stinkers with another Hobbit screening, but no Bilbo meant a weekend of "home cinema" for yours truly.

Spoiler level here will be mild, I guess. Is it even possible to spoil a documentary?

Anyway...first on my agenda: Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of, a behind-the-scenes look at the ups, downs, and enduring popularity of BSB.

Show 'Em What You're Made Of is an honest and heartfelt documentary. The peaks and valleys of fame, and of essentially living in each other's back pockets for two decades, are on full display, and the group members often bicker like old married people.

The conflict and raw emotion make for some hard viewing when you're a fan! (I'm scarred for life by watching Beatles yell at each other in Let It Be, and never did get all the way through Some Kind of Monster.) Still, it's clear Howie, Brian, Kevin, AJ, and Nick love one another like brothers, and it seems no dispute is significant enough to derail the BSB train for long.

The movie touches on the group's legal dispute with former manager Lou Pearlman (currently serving prison time for perpetrating one of the world's largest Ponzi schemes) but is mostly filled with clips of new and old videos, live performances, and behind-the-scenes goings-on, bringing back great memories and making some new ones. And of course there are the songs...oh, the songs! The voices! Backstreet Boys are as fine a vocal group as ever there was, and it's terrific to see how they've stood the test of time and outlived their "boy band" designation.

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of runs 101 minutes and is unrated. If you're considering age-appropriateness, there are a number of F-words and the usual adult themes you'd expect for this sort of thing.

I suppose I'm not the only one itching to say "Backstreet's Back" while writing about this movie, but it's clear that Backstreet was never gone. 20 years later, I'm still proud to be a fan.

Of a possible nine Weasleys, Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of gets seven.

Next up was Wild Card.

Jason Statham stars as a Las Vegas bodyguard who lands on the wrong side of some very dangerous people.

Ahhhh...Jason Statham...a name that sends me to the cinema on opening day every time. Of Statham's three most recent "starring" vehicles, this is the second to go straight to VOD, so I had to assume it was, perhaps, not his best work. While that proved a correct assumption, it wasn't quite as bad as Redemption, so I'm counting it as a win.

Statham is great as always in the kind of role he could play in his sleep, and, if it's nothing new, it's still fun to watch. Unfortunately, Wild Card has little else to recommend it. It's only about an hour and a half, yet it drags along, never really getting anywhere.

The generally-likable Milo Ventimiglia is awful in such an awful role that it's hard to even look at him. Most characters are so poorly developed that you just aren't interested, and it's impossible to like/sympathize with the one person with whom you're probably supposed to like and sympathize.

If you look at the cast list and see a name you like, but that name's not "Statham," well...don't waste your time. The handful of other notable cast members probably don't have ten minutes' combined screen time. There is a bit of classic Statham action, but not nearly enough to keep Wild Card from being something of a snoozefest.

Wild Card clocks in at 92 minutes and is rated R for "strong violence, language, and some sexuality/nudity."

My love for Jason Statham is undiminished, but if I'm looking for a fix I'm probably gonna go dig out Death Race again.

Of a possible nine Weasleys, Wild Card gets four.

Until next time...


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