The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini Review

download (1)
The Ghost Bikini definitely takes the beach series in a fresh new direction. I can safely say that this is a good thing because the beach environment got stale the instant it was introduced. This film actually manages to stay classy for the most part. We still do have some random party moments but you can’t really compare it to the last few films. It’s not all there yet, but this movie makes some real progress.

The film starts off with a ghost heading over to a coffin and waking the inhabitant up. It’s a tragic day for him since the ghost who was his friend died young while he died as a senior. The only way they can live together in the afterlife at the same age will be if he can perform one good deed. The issue is that the guy can’t actually leave the room so he has to trust Cecily to carry out the deed for him. Fortunately the crew (aka, the beach gang) are heading over to his house for some reason. A bunch of other people will also be there including the lawyer Ripper who has to read the will to a select group in order to claim the money. He enlists the help of a bunch of villains in order to destroy the competition so he can take all of the money. It’s a very ambitious plan and while this may sound bold, I think Ripper may be able to claw out a win here.

I would definitely say that this is the best of the beach movies. Mainly this is because the beach itself doesn’t actually get to show up this time. At most the kids quickly run to the pool and that scene isn’t too long. The opening is actually like something out of a horror film as the two suspicious characters make their plans amidst a lot of spooky music. Since most of these films had horrible beginnings this was a welcome surprise. Naturally this was thrown out the window once the beach characters showed up to bring along all of the baggage that comes with such a setting. It never gets quite as bad as in the previous films which is why this film’s score is a little higher, but it still makes enough mistakes to keep it from being negative.

For starters, the film seemed to grow bored of its own plot and so it kept on adding a bunch of new ones. None of the plots are ever focused on in a satisfactory way at all so in the end you are left feeling betrayed by the movie. For example, what even was the good dead of the spirit? Okay, he’s stopping his lawyer from cheating on his will, but that directly benefits himself and shouldn’t count. He has fun watching the characters get scared and fall into his traps, but he doesn’t do anything beyond that. The whole plot felt absolutely directionless. Also, from the start Cecily is subtly mocking the old man and seems to have a sinister plan up her sleeve. Well, the ending arrives and the rather predictable twist occurs, but it felt like a rather underwhelming climax to what was a very long build up. It’s also worth noting that while Cecily appears quite a lot, she doesn’t actually do anything. Take her away from the film and very little changes. She mainly just gives people subliminal messages.

It seems like she can interact with both inanimate objects and people so Cecily could probably have done a little more here. It’s the kind of film where it seems like the writers wanted to incorporate the title into their film somehow, but didn’t actually think about it until the end. The whole ghosts angle ultimately just felt like a really big waste. Then we’ve got Ripper and his gang. He has quite a few henchmen. So many in fact that half of them never really get to do anything. Ripper is the only competent member of the group as he actually does stab someone and the film hints that the victim stayed dead. Ripper basically has to do everything himself so it is easy to feel bad for the poor guy. From his minions Sinistra gets the biggest role so it is safe to say that she looks the worst. She can’t see without her glasses and always tends to lose them. As a result she ends up murdering statues instead of the kid she was supposed to bump off. It’s a shame since she would have succeeded in her mission otherwise.

Speaking of which, the teenager subplot didn’t actually become much of a focus for a while ad just went into the same old directions. Surprisingly they didn’t pull a “Let’s make him/her jealous” angle or anything like that, but it still happened in a way as the main guy (Well, there are 2 leads here. The one with the inheritance and the son/nephew. Both get comparable amounts of screen time so you can really choose who the lead is.) goes for Sinistra over the girl he was already with just because she looked nice. Honestly, there is absolutely no sense of loyalty in any of these beach movies. The film barely even has time to touch on any of this stuff since it turns into more of an Abbott and Costello kind of dynamic as the ghosts keep picking on one of them while the other doesn’t notice. The ghosts were definitely having quite a bit of fun in this film and why not right? They have to do something to amuse themselves.

Then we also have Eric Von Zipper and his cronies in the final main plot. (At least the final one worth mentioning. We also have the heroine sulking in the pajama party segment where we get a song or two, but there’s not much point to that plot) Basically they want to get rich quick so breaking into the mansion just makes sense. They fight with a lot of the mechanical puppets and even end up face to face with a large gorilla. That part was rather random but definitely interesting I guess. It was like having a mini Kaiju show up in the film. Eric Von Zipper and the gang are basically the same as always so you’ll know right away if you like the characters or not. At the very least they keep everyone honest.

Overall, This film is definitely a very confused one. It’s not exactly sure what it wants to do with itself and that can be rather tragic at times. There is a whole lot of potential here and the movie just squanders it all. The characters are rather weak and you can’t say much for the story either. While parts of the film can be fun, it’s just not enough to carry the whole thing. If you find that you have to watch a beach movie of sorts at some point then I’d recommend this one. Otherwise I’d say it is in your best interests to just skip this movie. It’s a decent supernatural comedy but you can find better ones on the market.

Overall 4/10

Advertisements

Pajama Party Review

MPW-105570
It’s time to look at another beach-esque adventure. This one is at a local pool for most of it and there is a Pajama Party at the end, but it’s still fairly similar to the last two films. By now you know if you either like the genre or don’t. It certainly didn’t switch my mind as it is more of the same from the last film even down to the same premise. Throwing in the aliens was a decent move I guess, but I can’t say that it was a very interesting plot point so maybe it was just fluff in the end.

The film revolves around an alien named Gogo. He is sent to Earth as an advance scout for Mars as they plan to take over the planet. They selected him to be the first scout because Gogo isn’t very smart and will confuse the Earthlings. Gogo is oblivious to this so his self esteem is surprisingly intact for the duration of the movie. The Earthlings decide to call him George since it’s a much more traditional name and he approves of this. Plans change though as he falls for Connie. Thing is, Connie is taken by Big Lunk, but wants to make him jealous so she decides to play along and pretend to be into Gogo. Meanwhile some corporate villains want to steal Big Lunk’s aunt’s treasure so they send in their special operative Helga to get the information out of him. Naturally she figures the best way to do this is to get together and Lunk has no problem two timing Connie. With this love rectangle can there even be a winner?

Right off the bat you see the problems that are just inherent to the genre. For starters we have the constant rebounds between the characters that make you wonder how genuine any of them are. If they are willing to ditch their partners so quickly you can’t help but wonder if they will leave the new ones as soon as they see a better option. It’s hard to feel bad for any of the characters since this is the case. For example, Connie is frustrated that Lunk is always ignoring her so I suppose we are led to believe that this was not always the case. Nothing in the film suggests that he changed in any way though so it means that she didn’t mind his behavior at first and it is only now an issue. Meanwhile, you have to assume that maybe Lunk just never liked her all that much since he is very quick to get enthusiastic about Helga. The romance here is just all wrong.

Naturally the film takes the low road and adds in a ton of fanservice now. We get poorly timed camera zoom ins and a lot of dancing that is more about damaging the film than proper form and poise. It’s nothing to be even remotely surprised about, but it hurts the film all the same. The villains’ plan to use romance to get to the heroes is always iffy at best as well and didn’t help their case either. It was interesting that we got 3 different villain groups though. Even for this series that is a little crazy. There was Eric Zipper and his gang, the Martians, and the people from Corporate. Naturally the corporate villains were the best ones as they brought in some fresh air to the series.

The leader was actually pretty competent and always got a lot of good one liners in. He had a habit of beating up his 2nd in command quite a lot to show that he wasn’t to be trifled with. Unfortunately he is surrounded by incompetent henchmen so ultimately he was always doomed. Then there is the “Cowabunga” Indian who can’t speak too well. Naturally he doesn’t look very good and there is actually a big plot twist about him. He still looks better than the other henchmen though as that guy is the one who gets beat up a lot. I think his best scene was his debut appearance as the boss keeps talking to him about the plan and the henchmen manages to say the wrong thing each time and keeps getting punished. You’ll feel bad for the guy there since he was trying to be careful with his phrasing.

Eric Zipperman and his gang are about the same as always so you’ll either like them or not. They get beat up a lot, but always have the coolest outfits in the film. These guys look like they play for keeps and surprisingly they actually knew how to fight pretty well this time. While they lost in the end that was mainly because GoGo stepped up and used his magic wand to stop them. Otherwise they were actually overpowering the teens at one point which I was not expecting.

As for the Martians themselves, they didn’t have much of a plan for conquering Earth. I didn’t see much of an army at the base. Considering that the teleporter worked both ways, you’d suspect that we’d have seen soldiers on Mars when corporate went there. Instead the place was empty so I’m assuming that the army soldiers just deserted the Martian cause. Likely the right move to be honest since they probably wouldn’t have been able to defeat the teenagers if we’re being honest.

This film definitely struck out and it’s unfortunate since for the most part it does have some reasonably humorous moments. It throws out so many jokes that some have to land after all right? I do like that Big Lunk was fine with the friend zone for a while, but it’s too bad that he relented in the end. If you cut out all of the pool shenanigans, romance, and fanservice then this is a quality film. The problem is that we’re talking about a totally different movie at that point. The film has to live or die by the mistakes it made and unfortunately this one just couldn’t cut the mustard.

Overall, Pajama Party is one of those films that won’t be remembered all that well. It will just fade into place next to the other Beach movies where the heroine tries to get the hero jealous. Of course in this film the plan didn’t even remotely work and she actually just gave in to the rebound. That’s a bit of a twist compared to the other films, but it’s not exactly one that would help the score of the film. It was doomed fairly early on anyway so I guess it’s not like the film had much of a chance. They just need to do something a little more classy like a sweater party movie. I’m sure the film would find some way to mess that up though. If you want a good party movie then I suggest you look elsewhere.

Overall 2/10

Beach Party Review

a885d287235f51f04be3fa43ad7c1233
It’s time to look at another old school beach movie. This one’s title is pretty well suited for the movie since that’s really the extent of the plot. The heroes are going to have a big party on the beach so cue the hijinx and shenanigans. It’s definitely not a film for the faint of heart or for those who like to watch quality films. If you like the beach genre though then I think it’s fair to say that you will like this film. After all, that’s what this one is all about!

The main characters are Frankie and Dolores. They have decided to head over to an abandoned beach house so they can finally hang out without the rest of the gang. The two of them like their friends of course, but sometimes it’s best to just get away from all of them. At least that’s what Frankie had in mind, but then Dolores admits that she actually didn’t like that plan so she invited everyone to the house. Frankie gets upset and after Dolores gives him the silent treatment he decides to get even. He’ll get together with Ava to upset her and in retaliation she gets together with an old guy named Robert. Both of them have to push this as far as they can until the other relents, but who will crack first?

The plot of trying to get the other person jealous is always a classic for the romance genre, but it’s still not a good plot. While they are using these other people the main characters are also degrading themselves. Frankie does let Ava have her way with him even though he puts up some mild resistance. You can tell that he is rather half hearted about it. Likewise Dolores is quite extreme with Robert and seems willing to do anything. It’s only thanks to Robert continuing to refuse her that things don’t go too far. These actions don’t make the two leads look very good at all.

It probably works more on Frankie than vice versa. He gets upset enough to go and threaten Robert a few times although that never actually goes anywhere. Frankie always appears to want Dolores back (but not enough to apologize) while she is content with Robert. Again, that plot only ended because Robert actually broke up with her instead of the other way around. That’s why you will actually feel bad for Ava by the end of the movie. She was just fine by herself until Frankie decided to claim her and then he just dumped her when her use was at an end. She really got a sour deal but fortunately she didn’t take it too hard.

As for Robert, I’m afraid that he was a bad character from the very beginning. He is writing a book on the teens which essentially involves spying on them 24/7 while laughing like a maniac the whole time. Having a romance with one of them is naturally just as cringe worthy. This character definitely didn’t need to be in the film and I think it’s safe to say that he is nowhere near the villains from the previous beach film that I saw. The only thing interesting about him as a character is that he is a master martial artist. He can actually bend time to his will using a technique that freezes a person in time for hours. That’s extremely useful if you think about it.

Then we’ve also got Eric Zipper and his gang as per usual. They still get beat up by every character who encounters them, but I suppose they try their best with their sound effects and over the top reactions. I’d say that you would root for them after a while, but that’s definitely not going to happen. Lets just say that they weren’t ready for Robert. The scene where Robert first confronts them may be the best scene in the film.

As you would expect the romance in this film is terrible. The characters all seem to be fans of rebound maneuvers as they switch partners very quickly. The characters can get betrayed multiple times and overlook it quite quickly. Robert’s partner pretends not to like him, but then gets jealous when he partners up with someone and doesn’t mind being the 2nd choice at the end. The characters must just have very low self esteem to not mind all of this. None of the characters know what it means to slow down either as they jump right into the romance as soon as possible. Definitely makes you double think if being with one of them is the right move since you can’t trust any of the characters here.

Then we’ve also got the Beach scenery which doesn’t do the film any favors. It always goes for poor camera angles to add as much fanservice to the film as possible. It’s something that you don’t see too much in live action which shows you just how low this genre will go. I’d say that I expected better from the Beach genre, but honestly this is what you would expect from beach movies. Typically beach scenes in any film or show are some of the worst so a whole film taking place there just isn’t a good idea. The film just hasn’t aged well. Especially Dolores’ song where she basically admits that she should concede defeat first even though Frankie has just as much to do with the issue. Maybe more if you think about it since he certainly gets away with more than she does.

Overall, Beach Party is a film to avoid. None of the characters are good and the romance is terrible. There aren’t many redeemable scenes in this film and any scene that is around gets surrounded by bad ones. You need to stay as far away from this film as possible, but fortunately the title probably tipped you off to that from the beginning. The Beach genre is one that definitely deserved to be taken down a few pegs. Imagine seeing this in theaters? That’d be totally crazy. I’m ready for a Winter Mountain film genre to take off instead. I think that would be a lot better.

Overall 2/10