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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Romance > Horror > Supernatural > Satire > Reality TV > Cupid (2011/Gaiam Vivendi DVD)/Ghost Hunters Academy (2009 – 2010/Image DVD)/30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2012/Fox DVD)/Undercover Bridesmai

Cupid (2011/Gaiam Vivendi DVD)/Ghost Hunters Academy (2009 – 2010/Image DVD)/30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2012/Fox DVD)/Undercover Bridesmaid (2011/Gaiam Vivendi DVD)


Picture: C/C-/C/C+     Sound: C+/C/C/C+     Extras: D     Main Programs: C-/C-/D/D



Now for four titles that invoke comedy, one unintentionally so, the rest not intentionally enough…



Ghost Hunters Academy (2009 – 2010) is one I originally missed and I can see why in this 4-DVD set in which people now have to go to some school (but academy makes it sound more complex or challenging, though we gather the makers never saw the opening of the original Charlie’s Angels) so we learn that to go “Ahhhhh” and run every time you go to an abandoned, empty place that is haunted, you can go to school for this.  Why?


So you can run faster?  So you can yell and get “scarred” more convincingly?  So you can look like you are auditioning for the next Muppets project?  This is ridiculous, yet that makes it a sliver more entertaining than the show it is a spin-off from.  To say this is for fans only is an understatement, but I makes us wonder more than ever why the so called hunters can’t stay where they are when a supposed ghost shows up and not run.  Do they think they’ll be killed or that they’ll find out they have come across a false alarm?  Maybe they can talk to the ghost or free said ghost so they can rest in peace, but perhaps the Academy is not that advanced yet.





However, no surprise someone would make fun of this, even if it was with no ironic distance or jokes that work in the latest miss and miss mash-up spoof 30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2012) which is like another bad Scary Movie installment but far more desperate.  Besides taking shots at the films the title suggests (plus the 30 Days Of Night films and only the U.S. Dragon Tattoo), Dark Knight Rises, Adele and talking digital babies also senselessly turn up in this incredibly unfunny, extremely forgettable mess that does not even try to be funny.  There is even a ghost hunt plot, but that is constantly7 interrupted by other bad ideas for 80 very long minutes.  Don’t operate heavy machinery on this one.



Cupid (2011) continues the supernatural theme, but in the lite Hallmark Channel/Lifetime Network-safe mode (this was on the former) as Joely Fisher needs to find love and “mysterious stranger” Jamie Kennedy (that one makes itself up as a joke) might be able to help.  Guess who he turns out to be?  Hard to believe such childish fare is actually aimed at supposed adults, but this dud is like an empty box of Valentine’s Day chocolates and obnoxious throughout.  Oh, and it has the Dove.org seal of approval, a seal for the makers to destroy your mind.



Finally we have another Dove-approved mess in Undercover Bridesmaid (2011) in which a sexy bodyguard (Brooke Burns) is a female bodyguard protecting a rich Texan (Gregory Harrison) and his daughter (Nicole Paggi), but isn’t that a job for a man?  What about her need for love and to be put back in the kitchen?  Yup, that is the condescending message of the teleplay and this mess of what amounts to an anti-woman propaganda telefilm not so cleverly disguised as either a comedy or proto-feminist piece of work.  This mess lasts 87 long, long minutes.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Nights and the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the rest of the DVDs are for starters nothing great by any means, but did they all have to look this bad.  Only Undercover is moderately watchable as the image quality is soft, strained, degraded and lame throughout the presentations on these discs to at least poor extents, but usually awful ones that make them look, like they were made by people whop did not know how to handle a camera.


The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Hunters and 5.1 on the rest of the DVDs are also on the weak side, with Cupid and Undercover barely having consistent soundfields and the rest sounding much worse.  All have compression issues, location audio issues and can even be sloppy in their mixing and editing.  None should have been more than 2.0 releases, with some moments being practically monophonic.  I can see why only one made it to Blu-ray.


Except for the extra “Bonus Footage” scenes on Hunters and a Behind The Scenes on Nights, there are no extras on any of these titles and what is here is lame.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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