(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
(2011/Gaiam Vivendi DVD)
C/C-/C/C+ Sound: C+/C/C/C+ Extras: D Main Programs: C-/C-/D/D
four titles that invoke comedy, one unintentionally so, the rest not
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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