Tag Archives: Stacey Dash

Cold Around the Heart (1997, John Ridley)

From the first few minutes—after lengthy opening titles (if only one knew it’d be Mason Daring’s worst score ever)—it’s immediately clear something is terribly wrong with Cold Around the Heart. David Caruso and Kelly Lynch are awful in the opening scene, followed by a terrible cameo from Richard Kind. Except, during Kind’s atrocious appearance—where it becomes obvious Ridley’s script is going to have some terrible, post-Tarantino dialogue—Caruso is all of a sudden really good.

And Caruso stays good for most of the film. He’s never good with Lynch, who’s astoundingly bad throughout, but he never repeats the awfulness of the first scene.

Stacey Dash shows up as a hitchhiker—Caruso and Lynch are stick-up artists; Lynch betrays Caruso and he’s after her—and she and Caruso form an odd friendship. Dash has a lot of problems, most she has nothing to do with. Ridley cast her, around the age of thirty, as a fifteen year-old. She can’t surmount that one. But she gets good throughout and she and Caruso’s relationship is refreshingly honest.

The best performance in the film is from Chris Noth, who shows up in the second half. John Spencer shows up for a bit and is, unfortunately, lame. Much like Pruitt Taylor Vince, it appears to be Ridley’s fault. He can’t direct actors.

On the whole, Ridley composes shots well and Malik Hassan Sayeed is an excellent cinematographer.

It’s a bad film. It’s got good elements, but it’s quite bad.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Written and directed by John Ridley; director of photography, Malik Hassan Sayeed; edited by Eric L. Beason; music by Mason Daring; production designer, Kara Lindstrom; produced by Craig Baumgarten, Dan Halsted and Adam Merims; released by 20th Century Fox.

Starring David Caruso (Ned), Kelly Lynch (Jude), Stacey Dash (Bec), Chris Noth (T), John Spencer (Uncle Mike), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Johnny Cokebottles), Richard Kind (Nabbish) and Mark Boone Junior (Angry Man).


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Illegal in Blue (1995, Stu Segall)

So when Trevor Goddard gives a film’s best performance, what can you really say about the film? And calling Illegal in Blue a film is a compliment… but apparently it really was made by a motion picture company.

Orion, no less.

Two credits stick out. First, Orion. I had no idea they were trying to get into the “erotic thriller” genre before bankruptcy. Second, director Segall. Well, maybe not. In addition to producing bad cop shows (“Hunter”), Segall directed softcore movies under a different name. Blue makes a little more sense.

The most recognizable actor is Louis Giambalvo. He’s not bad, but he’s not as good as Goddard. Goddard gets to yell his terrible lines, Giambalvo has to speak his ludicrous dialogue calmly and rationally.

The lead, played by Dan Gauthier, is a cop who moonlights as a cabbie. While driving his cab, he meets Stacey Dash, who’s soon suspected of murdering her husband. Interesting thing about Blue is how Dash’s race is handled—it’s ignored. Unless Segall is including her being black as another reason to objectify her. I’m not sure it makes Blue significant or special, but it’s definitely particular.

Gauthier is awful. He couldn’t do a cologne commercial. Dash is fairly bad too, though she occasionally has a not terrible delivery. But not often.

Illegal in Blue is awful but it’s hard not to notice its similarities with film noir. Somehow (maybe Against All Odds did it), the genre got hijacked by late night cable.

But anyway….

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Produced and directed by Stu Segall; written by Noel Hynd; director of photography, Ernest Paul Roebuck; edited by John W. Carr; music by Stephen Edwards; production designer, Anthony Brockliss; released by Orion Pictures.

Starring Stacey Dash (Kari Truitt), Dan Gauthier (Chris Morgan), Louis Giambalvo (Lt. Cavanaugh), Trevor Goddard (Mickey Fuller), Michael Durrell (Michael Snyder), Sandra Robinson (Joanne), David Groh (Dist. Attorney Frank Jacobi), Michael Cavanaugh (Lt. Lyle), Francis X. McCarthy (Sterling Justice), Raye Birk (Gary Dedmarch), Scott Kraft (Syd) and John Snyder (Denny).


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