2015 Written by Riley Weston
Directed by Rick Bota
Over the decades, Lifetime has had hundreds of original movies with hundreds of characters who are stupid, crazy, vengeful, or just plain awful people. Yet Damaged features a main character who might be the dumbest person to ever exist in a Lifetime movie. Chris Klein’s Sam Luck makes decision after decision that make you question his judgement skills, endangering his marriage and his job, and everything ends in tragedy because he’s just a complete idiot. It’s a weird film where, while not sympathizing with the villain in the slightest, I feel the hero deserves almost everything coming to him. The only point of regret is his poor wife, who actually doesn’t deserve anything that happens to her (including being married to such a moron!)
I’ve praised Chris Klein’s acting in the past, he was the best part of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, rightfully knowing the film deserved only a ridiculously corny performance. He gives a similar type of performance here, making his character be oblivious and completely without a gauge to know appropriate behavior in public and in private. Sam Luck just sort of wanders willfully into bad situations, and then does his darnedest to pick the worst possible option that sets him up to fail both short term and long term. So let’s praise Chris Klein again, one of the few actors who could pull this character off successfully!
Sam Luck is an English teacher at a high school and is married to Kate Luck (Tasya Teles, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever ), who spends most of her time working. They get new neighbors, who turn out to be a teenage girl and her absentee father (he’s never seen). Sam has no problems with wandering into their house during moving in day and striking up a flirty conversation with the young girl, which is really not the sort of behavior you want in a high school English teacher, or most adult men in general. Even weirder, Kate then also wanders into the house and discovers him talking to the young girl, apparently sees nothing wrong with her or her husband entering into other people’s property without their permission, nor her husband’s behavior with a younger, attractive woman. Sam is the kind of moron who thinks Taran Hathaway (Merrit Patterson) is a college student, until she does a Pretty Little Liars and walks into his classroom later that day. Continue reading →
[adrotate banner=”7″]It’s fitting that Damaged stars someone who is part of the Ravenwood spinoff of Pretty Little Liars, because the plot is straight out of the PLL playbook! Chris Klein (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) is the handsome teacher (!!) Sam Luck, who may or may not be banging young Taran Hathaway (Merritt Patterson – Ravenswood), and his poor wife Kate (the amazing Tasya Teles – The Grumpy Cat X-mas Movie) must uncover just how crazy Taran is as Sam’s life spirals out of control. Also there is crazy revenge going on, but for what? I guess we’ll have to watch the film to find out!
Gorgeous, wealthy, young Taran Hathaway moves into a house in a suburban neighborhood across the street from high school teacher Sam Luck and his workaholic wife Kate. When Sam offers to help Taran with her moving boxes, he is intrigued by the mysterious young woman across the street — until Taran shows up in his English class the next day. Even though he is her teacher, Sam can’t resist being a helpful neighbor and develops a friendship with Taran that becomes increasingly inappropriate as she gives him generous gifts. When Sam’s life begins to fall apart around him — he is the victim of car theft, accused of stealing, and fired for allegedly sexually harassing a student — his wife becomes suspicious of Sam and Taran’s relationship and begins asking questions… realizing that Taran moved to town with plans for the ultimate revenge.
Once again, Lifetime outdoes itself by barely providing any promotional material! Luckily there was a poster for the film on some press releases.
Damaged is directed by Rick Bota (Happy Face Killer), with a script by Riley Weston (The Nanny Express) and Kevin Leeson (Mongolian Death Worm, Riddles of the Sphinx). Damaged premieres Saturday, January 3 on Lifetime!
2009 Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Written by Justin Marks
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is a terrible film. And no one was expecting much from a Street Fighter film. I don’t know how the film got so bad. So many things were done wrong. The bad part is I know what kind of film they were trying to do, what kind of hero they were trying to make Chun Li, and what they were trying to do with the cops. They managed to fail on all fronts, which takes an exceptional amount of fail. The one thing this did accomplish was to make all other versions of Street Fighter look so much better. Future Cops should now get an Oscar, Street Fighter with Raul Julia should be on AFI’s top 100 films of all time list.
The best part of the film is Chris Klein, who knows exactly what kind of film this was and delivered exactly the kind of performance it needed. Too bad everyone else involved was completely oblivious. Chun Li narrates most of the film, but half of the time Krinstin Kreuk sounds like she is half smirking while reading, even the more serious stuff. It is odd.
The original Street Fighter film is a tour de force of awesomeness. We got Jean-Claude Van Damme kicking butt while Raul Julia is far to awesome to be in such a film and knows it, owning the role like no one ever will again. Originally, people thought this was to be a direct sequel, but they failed to understand prequel rage. Studios are prequel crazy, giving prequels to everything that ever existed. This is combined with remake rage, the other thing the studios are doing to ensure original ideas never make it to the local theater. Thus, we get a prequel remake that starts its own continuity, sort of like Star Trek except there is no Old Guile.
I don’t give a frak about the video game plot, because plots for tournament fighting video games are paper thin to begin with. But I think there is one and I doubt this followed it.
Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk) – Chun-Li is just your average girl whose father does illegal mob accounting and taught her wushu, then was kidnapped by gangsters and she became a kung fu piano player who must avenge her father’s death.
Agent Charlie Nash (Chris Klein) – Agent Charlie Nash is with Interpol and investigates all the Shadaloo stuff that everyone says is a myth. But that doesn’t matter, all you need to know is that Chris Klein is awesome in this movie. He took one look at the script and decided to overact like his life depended on it. And thus, became the only good part of the movie! We salute Chris Klein.
Bison (Neal McDonough) – Remember when Raul Julia was awesome as Bison in the other Street Fighter movie? Well, enough of that, as this flick goes all 1980s and has Bison be a businessman. In a suit. Boooooring. Bison is known as Vega in Japan
Gen (Robin Shou) – Gen is Obi-Wan Kenobi, and heads up a secret society of beggers who recognize each other via spider tatoos. Gen teaches Chun Li everything he knows. Then he dies. Then he doesn’t die.
Detective Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) – Detective Maya Sunee gets paired up with Charlie Nash, who spends the entire film trying to hit on her. She eventually gets thrown off the case by the corrupt government, but gets back on it because she won’t let a huge business destroy a neighborhood via illegal means.
Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan) – Balrog is a big dude who punches people and collects paychecks from Bison. He also threatens people. That’s about it for characterization. Balrog is known as Bison in Japan
Vega (Taboo) – Vega is some dude with a hockey mask and Wolverine blades who is hired by Bison to kill people, including Chun-Li, but he fails on that last one. Vega is known as Balrog in Japan.
[adrotate banner=”1″]UPDATE! Read the review of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li here!!!! Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is the next Street Fighter movie, but unlike the 1992 classic with Raul Julia or the Hong Kong classic Future Cops, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li looks to be doomed to being the bastard child of the Street Fighter franchise. How in the world does that happen? Who knows! Studio execs can be pretty stupid. Early reviews have called it anything from “horrible” to “the worst movie ever made and now I must gouge out my eyes and ears” Kristin Kreuk has been called one of the few good things in there, while the focus of rage seems to be on Chris Klein’s acting. Robin Shou also seems to have had all his lines dubbed. I doubt we will get any classic lines about channel changing or Tuesday, but will instead get uninspired garbage.
Chun-Li’s spinning bird kick in there but is getting rage directed at it as well. People seem to think it isn’t executed well. But at least she shoots fireballs. That’s what I want in a movie. Fireballs.
Of course, we have to deal with the fact that several characters have different names in Japan than the US, so the cast list will look slightly off…
Kristin Kreuk … Chun-Li
Chris Klein … Charlie Nash
Neal McDonough … Bison (Vega in Japan)
Robin Shou … Gen
Moon Bloodgood … Det. Maya Sunee
Josie Ho … Cantana
Taboo … Vega (Balrog in Japan)
Michael Clarke Duncan … Balrog (Bison in Japan)
Pei-pei Cheng … Zhilan
[adrotate banner=”1″]Hey, Pei-pei Cheng! That could be cool, maybe she’ll be in it for longer than a minute.
Now, I am no Street Fighter super fan, I didn’t spend hundreds in the arcade learning all the moves, and the plot of the game really means nothing to me. I am familiar with the characters thanks to the internet, the other films I have seen, and the few times I did play the game. I’ll probably get to reviewing this film eventually, but I am not going to see it in theaters, so we shall have to wait. I don’t think it will be the worst movie this year, or even the worst crappy fighter movie (hello Dragonball movie!) but it will not be pretty. And any rumored sequel sure won’t be hitting the theaters (maybe DTV since you can sequel anything there)
The fun part is trying to fine Kristin Kreuk photos without hitting those fake “Virus detected!” websites. So here are some so you don’t get virus-cized. I’d make a joke about how Kreuk is diseased, but it would be dumb.