Portrait of Love paints a picture on Hallmark Channel!

Portrait of Love Hallmark Channel

That’s not a portrait, that’s a sculpture!

Hallmark Channel’s new movie Portrait of Love (formally known as Heart of the Matter) is that old chestnut about a woman from the big city who returns all successful to her small town and yet suddenly is pulled in by that love junk and may end up throwing it all away for some dude she dated in high school. Just take a look at your high school dates on Facebook and where they are now to see how likely that prospect is (YEESH!)

A prominent fashion photographer returns to her small town roots at the request of a friend. Surrounded by both memories and loved ones, she must consider a choice between a successful future and rekindling both the love of her life and of her home.

Can’t women have both? Nope, you gots to be choosing one or the other, sorry. Them’s the rules!

Portrait of Love stars Bree Williamson (A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff) as April Littleton, Jason Dohring (Prehysteria! 2) as Luke Dwyer, Frances Fisher (Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta!) as Doll Dwyer, Ella Thomas (Surrogates) as Julia Robbins, Corbin Bernsen (Christian Mingle) as Tyler Mason, Caitlin Carmichael (Wiener Dog Internationals) as Jess Dwyer, Cassius Willis (Lakeview Terrace) as Frank Robbins, and Cissy Wellman (Jane Doe: Vanishing Act) as Karen Waverly.

Portrait of Love is directed by K.T. Donaldson (High Plains Invaders). It is written by Michael Votel, Jr., Matt Marx (This seems to be the first film written for both), and Jennifer Notas (Christmas Under Wraps) It premieres March 14th on Hallmark Channel!

Photo via Hallmark/Bryan Sheffield

Christian Mingle dotcoms itself on UPtv!

Christian Mingle

Hey, a little too much mingling here! Leave some room for the Holy Ghost, people…

A few weeks back, the trailer for the Corbin Bernsen written and directed Christian Mingle hit the web and confused everyone. Well, stop being confused, because now Christian Mingle is coming to UPtv! Yes, Christian Mingle is based on the website ChristianMingle.com, and had a very limited release last year. Faith based films getting tiny local releases is becoming a thing, and after that was done, UPtv became the next stop for a wider audience.

Gwyneth Hayden has it all. A top-notch career, killer wardrobe, dream apartment, and great friends – she thinks the only thing missing is a man. In a moment of inspired desperation, she fills out a profile on the dating website ChristianMingle.com hoping to find Mr. Right. However, Gwyneth’s Christianity is a little rusty and her attempts at impressing her dream guy end in disaster when he calls her out on her “faux faith.” In an honest realization, she sees her superficial life for what it really is, and is driven to create a personal relationship with God.

Christian Mingle stars Lacey Chabert, Jonathan Patrick Moore, Stephen Tobolowsky, Morgan Fairchild, David Keith, and Corbin Bernsen. See what all the fuss is about on February 8th on UPtv!

via UPtv

Confessions of a Go-Go Girl

Confessions of a Go-Go Girl

Confessions of a go-go girl
Written by Lenore Kletter
Based on the play by Jill Morley
Directed by Grant Harvey

Confessions of a go-go girl

Nietzsche said “One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil.” Hence I have stripped off that schoolgirl costume!

Lifetime Channel is a gift to the movie world. It’s been constantly creating and showcasing an array of original dramas and has one of the most prolific content creation legacies of a channel in history. Of course, most of their film output is despised by critics if they even bother to think of them, because most critics wouldn’t know a good film if it married them while after the suspicious deaths of its three previous wives. TarsTarkas.NET is not afraid to do whatever it takes to find cinematic gold, even if we have to watch a channel for….women! I kid, I kid. But people who have an aversion to Lifetime films are just missing out on a whole barrel of fun! From Cyber Seduction to Social Nightmare, Lifetime is magical. Their films are so popular they got their own spinoff network! Even SyFy can’t boast of that feat. Thus, in celebration of Lifetime, we shall now watch this film about go-go dancing.
Confessions of a go-go girl

Post-Modern Times

Confessions of a Go-Go Girl has an amazing title and an amazing plot, following innocent rich girl Jane McCoy as she’s lured into the increasingly sleazy world of go-go dancing, parts of which correlate with your favorite stories about women becoming strippers. But this isn’t stripping, it’s go-go dancing. It’s totally different. Go-go dancing can be shown on tv!

This go-go movie has the decency to be partially self-aware, sections which I’m guessing are legacies from the stage play it’s based on. Because huge other chunks are not self-aware at all. As the play “True Confessions of a Go-Go Girl” by Jill Morley sounds biographical, things were probably enhanced for television dramatics, much as a character attempts to enhance her chest via a character named Dr. Double D. As we shall see, neither option turns out too well, but Confessions of a Go-Go Girl does manage to entertain in a schlocky way, and you can see it as how Jane McCoy gains her confidence. Part of the fun is wondering just when her family is going to find out what she’s doing, and how bonkers their reactions are going to be. Because her family is pretty terrible. Not terrible in a dysfunctional way, but terrible in an afunctional way. Dad is overly controlling and angry, Mom is upper crust oblivious, her brother is a puritanical tyrant, and her boyfriend would faint if he saw a woman in a short skirt. Jane needs these stereotypes as family members, which allows her to set out on her journey where she meets all the other stereotypes in the stri– I mean, go-go dancing world. Jane even becomes a stereotype, but that’s for a purpose. As Jane is in acting school, she creates a character persona that becomes her dancing persona. Soon the lines blur, which is Jane, and which is Dylan? Better keep dancing until you figure it out…

Confessions of a go-go girl

Time to feel guilty for being a perv!

Jane McCoy (Chelsea Hobbs) – Jane is your boring rich girl whose life is all planned out for her. Even Jane’s name is Plain Jane! But Jane suddenly wants to be an actress, and that throws her nutty parents into a tailspin of crazy! She continues in her quest, turning towards the easy money of go-go dancing to pay the bills after she’s cut off, then sticking with the dancing as it gives her confidence. But it’s skirting the line of danger, and Jane may just cross over into doom! Jane dances under the name Dylan.
Angela Lucas (Sarah Carter) – The seductress who lures Jane into the world of go-go, all part of a recruitment scheme to get some of Jane’s tips. Angela doesn’t want Jane cutting in on her action, but also wants Jane to succeed, which leads to weird dichotomies. Angela’s loser boyfriend also steals all her money, driving Angela back to drugs, bad work ethics, a downward spiral that takes half of the film to crash, and a shock ending no one except everyone saw coming. Angela dances under stage name Aurora
Nick Harvey (Corbin Bernsen) – The owner of the go-go club Jane starts working at. Is actually fare and pays his girls a decent wage, which is why he’s a fictional club owner. Probably Corbin Bernsen’s greats role ever (excluding Star Trek)
Donna Mercer (Rachel Hunter) – Veteren dancer who is approaching the expiration date. Gives advice to the new girls, but is also the target of everyone’s ire when they aren’t in a good mood. A single mom of a teenager named Elizabeth. Donna makes everyone’s costumes because she’s a rocking sewer. Has got it going on.

Confessions of a go-go girl

The worst bachelor party ever

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Judgment (Review)


aka Apocalypse IV: Judgment

Directed by André van Heerden

Apocalypse IV Judgment
God’s calling. He wants to know if our fridge is running…

Judgment is not a film I would normally watch, because my recent film watching days have been filled with more obscure stuff from around the globe, and the time I’ve spent on direct to video fun has been limited at best. But thanks to my affiliation as a member of the Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit (aka M.O.S.S.), we did a Secret Santa where I was gifted this awesome DVD from Carol at The Cultural Gutter. And if you don’t read The Cultural Gutter, you are missing out. You should probably read it almost as much as you read this site! Other M.O.S.S. Secret Santa adventures can be found at this link. Go there to read and listen as M.O.S.S. members get sent things they wouldn’t normally review.

Christian rapture cinema has a not very long history, but has left behind a collection of films of various quality. I have watched a fair number of these from around a decade ago, when they were all over the local video stores. I can say that Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 is awesome. It’s everything you want your Rapture Cinema to be. Even the big guns like the Left Behind series of films (starring Kirk Cameron and from the same production company as the Apocalypse series) pale in comparison. Judgment is the fourth film in the Apocalypse series, and I have not seen the others. With the advent of digital cameras, the amount of Christian films have exploded in recent years, as have the amount of Rapture films. But beyond the few that make interesting trailers on YouTube, the films are largely ignored by the general movie going public, though a few breakout recent Christian films include C Me Dance, Three, and Suing the Devil.

Apocalypse IV Judgment
We may be poor, but we got lots of lightbulbs on strings!

The continuity of the Apocalypse series is suspect at best. By the end of the previous film, former journalist Helen Hannah was executed but also released tapes of the Antichrist saying all his followers are idiots who will burn in Hell, and they begin to protest against him. All that protest stuff is forgotten, the people still love Franco Macalousso with only the few Christian rebels left to offer any resistance. Helen Hannah is saved from death for the trial plot.

I know it is not this movie’s purpose to be a deep philosophical source of arguments for or against the existence of God, but the trial format and the actual arguments introduced on both sides force a comparison of the arguments. To be fair, the arguments presented by both sides are largely shallow, targeting strawmen or misquotes, and some arguments aren’t even addressed or just dismissed without reason. The popcorn philosophy does have to be mentioned, even if it’s in a popcorn website response, because we got better things to do than to turn this site into a scholarly religious website. So microwave some popcorn before you read on. We’ll wait. Doo-do-do-do-dooo-do-dooo…. Got your snack food? Let’s begin!

Apocalypse IV Judgment
The People’s Court: The Next Generation

Mitch Kendrick (Corbin Bernsen) – Embittered lawyer who looks out for Number One, and I don’t mean Will Riker. Blackmailed into defending Helen Hannah at the Trial of the Century. Doesn’t buy into that Jesus stuff, and also doesn’t buy into that Anti-Christ stuff. I like to think this is Corbin Bernsen’s character from L.A. Law, because that would be cool.
Victoria Thorne (Jessica Steen) – The prosecuting attorney on the case Humankind vs. Hannah and Jesus. The kind of prosecutor that would let OJ Simpson walk.
Helen Hannah (Leigh Lewis) – Former reporter and Christian resistance member who has been captured by Franco Macalousso and will be used in his latest scheme, a goofy show trial!
J.T. Quincy (Mr. T) – A Christian trying to live under the tyrannical rule of Franco Macalousso, and a man of action. Violent action! Mr. T is freaking awesome, and I pity the fools who don’t like Mr. T. Because they are stupid.
Franco Macalousso (Nick Mancuso) – OMG it’s Lucifer! The most evil world leader ever. How this guy is so charismatic he controls the world, I’ll never know. But then, a lot of evil politicians have massive support in real life, so maybe it’s like that.
Apocalypse IV Judgment
Could God make a creek so full of crap even he couldn’t be up it without a paddle? We’ve just prove God is fake, hail Satan!

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The Big Year

The Big Year

Directed by David Frankel
Written by Howard Franklin

The Big Year
The Big Year takes place in the world of birding, where obsessive fans of feathered friends spend their time watching and following birds. They learn the songs, know the species, and some can even imitate their favorite birds. And there is no greater glory in the world of birding than the Big Year, where a birder spends an entire year seeing as many bird species as possible.

Now, as a biologist, I’ve meet birders and can understand where they’re coming from, even if I have no desire to trek through swamps and snow to spot rare birds with pink feet. Myself, I’m perfectly fascinated by even the most common birds. Crows, starlings, mourning doves, all are cool in my book. Granted, the herons, egrets, and hawks I spy on the drive home are awesome as well. Maybe I am a secret birder…
The Big Year

The Big Year is ultimately about obsession. About a hobby, about love, about doing what you love but also living your life. It’s based on Mark Obmascik’s book The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession, which I haven’t read. But I did get free tickets to an advanced screening, so once again, Tars sells out!

Brad Harris is ostensibly the main character, but in reality there are three main characters, three story arcs, three paths. All of the three main characters want to be the best, to win. but not all of them will win. Only one can be the best. And sometimes, the quest is only the beginning.

Brad Harris (Jack Black) – Brad is the everyman loser who lives at home and is stuck in a dead end job. His only joy in life is birds, recognizing the calls of any bird he hears. He decides to embark on The Big Year seemingly on a lark. He has nothing else going on in life, and this seems to be the one thing he’s wanted to do for years, and has finally gotten around to trying it.
Stu Preissler (Steve Martin) – Stu is a businessman who has been working his whole life wheeling and dealing, all while secretly obsessing over birds. It has been his dream, but he can’t retire. Whenever he tries, he just gets sucked back in. But it’s time, time for Stu. Time to do what he wants for once. But throughout the film, his former employees will continually call upon him to help them run the company as they get into trouble.
Kenny Bostick (Owen Wilson) – Bostick is the prior record holder for The Big Year. He’s spotted more birds in a year than anyone ever. And he can’t let it go. He continues to go birding. He’s on wife #3, birding destroying at least one of the prior marriages. And he’s ready to go off again, especially once he discovers others are closing in on the record.

The Big Year
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Suing the Devil will be the greatest film in history

Check out this awesome trailer! I can’t decide what I like best. Satan kicking the KISS fan in the crotch, Mr. Innocent representing all the casinos in Vegas, the Devil hiring smart people (damn that book learnin’!), $12,000 in credit card debt being mentioned as a horrible secret, “Have you ever done…..internet porn?”, the WWE Smackdown legal analysis on the news, the hero being a racist, the Devil inventing noise, or the hero commanding “get thee behind me Satan!” while Satan is already behind him. It looks like someone forgot to tell Malcolm McDowell that this isn’t a parody! Also LOL at Tom Sizemore in this flick.

Official site