Tuesday, March 16, 2010

As Bad as Film Gets

So we're browsing through Blockbuster last weekend, looking for entertainment. We do that occasionally, and we're not too proud to scan the tables for bargains, either.

Whilst scanning the recent releases, I saw one called "The Bracelet of Bordeaux." Looked like one the Woodyettes might enjoy as it had a solve-the-mystery back story, and the girls tend to enjoy those. We decided to make this our dinner-time movie tonight (Del Taco taco night!) and settled in to watch.

Those in my family will appreciate this next statement. "The Bracelet of Bordeaux" is the Mrs. Miller of cinematic achievement. But less comical.

It is my habit with films of this caliber to check out IMDB for certain details. Two things caught my attention. It was previewed in 2007 at the "Austin Film Festival" (two and a half stars!). The Austin Film Festival purports to celebrate the "writers' contribution to film." This film must have been entered under the prestigious "Writers Not Yet Having Graduated Junior High School" category. The film apparently did so well that the producers required a full year and a half to recuperate enough to give the film a "limited" release last May.

Equally impressive was it's reported budget of $70,000. That's right: seven-zero thousand. I'm guessing most of that went toward bribing theaters to actually show the film. At $70K this film is clearly overpriced. I'm not entirely certain the producers didn't need to take out a second mortgage to cover the cost of pressing the two or three copies of the DVD that eventually found their way into unsuspecting homes like ours.

The thing is, it could have been fun. The premise, while not original, sounded fun: kids solve a local mystery with the aid of a magical bracelet. The set-up scene, by the way, was far more impressive than the rest of the film. A lady spy is seen at the end of World War II putting the bracelet into a trunk, after showing just a hint of the bracelet's power. Had the movie ended at that point I would have considered it a fair effort.

Sadly, they plowed ahead and finished it. Worse yet, so did we.

Now, the Woodyettes watch their fair share of fluffy kid movies. They have every kid movie of any note (that have girls in them, anyway) from the Spy Kids all the way down to every Barbie movie ever foisted on the public. They love Matilda. They lap up the American Girl films. Eloise was a big hit for them.

They could not WAIT for this one to be over.

Neither could I. In fact, I wrote this entire review in the closing fifteen minutes of the movie, including the big breakup of the dog-napping gang. At fifteen minutes, this column is entirely too generous to this film.

Avoid at all costs.

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