Friday, May 7, 2010

Shitty Movie Review - "Stiletto"

This is long overdue. I first watched "Stiletto" several months ago via Netflix, largely because it stars Stana Katic of "Castle" fame, but also because it has an all-star cast. The film features one of the guys from "Major League" (Tom Berenger), the guy from "The Cutting Edge" (D.B. Sweeney), the girl from the "Lolita" remake (Dominique Swain), a reunion from "The Rock" (William Forsythe and Michael Biehn), "Martial Law"'s Miss Hawaii (Kelly Hu), and the guy from "Heat" who also dated Heidi Fleiss (Tom Sizemore). With a cast like that, it's hard to believe more people haven't heard of the movie. Netflix didn't have enough room to list everyone, so watching the movie was like a surprise who's who of what the hell, meaning it was excellent.

The movie "stars" Stana Katic as Raina, a woman hellbent on getting revenge for the crimes Virgil Vardalos (Tom Berenger) and his associates committed against her sister. I use the term, "star," loosely, since, although she is one of the principle characters, she does not have that many lines. But she does look hot in the movie, and she kills a lot of A-holes with the aforementioned stiletto, which is a switchblade with the largest, most awkward handle ever. Sure, it's larger handle size allows for a larger blade, but it's the size of a brick. And she doesn't carry a purse in every scene, so I don't even want to think of where she stashes that thing.

Tom Berenger plays her former lover, mob boss Virgil Vadalos. Yeah, he's supposed to be Greek, but I'm not sure if anyone told him. William Forsythe plays Alex, his right-hand man. Forsythe turns in one of the film's bright performances as a man who doesn't know whether he's Greek or Russian. His accent drops more than a T-Mobile call in the mid '90s. Good, old Michael Biehn plays Lee, the displaced mob lieutenant trying to get back into Virgil's good graces. That, and he doesn't know the difference between a crow bar and a tire iron. In one scene, he threatens to kill Raina with what he calls a crow bar, but is obviously a tire iron. Hilarity ensues in the subsequent scene.

The actual star of the movie is Paul Sloan as Beck, a crooked cop helping Virgil find Raina, because even though she stabbed him and cut him Godfather-Part-II-style, he still loves her. Sloan also wrote the movie, which is why it's not surprising that he gets a lot of screen time despite not being necessarily integral to the story. Plus he wrote himself a scene where he makes out with Kelly Hu.

The movie is filled with snappy dialog ("Don't take this the wrong way, but you're pretty hot for a crack whore."), gratuitous violence (belt sanding things not meant to be belt sanded), irrelevant car chases, pseudo-Japanese geisha martial arts dinner theater, and Kelly Hu as both eye candy and eye vomit, literally.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention something about the cover. The movie is called "Stiletto." Raina uses a stiletto to kill people, though not exclusively. So why is it that she appears on the one shot holding two pistols John-Woo-style? I rest my case. This movie is so bad-ass, it refuses to make sense.

My shitty movie rating: 9 turds out of 10. Life-altering!

Additional notes: The director, Nick Vallelonga, has also done some acting. He has appeared, uncredited of course, in "The Godfather," "Splash," "Prizzi's Honor," and "Goodfellas." He's also appeared in a certain show, in an episode I've seen recently ... "Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction." He was the baker who saw Satan in the oven!

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