REVIEW: REDLINE (2007)

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CAST

Nathan Phillips (Snakes on A Plane)
Nadia Bjorlin (Days of Our Lives)
Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother)
Angus Macfadyen (Braveheart)
Tim Matheson (The West Wing)
Jesse Johnson (Chapman)
Barbara Niven (The Rat Pack)
Ernie Reyes, Jr (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes II)

00277e6fNatasha Martin is a beautiful auto mechanic and aspiring musician who is invited to join music producer Infamous aboard his private jet en route to Las Vegas in appreciation of her services on his Ford GT. She is also a highly skilled race car driver, but is sometimes haunted by memories of her father’s death at a NASCAR race many years ago. Meanwhile, on another side of town, Carlo has just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. He meets up with his brother Jason before heading to Vegas themselves. Carlo is not happy that Jason is living with their mob boss uncle Michael D’Orazio, whom he always sees as the cause of their family’s destruction. They are unaware that Michael has been running an unsuccessful counterfeiting ring and owes millions of dollars to another syndicate led by the “Godfather”.007RDL_Nadia_Bjorlin_050On the outskirts of Vegas, a high-stakes race event is being held, with Michael, Infamous, Hollywood producer Jerry Brecken and Chinese businessman Marcus Cheng placing their bets over who has the better car. When Infamous’ driver fakes an ankle injury, Natasha becomes Infamous’ driver in exchange for $300,000 and a recording contract. However, she is unaware that Infamous has to place her on his wager, as Michael – who has been obsessed with her since watching her band perform on stage earlier – has placed four platinum bars at stake. At the same time, Brecken wagers his brand-new Enzo Ferrari on Natasha. Natasha (driving a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren) takes on Jason (driving a Lamborghini Diablo). As they approach the finish line, Natasha is several car lengths ahead of Jason, but he quickly zips past her by engaging the onboard nitrous system. Unfortunately, because of the excessive speed, the Diablo loses downforce, flies off the ground and flips in mid-air before crashing upside down at the finish line. Attempting to avoid the falling Diablo, Natasha crashes on a barrier and is knocked unconscious. Before Carlo can reach Jason to rescue him, the Diablo bursts into flames, killing his brother instantly. Michael’s henchmen, dressed as paramedics, place Natasha in an ambulance and speed off.960Natasha wakes up in Michael’s mansion, realizing that she is now his property. Meanwhile, Carlo meets up with an old military friend and picks up some ammunition and gear before riding a Ducati 999 with the intent to kill Michael. After breaking into Michael’s mansion, Carlo and Natasha bump into each other and leave the complex. This prompts Michael to have his henchmen kidnap her mother and convince her to drive for him at the next race at Red Rock Canyon in Nevada. Meanwhile, after receiving an ultimatum by the Godfather to pay him $80 million following a botched attempt at giving him counterfeit bills, Michael raises his funds for the upcoming race by borrowing money from the banks using his mansion as collateral. In the final race, Michael, Brecken, Infamous and Cheng place their bets for a combined purse of $100 million. Infamous and Cheng are eliminated from the race after their cars (an SLR and a Porsche Carrera GT, respectively) are involved in separate crashes. During the race, Natasha (driving Michael’s Enzo) receives a phone call from Carlo notifying her that he has rescued her mother. While she is several car lengths ahead of Brecken’s Saleen S7 Twin Turbo, she stops the Enzo an inch away from the finish line and gives the S7 the win, costing Michael the race.308719Redline_2007_PL_DVDRiP_XViD_www_mhteam_eu4With no money left, Michael is given a last ride from the Godfather’s henchmen. As a way of thanking Natasha for handing his driver the victory, Brecken gives her a recording contract (which shortly gives her a gold record and lands her on the cover of Variety), an Enzo and a Koenigsegg CCX. The film ends with Natasha (in the Koenigsegg) and Carlo (in the Enzo) racing each other before being chased by the police on the freeway.soemer3Nadia Bjorlin, Nathan Phillips and Eddie Griffin are all great in their roles, even though their characters are little more than stereotypes. The plot does have predictable twists, but ultimately, redlineis just good, harmless, mindless fun. I mean, you can’t expect every movie that comes out to be Oscar material.

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REVIEW: PICKING UP THE PIECES

CAST

Woody Allen (New York Stories)
David Schwimmer (Nothing But The Truth)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Maria Grazia Cucinotta (The World is Not Enough)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)
Sharon Stone (Catwoman)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Angélica Aragón (Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights)
Andy Dick (Less Than Perfect)
Alfonso Arau (Coco)
Mía Maestro (Savages)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Fran Drescher (The Nanny)
Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother)
Kathy Kinney (Lois & Clark)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
Jon Huertas (Castle)

picking-up-the-pieces-maria-grazia-cucinotta-david-1-rct415x260uWoody Allen plays Tex, a kosher butcher. Sharon Stone plays his unfaithful wife Candy. Tex catches Candy in the act and in a fit of rage he kills her. To conceal his crime he cuts up her body and buries it in the desert in New Mexico. However, when her hand surfaces, a blind woman trips over it and it restores her sight. The hand is then considered to be the “hand of the Virgin.” Despite the church’s fallen priest objecting, the ambitious mayor of the town creates an international three-ring circus of miracle-seekers, TV crews, and born-again local prostitutes all interested in the hand. All of this goes on while Tex is desperately trying to recover the hand before the sheriff finds it and uses it as evidence against him. Screen-Shot-2014-08-07-at-10_45_10-pm-640x319A very strange, BUT movie but good! I thought it was humorous but you must like dry humor to enjoy this movie. very unrealistic and that’s what makes it good. you can sit back, watch a dumb movie and laugh!!entertaining, great cast of characters

REVIEW: SCARY MOVIE 3

CAST

Anna Faris (Mom)
Regina Hall (Love & Basketball)
Simon Rex (Superhero Movie)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Leslie Nielsen (The Naked Gun)
Queen Latifah (Bringing Down The House)
Anthony Anderson (Transformers)
Kevin Hart (Death at a Funeral)
Camryn Manheim (Eraser)
George Carlin (Dogma)
Eddie Griffin (The New Guy)
Pamela Anderson (Scooby-Doo)
Jenny McCarthy (Scream 3)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Ajay Naidu (Office Space)
Tom Kenny (The Batman)

Katie (Jenny McCarthy) and Becky (Pamela Anderson) are talking about a tape, which Katie thinks is a sex tape, but Becky refers to a cursed tape (The Ring). After several odd occurrences, they die. In a farm outside Washington, D.C., widowed farmer and former reverend Tom Logan (Charlie Sheen) and his clumsy younger brother George (Simon Rex) discover a crop circle, saying “Attack Here!” .Meanwhile, Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), now a blonde news reporter, announces the crop circles on the news. She then goes to pick up her paranormally endowed nephew Cody (Drew Mikuska) from school, where her best friend Brenda Meeks (Regina Hall) is his teacher. George Logan arrives to pick up his niece Sue, Tom’s daughter, who is in the same class. Cindy falls in love with George, who invites her and Brenda to a rap-battle with his rapper friends Mahalik (Anthony Anderson) and CJ (Kevin Hart) (8 Mile). George competes and proves to be actually quite talented, but due to unintentional racist blunders, he’s thrown out.Later, Brenda asks Cindy to keep her company, since she watched the cursed videotape. After playing several pranks on Cindy (fake seizures, burning hand, etc.), she gets the rest of the popcorn in the lounge, when the TV turns on. Brenda fails to turn it off. Tabitha (Marny Eng) climbs out of the well and the TV, Brenda gets into a fight with Tabitha. Tabitha ends up killing Brenda, since Cindy is ignoring the ruckus. George receives a phone call about the death, and Tom meets with Sayaman, who apologizes for the accident involving himself and Tom’s wife Annie (Denise Richards).During Brenda’s wake, George and Mahalik, due to a misunderstanding, wreak havoc on Brenda’s corpse in an unsuccessful attempt to revive her, only to blow up her body and end up getting kicked out of the house. Later, Cindy decides to watch the tape, finding it odd. She then gets a phone call, saying she’ll die in a week. She calls George, CJ and Mahalik for help. CJ offers that his Aunt Shaneequa might be able to help. Aunt Shaneequa (Queen Latifah), the Matrix Oracle, and her husband Orpheus (Eddie Griffin) agree to watch the tape. Shaneequa discovers the hidden image of a lighthouse, and gets into a fight with Tabitha’s mother. Shaneequa tells Cindy to find the lighthouse to break the curse. When Cindy returns home, she finds Cody watched the tape.Back at work, Cindy searches through pictures of lighthouses before finding the one from the tape. Desperate to save Cody, Cindy tries to warn everyone by entering a message into the news anchor’s teleprompter, but she is interrupted by her boss and a janitor who insults the manager on the teleprompter (which the anchorman blindly recites). The Logans hear the message and take it seriously since they encountered an alien disguised as Michael Jackson (Edward Moss), and President Baxter Harris (Leslie Nielsen), who personally visits the farm to investigate the crop circles. Cindy ventures to the lighthouse, where she encounters The Architect (George Carlin).The loquacious (and lecherous) old man explains Tabitha was his evil adopted daughter, whom his wife drowned in the farm’s well, but not before she imprinted her evil onto the tape. Unfortunately, he mistook the evil tape for a copy of Pootie Tang and returned it to Blockbuster instead, unleashing the curse. When Cindy asks about how this relates to the Aliens, the Architect speculates that Tabitha is summoning them to aid her in destroying the human race.Returning home, Cindy discovers her station has been broadcasting the evil tape for hours, and there have been various sightings of aliens around the world. Worse, Cody is missing. Cindy manages to track him back to the Logan farm, where he has taken refuge with George. Tom orders everybody into the basement for safety, as he, George and Mahalik go outside to fight off the extraterrestrials. The aliens (voiced by Tom Kenny) arrive but reveal they are friendly and have come to stop Tabitha, since they accidentally watched the tape on a broadcast they had intercepted, thinking it was Pootie Tang. In the basement, Cindy realizes the farm’s cellar is what is seen on the tape and she finds the well where Tabitha was drowned under the cellar floor. Suddenly, Tabitha appears behind her. A short fight ensues, during which Tabitha takes Cody hostage. Cindy and George appeal to her, offering her a place in their family. Tabitha appears to accept the offer, but then changes back to her monstrous form and advances to Cindy and the others, only to be accidentally knocked back into the well by President Harris. The aliens leave in peace, and Cindy and George get married. Leaving for their honeymoon, they realize they forget to take Cody with them. At first, Cody is about to get hit by Cindy’s car in an intersection, but she put the brakes this time to prevent it from happening, much to Cody’s relief. Unfortunately, causing Cody to be hit by another car passing through the intersection.Admittedly, the plot of this film is a bit of a shambles, and as a film it lacks the consistency of Hot Shots and the Naked Gun films. However, the film is very funny, with some great visual gags and bad taste comedy.

REVIEW: ARMAGEDDON (1998)

CAST
Bruce Willis (Cop Out)
Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Liv Tyler (The Incredible Hulk)
Will Patrton (Romeo Is Bleeding)
Steve Buscemi (Ghost World
William Fichtner (The Dark Knight)
Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Finder)
Peter Stormare (The Brothers Grimm)
Jessica Steen (Mutant X)
Keith David (The Cape)
Jason Isaacs (Resident Evil)
Eddie Griffin (The New Guy)
Stanley Anderson (Spider-Man)
Udo Kier (Blade)
Judith Hoag (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Shawnee Smith (Anger Management)
A massive meteor shower destroys the orbiting Space Shuttle Atlantis and bombards a swath of land from the U.S. East Coast from South Carolina through Finland. NASA discovers that a rogue asteroid the size of Texas passed through the asteroid belt and pushed forward a large amount of space debris. The asteroid will collide with Earth in 18 days, causing an extinction event that will even wipe out bacteria. NASA scientists, led by Dan Truman, plan to trigger a nuclear detonation 800 feet (240 m) inside the asteroid to split it in two, driving the pieces apart so both will fly past the Earth. NASA contacts Harry Stamper, considered the best deep-sea oil driller in the world, for assistance. Harry travels to NASA with his daughter Grace, to keep her away from her new boyfriend and one of Harry’s drillers, A. J. Frost. Harry explains he will need his team, including A. J., to carry out the mission. They agree to help, but only after their list of unusual rewards and demands are met.
NASA plans to launch two shuttles, Freedom and Independence, to increase the chances of success; the shuttles will refill with liquid oxygen from the Russian space station Mir before making a slingshot maneuver around the Moon to approach the asteroid from behind. NASA puts Harry and his crew through a short and rigorous astronaut training program, while Harry and his team re-outfit the mobile drillers, “Armadillos”, for the job. The destruction of Shanghai by an asteroid fragment forces NASA to reveal the asteroid’s existence, as well as their plan. The shuttles are launched and arrive at Mir, where its sole cosmonaut Lev helps with refueling. A major fire breaks out during the fueling process, forcing the crews, including Lev, to evacuate in the shuttles before Mir explodes. The shuttles perform the slingshot around the moon, but approaching the asteroid, the Independence’s engines are destroyed by trailing debris, and it crashes on the asteroid. Grace, aware A.J. was aboard the Independence, is traumatized by this news. Unknown to the others, A.J., Lev, and “Bear” (another of Harry’s crew) survive the impact and head towards the Freedom target site in their Armadillo.
Meanwhile, Freedom safely lands on the asteroid, but overshoots the target zone, landing on a much harder metallic field than planned, and their drilling quickly falls behind schedule; in desperation, the military initiates “Secondary Protocol” to remotely detonate the nuclear weapon on the asteroid’s surface, despite Truman and Harry’s insistence that it would be ineffective. Truman delays the military, while Harry convinces the shuttle commander to disarm the remote trigger. Harry’s crew continues to work, but in their haste, they accidentally hit a gas pocket, blowing their Armadillo into space. As the world learns of the mission’s apparent failure, another asteroid fragment devastates Paris.
All seems lost until the arrival of the Independence’s Armadillo. With A.J. at the controls, they reach the required depth for the bomb. However, flying debris from the asteroid damages the triggering device, requiring someone to stay behind to manually detonate the bomb. The crew draw straws, and A.J. is selected. As he and Harry exit the airlock, Harry rips off A.J.’s air hose and shoves him back inside, telling him that he was the son Harry never had, and he would be proud to have A.J. marry Grace. Harry prepares to detonate the bomb and contacts Grace to bid his final farewell. After some last minute difficulties involving both the shuttle engines and the detonator, the Freedom moves to a safe distance and Harry manages to press the button at the last minute, while experiencing flashbacks of happy times in his last moments as the bomb successfully splits the asteroid, avoiding the collision with Earth. Freedom lands, and the surviving crew are treated as heroes. A.J. and Grace get married, with photos of Harry and the other lost crew members present.

This movie is pure escapism fun, which has its place in my collection, movies like Independence Day and Armageddon are great fun to watch and as a bonus the characters weren’t bad the script was reasonable and action was indeed plentiful.

REVIEW: DATE MOVIE

CAST
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
Adam Campbell (Epic Movie)
Sophie Monk (Click)
Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother)
Meera Simhan (Iron Man)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls)
Marie Matiko (Xena)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie 4)
Tony Cox (Bad Santa)
Tom Lenk (Buffy)
Josh Meyers (That 70s Show)
Julia Jones (Alyson Hannigan) is an obese woman, who dreams of marrying Napoleon Dynamite (Josh Meyers), but even in her dreams she is rejected. Writing in her diary, she thinks she will never find her true love. Julia goes outside and dances to impress men on the streets, but is unsuccessful. Julia goes to work at her father Frank’s (Eddie Griffin) Greek diner. There she meets Grant Fockyerdoder, with whom she forms an instant attraction. When Frank yells at Julia to get an order, she turns to respond and hits Grant over the head with the coffee pot she is holding, knocking him to the floor. She turns around only to find his table is suddenly empty and figures he ran away. Julia wants help and goes to see a love therapist, Hitch, who rejects her at first but reluctantly agrees to help her. Hitch takes her to a garage where she gets “pimped out” and made slimmer.She earns a spot on a reality television dating show called The Extreme Bachelor, the bachelor turning out to be Grant, the man she met in the diner. Host Ty Andrews (Scott Speedman) introduces Grant, who greets all the women and is asked to eliminate the losers, which he does by shooting them one by one. Julia is the last woman standing and is rewarded with dinner for two at a restaurant called “A Restaurant”. After their meal, Julia and Grant head back to her apartment, where they have sex. Julia takes Grant to meet her parents.
Later, Grant takes Julia to Tiffany & Co., where they turn on the lights to reveal the salespeople ready to let her pick whatever she wants. Grant then confesses he loves her and proposes to her. Julia happily says yes. Julia and Grant go to a wedding planner named Jell-O (Valery Ortiz) who has a large butt. She suggests they go to taco butt. When they decline she gets annoyed. When Grant says he has a best man she shows them what she booked for the entertainment which she uses her butt to knock over her desk and rips off her clothes to reveal a gold liquid spandex tight suit. She shows off her moves and then twerked and backs up with her giant butt and crushes and twerk on their faces crushing and suffocating them. Andy helps Julia shop for her wedding dress. At the dress store, Julia hits her head on a power box and finds that she can read people’s thoughts. Julia finds from reading Andy’s mind that she wants to get back together with Grant and plans to split the two of them up. Julia and Andy fight each other, Kill Bill-style.
 She cannot forgive Grant, and agrees to marry Nicky. Once at the altar with Nicky, Julia is regretting it and has flashbacks about her and Grant. They get back together and get married, with Hitch officiating. Andy and Nicky meet at the wedding, and fall in love. Meanwhile, Grant and Julia leave in a horse and carriage. Julia also gets a present from her mother-in-law: a vaginal thermometer which apparently has been in their family for generations and is regarded as good luck when it is not washed.
On their honeymoon, Grant and Julia go to Kong Island and film a woman, Anne (Carmen Electra), tied to two pieces of wood. King Kong comes on and rips off her dress, leaving her clad in a leopard print bikini. Kong then gropes her, she says “I like hairy guys” and Kong roars and flattens her.
This movie funny from start to finish, A good funny family movie for all

REVIEW: UNDERCOVER BROTHER

CAST
Eddie Griffin (The New Guy)
Chris Kattan (House on Haunted Hill)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Aunjanue Ellis (Sleepy Hollow)
Dave Chappelle (Half Baked)
Chi McBride (Human Target)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Gary Anthony Williams (The Internship)
Billy Dee Williams (Batman 1989)
Jack Noseworthy (Surrogates)
J.D. Hall (Fatal Attraction)
Shauna MacDonald (Reign)
The film begins with a back story of how black culture’s popularity with the American public began to decline in the 1980s, when style and originality began to lose appeal in the public eye due to the persistent efforts of “The Man” (Robert Trumbull), a powerful Caucasian man in control of a secret organization that seeks to undermine the African-American community as well as the cultures of other minorities. The Man is infuriated that Gen. Warren Boutwell (Billy Dee Williams), a U.S. Army general based on Colin Powell, is considering running for president, and his lackey Mr. Feather (Chris Kattan) informs him of a mind control drug which The Man uses to make Boutwell abort his plans and instead open a fried chicken franchise. The B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D., a secret organization that battles The Man’s influence, determines The Man is behind Boutwell’s change of heart, and recruits a freelance agent named Undercover Brother (Eddie Griffin) to aid them.
Undercover Brother joins B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. which is made up of the Chief (Chi McBride), Conspiracy Brother (Dave Chappelle), Smart Brother (Gary Anthony Williams), Sistah Girl (Aunjanue Ellis), and Lance (Neil Patrick Harris), an intern who is the only white man in the organization due to affirmative action. Undercover Brother goes undercover as a new employee at a cigarette company owned by The Man, where Mr. Feather discovers his identity. He deploys a secret weapon that he calls “Black Man’s Kryptonite”, an attractive assassin named White She-Devil (Denise Richards). Posing as another new employee, she and Undercover Brother start dating, and she begins to make him do stereotypical “white” things, such as buying corduroy and khaki clothes, singing karaoke, and adopting a silly set of euphemisms. Meanwhile, The Man distributes his mind control drug through Boutwell’s fried chicken, infecting other black celebrities and making them act white.
Concerned with Undercover Brother’s unusual behavior, Sistah Girl attacks White She-Devil and convinces Undercover Brother to return to the fight. White-She-Devil turns on her own henchmen to save the two, revealing she has fallen in love with Undercover Brother. They return to the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D., where Smart Brother questions White She-Devil about The Man and Lance is officially made part of the group when he declares his desire to abolish bigotry after watching Roots. The group heads to an awards gala after they find out that James Brown is The Man’s next target. Mr. Feather kidnaps Brown and takes him to The Man’s base. B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. secures an antidote for the mind control drug and follows via a transmitter placed on Brown, infiltrating the base posing as a cleaning crew, to rescue Brown and a mysterious “Candidate” that The Man plans to use to land a crushing blow to black culture.
Mr. Feather prepares to administer the drug to Brown and present him as a trophy to The Man, and Brown reveals himself as Undercover Brother in disguise. Mr. Feather sends his henchmen after B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D., who discover the Candidate is Boutwell, and is ordered by Mr. Feather to kill Undercover Brother. In the fighting, Conspiracy Brother accidentally begins the building’s self-destruct sequence. The B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. cures Boutwell and evacuate him from the building while Undercover Brother chases Mr. Feather to the roof. The Man’s helicopter circles overhead and leaves, The Man abandoning Mr. Feather for failing him. Mr. Feather jumps onto the helicopter’s landing gear as it flies away, and Undercover Brother uses his afro picks to impale Mr. Feather in the buttocks, causing him to fall into the ocean, where he is eaten by a shark. However, The Man escapes. Undercover Brother survives the building’s self-destruct by leaping off the building and using his wide pants legs as parachutes. He and Sistah Girl kiss and leave the island, the world at peace
Neil Patrick Harris is the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D.’s token white guy  and he is extremely funny. This isn’t Denise Richards’ finest performance by a long shot. Basically, everybody is funny in this movie especially Undercover Brother, Smart Brother and Conspiracy Brother. It’s a fun movie to watch.

REVIEW: THE MOD SQUAD (1999)

CAST

Claire Danes (Stardust)
Omar Epps (Scream 2)
Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Dennis Farina (Get Shorty)
Josh Brolin (Men In Black 3)
Steve Harris (The Rock)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In The Woods)
Michael O’Neill (Bates Motel)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Michael Lerner (Elf)
Monet Mazur (Blow)
Mariah O’Brien (Halloween 6)
Eddie Girffin (The New Guy)

The Mod Squad has an intriguing cast, a director who knows how to use his camera and a lot of sly humor. Shame about the story. When you see this many of the right elements in a lame movie, you wonder how close they came to making a better one. The director, Scott Silver, co-wrote the script himself, and has to take some of the blame: This is a classy production and deserves better.
The premise is from the old TV series. Three young screw-ups are interrupted at the beginning of criminal careers, and recruited by a police captain to form an undercover squad. Their assignment: Infiltrate a club where prostitution and drug-dealing seem to be happening. The mod squad doesn’t carry guns (officially, anyway), doesn’t have badges, and I’m not sure if they can make arrests; maybe they’re more like high-level snitches.The members are described by a Rod Serling-type voice over the opening credits. Julie (Claire Danes) was “a runaway–an addict at 18.” Pete (Giovanni Ribisi) “went straight from Beverly Hills to County Jail.” Linc (Omar Epps) “doesn’t blame his crimes on anything.” (He’s black, and so the implication, I guess, is that this is worthy of comment.) In the good-looking opening sequence, filmed by Ellen Kuras, they’re intercut with dancers at a club, get into a fight, and then find themselves being debriefed and lectured by Capt. Greer (Dennis Farina), who orders them to stand up when they talk to him, quit sitting on his desk, etc. Of course their bad manners are a curtain-raiser to bravery, heroism and astonishing crime-fighting skills. The skills, alas, are astonishing because they’re so bush league. The main investigative technique in this movie consists of sneaking up on people and eavesdropping while they explain the entire plot and give away all the secrets. Julie falls for a former lover, follows him to a rendezvous with a drug kingpin (Michael Lerner) and overhears choice nuggets of conversation (“None of them have any idea I know they’re cops!”). Then she follows him home and hides in his closet while the faithless louse sleeps with another woman.

Pete, meanwhile, is even more clever. He creeps up on a hideout and hides behind a wall while tape-recording a full confession. It goes without saying his tape will later be played over a loudspeaker in order to incriminate the bad guys. He uses one of those little $29 microcassette recorders–you know, the kind that can record with perfect fidelity at 20 yards outdoors on a windy day.As the mod squaders were creeping around, eavesdropping and peeping through windows, I grew restless: This is the kind of stuff they rewrote the Nancy Drew books to get rid of. Too bad, because I liked the pure acting touches that the cast brought to their roles. Ribisi (from “Friends,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Other Sister”) has a kind of poker-faced put-upon look that’s appealing, especially when he gets beat up and goes back to Beverly Hills and his dad chortles heartily at the claim that his kid is now a cop. Danes (“William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet”) has a quick intelligence that almost but not quite sells the dumb stuff they make her do. Epps (“Scream 2,” “Higher Learning”) is the dominant member of the squad, who tries to protect the others from their insane risk-taking.And there’s a small but indispensable supporting role by Michael Lerner as the crewcut evil kingpin, who intimidates his enemies by dancing with them (“I’m not a fairy–I just like to dance”). He delivers his dialogue indirectly, as an ironic commentary on the horrible things he always seems about to do. So all of this is a good start, but the screenplay just doesn’t provide the foundation. Consider Billy, the Josh Brolin character, who is Julie’s once and future boyfriend. We know from the first moment we see him that he’s no good. We’re tipped off by how suddenly Julie goes for him; if the point were romance, the movie would let them take longer, but since the point is for her to be deceived, she has to rush in heedlessly. No girl meets a guy who dumped her and broke her heart, and immediately drags him into a toilet stall for sex. Especially not now that she’s clean and sober, as Julie is (although the movie repeats the tiresome cliche that all recovering alcoholics immediately turn to drink after a setback–preferably swigging from a fifth). What I’d love to know is how the screenplay got green-lighted. This is a top-drawer film with a decent budget and lots of care about the production values. The cast is talented and well-chosen. The movie is even aware of potential cliches.