Wednesday, August 18, 2010

HIGHT OCTANE: Brenda Starr

I have decided that I kinda don't like Brooke Shields. After watching a clip of her talking about her dream of designing her own fur coat this past year, I thought, "You know, I don't have to deal with her." But then I got it stuck in my mind that I wanted to watch SAHARA and that lead me to the darksided world that is BRENDA STARR.

First off, there is SO fucking much going on in this movie I don't know where to start, so I will TRY to start at the beginning. Brenda Starr is a famous girl reporter who gets herself into all sorts of adventures as she tries to investigate hot stories for her newspaper. One of the most famous comic strips of all time, Brenda Starr was ripe for the picking when it came to adapting it for the big screen. First filmed in 1945, then launched as a tv movie with hopes of getting turned into series, Brooke decided that she should have a crack at it. What director, Robert Ellis Miller and a team of four, count em four, writers came up with is a film that is even worst than THE NEXT BEST THING and that is HARD to do.

The movie starts off with a comic strip writer at his table penciling in Brenda Starr's comic strip adventures. High concept, but with the right attitude and script there is a chance is can be pulled off well. It isn't. Suddenly, we are thrust in the comic strip and we follow Brenda, donned in Bob Mackie designed outfits, solving crimes and breaking hearts. We even get a glimpse at her arch enemy, Libby "Lips" Lipscomb. Lips is played by the always wonderful Diana Scarwid and she camps the shit out of her role. Sadly, the director and writers think that her character should be a throw away character and she is sent packing off screen somewhere.

Suddenly, we are tossed back into the real world and the comic strip writer is yelling at Brenda Starr or at least a picture of her and then she starts talking to him. 33 minutes in the movie and Brenda Starr is a trip to hell. The writer gets sucked into the comic strip and is now in Brenda Starr world and has his own comic strip called The Adventures of Mike Randall. I don't know what the fuck is going on at this point. All I know is that i hate this movie so far. He is trying to find Brenda and get her to go into the real world so he can go back or something. He finally finds her and she hates him. She tells everyone around her that he is drawing her and how he yells at her and everyone just accepts it. CUT to the next scene and it isn't a subtle edit either. Very jarring. The movie becomes Horses on a Plane then it is off to the amazon river where the movie morphs into Fritzcarraldo, complete with mad genius, screaming at the cast.

There is some adventure about a formula that turns water into oil and Timothy Dalton shows up sporting a hot eye patch as a romantic love interest. She and Dalton and Mike Randall go all over the world in a mash up of real locations and shitty looking sets. Diana Scarwid shows up in the amazon to drive Brenda Starr crazy and fall in love with a hot pilot, but what is going on is any ones guess.

At an hour and 14 minutes, my brain just gave up and I found myself just staring at the movie waiting for it to be over. It didn't end and I was left thinking, "Whoa, Brooke didn't just get crazy, but she has been crazy for years!" A good A-ha moment.

The finale comes and it will snap you back into life. The entire cast has fallen out of planes and boats and are all floating around the Amazon river. Suddenly, Brenda Starr comes blazing down the river RIDING TWO CROCODILES LIKE SKIS!! I kid you not. I was so shocked I had to watch it again. And then just once more to make sure I hadn't fallen asleep on the couch and it didn't really happen. It did.

The movie finally comes to a screeching halt and ends. Mike Randall and Brenda Starr must say goodbye and it is suppose to be bittersweet, but I just ended up bitter. After it was over I felt used and torn apart inside. It seemed like there was so much to process, yet I felt empty and hollow. i roamed around my house trying to find answers to all the questions I had about Brenda Starr. The more I thought about it, the more I kept coming back to the same conclusion. Brooke Shield so so stunningly beautiful in this film, but if I ever met her I think I would look to Whitney Houston's wise wisdom and say, "KISS MY ASS!"


  1. Best review ever! My life just turned a corner, and I saw Brooke with a fur coat!

  2. Sure the movie was awful but Brooke Shields was just perfect for the part; she IS Brenda Starr.