• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Tamara

TITLE: Tamara

YEAR: 2005

GENRE: Horror

As I have complained about before, as a whole most teen horror films are a complete bastardization of the horror genre. One takes out the violence, adult situations, and bloodshed and one has a shadow of the film genre it represents. Not all of these teeny-bopper horror films are terrible though, and as I mentioned before some of them can be even good. Tamara is one of those films that have been able to overcome the limitations of its genre and create an acceptable end product that is reasonably enjoyable to watch.

Tamara Green (played by Jenna Dewan) is a nerdy, fairly unattractive high school girl with awkward social skills, no friends, and an obsession with witchcraft. She also has a bizarre family life with a tinkering father who likes to watch her undress through the keyhole in her bedroom door. Her only perceived friend and crush is Mr. Natolly (Matthew Marsden), her English teacher and advisor to the school’s newspaper. Tamara writes an editorial that uncovers a scandal on the school’s football team, and a few star players as a result are suspended from the team. The players concoct a plan for revenge, which goes horribly wrong and Tamara ends up getting killed. The teens decide it is a good idea to cover up the murder by burying Tamara’s body. The next day, a much hotter looking Tamara returns to school to the surprise of the jocks. However, the world of the athletes is about to get much worse as the resurrected Tamara has returned from the grave for two unresolved issues: revenge on the jocks and to make it with Mr. Natolly.

Although there really is not a lot special about this production, Tamara does take its limitations and stretches them to its best potential. The storyline written by Jeffrey Reddick (the writer and creator of the very creative Final Destination franchise) gives us enough creative situations within Tamara to raise this production above the usual teeny bopper horror swill. The “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” death scene is especially creative and fairly cringe-worthy especially for a PG-13 production. The cat and mouse chase scene through an industrial kitchen was also effective and much better than most PG-13 horror fare. The acting was nothing special and even a bit catty at times, but the thespians are acceptable especially Dewan who plays the hot and not-so-hot title character in a professional manner.

I should have known that Tamara would be an acceptable production when the crowd at the New York Horror Film Festival gave its inaugural screening a standing ovation. To say that Tamara does not suck is about as good of a compliment that can be given to a modern PG-13 horror flick. Tamara is actually a fairly fun production that gives an acceptable amount of thrills and cute girls to boot. Nobody will place Tamara on a list of the best horror films of the last dozen or so years, but it also does not deserve to be on a list of the worst ten either. Tamara is not a spectacular horror production, but it certainly is acceptable in its production, script, and impact value. Worth a viewing, and much better than most of the PG-13 horror fare that 8-14 year old kids are unfortunately forced to watch in the suburban multiplexes.

* * *

–Mark

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