• 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.

Cherry 2000

TITLE: Cherry 2000

YEAR: 1987

GENRE: Science Fiction

Just about everybody in Hollywood starts in low-grade trash and many of the biggest names distance themselves from early roles that are light years away from their more relevant and famous appearances. It is pretty safe to say that Angelina Jolie no longer brags about her role in Cyborg 2 and it is a sure thing that Billy Bob Thornton probably does not list his role in Chopper Chicks in Zombietown as one of his crowning achievements. Despite this, distributors of low-grade cinema will use these stars on the front covers of DVD’s to increase their sales to the die-hard fans of the celebrities that have moved on from B-grade films to the big time. Lolita and Bonfire of the Vanities star Melanie Griffith has been public in saying that her least favorite role was one of her earlier works, the B-grade post-apocalyptic film Cherry 2000. It is true thatGriffith’s mantle is empty from her appearance in Cherry 2000, but the film is an acceptable and remotely entertaining escapist science fiction flick.

In the near future radiation fallout has destroyed most of society to the point where limited cultural centers exist and the rest of the world is a post-apocalyptic wasteland. High end recycling business mogul Sam Treadwell (played by David Andrews) is living the high life in the normal world to the point where he has a real life female looking android named Cherry (Pamela Gidley) who handles all wifely duties including housekeeping, cooking, and even sex on demand. Only the rich have female robots, since sexual relations between humans are dangerous, require negotiated contracts, and can even cost a man his entire fortune if the man does not perform to the contractual obligations. Cherry ends up shorting out during a lovemaking session and Sam finds out that he must venture out into the wasteland that used to be Las Vegas in order to find an appropriate replacement. Desperate to replace his synthetic significant other Sam hires mercenary and tracker Edith “E” Johnson (Griffith) to lead him to Vegas. Edith leads Sam into the wasteland and must venture into the land of wasteland overlord Lester (Tim Thomason) and his band of psychotic degenerates to find a replacement for Cherry. One surprising issues does arise for Sam: he actually becomes enamored with his tracker contractor and has romantic interest in the rough and tumble mercenary.

Cherry 2000 is a fairly typical wasteland film playing on the success of The Road Warrior, but it does have a few humorous moments that make the movie enjoyable and a step above the crowd. The scene where Lester forces another tracker to put a paper bag with a target drawn on at a dinner and Lester hits the bulls-eye with an arrow is strange enough, but when the party breaks into the hokey pokey shortly afterwards it brings the weirdness to a new level. Sam and Edith’s stop at a combination gas station and brothel was comical and a strangely perfect fit for a film about the end of society. In addition, Sam’s reaction to eating rattlesnake out of a toaster oven was also amusing especially considering how Edith considers it as normal as a Big Mac at McDonald’s. Also humorous was how the bad guys would shoot thousands of rounds using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades without hitting the broad side of a skyscraper while every shotGriffithfired would kill somebody. Edith’s crossing a dam using only a rope and a crane was creative and would have fit well in a “MacGyver” episode. The production was pretty tight for a 1980’s B-movie and Cherry 2000 was surprisingly well made for a low budget film of that timeframe. One negative note that must be mentioned: the DVD art is deceiving as nobody gets as naked as the painting of Griffith on this cover, although she does fire a bunch of big guns.

Cherry 2000 was originally filmed in 1985 but was shelved for an unknown reason by Orion Pictures until late 1987 when Griffith was receiving significant press for her role in Working Girl and the film makers capitalized on her new found star power. The soundtrack has also been raved by fans and an early CD copy once sold for a whopping $2500 on eBay although this reviewer does not understand the appeal. Despite this Cherry 2000 is a fairly standard low budget end of the world film of the time yet does stand out because of the adventurous, lighter element of the finished product. Cherry 2000 is a fun way to waste a Saturday afternoon with a favorite adult beverage.

* * * 1/2

–Mark

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