DVD Armed and Deadly

DVD Armed and Deadly
DVD Armed and Deadly

Run time: 100 min
Rating: 2.4
Genres: Drama | Mystery | Thriller
Director: Andrzej Mrotek
Writers: Alan Cameron Roberts, Alan Cameron Roberts
Stars: Lisa Varga, Audrey Landers, Diane Ford
Janis McKenzie, is a 36 year old photographer in Sarasota. Janis witnessed her twin brother kill their parents. Twenty years later, she waits for him to come to kill her for her testimony. Trained in martial arts, she is ready. All Janis wants is CLOSURE. Written by Anonymous
Country: USA


  1. I caught this film at the 2010 Sarasota film festival. While watching, I definitely got the sense that I was looking at an unfinished film, performed by terrible actors, and based on the first draft of a script that tries so hard to jam in all the clichés of the genre that it leaves no room for anything else.

    To start off with, the film LOOKS bad. We were told that the film was shot on an expensive digital video camera designed to give it a more film-like look. That may be, but the end result was something that looked nothing at all like a Hollywood movie… heck I've seen student films that look more like a movie than this. Maybe it was the bad lighting, maybe it was the frame-rate, but something made it look like the film was shot on an expensive home video camera. This immediately gave the sense that we were watching actors, not characters.

    The acting certainly didn't help with that feeling. It was like watching kids reciting lines. I say with no hyperbole that there isn't a single performance in the film that even approached good acting. Right from the beginning we're treated to one actor that is so bad that you cringe at his every line. You welcome the fact that he dies so early in the film, but regret that everybody else sticks around for the next 90 minutes. I say this not too pick on them. It could very well be the fault of the director, or more likely the writer.

    Half of bad acting is bad writing, and this script stands in a category of its own. It's clear that no thought whatsoever was put into characters. Early on, the main character explains that she was an English major… which goes a long way toward explaining why she's a… photographer. The real reason she was a photographer is so that they could visit all the "cool" places in Sarasota in long scenes that did little to develop the characters or advance the plot. Why were these scenes in there? Because Sarasota is cool I guess. Don't you want to see Sarasota?

    The dialogue is also cringe-worthy, clunky, and forced. This may be in part due to the bad acting, but it's difficult to picture even Tom Hanks delivering some of these lines convincingly. Later in the film, the protagonist meets a middle-aged white guy that speaks perfect English, but we're told that he's actually an Arab terrorist that had reconstructive surgery… uh huh. There's suspension of disbelief, there's checking your brains at the door, and then there's this movie.

    A bad movie can still be watchable if it's quickly paced, but this film just plods. We spend most of the film waiting for action and suspense that never really fully come, and when they do, our interests have long since disappeared. The fight and action sequences are so poorly directed that they wouldn't be any fun to watch anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter.

    This could have all been salvageable if they were going for a high camp factor, but it just took itself too seriously. In festivals, the audience usually tries to be polite about laughing at a bad film because the filmmakers are present, but by the end of my screening the audience couldn't hold it in any more. The first thing the director said in the Q and A was that he didn't know the film was a comedy, and mistakenly thought that the audience was laughing for good reasons. In many ways the film is reminiscent of Tommy Wiseau's cult hit The Room, but the pacing is too slow to excel to such levels of of accidental comedy. All the factors are in place however, and if they lose about 40 minutes off the run time, and spread the word-of- mouth, it might just be the next "The Room." As it stands however, the film is going to have no appeal whatsoever outside of Sarasota.

    The reason I felt the need to write this review is that I felt swindled into seeing it. In the film guide, it had a pretty interesting description, and the trailer does a great job of making it look watchable. In fact, there were four screenings which sold out! (although I doubt that would have happened if half the audience didn't work on or know somebody that worked on the film) I'm pretty open to films of all kinds, even amateur ones, but this one clearly had a budget that exceeded what you would expect from amateurs. Watching this was like watching money being fed to cows, and being processed into crap. Why didn't they hire a director with some experience? Pay someone to revamp the script? Or find actors that could give a convincing performance? I guess then they wouldn't be able to afford the fancy camera and superfluous helicopter shot. I write this review in hopes that I might prevent one person from making the same mistake I did… spending good money to waste 2 hours of their lives.

  2. One star is very generous for this train wreck. If only I could have accessed the -10 that it deserved. It began with an ill conceived idea, Directed by a new comer to films, acted by seemingly first day acting students, and probably shot on an IPhone (no wait… I seen some very good stuff shot on IPhones). Wow – thank god for fast forward as thats how I watched most of this inane juvenile attempt in a genre that is very forgiving in most categories.

    Characters – DOA, vacant and devoid of personality, intellect, charm, and in most cases and believability.

    Plot – What Plot??? An idea for a story is not a plot.

    Dialogue – On the nose, pathetic, devoid of subtext or any sincerity.

    Production – Watch a student film… they are at least trying.

    Save your time – watch a local ad by a Mom & Pop outfit,- the pain will be quick.

  3. Someone wrote, "Bravo!!! Bravo!!! Bravo!!!" Perhaps the person who wrote that was watching a tadpole race.

    At not much more than two minutes in there's the worst acting I've seen in years. Some guy playing a character named "Sergeant Carlyle" was desperately trying to put on some kind of weird accent, only he was making a complete dog's breakfast of it. Perhaps he was trying to sound like a Kiwi (New Zealander). Anyway, whatever accent it was, that scene sets the top bar for the rest of the actors in this boring tripe. Sadly, none of the large cast get close to doing any better.

    If you want to completely waste one hour and forty minutes of your life then this movie is for you. But mark my words; at three minutes in you'll be hoping that Corporal Janis McKenzie clambers aboard a military aircraft and jumps out from a great height… with a concrete parachute.

  4. There are movies where you find yourself trying to preserve your dignity or sanity by fast forwarding to escape the absurd plot, bad acting or ridiculous dialogue and then there are movies that are so so bad that skipping every ten minutes and then checking the storyline for a minute on the prayerful hope it was just a mistake and it's better than you thought. Well, it took less than five minutes into the movie to begin skipping and there was no relief.

    The story is about some well-endowed female model type military intelligence officer who happens to be in Kuwait in the 90s and suddenly does a double pistol Western shoot out with a bunch of well armed bad people one of whom survives and decides to come after her many years later when she's a civilian photographer in Florida. Stupid improbable storyline really shallow acting from actors with mostly little/no experience except a few TV series/movies. A lot of limited dialogue with read the teleprompter pauses where you wait for the next edited canned response. Cheap production with a really badly fabricated Arab hut with abandoned car in front – very stereotyped. Cheap echoing audio with production budget not allowing for subtitles.

Leave a Reply

Lost Password