Reel Noteworthy

Movies are kind of my thing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved going to the theater, watching them at home, and, as I got older, critiquing them with others.  While many people my age are going to clubs and bars, my friends and I go to the movies. When we make bets, the prize is a free movie ticket.

In fact, at the end of my first year of college, my friend and I decided to watch all the films on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Movies ” list. We only got halfway through — finals got in the way — but I was still exposed to some great pieces of work.

Hang on. Who am I to be talking to anybody about movies?

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Keith Carroll. I’m 20, a journalism major, and hail from Queens. My DVD collection numbers in the hundreds, and few things excite me more than good movie theater popcorn. I feel it is my duty, after having sat through so many movies, to share my favorite picks with the rest of the world. And that’s what I plan to do with this blog.

Most of the films I see fall in the range of mediocre to decent. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. It’s not very often that I will declare a movie “great” — I think the most recent film to earn that honor was Inception. It’s also rare that I will say a movie completely sucks, although The Social Network came pretty close.

As strange as it may seem, my favorite type of movie is the one that is so bad, so far away from its original point, that it becomes good. Awesomely bad, one might say. I’m so entertained by these movies that I can’t help but fall in love with them.

One such film is 2005’s Tamara. It stars Jenna Dewan, of Step Up fame, as the title character, and is one of the most absurd movies I have ever seen. I. Love. It.

Overall, Tamara is pretty unoriginal. It borrows ideas from other movies, combines them, and provides 90 minutes of lunacy. The best way to describe it would be Carrie meets I Know What You Did Last Summer meets Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.

The movie follows the story of a mousy, unattractive high school girl named Tamara who dabbles in witchcraft. After a prank against her goes wrong, Tamara is killed, and her tormentors decide to bury the body and never speak of it again. Of course, things don’t go according to plan, and Tamara returns to school the following Monday looking nothing short of spectacular. Now a full-fledged sorceress, she uses her powers to enact her revenge, all the while trying to win the love of her English teacher, played by Matthew Marsden.

I’m sure director Jeremy Haft was trying to make a serious horror movie, something that would really scare the audience. It does get fairly graphic at times, but with campy performances from just about the entire cast, a recycled plot line, and dialogue that includes the gem “Your fates are bound together” no fewer than three times, it’s impossible not to laugh. The climax takes place in a hospital seemingly devoid of personnel, giving the characters free reign to run around aimlessly. This is fantastic stuff.

Halloween has just passed. If you want to get into the spirit of things without actually being scared, Tamara is your best bet.

Watch the trailer.

Keith Carroll

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Imagine being a retail worker that oversaw people panic-buying items in a rude frenzy at the onset of the pandemic. Listen to Diana Mirakaj’s podcast, linked below, to hear her experience working in a @stopandshop in the COVID era. https://bit.ly/36S8gul

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