Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #8: Remote Paradise (dir by Michael Feifer)


(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR!  It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet.  So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR!  She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by Thanksgiving, November 24th!  Will she make it?  Keep checking the site to find out!)

remote-paradise

I recorded Remote Paradise off of the Lifetime Movie Network on October 30th.  As is often the case with Lifetime movies, Remote Paradise was actually produced under a different title: Dark Paradise.  I’m not sure why, exactly, Lifetime decided that Remote was somehow more appealing than Dark.  But regardless, Paradise is Paradise, right?

Anyway, as this film started, I thought I might be able to relate to its story.  I say this despite the fact that, in the starring role, poor Boti Bliss was occasionally forced to wear some of the most unflattering outfits that I’ve ever seen in a Lifetime film.  Seriously, a huge reason why I watch Lifetime films is because I like seeing what people are wearing and how they decorate their homes.  At the start of the movie, Tamara (played, of course, by Boti Bliss) not only wears horrid overalls but she also lives in a pretty small and cramped house.  That was definitely a red flag.

However, once I got over her house and her sense of style, I started to relate to Tamara.  At the start of the film, she’s informed that her father has died and she’s inherited close to 8 million dollars!  A shocked Tamara mentions that she and her father didn’t even get along.

Hey! I thought, I used to fight with my Dad too!

Since Tamara has just broken up with her boyfriend, she decides to invest the money by going on a trip with her two best girlfriends.

Hey!  I thought, I’m close to my girlfriends too!

So, they got to Hawaii.

OH MY GOD!  I yelled I’VE BEEN TO HAWAII!

While in Hawaii, Tamara meets a sexy boat captain who claims that his name is Dario (played by Antonio Sabato, Jr).  Dario says that he’s from Italy.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?  I’VE BEEN TO ITALY!

Soon, Tamara is swept off her feet by the handsome but mysterious Dario.  She spends all of her time with him, dreaming of their future together.

OH MY GOD, I HAVE A WEAKNESS FOR HANDSOME AND MYSTERIOUS TOO!

Meanwhile, one of her friends is beat into a coma by an unknown attacker….

Okay, I can’t relate to that.  I guess I should be happy about that…

One morning, Tamara wakes up to discover that not only is Dario gone but so is her bank account.  That’s right, Dario stole all of her money and then fled Hawaii!

Sorry, Tamara, can’t relate…

And — oh my God! — Dario’s not even Italian!  Tamara learns that Dario has been overheard speaking in Portuguese!  OH MY GOD — HE’S BRAZILIAN!

Okay, I’ve lost the ability to relate to the movie…

And so, Tamara and her non-coma friend go to Brazil, looking for revenge.  And I will say this for “Dario.”  He may be sleazy.  He may be evil.  He may be every woman’s worst nightmare.  But damn!, he’s got a nice house!

I like nice houses!  But … no, sorry, still no longer relating…

Anyway, Remote Paradise is okay.  Boti Bliss has been in several Lifetime films and she always tends to overact but that actually worked to her advantage here as Tamara seemed to be an overly dramatic person in general.  (I especially enjoyed the way she spat out the word “bastard,” when she saw Dario’s car.)  The story’s predictable but there’s a last minute twist that will not take you by surprise but, fortunately, the film does shy away from letting the Tamara pursue her vengeance.  In the end, what’s important is that the beach looked good and so did Brazil and so did Antonio Sabato, Jr.

And, most importantly, so did his house!

Music Video of the Day: Shout Out To My Ex by Little Mix (2016, dir. Sarah Chatfield)


Finally one of these 2016 music videos that I can get behind. This is the fourth of the six 2016 music videos I have looked at. It’s the only one that made me watch more from the same artist as a result. I looked it up, and they don’t appear to have worked with the same director more than twice. However, all the music videos I watched all knew what they were doing in the same way. They didn’t come across as simply existing to sell their music with sex, like Fifth Harmony’s Work From Home. They don’t rely on something they think will be shocking, that isn’t, like Ariana Grande’s Side To Side. They look like they are in command of their sexuality, unlike Hailee Steinfeld’s Starving.

The bit that makes me really like this music video is that I noticed they draw on elements from famous music videos to visually express their song. It starts right from the beginning. A desert where a woman is singing about her ex with suitcases involved. Of course they are going to reference You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette with a song like this. However, the song isn’t angry. It’s a song of hopeful and happy liberation. That’s why it isn’t a carbon copy, but reworked to fit the song.

Here I Go Again may be an 80’s hair metal video, but it evokes the same feeling of driving off into a wide new world after a lonely and heartbreaking experience. Don’t let the divide between music styles stop you. Hop in that car that I have no doubt Tawney Kitaen could have christened with a hood dance and drive off into an Instagram photo.

We are already in the beautiful location of the Spanish Tabernas Desert, groups like this frequently have a lot of bright colors, so of course lets toss Duran Duran’s Rio into the mix. It was also filmed at a beautiful location and used exaggerated colors like the ones we are throwing in anyways to contrast with those in You Oughta Know.

We need a way to end it, but the ending of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy The Silence is a little too depressing even though the song is in the ballpark and has bright colors. No matter. Coldplay remade it–Viva La Vida–with their lead-singer joined by his bandmates at the end instead of being alone, which turned it into a song about friends helping someone else through an otherwise solitary, but “long live life” experience. That’ll work for an ending! Have their arms in the air too like Dave Gahan in Personal Jesus.

Throw it together with some shots next to a pool to juxtapose with the outside shots since the song is all about taking a transitory period in a person’s life, and collapsing into a single future. It doesn’t have to be as explicit a division as most of Bonnie Tyler’s videos have. It can be one of the more subtle ones like the cuts between the claustrophobic cabin in the dark of night and the Grand Canyon in Holding Out For A Hero.

Top it off with some playfulness you saw in late-90s/early-2000s girl-bands like Dream and Dixie Chicks’ Ready To Run, and call it good.

I am of course not saying that is exactly what went through Little Mix and Sarah Chatfield’s minds. But it’s telling that I could break this music video into an amalgamation of things that worked from earlier music videos in such a way that you could believe that was the thought process behind it. Plus, you can see them make explicit references to things in their other music videos, such as the one to Risky Business (1983) in Hair. I’m pretty sure that one also referenced the four way split screen from ABBA’s Take A Chance On Me and had the girls posing for the cover of The Donnas’ album Spend The Night.

Regardless of the music video I watched, I saw all kinds of things that evoked memories of previous music videos that were brought together to express their own song in a playful manner without sacrificing a chance to do more serious material down the road. I go back to ABBA once again. I can see Little Mix having the range to do something playful like Waterloo, something more serious like Knowing Me, Knowing You, and something catchy, yet bittersweet, like Dancing Queen.

I know that’s a lot of great artists to pull out in talking about this music video, but that’s how much I enjoyed seeing this come out in 2016. Kudos, Little Mix & director Sarah Chatfield.

6 from 2016:

  1. Music Video of the Day: Work From Home by Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign (2016, dir. Director X)
  2. Music Video of the Day: Side To Side by Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj (2016, dir. Hannah Lux Davis)
  3. Music Video of the Day: Starving by Hailee Steinfeld, Grey ft. Zedd (2016, dir. Darren Craig)