A Movie A Day #349: The Bedroom Window (1987, directed by Curtis Hanson)

The Bedroom Window opens with quite a quandary.  Sylvia (Isabelle Huppert) has just witnessed a woman named Denise (Elizabeth McGovern) being attacked by a serial rapist/killer named Carl (Brad Greenquist).  The problem is that the window that Sylvia’s standing at is located in the bedroom of Terry Lambert (Steve Guttenberg).  Sylvia is having an extramarital affair with Terry and she knows that there’s no way to tell the police what she saw without also exposing the affair.  Terry decides that he’ll go to the police and tell them what Sylvia witnessed but he will claim to have seen it himself.

Terry does well enough with the police that Carl gets arrested but, at Carl’s trial, Terry’s testimony falls apart when he is revealed to be so near-sighted that there was no way he could have seen what happened from his bedroom window.  Carl is not only acquitted but has now figured out that Sylvia was the one who witnessed him attacking Denise.  When the killings start up again, Terry becomes the number one suspect.

An underrated and overlooked thriller, The Bedroom Window was directed by the late and missed Curtis Hanson.  It’s not a perfect film.  Terry does an excessive amount of stupid things over the course of the movie.  But Hanson did a good job creating suspense and he got good performances from his entire cast.  Steve Guttenberg may seem like a strange choice to play the lead in a Hitchcockian thriller but he actually gives a credible performance and the fact that he is not a traditional hero creates some suspense.  Brad Greenquist is chilling as the killer and keep an eye out for the great Wallace Shawn in the role of Carl’s weaselly attorney.

A Movie A Day #86: Don’t Tell Her It’s Me (1990, directed by Malcolm Mowbray)

This month, since the site is currently reviewing each episode of Twin Peaks, every entry in Move A Day is going to have a Twin Peaks connection.  I am going to start things with Don’t Tell Her It’s Me, a movie that I normally would never think of as having anything to do with Twin Peaks or anything else that David Lynch has ever been associated with.

In this very minor romantic comedy, Gus (Steven Guttenberg) is a cartoonist who has just recently beaten cancer.  The treatment has left him bald, overweight, and lonely.  His sister, a popular romance novelist named Lizzie (Shelley Long), sets hm up with her friend, a journalist named Emily (Jami Gertz).  When Emily does not return Gus’s affection, Lizzie decides to transform Gus into every woman’s dream, which in this movie is a rebel named Lobo who comes from New Zealand and rides a motorcycle.  Gus spends a month working out, growing his hair long, and learning how to speak with a New Zealand accent.  Emily falls in love with Lobo, never realizing that he is actually Gus but what will happen when Gus has to finally tell her the truth?  Despite good performances (especially from Shelley Long), Don’t Tell Her It’s Me it too formulaic and predictable to be memorable.  Even if he does have a mullet and is speaking with a different accent, Steve Guttenberg is always going to be Steve Guttenberg and it’s hard to believe that Emily would not be able to see through his act.

Don’t Tell Her It’s Me actually has two Twin Peaks connections.  Kyle MacLachlan, the one and only Dale Cooper himself, plays Trout, who is both Emily’s editor and her cad of a boyfriend.  It’s a nothing role but fans of Twin Peaks will be interested to know that, when Trout is inevitably revealed to be cheating on Emily, the woman that he’s cheating with is played by MacLachlan’s Twin Peaks co-star, Madchen Amick.

If only the Log Lady had been around, Don’t Tell Her It’s Me could have been a much different picture.

2016 In Review: The Best of SyFy

Well, here we are!  We have reached the end of the first week of January, 2017 and that means that it is time for me to start listing my favorite movies, books, songs, and TV shows of the previous year!  Let’s start things off by taking a look at the best that the SyFy network had to offer in 2016!

Below, you will find my nominees for the best SyFy films and performances of the previous year.  The winners are listed in bold and starred.  As you’ll quickly notice, it was a good year for films about zombies, spiders, and sharks!

(Please note: When it comes to determining the nominees, I have used the credits for each film as listed on the Internet Movie Database.  If anyone feels that they have been miscredited, feel free to let me know and I’ll correct the mistake.  Thanks!)


Best Picture

2 Lava 2 Lantula, produced by Neil Elman, Anthony Frankhauser, Lisa M. Hansen, Paul Hertzber

Atomic Shark, produced by Tanya Bellamy, Diane Boone, Matt Chiasson, Angela Meredith Furst, Griff Furst, Stephen Furst, M. Juan Gonzalez, Ross Herbert, Howie Klein, Som Kohanzadeh, Yoram Kohanzadeh, Isiah LaBorde, Kevin Lamb, Daniel March, Will Matherne, David Poughatsch, Lee C. Rogers, Miguel Sandoval, Arthur Scanlan, Ben Yimlimai

Dead 7, produced by Paul Bales, Nick Carter, David L. Garber, David Michael Latt, David Rimawi, Micho Rutare, Dylan Vox

Isle of the Dead, produced by Paul Bales, Lauren Elizabeth Hood, David Michael Latt, David Rimawi

*The Night Before Halloween, produced by Blake Corbet, Priscilla Galvez, Christina O’Shea-Daly, Marek Povisal, Lance Samuels, Mary Anne Waterhouse

Ozark Sharks, produced by Kenneth M. Badish, Sam Claitor, Eric Davies, Daniel Lewis, Jordan Lewis, Pierre-Andre Rochat, Tommy Talley

Best Director

Nick Lyons for Isle of the Dead

Nick Simon for 2 Lava 2 Lantula

Misty Talley for Ozark Sharks

*Sheldon Wilson for The Night Before Halloween


Best Actor

*Nick Carter in Dead 7

Steve Guttenberg in 2 Lava 2 Lantula

Justin Kelly in The Night Before Halloween

Michael Papajohn in Ozark Sharks


Best Actress

Jessica Blackmore in Dam Sharks

Laura Cayouette in Ozark Sharks

*Bailee Madison in The Night Before Halloween

Maryse Mizanin in Isle of the Dead


Best Supporting Actor

Raymond J. Barry in Day of Reckoning

*D.C. Douglas in Isle of the Dead

Alex Harrouch in The Night Before Halloween

Thomas Francis Murphy in Ozark Sharks


Best Supporting Actress

*Allisyn Ashley Arm in Ozark Sharks

Barbara Crampton in Day of Reckoning

Kristina Hughes in Stakeland 2: The Stakelander

Kiana Madiera in The Night Before Halloween


Best Screenplay

*2 Lava 2 Lantula, Neil Elman, Ashley O’Neil

Isle of the DeadJacob Cooney, Brandon Trenz

The Night Before HalloweenSheldon Wilson

Ozark Sharks, Marcy Holland, Greg Mitchell

Best Cinematography

Atomic Shark, Don E. FauntLeRoy

*The Night Before Halloween, Daniel Grant

Planet of the Sharks, Mark Atkins

Stakeland 2: The Stakelander, Matt Mitchell

Best Costumes

*Dead 7Sarah Sharp

Isle of the Dead, Cailan Calandro

Planet of the Sharks, Mary-Sue Morris

Stakeland 2: The Stakelander, Brenda Shenher


Best Editing

Atomic Shark, Stephen Pfeil

Isle of the Dead, Rob Pallatina

The Night Before Halloween

*Ozark SharksMisty Talley

Best Makeup

The Crooked Man, Laurie Hallack, Laura Morton, Hannah Schenck, Eric S. Wilson

*Isle of the Dead, Leslie Burdick, Dennis M. Chavez, Michael Robert Cypher, Lleva Radina

Sharknado 4Krystal Bagorio, Stacy Bisel, Haley Coats, Rebeca Ovadia, Magali Serrano, Melissa K. Webb

Stakeland 2: The Stakelander, Raven Dee, Jill Demaer, Lindi Edge, Pete Gerner, Nina McArthur, Brian Spears, Krista Stevenson

Best Score

*Dead 7Drew Lerdal, Bryan Shackle

Isle of the Dead, Chris Cano, Chris Ridenhour

Ozark SharksAndrew Morgan Smith

Sharknado 4Christopher Cano, Chris Ridenhour


Best Production Design

2 Lava 2 Lantula, Yana Veselova, Megan Sunzeri

Dead 7, Caitlin Langen, Mikki Mamaril

*Isle of the Dead, Kalise Wallace, Taylor Jean

Sharknado 4Kalise Wallace

Best Sound

Atomic Shark

Isle of the Dead

The Night Before Halloween

*Sharknado 4


Best Visual Effects

Atomic Shark

*2 Lava 2 Lantula

The Night Before Halloween

Shadows of the Dead


Congratulations to all the nominees!  Thank you for keeping us entertained in 2016!

Want to see my picks for last year?  Click here!

Click here for my picks from 2014!

And here for my picks from 2013!

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the best from Lifetime!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2016:

  1. TFG’s 2016 Comics Year In Review : Top Tens, Worsts, And Everything In Between
  2. Anime of the Year: 2016
  3. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw In 2016


Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #5: 2 Lava 2 Lantula (dir by Nick Simon)

(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!)


I recorded 2 Lava 2 Lantula off of the SyFy Network on August 6th.

A sequel to last year’s sleeper hit, Lavalantula, 2 Lava 2 Lantula aired shortly after SyFy’s 2016 Shark Week.  Naturally, I watched and live tweeted it.  I have to admit that my 2 Lava 2 Lantula live tweet was probably one of my weaker live tweets of the summer.  For whatever reason, my naturally brilliant wit failed me on that night.  That’s not the fault of the film, which is wonderfully snark-worthy and was obviously made to appeal to live tweeters like me.  Maybe I was just tired.  After all, I was still recovering from the epic Sharknado 4 live tweet.

It’s pretty much impossible to talk about the Lavalantula films without also talking about the Sharknado franchise.  Even more so than the first film, 2 Lava 2 Lantula is, for all intents and purposes, a Sharknado film, with the sharks replaced by giant spiders and Steve Guttenberg playing the Ian Ziering role.  Otherwise, both franchises feature the same campy sense of humor and over the top sensibility.  Both franchises share a love for (deliberately) cartoonish CGI and callbacks to other cult films.  These are films that wink at the audience and say, “We’re in on the joke … are you?”  It’s easy to imagine that, if Ian Ziering and Tara Reid ever start demanding too much money to appear in another Sharknado, Steve Guttenberg and the Lavalantula crew could step in and take their place without missing a beat.

(Ian Ziering even made a cameo appearance in the first Lavalantula, establishing that both franchises take place in the same cinematic universe.)

Wisely, 2 Lava 2 Lantula doesn’t waste any time getting started.  The film opens with fire-breathing spiders suddenly showing up in Florida and it doesn’t devote much time to worrying about how they showed up.  The important thing is that they’re there, they’re breathing fire, and somebody has to save the world.  Luckily, film star Colton West (Guttenberg, of course) is in Florida, shooting a cop movie.  He and his friend, Marty (Michael Winslow), saved Los Angeles in the first film.  Now, they’re going to save Florida!

They’re also going to have to save his daughter, Raya (Michele Weaver), who is fleeing through a burning Miami with her friend, Daniella (Lorynn York).  Daniella has a nasty lavalantula burn on her shoulder and, if you’re familiar with SyFy films, you can already guess what’s going to eventually burst out of Daniella’s back.  That’s one thing about 2 Lava 2 Lantula: it knows, understands, and respects the rules of SyFy.

There’s a scene where Colton is confronted by some soldiers who refuses to let him drive into a restricted zone.  Colton tells them, “My name is Colton West, authorized movie star.”  That really tells you everything that you need to know about 2 Lava 2 Lantula.  It’s a film that refuses to apologize for being ludicrous.  Instead, it embraces the silliness of it all.  Not only does it feature giant, fire-breathing spiders and Steve Guttenberg as a badass action hero but it also finds the time to throw in homages to everything from Dr. Strangelove to Independence Day.  Colton’s speech on why Florida is the best should do a lot to help that beleaguered state feel better about itself.

Whether you’ll like 2 Lava 2 Lantula depends on whether or not you like SyFy films in general.  If you’re not a fan of SyFy’s aesthetic style … well, then you probably wouldn’t be watching a film called 2 Lava 2 Lantula in the first place.  But, for the rest of us, this is a fun little movie that promises fire-breathing spiders and delivers.

Who can’t get into that?

Let’s Talk About Sharknado 4!


Last Sunday night saw the premiere of Sharknado: The Fourth Awakens!

For the fourth year in a row, SyFy and the Asylum allowed us to take a peak into the shark-filled life of Finn Shepherd (Ian Ziering) and his family.  Also for the fourth year in a row, the premiere of the latest Sharknado film was practically a national holiday.  Long before the film even started, #Sharknado4 was the number one trending topic on twitter.  I actually live tweeted the film twice, once for the east coast and then a second time for my friends on the west coast.  That’s right — I sent out over 300 tweets about Sharknado 4 on Sunday and I’ve never been more proud of myself.  Live tweeting the latest Sharknado is a lot like wishing someone you barely know a happy birthday on Facebook. It’s a part of the ritual of social media.  It’s like the Internet’s version of a Thanksgiving parade or a 4th of July fireworks show.

After four films, it’s easy to forget that Sharknado started out like almost any other SyFy film.  The first Sharknado film featured no celebrity cameos and very little of the self-referential comedy that has come to define the series.  In fact, I didn’t even see Sharknado when it first aired because it premiered, opposite a Big Brother eviction show, on a Thursday.  It was only on Friday morning that I discovered that Sharknado had become a phenomena, largely due to the fact that celebrities like Mia Farrow had decided to live tweet it.

After all this time, it’s easy to forget just how much we veteran live tweeters resented that attention that was paid to celebrities like Farrow, the majority of whom were virgins as far as live tweeting SyFy was concerned.  (The fact that the majority of Farrow’s Sharknado tweets weren’t that good only added insult to injury.)  The media acted as if those celebs had invented live tweeting.  They also acted as if Sharknado was the first entertaining and over-the-top film to ever premiere on SyFy.  Among those of us who had been live tweeting SyFy film long before the premiere of Sharknado and who had loved pre-Sharknado movies like Jersey Shore Shark Attack and Shark Week, there was more than a little resentment.

But you know what?  I watched Sharknado the following Saturday and I had a great time live tweeting it.  The next year, I made sure to watch and live tweet Sharknado 2 the night that it premiered.  The same was true of Sharknado 3 and I even ended up casting a vote on the question of whether or not April should survive that film’s cliffhanger.  With its cheerful absurdity and determination to continually top the glorious absurdity of each previous entry, the Sharknado franchise won me over.  In fact, the franchise won over not only me but hundreds of thousands of other viewers.  Sharknado has become very much a part of our culture.

As I mentioned above, Sharknado 3 ended with a cliffhanger and that alone indicates just how big a deal Sharknado has become.  Sharknado 2 was made because the first Sharknado was an unexpected success.  Sharknado 3 followed because Sharknado 2 had proven that the first one was not a fluke and that there was an audience for these films.  However, by the time 3 was in production, there was never any doubt that there would be a Sharknado 4.  Sharknado 4 also ends with a rather abrupt cliffhanger, leaving little doubt that there will be a Sharknado 5.  At this point, not doing another Sharknado film would be the same as canceling summer all together.


As for what Sharknado 4 was about … well, does it really matter?  At this point, we know that there’s going to be another sharknado and that Finn is just going to happen to be nearby when it strikes.  We know that landmarks will be destroyed (in this case, Las Vegas is thoroughly ravaged during the film’s first 30 minutes).  We know that Al Roker will show up and say stuff like, “There are reports of a Lightningnado near Kansas…”  (Both Roker and Natalie Morales apparently survived being attacked by sharks during Sharknado 3, though Morales does have an eyepatch in 4.  Matt Lauer is nowhere to be seen so I assume he wasn’t as lucky.)  We know that celebrities will appear in a cameos and that the majority of them will be promptly eaten by a flying shark.  We know that Finn and his family will eventually have to use a chainsaw to battle the sharks and we know that at least one person will be rescued from the inside of a shark’s stomach.

We don’t really watch a movie a like Sharknado 4 for the plot.  We watch it for the communal experience.  Last Sunday was Sharknado Day and it seems like the entire world was on twitter, talking about Sharknado 4.  The majority of us weren’t tweeting about the plot.  Instead, we were acknowledging that we had picked up on the in-jokes and the references to other films.  When April (Tara Reid) showed up alive and was revealed to now by a cyborg, many references were made to the Terminator — both in the film and on twitter.  When we learned that David Hasselhoff has been rescued from the moon, it was time to make jokes about The Martian.  When it was announced that a sharknado was headed towards Kansas, I made a Wizard of Oz joke on twitter.  Three minutes later, in the movie, a house fell on a character who could charitably be called a witch.  We briefly got a shot of her feet sticking out from under the house.

(I should also mention that Gary Busey shows up, playing a mad scientist.  The fact that Sharknado 4 could find prominent roles for both the Hoff and the Busey says a lot about what makes this franchise so endearingly entertaining.  Considering that Penn Jillette was in Sharknado 3, you have to wonder if the franchise will eventually feature every single person who appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice.  Who doesn’t want to see a flying shark bite off Piers Morgan’s head?)

(Actually, as long as I’m mentioning stuff — here’s my favorite inside joke.  Finn and his family are driving through North Texas.  Just judging by the hills and the mountains in the background, this scene was not actually filmed in Texas.  Anyway, they stop off at a general store where Dog Chapman — the bounty hunter — sells them a chainsaw.  When the sharks attack Texas, a chainsaw-wielding army is waiting for them.  Among that army is Caroline Williams, who starred in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.  On the one hand, everyone viewing will immediately get the chainsaw joke.  But only the dedicated horror fans will truly understand why it’s so brilliant that Caroline Williams was credited as playing a character named Stretch.)

At this point, the Sharknado franchise is no longer just a series of films.  Instead, it’s a deliriously over-the-top experience.  In these times of partisan rancor, it briefly did not matter if you were a liberal or a conservative, a Democrat or a Republican.  For two hours on Sunday night, if you were watching and live tweeting Sharkando 4, you were a part of a gigantic family, a community of people with an appreciation for over the top silliness.  Sharknado 4 brought this country together.

That’s not bad for a film about a bunch of flying sharks.

If you missed Sharknado 4 the first time, catch it when it’s shown again.  Just make sure that you watch it with a friend, someone who you can trust to make you laugh.

And, for God’s sake, enjoy yourself!

Life’s too short not to enjoy a Sharknado film!


2015 in Review: The Best of SyFy

Well, here we are!  It’s the first week of January, 2016 and that means that it is time for me to start listing my favorite movies, books, songs, and TV shows of the previous year!  Let’s start things off by taking a look at the best that the SyFy network had to offer in 2015!

Below, you will find my nominees for the best SyFy films and performances of the previous year.  The winners are starred and in bold.  As you’ll quickly notice, it was a good year for films about sharks.  Especially films about zombie sharks!


Best Picture
Lavalantula, produced by Anthony Frankhauser
Night of the Wild, produced by David Michael Latt
Ominous, produced by Peter Sullivan
Sharknado 3produced by David Michael Latt.
They Found Hellproduced by Anthony Frankhauser
*Zombie Sharkproduced by Sam Claitor and Eric Davies.*

Best Director
Nick Lyon for They Found Hell
Mike Mendez for Lavalantula
Eric Red for Night of the Wild
*Misty Talley for Zombie Shark*


Best Actor
*Steve Guttenberg in Lavalantula*
Jason London in Zombie Shark
Barry Watson in Ominous
Ian Ziering in Sharknado 3


Best Actress
Illeana Douglas in Mega Shark vs. Kolossus
Sarah Dugdale in The Hollow
Alexis Peterman in Roboshark
*Cassie Steele in Zombie Shark*


Best Supporting Actor
Tony Almont in Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf
*Robert Englund in Lake Placid vs. Anaconda*
David Hasselhoff in Sharknado 3
Roger J. Timber in Zombie Shark

catherine oxenberg rubber glove

Best Supporting Actress
Becky Andrews in Zombie Shark
Laura Cayouette in Zombie Shark
*Catherine Oxenberg in Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf*
Annabel Wright in Lake Placid vs. Anaconda

Best Screenplay
*Lavalantula, written by Mike Mendez, Neil Elman and Ashley O’Neil*
Robosharkwritten by Jeffrey Lando and Phillip Roth
Sharknado 3written by Thunder Levin
Zombie Shark, written by Greg Mitchell

Best Cinematography
Lavalantula, Richard J. Vialet.
OminousStuart Brereton.
They Found HellRichard J. Vialet.
*Zombie SharkMatt S. Bell.*


Best Costume Design
Mega Shark vs. Kolossus
OminousDarragh Marmorstein.
*They Found Hell, Irina Kotcheva*
Zombie Shark, Kellye Bond

Best Editing
Lavalantula, Robert Dias and Mike Mendez.
Sharknado 3, Christopher Roth.
They Found HellDon Money.
*Zombie SharkMisty Talley.*

Best Makeup
The HollowJoanne Kinchella
*Lake Placid vs. AnacondaDesislava AlexievaRalitsa Roth, Atanas Temnilov*
They Found Hell


Best Score
LavalantulaChris Ridenhour.
Mega Shark vs. KolossusChris Cano and Chris Ridenhour.
*Roboshark, Claude Foisy*
Sharknado 3, Chris Ridenhour and Chris Cano.

Best Production Design
Lake Placid vs. AnacondaBorislav Michailovski
*Mega Shark vs. Kolossus, Fernando Valdes*
OminousStephen Hass.
They Found Hell

sharknado 3 sharks in space

Best Sound
The Hollow
Night of the Wild
*Sharknado 3*
Zombie Shark

Best Visual Effects
*Sharknado 3*
Zombie Shark

Congratulations to all the winners!  Thank you for keeping us entertained in 2015!

Check out last year’s winners by clicking here!  And 2013’s winners by clicking here!

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the best from Lifetime!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2015:

  1. Valerie Troutman’s 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw in 2015
  2. Necromoonyeti’s Top 15 Metal Albums of 2015

Adventures in Cleaning Out the DVR: Lavalantula (dir by Mike Mendez)


The SyFy film Lavalantula opens in Los Angeles and we immediately know what that means.  If it’s a day of the week ending with a y, it means that Los Angeles is about to attacked by some sort of giant monster.  In this case, it’s due to a series of volcanic eruptions that lead to a swarm of gigantic, fire-breathing tarantulas being released into California.

Now, if Schwarzenegger was still governor of California, these spiders probably wouldn’t have been much of a problem.  But have you seen the current governor of California?  Seriously, I take one look at Jerry Brown and my first thought is that he’s not someone I would call if I needed someone to come over and kill a giant spider for me.  I just wouldn’t.  Sorry, Jerry.

(Incidentally, y’all love to make fun of people in Texas for loving guns but when was the last time we had a giant spider invasion get out of hand like the one in Lavalantula?)

When the spiders do show up and promptly start burning Los Angelenos alive, the police, the military, and the fire department all prove to be pretty much useless.  Fortunately, L.A. is also the home of the film industry and, as has always happened whenever America has faced a monster-related crisis, the unsung heroes of the movie industry are willing to step up and save the day.  Actor Colton West (Steve Guttenberg) may not know much about spiders.  And, as we’re told at the start of the film, it’s been a while since he had a hit movie.  But none of that matters.  All that matters is that, back in the day, Colton starred in enough action movies that he now has a unique set of skills that can be used to defeat giant, fire-breathing tarantulas.

Of course, while saving California, Colton also has to save his wife, Olivia (Nia Peeples) but fortunately, Olivia is totally capable of kicking ass on her own.  In fact, the entire film industry is shown to be capable of kicking ass, as Colton recruits the crew from his latest movie to help him save Los Angeles.

(Ian Ziering also pops up for a funny cameo.  He can’t help Colton save Los Angeles becase he’s too busy trying to save the rest of the country from flying sharks.  It’s a cute scene that works a lot better than you might think.)

Now, I have to admit that when I went to the DVR to track down and rewatch Lavalantula, I was shocked to discover that I didn’t record Lavalantula when it originally aired on July 25th!  Usually, I both watch and record but, in the case of Lavalantula, I just watched.  This review has been written from memory but that’s okay because Lavalantula‘s an extremely memorable film.  Much like director Mike Mendez’s previous giant monster film — the beloved Big Ass SpiderLavalantula is an enjoyably over-the-top B-movie that succeeds because, while it never takes itself too seriously, it does take itself just seriously enough to remain interesting.  It expertly walks the fine line between tribute and parody.  Regardless of how silly the film may get, the entire cast brings a lot of commitment to their roles and the end result is a genuinely fun movie.

One final sidenote: Apparently, this film was full of inside jokes about the Police Academy franchise.  Having never seen any of the Police Academy films, I have to admit that the majority of the references probably went right over my head.  I did, however, recognize Michael Winslow, the guy who does all the sound effects.  He was one of the heroic crew people and he did a damn good job protecting California.

In fact, they all did.

Thank you, Hollywood.