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Valentine (2001)
 
   
 Directed by: Jamie Blanks
 Starring: Denise Richards/Paige
David Boreanaz/Adam
Marley Shelton/Kate
Jessica Cauffiel/Lily
 
RATING

PLOT-CRUNCH:


A group of hot chicks are being stalked and killed on Valentine's day. Is it the boy who they used to tease in the 6th grade, is it "Angel"…oops, I mean David Boreanaz, or maybe it's The Arrow. Read on…

  

THE LOWDOWN:


I love a good slasher. I'm the guy that cheers in the back row every time the killer offs somebody in a gruesome way. I was looking forward to Valentine BIG TIME ! I was letdown. My slasher loving heart still found some things to cuddle up to though. I loved the opening with its "Carrie" reference. I loved the Cupid mask the killer wore (reminded me of The Shape mask) and the grim Valentine cards were a nice touch. Yes, most of the elements in this film will feel familiar to any real slasher buff but I appreciated that. Kind of a mix of old school slasher (with its holiday theme) and new school slasher (with the requisite opening murder, the whodunit…).

What didn't do it for me were the characters. First off, why are all the men in this flick a-holes? Boreanaz is the only male character that's somewhat kool but then again he's a recovering alcoholic and might be the cupid killer. It also didn't help that all of the principal characters were women. In "I Know What You Did Last Summer" for example, it was cut in half : the men had Ryan Philippe and Freddy Prinze to relate to and the women had Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Here I felt out of the loop following these chicks around, I couldn't understand where they were coming from (video dating??? what's that???) nor did I care. As for the men, they're such losers that I didn't come close to relating with them. What a bunch of f**k nuts! Basically: I WANTED EVERYBODY IN THIS FILM TO DIE!!! (except for Boreanaz…I like the guy).

And the side characters weren't any better. That artist guy got on my nerves so bad (buy a razor dude), the underwear stealer didn't die quick enough (nice demise though…beeyatch!) and the cartoon cop (was it the character or the actor?) didn't convince me. The subplots also blew, what wuz up with that guy trying to milk his girl's bank account? I didn't buy that at all!

Then there's the ending. I don't mind a good brain f**k now and then but this cap off hurt me. I left the theatre trying to put it all together in my head but whichever way I went, it didn't hold up a hundred percent. I think I know who the killer is…I think…

There's still a part of me that kind of liked Valentine. The slick style, the kool killing locations (the TV land setting wuz the shite) and the very violent murders (the Jacuzzi bit wuz dope!!!) kept me interested. It's a shame that the rest was weak. Now let's break some hearts.
 
    

ACTING:


Denise Richards (Paige) plays a slut and does it well. David Boreanaz (Adam) is underused and more of him would have been nice. Marley Shelton (Kate) is hot but doesn't have the charisma to carry a movie. Maybe it was her character but I just didn't care about her. Jessica Cauffiel (Lily) got on my nerves and I cheered for her demise. Jessica Capshaw (Dorothy) plays her part well but does a lot of mugging for the camera. Daniel Cosgrave (Campbell) is a poor man's Casper Van Dien (that's not good) and Katherine Heigl (Shelly) looks good with blood spurting out of her mouth.
 

GORE:


This is the high point of the movie for me. The killings are very brutal and creative. The red splashes, baby! This Cupid guy doesn't mess around…he means business…and I cheered for him more than once in this flick…YOU GO, BOY!
   

T & A:


Are we becoming puritans here? All this hot flesh around and no money shots?! Denise Richards in a bathing suit doesn't cut it anymore! And Boreanaz should have taken his shirt off at least once!! What's wrong with these people! We do get a tit on a TV screen…oooooohh…how steamy…NOT!
   

DIRECTING:


One of Urban Legend's strongest points wuz the directing. Blanks knows about style and Valentine is no exception. Crazy lighting, moody settings and well handled murders. On an aesthetic point of view, this movie rocks! Too bad the content doesn't measure up.
   

SOUNDTRACK:


An eerie score that works and pop/techno tunes that go from good to mediocre.
   

BOTTOM LINE:


A good premise, nice eye candy and groovy murders made this one semi-enjoyable for me. But the bland characters (or wuz it the actors), the lack of thrills, sex and the unsatisfying ending tarnished what could have been a wonderful ride on the slasher train. If you love slasher movies and I say LOVE...then you might just find some things to like here (I did). But if slashers simply aren't your game, I suggest you just stay home and play with yourself instead. Now that's a Valentine treat.
 

BULL'S EYE:


The film wuz shot in Vancouver BC. The writers who wrote Valentine (Wayne and Donna Powers) are responsible for the very fun Deep Blue Sea.

The Arrow interviews screenwriters Wayne & Donna Powers here

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The Way The Arrow Points...

   
 I’d BUTCHER my family to see this again
 HANG me but I dug it a lot
 An ok way to KILL two hours
 Just sling an ARROW in my head and let me die in peace

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© 2001 John Fallon  All Rights Reserved JoBlo.com