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I'm a longtime contributor to MTV, Billboard, Alternative Press and MovieWeb. I've worked as on-air reporter, host, writer and producer for MTV, MSNBC and E!. I have provided opinion and commentary to programs on VH1, IFC, G4, Fuse, Current and Oxygen. I have written for Huffington Post, Premiere, OC Weekly, SFGate.com, NextMovie.com, MTV's television and movie blogs and other publications. I am the founder of Superhero Productions, providing broadcast, online and aftermarket content for a number of clients including Lionsgate, Sony and Warner Bros. I personally handle artist management for a handful of bands. "Ryan Downey has established a history of breaking some good scoops in the last few years, and you could certainly do worse than bookmark [him] to check in on." -- Ain't It Cool

Friday, August 27, 2010

Movie Review: "Vampires Suck"

Directed By: Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer
Starring: Matt Lantner, Jen Proske, Chris Riggi
No Stars

At a blood-curdling 80 minutes, "Vampires Suck" is like the worst "SNL" sketch you've never seen. A movie length (alleged) parody of the "Twilight" franchise, "Vampires Suck" is devoid of laughs, creativity or anything resembling what most of us would identify as a "motion picture."

Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the men who claim to have "written" and "directed" this snooze-fest, have made a small cottage industry out of slapping together "satires" like "Epic Movie," "Date Movie," "Something Or Other Movie" ad nauseam with a single premise: if we show people something they're familiar with and throw in some other things they're familiar with, they'll laugh!

For example, "Vampires Suck" completely squanders the opportunity to properly skewer the too-serious / angst-ridden vampire mythos, opting instead for a scene by scene retelling of the "Twilight" movies (Edward Sullen! Get it?) with lame references to "Jersey Shore" and the Kardashians shoved in. Memo to these "filmmakers": references are not the same thing as jokes.

Newcomer Jen Proske does a brilliant job of milking Kristen Stewart's well-known mannerisms, which is the only positive thing I have to say about this movie. Matt Lantner is nice enough to look at, but has much more acting to do each week on "90210" and seeing him onscreen just kept reminding me about how much better I like the new "90210" than "Vampires Suck." Chris Riggi, in the Jacob role, is reduced to a single joke: he chases cats! He has a tail! Hilarious! He's a dog!

Arielle Kebbell, so great as the Salvatores old friend on "The Vampire Diaries" and pretty solid as Sam's scheming ex in a recent "True Blood" flashback, has a small role as one of the vampires. You're supposed to think, "Hey! Those three vampires from 'Twilight' DO look like The Black Eyed Peas! Two things I'm familiar with, but shoved together! HILARIOUS!". But instead, I thought, "'True Blood,' 'Vampire Diaries' -- there's so much to go after, why stick mostly with 'Twilight'?"

Basically, here's the bottom line: if the "Naked Gun" movies are the "Citizen Kane" of slapstick satire, then "Vampires Suck" and the rest of this garbage? "Ishtar." Or "Gigli." Take your pick.

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