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"Danny Deckchair"

Directed by Jeff Balsmeyer.
Written by Jeff Balsmeyer.
Starring Rhys Ifans, Miranda Otto, Justine Clarke and Rhys Muldoon.
Release Year:  2004
Review Date:  9/6/04


The trailer was dogshit.  The premise is dogshit.  Buying Rhys Ifans as the best-looking guy in town is dogshit.  The logic is all dogshit.

"Danny Deckchair" is a big pile of...yeah, dogshit.

Ifans is the title character, a bricklayer that is dating a real estate agent named Trudy (Justine Clarke) and she's getting pretty tired of a life with a, she has started up an affair with the local sportscaster (Rhys Muldoon) in their hometown of Sydney, Australia.  Danny might look a bit aloof but he's no idiot, so he concocts a plan to try a little stunt:  he inflates about a hundred balloons that are tied to his lawn chair, and somehow, he flies to the northern Aussie town of Clarence and starts a new life as The Professor, complete with a girlfriend named Glenda (Miranda Otto, from the final two "LOTR" films), a post as the manager of a local campaign for mayor, and all-around good guy.  The national media is all over the tale of the lost adventurer, so Danny's friends spend most of the film trying to find out where his little deckchair has landed.

My buddy Yac and I were the only two people in the theater, which made this shit more fun because we got to constantly question the film's continuously sketchy logic--why has no one asked Danny what his real name is?  Why does Glenda not question what he was doing landing in her backyard trees?  Can you really fly across the country with some simple party balloons???--and it allowed the two of us to go "Mystery Science Theater 3000" all up in that ass.  This was the first time I have ever started and finished a movie where no one else (strangers, that is) showed up, so it was like a long episode of "Siskel and Ebert" and that, my friends, was a good ass time!

Man, how bad was "Danny Deckchair"???  I don't even want to talk about how shitty it was any longer.  Every time I thought there might be a chance of something decent on the way, I was dead wrong.  Not funny, not romantic, not a chance.  Yac was calling out transitional devices throughout ("Here comes their first fight!"; "Uh-oh, here comes the obligatory 'I Have a Dream' speech").  I spent most of the night trying to be funny for my own sake, inserting my own made-up lines during breaks in the speech patterns; I have to admit, I had some pretty good ones.  Naturally, the ending was dogshit.

Fucking shitty shit.

Rating:  Hard Vice


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09