New To Blu: 88

Katharine Isabelle's latest film hit blu ray shelves yesterday.

"Guns don't kill people.
I kill people."
The current trend of well lit, eighties infused gun play films continues with Katharine Isabelle's latest starring vehicle, 88. Unfortunately for Isabelle, her stunning looks and a great soundtrack isn't enough to save her from another in a 2 year laundry list of virtual stinkers. It's too bad because she has the look, the talent, and the sexually driven attitude to carry herself well beyond the low budget features she's grown so accustomed to.

Ever since her rock steady portrayal in American Mary, she's struggled through a series of movies that are doing nothing other than giving her a chance to act for small paycheck indies that are keeping her in a perpetual state of stagnation. Between her obvious beauty and non-typical character selections, one would think she'd be a big name star by now. Maybe it's by choice that she hasn't cracked the upper echelon, but films like 88 are doing her no favors.

88 rides the coat tails of The Guest by trying to be mysterious and brooding but fails at delivering the same sense of tongue in cheek tone. The fluorescent look is here, the retro sounding music is here, and the over the top gun play is at full tilt, but it always feels a bit too forced. While an always engaging Christopher Lloyd plays the baddie and Isabelle plays the convincing sexy vixen with a gun, 88 feels like remedial action that's been filtered through the eyes of a film school dropout that wants nothing more than to pay tribute to her favorite directors.

"Dude. Don't try anything or I'll
Mary Mason your ass."
The problematic film isn't any fault of Katie's but is more so the product of a creative team that's trying way to hard to be smarter that its audience with another movie that tries to replicate the Tarantino non-sequential format. 88 tries to be intelligent in its timeline but suffers under the guise of a director that's not experienced enough to pull it off. 88 looks great, has a few cool shoot 'em up scenes, and definitely makes excellent use of lighting, yet still feels hampered by its incessantly derivative plot.

If you're looking for some passive fun, you may enjoy 88. It's always cool to see Christopher Lloyd and Katharine definitely knows how to play it up for the camera. But the movie as a whole doesn't bring anything new to the fold. 88 is a mediocre attempt to give Isabelle another shot at a lead role. Unfortunately for her, the movie doesn't match her level of talent.  Bring back Mary Mason.