Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 25th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, October 18th, 1991
Director: David Kellogg
Writer: David Stenn
Cast: Vanilla Ice, Naomi Campbell, Deezer D, Kevin Hicks, Allison Dean, Bobbie Brown, Kristin Minter, Sydney Lassick, Dody Goodman, John Newton, Candy Clark, Michael Gross
DVD released: September 6th, 2010
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: PG (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Second Sight
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £15.99
When a girl has a heart of stone, there’s only one way to melt it. Just add Ice.
Looking back it is always easy to see where things went wrong and put them into perspective. In 1991 when Vanilla Ice was approached with the opportunity to star in his own film. On the surface this would have appeared to be easy money. His album To the Extreme was a worldwide sensation. Which was only further bolstered by the single Ice Ice Baby, the first rap song to ever go #1. And the fact that Robert Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice) was the first rapper to bring a more Caucasian based fan base into the fold. This also played a big part in his success and an even larger part in his decline in popularity. Unfortunately for Vanilla Ice, his rise was as quick as his fall.
Synopsis: A girl fails for a rough around the edges outsider from the wrong side of the tracks.
Cool as Ice was directorial debut of David Kellogg a filmmaker who up to that point had only directed a handful of music videos and soft core videos for Playboy. There is definitely a strong case that could made that Cool as Ice is one of the biggest misfires for any first time director’s and the fact that he has only directed one film since Inspector Gadget, speaks volumes about the u-turn his career has taken.
The screenplay for Cool as Ice was written by David Stenn and like the film’s director. His career has not flourished since Cool as Ice. Some of his most delirious prose that appears in Cool as Ice Includes lines like “Drop that zero and get with the hero!”, “I’m gonna go across the street and, uh, schling a schlong.” His most recent project Girl 27, which he also directed. Is a documentary about a young woman named Patricia Douglas who in 1937 was tricked into attended a stag party by MGM.
The only crew member who has come out of Cool as Ice unscathed is cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. He has worked with director Steven Spielberg on everyone from of his film starting with Schindler’s List through Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Some of his other notable films as a cinematographer include Jerry Maguire and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
Content wise this film was reportedly fashioned as a hip hop update of Rebel Without a Cause. And while the film’s does its darndest to sell Vanilla Ice’s character Johnny as a misunderstood youth with a heart of gold. The end result is often lacking any lasting impact as the cast of characters that surround Johnny are portrayed a wise cracking sidekicks who no one would ever be sacred of. The rest of the characters which populate this film are your stereo typical cast that are all too common in these films. Like the jealous preppy boyfriend, the girl just waiting for a bad boy to seep her off her feet and parents who fail to understand their children. Pretty much from the get go the plot is predictable and the lacking doesn’t leave any lasting impression. When all is said and done, is Cool as Ice as bad as its reputation? That is only an answer that those who are brave enough to sit through this cinematic oddity will be enlightened with.
Second Sight gives Cool as Ice, it’s worldwide DVD debut via a strong anamorphic widescreen presentation that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Black levels and contrast fare well. Details look crisp, there are no problems with compression or edge enhancement.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio sounds clean and balanced throughout. Dialog sounds clear and the film’s soundtrack sound’s surprisingly robust (with an emphasis on bass).
Outside of a static menu which offers up two options, play the film or chapter selection. This release is a bare bones release that comes with no additional material to help put this film in perspective. Overall Cool as Ice gets a well rounded audio / video presentation from Second Sight.