Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Nikki Reed, Jonathan Tucker, Julie Gonzalo, Michael O'Keefe, Haviland Morris
Director: Nicholas DiBella
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Privileged teenager Jordan Wells finds himself expelled from prep school after taking provocative photos of his female classmates. Now enrolled in the local high school, he becomes helplessly blinded by the beauty of Shay... more »
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Pretty good thriller
Tim F. Martin | Madison, AL United States | 10/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"_Cherry Crush_ is probably not a movie I would normally watch. I have certainly never reviewed anything like it before on Amazon.com. I found it really cheap and figured it might be at least as entertaining as other movies such as _Cruel Intentions_, focusing on intrigue, webs of lies, betrayal, and perhaps real crime. I knew from the movie's description that there was a murder, so I figured it might be interesting.
The basic premise is that Jordan Wells, a teenager of wealthy parents is expelled in the opening of the movie from an expensive private school for taking nude photographs of his female classmates (fair warning, a few of these photos are briefly shown, they are artistic, nothing I thought offensive, are relevant to the story, and there is no more nudity in the rest of the film). Though he committed no crime, the school's dean and administrators decide they had no further options and force him to leave the school.
Jordan enrolled in the local high school and became entranced by a beautiful student he meets there by the name of Shay Bettencourt, a woman unlike the other girls at the high school or from Jordan's previous school. She is intelligent, opinionated, a bit of an outsider, and mysterious. Before too long Jordan and Shay end up together, Jordan wanting to photograph Shay, Shay wanting to use Jordan for her own ends.
As the movie progresses bit by bit Jordan finds more and more about Shay. The first time they spend any time outside of class, Jordan gives Shay a ride home. It turns out though that that was not Shay's home at all; Shay shares an appeasement with a rather unsavory sister. Though a bit out of the norm for Jordan - and Shay worried that her "wrong side of the tracks" background might scare off her new boyfriend - Jordan is enamored with the lovely Shay, despite the fact that she is not all that she appears to be.
What appealed to me the most about the movie was that Jordan, a pretty normal if privileged boy, is falling in love with a woman clearly outside of his normal social circles (not merely in terms of how much money she has either). He finds that several times she either lied to him or omitted mentioning certain things, but each time he discovered the truth, he believed her when she said that she merely wanted to avoid scaring him away. After a time though he begins wonder; was it just that, or is there some deeper agenda? Is she just using him for what he can do for her, perhaps a pleasant enough companion but only useful up to a point, or does she really love him? Shay seemed to care for Jordan but as Jordan got further and further into her world the word "baggage" does not even begin to cover it, as Jordan's world apparently encompasses blackmail, fraud, and eventually murder. Does Jordan stick with the woman he loves - and feels responsible for - or does he back away, perhaps frightened of her, perhaps merely wanting to protect himself, a very real concern when certain lines are crossed? Is wanting to be with this girl worth it, at great risk to his future, his liberty, even his life?
The movie might sound like a romance, and in some ways it is, but to me it was a more a movie of intrigue, murder, and deception; a thriller basically. I thought the acting was good, Shay was certainly someone that would tempt most men, and the twists and turns of her slowly revealed background and life story were interesting."
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 12/23/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, how did I start watching this picture? I liked the title, which refers to a certain shade of lipstick or nail polish favored by the heroine, Shay Bettencourt (Nikki Reed) which attracts the boy she wants, wealthy young preppy Jordan (Jonathan Tucker). Jordan's insistent neo-noir narration plays continually over the pretty pictures CHERRY CRUSH delivers, and you get tired of him saying over and over again, "A good photographer captures his subject," significant pause, while the camera pans over 4,000 more vacuous shots of Shay in prim lingerie--then the capper, "But a good subject captures her photographer." Staccato burst of horns. It makes sense, sort of, but it depends on chemistry, and Tucker and Reed are no William Hurt and Kathleen Turner. Oh what a mess this movie is, on every level. Number one, it was ludicrous to set this noir thriller in high school.
I know, I know, BRICK did it well, but BRICK was more a story of gangsters and turf and money, whereas CHERRY CRUSH wants to revel in the whole forbidden love POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE thing. It still could work, maybe, but why hire Jonathan Tucker to play a high school student? The guy looks like he's about 40 and a CPA. When he's sitting next to Frank Whaley at a bar, Whaley looks younger. Well, he wasn't directed to keep an absolutely deadpan face with no expression, whereas Tucker looks as though they injected curare into his facial muscles every morning at the beginning of the shoot. There's a whole plot in which Jordan is supposed to be on the working board of a huge arts organization in order for his CV to look good when he applies to Cornell. Jordan (and his girlfriend, equally late 30ish, but apparently also supposed to be 17) is thrust into heavy million dollar fundraising, well, I don't think so. Why even have that plot, it is so ludicrous. There must be a million other ways to show Jordan at the mercy of a powerful Ari-Gold type of dad who rules him with an iron glove, so that we should sympathize with his need to be free in some aspect of his wealthy young life, even if it means picking up the trashiest girl in town and becoming part of her web of sin, lies and murder.
The biggest problem is Nikki Reed as the vamp--totally inadequate. She looks like a little girl trying on mommy's wedding gown."
Suspense, Without Bad Language
Artist & Author | Near Mt. Baker, WA | 01/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't think many would say this is a great movie, but it does have a few qualities that would make it of interest to traditional values families. The first is the language; I can recall only one instance of any kind of objectionable language. Considering many of today's movies, that is a welcome relief. There is one passing scene pertaining to sex, but it clearly is not the focus of the move. This, in spite of the fact that Jordan was kicked out of his prep school for taking glamour photos of some of the girls.
At its core, this is a movie about lying and about making good decisions, even as a teenager. The first homicide occurred when Shay's married 'boyfriend' started to attack her and Jordan rushes to her rescue. Next thing you know, Jordan is on the ground being beaten by the adult man. Shay grabs a small log and hits the adult on his head, killing him. Clearly, this would be classified as self defense, something as wealthy a kid as Jordan's lawyer could have won if they were even charged. Instead of doing the right thing, Jordan and Shay try to cover up the death. Thus begins a 'need' to lie over and over again, until the end of the movie. Parents who show this movie to their teens would have a great opportunity to point out how making the wrong choice creates one mess after another.
It is refreshing to see a 'suspense' movie nearly devoid of bad language or hyped sex. And, make no mistake about it, most people, especially teens, would probably find this to be as suspenseful as any similar movie. I am grading it down one level because the unexpected ending, while very clever, would not be the action that a person of high character would do."