Asia Argento + Oliver Assayas = not for everyone
Christina Ovalle | 01/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"for me this boils down to a simple equation: asia argento + oliver assayas (writer-director) = awesome.
but it also, as i stated in the subject line: asia argento + oliver assays = not for everyone.
that said, despite my four star rating and personal affection for this film it is NOT for everyone. assayas is the key point in this equation, he makes films of a particular ilk. he has evolved a lot throughout his career, and i personally find his films hit or miss. i would not reccommend an oliver assays film to the majority of the people i know, because frankly, i think most people would find them sluggishly paced, pointless, meandering, and "boring." i personally do not feel this way about assayas's films, but a lot of online reviews seem to follow this train of thought.
argento has evolved a lot throughout her career as well. if you've seen her earlier work, she used to be...a particularly bad actress. but she's really come into her own. her acting is underrated imo, and unique. her filmmaking while flawed, is particularly ambitious and one-of-a-kind (i'm speaking more of "the heart is deceitful above all things" rather than the rather ho-hum "scarlett diva.") i think if you really want to see her ACT, "the Last Mistress" (which is also a more accessible, traditional French period film) is essential viewing. this performance is good, but not her best.
argento is sexy, i won't lie. assayas is considered one of france's leading filmmakers, he lately has been doing international co-productions often largely in english.
but while argento and assayas are a match made in heaven imo, i would warn people who are simply expecting a sexy argento film, or even those expecting a tradtional inernational fillm, this is not it.
i don't know if i'm allowed to say this, but i would suggest (if you haven't already) renting before just immediately buying. that may go without saying, but i know many people who buy movies before seeing them, so that's why i mention this (i'm not trying to be cheeky or anything.)
one final note...i did not see this in theatres, so i have no reference point. but my suspicion is that the image (less so than audio) is not the greatest transfer in the world. it could be an intentional "look" assayas was striving for, but having only seen the dvd (and owning it), i have to say the picture quality leaves a lot to be desired. (and that it is being viewed both with and without an upscaler, no less.)
Prostitute, assassin, drug dealer or what?
Reader | Boca Raton, FL | 11/03/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I will admit that the reason I wanted ot see this film is not so much because Asia Argento is in it bt because Michael Madsen is in it. His portrayals of bad guys has always fascinated me and I was curious to find out what he has for the audience to show this time around. As it turns out, we see more of Asia Argento who struts around in her underwear baring some impressive tatoos. To some she may seem sexy, to me she looks wasted, tired and trashy. Her character Sandra and Madsen's character Myles know each other from her not so distant past. She is a prostitute providing kinky sex to her high end clientele. Myles hires her to provide services for his business clients and she accepts it in hopes Myles will pay her $1M so she can open a club in Beijing and start a new life. But of course, Myles never pays out and Sandra tries her luck in selling drugs. When that business goes wrong too, she resigns to becoming assasin in hopes to get a payout that will allow her start anew. In any case, plot becomes confusing, Sandra seems to be ready to sleep with any man that comes along in hopes to get that final payout. One cannot but think that her character should just stick to what she does best - "be a prostitute because that is the only thing you are good at, honey". I have totally missed this movie and the mening of it, until I realized perhaps this is just a film about globalization - French call girl, providing services in England who hopes to start her own busienss in China. Now we are talking a plot. Employ this woman's best asset - her body - and we have a real business woman boarding gate at any international airport. How original."
I have seen all the asia argento movies this one is a dud
Robert L. Christlieb | fort wayne ,indiana | 09/04/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Michael Madsen kinda made watchen it a chore, is voice can hardly be heard ...find it hard to hear with the volume cranked up....you mite need a Michael Madsen translator?
the story is a little to basic , found it hard to stay awake, not worth watchen twice ..rent if you want to ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz."