'7 Shades of Sexy'
(DVD / 2015 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: '7 Shades of Sexy' is a collection of 7 intense and seductive films filled with romance, secrets, and dark desires!
DVD Verdict: We begin with BLISS (1997), starring Craig Sheffer, Sheryl Lee, and Terence Stamp. On his wedding day, Joseph nervously admits that his wife is not quite like other women. But his beautiful bride is more than just the impulsive, compulsive, obsessive woman he thinks he knows. And when Joseph discovers she is hiding troubling secrets, it sends them both on a sexual odyssey that will either destroy or redeem their relationship. This movie is a difficult one to watch, but well worth it. The sex scenes have been handled with tact. This is an honest look at the marriage between a relatively stable man, and a definitely unbalanced woman. Though it's Terrence Stamp's performance that is the best, Sheffer and Lee give moving and audacious performances in this unique love story.
Next we have BARE WITNESS (2002) starring Angie Everhart and Daniel Baldwin. A videotaped encounter between a hired killer and a beautiful call girl inadvertently links a prominent member of the business community to the planned assassination of a high-ranking politician. Get ready to Bare Witness to on of the the hottest, sexiest erotic thrillers. Not quite as bad as it's made out to be. You can't expect too much for a direct-to-video production anyway. It did have the egregious Daniel Baldwin (one of the less talented Baldwin brothers, and that's saying a lot!) acting to best of his (extremely limited) ability. Angie Everhart shows her chops (among other things) by credibly pretending to be attracted to Baldwin. Catalina Larranaga also shows that she can seriously act, and deserves a shot at some roles where she doesn't have to get naked!
Then comes SPIDER'S WEB (2002) starring Stephen Baldwin and Kari Wuhrer. A sexy executive is seduced by a younger man into stealing $40 million from his politically ambitious father. As the elaborate swindle is set in motion and their erotically charged affair reaches a boiling point, the two begin to question the intentions of one another. Is he a pampered rich boy getting his kinky kicks with an experienced older woman or is she a shrewd black widow out to make a killing? With more care, the plot of this low budget B-movie could be attractive. But the problem is the excessive and long sex scenes between the two main characters. Instead of improving the screenplay, writer and director give free sex for the viewers. Stephen Baldwin is a bad actor, and maybe for him it would really be necessary to show his butts many times for the pleasure of his feminine public. However, Kari Wuhrer does not seem to be such a bad actress. Indeed, she seems to know how to act.
Next up is IMPULSE (2008) starring Angus Macfadyen and pop singer Willa Ford. Claire Dennison is a beautiful, sensuous woman, desperate to arouse her husband's desires. She devises a fantasy role-play game, sets the scene and her husband takes the bait...or does he? So consumed with desire the passion enthralls her, but it's not long before Claire realizes she's playing a dangerous game of seduction with someone so familiar, yet completely unknown. I think I can sum up the essential nature of 'Impulse' by pointing out the movie doesn't use any of that new fangled computer technology to let one actor play two identical characters. No, writer/director Charles T. Kanganis relies on the exact same camera and editing tricks pioneered more than few decades ago by The Patty Duke Show. When you're making a film in the 21st century and it's no more sophisticated than "It's cousins! Identical cousins, come what may!" you really ought to stop and wonder if there isn't something else you should be doing with your time!
Then comes YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH (2007) starring Tim Roth and Alexandra Maria Lara. A love story wrapped in a mystery. Set in Europe before WWII, a timid professor is changed by a cataclysmic event and explores the mysteries of life. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, 'Yuth Without Youth' is a film about a 70 year old man who is struck by lightning. After he recovers from his injuries, he appears to be 30 years younger and does not age for the following 18 years – or maybe not. The ending leaves much to interpretation, which will infuriate many people who are not willing to think for themselves. Parts of the film appear to be dreams sequences (maybe the scenes that start upside down.) Maybe the entire film after the lightning strike is a dream. Maybe the entire film was meant to be taken literally (but probably not!) Anyway, at times 'Youth Without Youth' seems like a David Lynch film without the horror aspects. There are doppelgangers and people with supernatural powers. It is surreal and strange and some scenes do not make sense in their sequence but are important in the entirety of the film.
Following that is STORYVILLE (1992) starring James Spader, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, and Jason Robards. The son of a powerful Louisiana family and a rising political star, Cray Fowler, is videotaped having sex with a beautiful prostitute and finds himself at the center of a web of blackmail and murder. Forced to defend the woman who betrayed him against the woman he once loved, Cray comes face to face with the dangerous secret that created his family's power-and now threatens his own life. The sex scenes are beautifully graphic, as Spader is noted for in most of his early films (especially 'Crash'). The younger actor Spader was cast as the lover-boy himself. Spader, Robards & Piper Laurie all portray extremely convincing characters. The movie's got just enough of a bit of everything in it. White collar crime, murders, hot sex, three great lead actors, family betrayal, good and bad guys (and gals), money and a constant pursuit of justice. This is a terrific flick!
And the final film of the seven is WHERE THE TRUTH LIES (2005) starring Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, and Alison Lohman. A female journalist, Karen O'Conner tries to uncover the truth behind the breakup, years earlier, of a celebrated comedy team after the duo found a girl dead in their hotel room. Though both had airtight alibis and neither was accused, the incident put an end to their act. I was engrossed by the premise. Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth and a dead girl in a bathtub. To see Firth and Bacon go through the steps of a sort of Jerry Lewis Dean Martin routine was, in itself, reason enough to see the movie. On top of that, a director like Egoyan. I was hooked but immediately, regrettably unhooked every time Alison Lohman opened her mouth. Who could possibly believe it? That character should exude intelligence other than sensual vibes. Miss Lohman doesn't exude either and makes the whole premise collapse. Sorry, Ms. Lohman, but I speak it like I see it! These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.