Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"I fell in love once before I died..."Aug. 2 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
"The Girl from the Naked Eye" is one of those movies of which I'm torn between giving an overlookable three stars and a promising four stars, because even though it excels on all levels of DTV cinema, it does so unevenly. It's one of the few movies I had actively anticipated to see, and the fact that I waited for so long probably raised my expectations to counterproductive levels...but rest assured, it's a good film. A very good film, if you're thinking strictly in terms of DTV action. Oh what the heck - have four stars, movie.
The story: when a young call girl (Samantha Streets, Alien Raiders) is mysteriously killed, her only friend (Jason Yee, Dark Assassin) must untangle a deadly urban web to find the murderer.
Be aware, folks, that this is basically an action-packed neo noir flick - something like Sin City without superhuman characters but with a lot more martial arts. It's pulled off surprisingly well, by a surprisingly good cast: Jason Yee is yards ahead of Seagal or Statham as a dramatic action hero, and Samantha Streets is no mere pretty face; and along with an expectedly good performance by Gary Stretch (Alexander) as a dirty cop and an amazingly adept portrayal by Ron Yuan (Blood & Bone) as a pimp, there's a pretty good ensemble to be had here. The script has obviously also been given a good deal of attention, as it feels more like a genuine feature nearly ready for a theatrical release than the typical made-for-DVD dreck. However, regardless of how skillfully it handles the drama throughout its first three-quarters of runtime, the finale disappoints by more or less dropping the solution of the mystery into your lap and then ending sort of unenthusiastically. I'm not sure whether the script writers (including Yee himself) ran out of steam or just couldn't get the ending filmed properly, but I was disappointed either way.
The film's trailer gave the impression that the movie's action content would be one I could really sink my teeth into, and it's true...for the most part. I've admired choreographer Ron Yuan's work ever since watching Angel of Death, and I daresay that "Naked Eye" here is his best offering to date. Sadly, it's not as consistent as I would have liked. Twenty minutes in, the film first displays its adrenaline clout via a series of brief exchanges that expertly showcase Yuan's convincing yet liberal style: the vast majority of the fights look realistic enough to actually happen, yet there's no skimping on impressive kicks. A few minor scuffles here and there keep things alive until an ultimately disappointing club brawl. I thought for sure that the movie had failed in its action content when Yee's two battles with the usually-amazing Lateef Crowder (Undisputed III: Redemption) didn't exactly do either man justice, but then the film threw a fastball at me in the form of an incredibly pleasing four-on-one fight in a hallway filmed in a single shot with a single camera - easily one of the best fights I've seen this year.
The occasional digital backdrop and digital blood during the fights give the impression that this is a cheap movie, but don't be fooled - it's classier than most things on the market with a similar budget, with swell cinematography and a memorable soundtrack. Having expected neither, I'm happy to say that while the film didn't meet some of my expectations, it outdid others just by being much more competent than anticipated. There's a good chance that people who don't view it on its terms won't have as much fun with it as me, but general martial arts fans, leisurely noir aficionados, and people who've spent the last five years waiting for a new Jason Yee vehicle should definitely be entertained.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The best Sasha Grey film she's never been inJuly 18 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
There's a lot you can say here but i'm going to start with this - i suspect most people watched this film for Sasha Grey. Internationally super famous porn star Sasha Grey starring in a movie about kung fu and prostitutes? This is a movie that knows what audience it's targeting. It's why she's one of the four names on the front of the cover, one of the four characters featured on the cover, one of only two people prominently featured on the cover and the only person on the cover in a bright color on an otherwise black and white cover - this movies wants you to know that Sasha is in this movie.
Only she isn't.
Well, OK, i guess she is. Jake, a bodyguard for call girls whose favorite girl Sandy has just been killed, is leaving a whore house after stealing his boss' client list when he gets in an elevator. There, in a sweater and overcoat, is Sasha Grey. She says "Are you Jake? i heard about Sandy. i'm sorry." They get to the bottom floor and Jake leaves. There, you now have all 5 seconds of Sasha Grey's appearance in the film. She's the background character with essentially no lines who is wearing more clothing than any 3 other people combined.
So i'm subtracting a star for flat out dishonesty. What about the movie itself? Not bad.
Jake is the main character. He is played by Jason Lee. Jason Lee is also the narrator. And writer. He beats up lots of people and he's good at it. My favorite part is the final hallway fight, which is like a shortened, not quite as awesome version of The Raid. If you haven't seen that fight, Jake ends most fights with 2 or 3 hits so you make the fight last long by throwing a dozen guys at him. How can our hero beat a dozen men? He doesn't. He might be a superhero but this is a realistic action film (no fancy kicks here) and there are limits. Also, honorable mention for the black guy that never speaks and uses capoeira (i don't know if he gets a name but he's not hard to find, there are only like 3 black guys in the film; most of the cast is Asian). That guy had such a fantastic "yawn, i'm not impressed" look on his face. He kicked ass.
Every actor in this film is fantastic. i'm really surprised at how good they are. The one exception is Jake. The guy who's not only the main character but the ever-present narrator. i'm pretty sure he hired himself for his fighting, not his acting. Not that i'd say his acting is bad, but the movie has the feel of one of those old hard boiled detective movies where an apathetic, matter-of-fact, slightly bored-sounding guy keeps telling you what's happening. And listening to a bored guy be boring isn't much fun. Maybe it was a stylistic choice (bodyguards are supposed to be stoic, right?) but it sucked the fun right out of the listener.
Another problem is that Jake isn't exactly a rocket scientist. Why should we care? Because the film is all about Jake following the clues to track down a killer. And he can't. Because he's stupid. Very, very stupid. Thankfully, a prostitute at a bar read Nancy Drew and tells him what Nancy Drew would do. This allows him to make a little progress but he never does figure out what happened, at least not until someone comes and literally tells him. It's easy to spend most of the film yelling "what, are you a moron?" and tearing out your hair in frustration.
As a film about a strip club fronting a whore house, you obviously expect their to be nudity in the film, and there is. At least once. Probably twice.
Pros: Fabulous actors (other than main character), good fight scenes, not awful story, that one capoeira guy Cons: Dishonest advertising, joy-sucking commentator, stupid hero
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Girl from the naked eyeApril 17 2013
Robert H. Mc Dowell
- Published on Amazon.com
It was different than most. The action was unusual because the style of martial arts used was different. As a long time martial artist, it was enjoyable. A 38 year old bouncer for the Naked Lady strip joint, etc., had affection for a 16 year old that work for the Naked Lady as a prostitute who he drove to locations. There’s a sweetness and caring that develops between them with no sex. Shooting, cool realistic martial arts, human caring and the constant feeling of Asian and American emendated from the film. It starts out with a jolting bang and goes on from there, without telling every thing. It’s a different type of film but entertaining. No it’s not an academy awards winner, just pure pleasure to watch. I would recommed this to anyone that enjoys a good exciting romp in the underbelly of the gangster world.
A Violent Martial Arts Action Film Done in the Style of the Pulp Ficiton GenreDec 30 2014
James N Simpson
- Published on Amazon.com
I didn't know anything about this film before viewing it and have to say I quite enjoyed it. It's made to resemble pulp fiction genre world of novels and movies from the early half of last century. Like those that novels plots of beautiful women needing to be rescued by a strong willed man (hero type), that is exactly what this film brings to the screen. A guy who works as a driver for a young prostitute avenging her murder (not the woman on the cover) and constant flashbacks to when she was alive and him rescuing her from violent clients. It even has the voiceover narration often used in the movies when that medium came onto the scene and those novels' stories appeared on the big screen. We don't really see pulp fiction movies made too much these days and this one plays a nice homage to that genre with the adding of modern day aspects such as multiculturalism in the underworld, with the main hero being Asian and many other underworld figures being of Asian, African and of other places heritage.
The action in this one is pretty good. Less artistic and using objects in the room than a Jackie Chan film, but the same level of martial arts dominating the action of the storyline in this one. This is a lot more violent than Chan's films though. Sure it's a bit unrealistic but if you want a film with lots of fights scenes, this is a good one for that.
A gritty action film with heart and a great story!May 2 2015
Dan Y Marshall
- Published on Amazon.com
This is an outstanding film with a strong plotline, excellent performances, heart-pounding and realistic action, and first-rate cinematography! My friends and film colleagues thoroughly enjoyed it when it premiered at the Hoboken International Film Festival, and watching it a second time on DVD let me further appreciate the artistry. As a life-long martial artist, I especially admire the true to life and cleverly choreographed fight sequences in this film, and most notably Jake's (portrayed by actor/producer/writer, Jason Yee) hallway fight scene. Very convincing performances by Ron Yuan and Jason Yee. You are sure to enjoy this film!