29 August 2012 | jmcginn174
A much better film then I thought it would be.
Late August and most of September is usually a crappy time of year for films at least for me. Sure there is Expendables 2 out and Lawless coming out Friday, but they aren't movies I desperately want to see or willing to fork at least ten bucks for to see, so this is usually the time I rent films, and that's what I did a few days ago. I rented The Raid: Redemption, Flowers of War and The Girl From The Naked Eye. The Naked Eye was a spur of the moment decision on my part. It's only a buck to rent at the Red Box and the summary sounded decent, so I decided to check it out which leads to my review of the film. This will be another relatively short review.
The film follows Jake (Jason Yee) a driver for high class escorts who seeks justice for Sandy (Samantha Streets) who he finds shot dead in her apartment; even though he's a driver, a recovering alcoholic and in debit to the mob. The story is a noir-mystery that was influenced by the films of the late 1930's, 1940's and the 1950's. Even for the direct to DVD you can tell the film didn't have that big of a budget. Still the story works pretty well as Jake gives us his internal monologue as he tries to find Sandy's killer. The flashbacks gives detail into the relationship of Jake and Sandy and also gives depth to these flawed characters trying to get out of the sh*tty lives they have. For me this was a surprisingly good story with a sad and fitting ending.
The acting by these C level stars was pretty good. Jason Yee was great as the lead showing depth of emotions that fit the role. I had never heard of the actor before this film. He's manly stared in direct to DVD films, but I was surprised he had an un-credited role in The Dark Knight Rises as one of Bane's mercenaries. Ron Yuan (Simon) did a decent job as Jake's boss. He's another actor I'd never heard off, but you might recognize his voice. He gets most of his work from video games. He's had roles in Command and Conquer, Prototype, Alpha Protocol, Fallout New Vegas and many others. Another unknown actor Gary Stretch plays Frank who has an interest in Jake and Samantha. He does a good job playing a bad guy, and apparently has had many roles in direct to DVD films. Samantha Streets is a beautiful actress and did a great job playing Sandy. She's only had guest roles on television shows and minor roles. I think some director or film studio should give her a chance. Samantha is attractive and is a pretty good actress. The overrated retired porn star Sasha Grey is on the cover of the DVD, but she's only in the film for a minute. I know why the studio did that so she could draw attention to the film, but like I said she's only in it for maybe a minute. On a side note I know some men find her attractive, but I don't see the appeal. In my opinion she's ugly and very flat chested. Sasha isn't Hollywood hot and she's not even street hot, and the majority of the women I see on the street are hotter than her. Anyway back to my review.
With such a low budget film you can't expect special effects action sequences, and that was probably the worst part of the film. The action was at best decent. The best scene for action was the climax in a hallway, which was surprisingly really good, but that's pretty much the highlight of the film action wise. David Ren wrote and directed this film and he does a good job with the budget he has. I didn't know this until I looked him up, but he also directed another decent direct to DVD film called Shanghai Kiss, which I enjoyed.
In my ratings you'll find I'm harsher in my criticism to films that I see in the theater then when I rent or download films. I expect more from films that are released in the theater, because they're supposed to be the higher quality films in writing, directing, acting and action/effects. I am a little more forgiving for films that are direct to DVD or films I rent. Would The Girl From The Naked Eye be worth paying at least ten bucks to see in the theater no, but overall the film is pretty good and I recommend that you rent it; it's worth the buck you'd spend to rent it at Red Box. It has a good story and characters with decent acting, below average action and good directing.