Blu-ray
One to Avoid
1.5 stars
Amazon
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Overall Grade
1.5 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
0 Stars
HD Video Quality
2 Stars
HD Audio Quality
2 Stars
Supplements
2 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
One to Avoid

Monamour

Street Date:
July 26th, 2011
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
July 28th, 2011
Movie Release Year:
2005
Studio:
Cult Epics
Length:
94 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

If anyone tries to convince me that Tinto Brass is a good filmmaker, I'll punch them right in the face. I'm not joking. The man is like your pervy uncle who sits in the corner at family reunions and gawks at all the way-too-young cousins. He's a perverted cheeseball that makes movie after movie of utter stupidity that people try to disguise as eroticism. I'm sorry, but Brass' idea of eroticism is a close up of a woman's butt when she sits down. If I didn't know better I'd think that Brass was one of those dudes that gets caught peering up from mounds of fecal matter in women's outhouses, trying to get a few good (which is a very relative term in this instance) pictures.

I still can't believe the high regard that people hold 'Caligula' in. That movie is such a gargantuan waste of time. Talk about needing a shower after seeing a movie, 'Caligula' requires a one of those baths that they give people who've come in contact with hazardous chemicals. As a matter of fact, that's how I feel after every Tinto Brass movie I've ever watched. Like I need to be scrubbed with lye just so I feel normal again.

Now Cult Epics is releasing a few more risqué titles. Nate reviewed Randy Metzger's 'The Lickerish Quartet' not too long ago, and now it looks like Brass' monstrosities are being lumped into the "erotic" category as well.

He must have a fan base. He keeps making movies. All you have to do is watch him during his making of featurettes and see how he tries to feel up his actresses under the guise of showing the actor playing opposite her what to do.

This review seems to be less of a review of his movie 'Monamour' and more of a critique on his outrageously bad movies. At no point do they ever enter the realm of eroticism. Flashing breasts and butts and a fevered pace do not eroticism make. To put it bluntly, he's the Uwe Boll of erotic movies.

There's no feeling between characters in his films. They're stereotypical nincompoops who do nothing but remove their clothes. 'Monamour' is no different. Marta (Anna Jimskaia) is just sick to death, I tell ya, of her husband's inability to please her sexually. So she has an affair, writes about it in her journal, and that's about it. Oh yes, there's copious amounts of nudity which never begin to approach real eroticism. Brass shows numerous shots of women going to the bathroom. He's a creep, end of story.

This set also comes with a "bonus" movie. I put the word bonus in quotes because the word bonus implies something extra that's of worth. The included movie, 'Kick the Cock', is actually worthless. To make matters worse we have to watch the moribund director waddle around spying on a sexy French maid for an hour. That's right. Brass gives himself a role in this movie that features a woman dancing around while he leers at her. There's nothing sexier than a skeezy old man trying to get a sneak peek.

How Brass has made such a name for himself I will never know. He fails to realize that true eroticism stems from the characters and their chemistry not from cheap nudity, busting blouses, and panty-less actresses. The only thing that separates his stuff from, say, the 'Girls Gone Wild' guys is that people somehow mistakenly believe that just because he's European he's allowed to be a dirty pervert. Baloney! He's a fifteen year-old kid stuck in an old man's body trying his hardest to get a peek into the girls locker room, or bathroom, or any other room where women might be removing their clothes.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Monamour' and 'Kick the Cock' come in the same package, but on different discs. There's a slipcover included that is double-sided. On one side is the title image for 'Monamour' on the other side is the title image for 'Kick the Cock.' Each movie is housed on a 25GB Blu-ray Disc.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

Just like the movies, the video presentation is downright scummy. It's plagued with a softness that makes the movie look like it was shot in the 70s instead of 2006. I know that a lot of that is due to Brass' style, but there are other problems at work here too.

Colors are muted and, at times, ugly. Fine detail, even during extreme close ups, is mediocre at best. The picture is lousy, with digital noise everywhere. Nighttime scenes are fraught with noise crawling over the image. Edges are indistinct. Blacks never even approach dark grays let alone bottomless blacks. Shadows frequently crush out any sort of detail on the picture. Edge enhancement is noticeable throughout much of the movie, along with banding and aliasing.

In short, if someone stuck this Blu-ray in for you and you didn't know that it was a Blu-ray or DVD you'd have a hard time telling the difference. There may be a little better clarity, or a bit more detail, but by and large this is an ugly looking presentation that holds true for both of the movies in this set.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

The audio is just as disappointing. Not like you were expecting much, but this release has been gimped by a lossy Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. There's an English track, but that's only presented in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Dialogue is often muggy and incoherent. Rears are void of any actual life. There's some signs that something may be going on back there, like during parties, but for the most part they're silent. Brass' rinky-dink soundtracks blare from the front speakers, and rarely feel like it's encompassing you.

It's not like I was expecting all that much from this audio presentation, but it still managed to under perform. Let's be honest though, if you're thinking about picking this set up, you would probably be able to watch it on mute and not care in the least. It's not like you have to listen to anything going on to actually understand that it's a movie full of naked women.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

'Monamour'

  • Making of 'Monamour' (HD, 15 min.) — Not much of anything here other than some BTS footage along with some footage of Brass groping his actress. It's totally professional, right? Riiiiight.

'Kick the Cock'

  • Making of 'Kick the Cock' (HD, 13 min.) — Another making of that does little more than show you what went on behind the scenes as the naked actress prances around for Brass himself. Brass explains why he wanted to make this short movie. He could've just said that he wanted to look at a naked chick for a few days of filming and then been done with it.
  • Venice Film Festival Premiere (HD, 3 min.) — Footage from the movie's premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
  • Spanish Dance by Angelita Franco (HD, 4 min.) — A strip tease by the main actress.
  • Comic Strip by Franco Saudelli (HD, 3 min.) — A featurette for a comic strip by Franco Saudelli.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided.

Final Thoughts

Tinto Brass is one of the most overrated filmmakers alive. I can't understand, for the life of me, why anyone would ever think any of his movies are erotic. They're glorified peep shows with only a semblance of cinematography. They're nothing more. There's no substance here, there, or anywhere. His characters are flatter than flat. If there's no connection with the characters then there's no eroticism to be had. Period. What a lame excuse for an erotic film 'Monamour' is, and what a lame excuse for a director Brass is.

Technical Specs

  • 2-Disc Set
  • 25GB Blu-ray Discs

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.85:1
  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • English: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Italian: Dobly Digital 2.0

Subtitles/Captions

  • English

Supplements

  • 'Kick the Cock' bonus film
  • The Making of "Monamour" / The Making of "Kick the Cock"
  • Comic strip by Franco Saudelli
  • Venice Film Festival Premiere with Tinto Brass (Circuito Off 2008, Media Group TV)
  • Spanish Dance by Angelita Franco
  • Trailers

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