The Girl from the Naked Eye (2012)
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With that in mind however, I found it very easy to appreciate how this film follows the graphic novel/detective film translation. Moreover, it borrows a lot from Sin City in its colour scheme, lighting and general feel. The fight choreography is gritty and satisfactory. They integrate the standard line of thugs in with trained "guards" and a certified martial artist in Lateef Crowder (Max).
The biggest surprise is how much depth they add to the surrounding characters beyond the protagonist. Simon and Sandy bring forth a lot of different emotional reactions and really help raise the entire acting level of the film. There are few lines in this movie that should crack a smile as well.
Overall it's a slightly different take on your standard detective narrative and worth a viewing if you have time to kill or enjoy the genre.
In the sordid world of prostitution, Jake find a diamond in the rough a young 16-year old runaway named Sandy (Samantha Streets) who is working as a prostitute for Simon (Ron Yuan), a high ranking thug in a world of unlawful activities. But as we learn in the opening chapter, Sandy is murdered and Jake will make it his ambition to find out who was responsible and make them pay with his own form of justice.
Jake's investigation will work outside of the police inquiry and each promising lead will take him through the underbelly of a criminal enterprise where countless ruffians are just chompin' at the bit at a chance to take their best shot against the inquisitive Jake.
The Girl From the Naked Eye is told with both flashbacks and a narrative style that is quite impressive from relatively novice writers Jason Yee and Larry Madill. The narrative in particular doesn't add fluff nor does it try and infuse humor into a character that is serious to the core in his pursuit. The flashbacks were also expertly placed and allow for us to understand better Jakes attachment to Sandy while allowing the present day story to unfold in detail.
Most impressive in the production are the fight sequences which are truly top rate. Jake primarily uses his fists to parade through countless brutes in his search for the truth. And the sequences are handled with the precision of a craftsman. A particular scene of Jake fighting a handful of guards in the hallway of a building complex reminded us of OldBoy and was clearly the highlight of the film.
The film was purposefully shot in the darkened crevasses of the city and the film will hardly be one that the anti-smoking lobbyists will endorse. There weren't many bright colors, if any, in the film and I respected the look and atmosphere that was orchestrated by director David Ren.
The story was good, but not perfect. There were a few dead ends and a few troubled spots where I might have had pieces of a scene left on the cutting room floor but for the majority of the very brisk 85-minute running time, the plot moves forward and the audience is largely entertained. And although the biggest baddest villain in the film (played by Gary Stretch) is admirable, he is not as mean and relentless as you might expect out of such a genre film.
The cast in The Girl From the Naked Eye (oh, we should add here that the Naked Eye was the name of a seedy strip club to where most of the characters have connections) all do outstanding work in large and bit roles and Dominique Swain and Sasha Grey both have blink-and-you'll-miss-em scenes that do nothing more than add their name to various search engines pointing to the film.
The sum of its parts results in a film that was directed with a clear vision, choreographed with surgical precision and scripted in a down-to-earth format allowing for a high return on the entertainment dollar.
His name is Jake (Jason Yee). When we first see him, he's on his knees on the floor of a hotel room, tearfully clutching the bloody, lifeless body of a young woman, who we soon learn was named Sandy. Consumed with grief and anger, he goes on a citywide manhunt to find her killer. Sporadic flashback sequences give us some context. Jake, a heavy gambler, owed $100,000 to a mobster after losing his car in a poker game. In order to pay his debt, he took a job at The Naked Eye, a local strip club presided over by the lecherous Simon (Ron Yuan). Although officially a bouncer, Jake's real job was to transport girls to and from the club for private liaisons with wealthy customers. This is how he met Sandy (Samantha Streets), a runaway who claimed she was "old enough" to know what she was doing.
I'm sure you can already see how this movie is in part supposed to work. Sandy and Jake, both loners stuck in a rut through a combination of bad decisions and rotten luck, found each other and were able to bond. Although they obviously felt a sexual attraction towards one another, their relationship can better be described as pseudo-father/daughter or, at the very least, student/mentor. Jake genuinely cared for Sandy, and the more he got to know her, the more he tried to make her see that she could do so much better for herself. She was tough, in her own way, but she did not belong in the world of prostitution. The tragedy runs deeper than the fact that she ends up dead; even if she had lived, they each made life mistakes that were too costly for them to conceivably end up together. There are only so many roads one can learn to walk down.
You might think I'm trying to make a case for how compelling this movie is, but in fact, I'm merely exemplifying how effectively the filmmakers utilize noir-like conventions. It doesn't matter if we believe these characters; what does matter is that we see and understand the mechanics of the genre. We must do the same thing for the action comedy side of the film's personality, during which Jake gets into plenty of highly improbable shootouts and fistfights. Ron Yuan, who also worked behind the camera as the action director and stunt choreographer, stages several scenes that are violently fun, if a little too dependent on showy displays of martial arts. Even then, they're prevented from inundating the visual landscape; we're made to focus more on the tone than on the body slams.
As Jake digs deeper into the mystery of the dead prostitute, he must evade Sonny's henchmen, a ragtag band of clueless thugs. Using Sonny's little black book, he also crosses paths with several of Sandy's clients, each of whom provides one piece of the puzzle. Meanwhile, Sonny has several meetings a corrupt cop named Frank (Gary Stretch), who Sonny regularly bribes in order to carry on with business. The prospect of Jake never getting his money is repeatedly thrown in his face, although I'm really not sure why; the film makes it quite clear, fairly early on, that Jake's mission is strictly about justice for Sandy and has long since stopped being about money. It would be too much to say that this is a story of Jake's redemption, although he certainly is much more decent at the end of the film than he was at the beginning.
In spite of the narrative and visual stylistic throwbacks to noir thrillers, including a final cigarette-lighting scene vaguely reminiscent of the last shot of "Double Indemnity," "The Girl from the Naked Eye" is very much a contemporary film. This means that, in certain instances, it's rather exploitative. There's some graphic sexual content, including female toplessness, although it's evident mainly in the dialogue, which contains so many four-letter words that even a sailor is liable to blush. Although its plot is not as engaging as it could have been given the genre influences, and while it's not as technically fearless or innovative as films such as "Sin City" and "The Spirit," this is a competent, entertaining film good looking, decently cast, nicely performed, and amusingly written.
-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)
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.
Told in narration from Jake and with many flashbacks we get a modern film noir with a real dark and depressive atmosphere that tells the story of real friendship. The visual style is brilliant and the acting is excellent: Samantha Streets gives a fine performance as Sandy, especially in the scene, when she reads her poems to Jake, Gary Stretch as Frank makes a great villain, Dominique Swain shows up for a few but much too short guest appearances but my favorite was Jason Yee as Jake.
Jason Yee not only gives a great performance as desperate revenger, his acting and fighting really reminds at Bruce Lee. Charismatic and full of energy he fights against his enemies.
But this leads us to the bad side of this film: Jake loses himself in too many endless fight scenes. Although Yee is a great fighter the fighting scenes start getting boring after 40 minutes. And when one fight is over the next one starts. This slows the whole story down.
Anyway, this is an interesting movie, told as modern film noir and especially for the acting and the visual style really worth to watch.
The Girl From The Naked Eye follows a man who will stop at nothing to track down the killer of the escort he was assigned to protect. This movie looked and felt like it had some good potential. All this was put to rest once the film got going. The story was all over the place and led by some really poor acting. Sasha Grey has established herself as a pretty decent actress with roles such as Entourage, but here is pretty much just a selling point for promotion since she barely even shows up. Yeah it had some decent fight sequences that are entertaining, but not enough to really help this movie work like it wanted to. There are some recognizable martial arts guys showing up to fight here and there, which makes it that much more of a disappointment when they fights don't always work. When you finally get to some of the better action and the movie seems to be finally be going somewhere, it takes a strange turn and just kind of ends. The ending made little to no sense, but this may have something to do with the slow paced story that was all over the place early on.
This was a movie that should have worked but just does not. If you are of the mindset of watching martial arts films just for the fighting, there are so many others that are a much better option. Enjoy anyone in this film or not, do not let the eye catching cover art suck you in that is the best part of the movie.
if you like a good movie with no useless action, happy ending, if you accept you know the end of the story in the first 2 minutes of the movie and see the movie in remembers and the hunting of the murderer.
if all of this is OK for you, jaeh it could be one of the best movies you saw.
the ones here give 1/10, i think they like happy endings or they like hardcore action nonstop and all this "newschool" things but this is a lowbudged movie you have to understand what it means and what art of film you have to expect, a film that is strong in some parts but not in graphics and all the new stuff that destroys good movies nowadays
for me it is the best movie out of like 500 i saw in the last 5 years.
It also had some fight sequences that I didn't expect yet they didn't feature anything spectacular but they were engaging and well done.
The acting is above par for this type of film but the actress who steals the show is Samantha Streets in one scene where she recites a poem. Leading man Jason Yee also does very well although sometimes he slightly appears as if he's trying a little too hard.
Overall, when the film finished I was glad I didn't turn it off as I almost did. It turned out to be a good film in the end and I would recommend it. Although I do believe it might be for an acquired taste as it does have a somewhat unusual style.
The acting was good, the story had a few holes in it, so as long as you don't pay too much attention, then you may not notice. Like when Sandy talks about it being her "first night on the job"
The editing was good, but the scene where he's running down the stairs. Good lighting though.
If you like fighting, and boobs this movie was made for you!
I enjoyed the movie's style and the fight scenes were OK, if highly derivative of other better films. Actually the whole movie is highly derivative of other movies, but it does still retain a certain panache that keeps it watchable.
My grade: C
Eye Candy: Gina Jackson, Elizabeth McDonald, Angela Valentine, and some extras get topless; Brandy Grace bares her butt
This film has it's imperfections too, but in it's own style and category it is an enjoyable, witty and original watch. The fight scenes are not quite world class, they almost are, yet they are really good and make the movie even more exciting! The Girl From The Naked eye is stylish, cool and even sometimes moving. One of the best movies I've seen in ages. For 2 hours of clever fun action and noir this film is highly recommended!
The story: when a young call girl (Samantha Streets) is mysteriously killed, her only friend (Jason Yee) 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 as a dirty cop and an amazingly adept portrayal by Ron Yuan 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 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.
It follows the adventures of a driver for a strip club who is seeking the murderer of call-girl he befriends. If you wonder what a Humphrey Bogart film would look like if it were made today, this is about it. More martial arts, less subtlety.
The worst part of the film was the scene where he is fighting four security guards to the strums of what I think is Bollero. The two tones just don't go together.
It has some okay parts to it, such as some of the characterizations. But mostly, it's a dumb action film, nothing more complicated than that.
The Cast:first of all i liked Gary Stretch he tricked me & totally reminded me of Dougray Scott he could be the next 007 for sure,Jason Yee cant act for sure he lacked everything even the fight moves he was doing were stolen from old boy 2003 and other big famous films,Sasha Grey,Samantha Streets & other ladies looked good.
The Plot:a call girl sandy gets murdered Jake who drives for the naked eye strip club begins his own investigation and puts everything on risk to avenge her death.
To sit and watch this film is a pure painful and uncomfortable experience i have got nothing more to say please try to save your money and time by avoiding this movie at all costs because the ending will make you spin your head what were the writers thinking.
Overall The Girl From The Naked Eye 2012 Is not even worth watching once if you like Gary Stretch then do try it my rating is 2/10:Skipp It