Naked Ambition: An R Rated Look at an X Rated Industry
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21 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

This Film Stinks.

Author: anchovyd from United States
17 June 2011

Where do I begin... I can't believe that I let my old lady talk me into watching this after we were ten minutes into Kansas City Confidential. The 10 minutes of nagging about Black and White, old 50's movies and Jack Elam's crazy eye made me give up and go to this newfangled color movie from 2009.

First off this is not a documentary on the Adult Video Awards. It is a documentary of a guy trying to photograph porn actresses at the convention and awards show. So right off the bat I am wondering about why I am watching this. Who cares about the travails of a photographer trying to shoot a coffee table book about the adult convention and awards show.

Next, who are these actresses? Notice that I didn't call 'em stars. Stars are people like Seka, Desiree Cousteau, Christy Canyon, not Sunny Lane, and some tatted out goth chick. Strike two. I don't care about his subjects.

Now on to strike three, the narrator/photographer Michael Grecco stinks from every angle. He is pretentious, arrogant, condescending and with no reason. His photography skills are weak. To make it more painful after every session with an actress he shows some stills with a fast moving Ken Burns effect and he gloats proudly over his sorry photos. He is no Joe McNally.

Strike four, his narration is sad. I mean dude, learn to describe peoples personality and the vibe from the AVN awards. This guy basically says the same thing about every actress, actor and the whole AVN awards show: "She is so Punk Rock, He is so Punk Rock, The AVN Awards show is like a Punk Rock Academy Awards." Get over it. It is 2011 not New York in 74 with the Dolls playing in the background.

The only quasi-interesting thing was that most of the Actors he had were actually old school guys like Peter North, Eric Edwards and of course The Hedgehog. Where are the old school actresses from the golden age? Nothing but the new chicks who sit in front of a webcam all day. Lame.

With all these strikes, this film needs to be removed from Netflix, the Library of Congress and quite possibly the face of the earth.

My recommendation is to stay away from this one like the plague. I wish I would've stuck to my guns last night and watched K.C. Confidential. Noir is way better that this "new" garbage.

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

What a waste of time.

Author: jinx_malone from United States
28 August 2011

This could have been an interesting film if the filmmaker/photog had shut up about himself for more than five minutes. There are a lot of people in those photos who are semi/pretty famous, and more than half of them don't even get a name tag, let alone be allowed to introduce themselves so that the less informed might know who they are.

What you get a lot of is the following laid over (unflattering, not yet photoshopped) shots of people you end up not knowing: "When I took this picture, I thought about myself a lot, because my ego is huge and I'm a super important guy. In a minute, I'm going to start talking to you about me. But first, let's discuss me. I think that when I talk about myself it's great, because I'm interesting. I know I am. I mean, I'm me!" etc. on and on ad nauseum. It gets so tiresome that even if you're interested in the people who are in the doc you end up shutting it off because the filmmaker is a blowhard bore.

Dude, I didn't tune in to see YOUR baby pictures.

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Naked Ambition: A movie about ME ME ME!

Author: Sandy Loam from Los Angeles
30 August 2011

This movie is stupid. I literally had to keep my finger on the mute button the whole time. Every time director/narrator opens his mouth, he starts talking about himself. STFU!!! There's even a part where we look at old pictures of him growing up! WTF?? Then we get a whole bunch of cheesy montages that make the ones in Valley of the Dolls look cool.

All you get from this movie is a pathetic plea: "Please believe me when I say that I'm not only a great photographer, but a FASCINATING person!" Sorry dumb ass, I don't buy it. Do yourself a favor and avoid this movie.. OR at least leave it muted. Why do I have to have 10 lines in my review? That seems kind of Nazi like.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A documentary designed to shift copies of the director's book.

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
25 May 2014

Portrait photographer to the stars Michael Grecco visits the annual AVN awards in Las Vegas—the Oscars of the porn industry—where he shoots the performers and their drooling fans for his (presumably expensive) fine-art photography book about the world of adult entertainment.

As this film's subtitle suggests, this is not an explicit examination of the 'in and outs' of the adult video industry: it's one that flashes a few boobs and butts but fails to get into the real nitty-gritty of the whole business. We get to meet the money men who make it happen, the colourful exhibitionists who perform in front of the camera, and the less self-assured types who watch the films, but Grecco fails to enlighten or educate the viewer, delivering a coffee-table documentary to accompany his coffee table book.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Buy My Book - the movie

Author: SystemOverlord from Finland
14 January 2013

Photographer takes on a vanity project to document AVN-awards and whole porn subculture.

As a photo hobbyist, I was initially drawn by the idea of the film. However it soon became clear that this film has no message or point, other than to advertise the directors book. Michael Grecco's work is usually pretty solid but here his images lack that special something. He shoots his subjects almost like in porn shoots and the results are what you would expect. Also his methods and way he handles his subjects, make him seem like amateurish a-hole - at least as a filmmaker.

Semi-interesting movie for photo enthusiasts, others should not bother.

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21 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

One-sided look at porn

Author: groggo from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
14 February 2011

This movie is entitled 'Naked Ambition,' which presumably refers to those who toil in the porn industry. But perhaps it's really about the naked ambition of director-photographer Michael Grecco, who, in 2006, was preparing a coffee-table book on the 'stars' of the industry.

Grecco seems to promote his book a lot in this alleged documentary. I say 'alleged' because it's decidedly one-sided; it almost lovingly embraces the many sides of porn. We don't hear many negative words about the industry and its blatantly sleazy side. I saw this as a glaring omission.

If you think porn is super-hot stuff and its galaxy of 'stars' the ultimate in sexiness, this flick is for you. For jaded others, like me, it's worth a glance if for no other reason than sheer curiosity. It scores highly on the 'curiosity' scale. But if you see porn as anti-sensual and anti-erotic, then you might not be so enthusiastic. If you think a documentary, by definition, should have depth and balance, be prepared for disappointment. That's MY one-sided view.

The vacuousness of these female 'stars,' their shallowness, their silicone/collagen-filled bodies, their insincerity, are things to behold. Most of the footage is taken at the Adult Video Awards in Las Vegas, an orgiastic gathering of wacko marketers, weirdos, groupies and freaks. One guy proudly displays a humongous tattoo of his favorite porn star. It fills the complete side of his body. He endured 13 hours of needles and paid $6,000 for the privilege. I found this profoundly sad.

And, of course, no flick about porn is complete without the so-called 'godfather' of the industry, Ron Jeremy, who makes an inevitable visit for Grecco's camera. Jeremy was about 56 years old when this film was made. He's fat, he's going bald, and he looks like a lecherous grandfather, not a godfather. He should be reclining somewhere on a beach. Instead, he's still getting it up for porn flicks. Again, I found this profoundly sad.

I hope Grecco made money from his coffee table book. He certainly promoted it enough in this non-documentary.

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8 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

This AVN look is sparking at times!

Author: meeza ( from Miami, Fl
26 November 2010

Whether males and even females want to admit or not, there is a constant ambition by many for the X rated industry. It started with a deep throat (and most probably way before that) all the way to the present vivid realities that pornography is here to stay; accentuated by the accessibility of porn via the internet. Director Michael Grecco bares the facts on the present porn industry within his photographical experience at the AVN Awards & Convention in the documentary "Naked Ambition: an R Rated Look at an X Rated Industry". The AVN Awards is the equivalence of the Academy Awards to the porn industry. The AVN Awards & Convention is hosted each year in Las Vegas. At the AVN Convention, everything from vibrators to porn female stars who make you vibrate are displayed in its bare necessity form. Grecco takes the artistic photographical route in this porn documentary, and photographs several porn stars, entrepreneurs, and many other "movers, shakers, and fakers" of the adult industry. I commend Grecco for his efforts but artistic beauty and "the ooooo & aaaaaaas of sex on film" don't really go hand in hand, it's more right to hand. However, I did enjoy Grecco's interviews with several female porn stars including: Sunny Lane, Joanna Angel, and Janine Lindemulder (the other ex of Jesse James with no acting skills; I am kidding Sandra B., you rock!) The porn stars in their interviews reminded me of the surrogate-family seeking characters of Paul Thomas Anderson's classic movie "Boogie Nights". The strength of the documentary lies within its study of the porn industry, but I wanted to shoot at the screen when it focused on the analysis of the photo stills of its subjects. Not to sound like a certified pervert, but there is a place for art and a place for putang, and porn is more in the latter than in the former. It will not be an orgasmic movie experience (unless you take a peek at its porn stars in their own features), but "Naked Ambition: an R Rated Look at an X Rated Industry" is worth the look. *** Average

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