Cheeky (UK - BD RB)
Tinto Brass season begins again for Marcus with Cheeky on Blu-ray disc....
Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk) is looking for an apartment in London for her boyfriend back in Venice. While in the city she meets a a few Brits that share the same sexual drive as Carla does and the the extremely sexual Venetian is finding it harder to stay loyal to her absent boyfriend.
Tinto Brass's world of Cheeky )or original title 'Trasgredire') is immediately one full of sex. As our lead hottie walks through a London park, literally everyone is at it and it's a whole lot more than light sunny day petting too. It's all very fun and light-hearted and despite the graphic nature of it all everything is just handled in a cute, sexually open way. Social feelings towards nudity and sex are acknowledged but really only as a fleeting judgement as opposed to a target of any sort of social commentary.
As we travel on Carla's London adventure, the super attractive blonde abroad earns her "cheeky" title at every turn. As with many erotic tales, she has a shy, insecure, sexually withdrawn nice guy boyfriend that she adores but that doesn't stop her flirting, teasing and outright having sex with nearly all the men and women that cross her path. It's never depicted as a mean thing or to spite her boyfriend, who is still back home missing her. Instead it's just played as fun, light-hearted, driven by raw sexual energy or out of just plain boredom.
There's the odd bit of tension in the various relationships Carla forges and of course with the boyfriend, who's obliviousness to his crazy hot girlfriend's sexuality is pushed to its limits. This makes the airy plot slightly above arthouse pornography but make no mistake this isn't trying to deliver any sort of message. Well maybe it is. maybe it's saying woman are attractive in absolutely all scenarios in life and sex is fun. Maybe it's also trying to say that boyfriends to the attractive women should man up and meet their ladies needs. Not of it really matters, this posed questions are really only here to make the film not just about Carla's sex life. I guess someone has to be ruining Carla's fun somewhere or this would be pretty one note (well more one note than it is anyway).
Like with most Erotic tales, you need to either go in as a fan of the genre or be open minded to extreme sexual desires used as the main driver of the film. Tinto Brass is a master at what he does and this ones is one of my favourites of his (that I've seen so far). It's pitched just right. Its extremely graphic but not over indulgent. It pulls no punches with the visuals but is mostly cute with it. It isn't scared to shock as well as entertain. Its sexual but rarely ever sleazy. Beyond all of that it's beautifully shot, has beautiful actresses in it and its sense of humour genuinely put a smile on my face. Cheeky! is a silly bit of fun with pretty much no limits on the visuals side of things. It isn't scared of its sexual content and there's a sense of celebration in that, that's quite a joy to watch.
Brass's framing is all about highlighting all of the right curves and shapes of the female form. Often times heads or full faces aren't even in the frame and its all about a shoulder or a butt cheek or a cheekily placed hand. Being a Tinto film this is pretty lady ass-tastic, filing the frame as often as possible but the director has a skill with his many variations of the theme.
The image is really quite soft and often hazy, there's a bit of wobble to the frame at times and due to the style of the film the image can be quite free from natural light. The best way to describe the image is pretty average and really only a slight step up from a DVD image.
With that said, its a clean, grain free affair and primary colours are all very well presented. Blues and reds are bright and vibrant and can often pop off the screen, skin tones often look really natural and despite the films rather drab appearance at times, these elements hold up. The fairly solid black levels help this along and the less hazy scenes have some great uses of shadow and pure black elements but there's not too many instances of it really.
Moving on to textures and detail, skin (and there's plenty of it to look at) can often show off pimples, goosebumps and even the odd bruise. The closer we get (and we get pretty close most of the time) the better it all looks. The wider shots loses a fair bit of finer detail and faces can sometimes look a bit flat.
The score is that mid afternoon 80s TV drama type cheese and it sounds pretty tinny at that. It drives scenes along at a casual pace and fits the rather silly plot perfectly because it does nothing but inform you all of this explicit behavior is totally harmless.
The dialogue is central and often feels disconnected (especially in the English dub obviously) and the overall audio experience is a generally timid affair with the minor peaks peaks being passionate screams or moans and little else.
The solitary 'Tinto Featurette' (08:17 SD) is basically a sizzle reel of a crew of men filming naked ladies and Tinto telling us the themes of the film like its a deep dramatic tale of love and relationships. Bless 'im. The cast are discussed and Brass's choice and happiness with them but yeah, this is pretty much B-roll footage of the nakedness on set with a voice over.
The only other extra is the Trailer (03:25 HD) which plays basically the whole film's main edited down beats in just over three minutes.
If you like a bit of silly erotica that delivers the explicit images as well as the cheeky fun then Cheeky is pretty much a prime example of the genre. I found this a fun, cute bit of Erotica and it made me grin with it's silliness. The story is pretty typical for the genre but is done well and its got more than its fair share of memorable moments.
The disc looks okay. It's clean, and colourful but the soft haziness stops it excelling really and we end up with a pretty drab underwhelming image. The sound is rather lacking but does its job and the single short featurette is a nice compliment to the film but not really that much to get excited about.
Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 9th February 2014
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: LPCM 2.0 English, LPCM Italian 2.0
Extras: Tinto Featurette, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Tinto Brass
Cast: Yuliya Mayarchuk, Jarno Berardi, Francesca Nunzi
Genre: Comedy and Drama
Length: 90 minutes
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