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Couch Trip (7/21/2010)
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In Love We Trust
You'd be hard-pressed to find a Dostoyevskian epic with as much nuance as the quietly shattering In Love We Trust, the latest from Chinese auteur Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle). A long-divorced couple, Mei Zhu and Xiao Lu learn that their 5-year-old daughter suffers from terminal blood cancer. She needs a bone-marrow transplant, and the conclusion is soon reached that her only hope is for Mei Zhu and Xiao Lu to have another child to procure the necessary fallopian blood. Both parents are now remarried, and the decision sends traumatic ripples across four lives. Life-changing sacrifices must be made for what could be a long shot, and Wang doesn't treat such decisions lightly. Wordless exchanges have as much power as the measured domestic debates; this is a deliberately paced film that demands your presence, patience and persistence. Absent Hollywood histrionics, In Love We Trust conveys big emotions in minor keys and lets viewers write their own conclusions. Marvelous. —John Thomason
Magnolia Home Entertainment
A bad fright flick is too easily found; just check out the local multiplex. If it's not a soulless high-gloss remake of a mediocre '80s slasher, then it's some overwrought torture porn that makes you feel dirty for watching. But, if you don't mind digging in direct-to-video dumping grounds, you might find a winner like Splinter.
To be fair, Splinter wasn't exactly dumped to video. It saw release — in a total of four theaters during Halloween week '08. It's a shame considering how much it kills, say, the latest Friday the 13th rehash that enjoyed a 3,105-screen opening.
Brit director Toby Wilkins crafts a cunning and visceral film that's part monster movie and part eco-savvy thriller. Splinter sees two couples — a pair of collegiate lovebirds out under the stars and a convict on the lam with his strung-out girlfriend — who get trapped at a gas station by a freakish spiny parasitic creature. The setup sounds routine, sure — shades of John Carpenter's The Thing — but Wilkins' execution is not. His characters are anything but moronic sitting ducks, and the creature — which may be connected to a nearby oil drilling operation — has a gruesome way of incorporating its victims into its own physical makeup. Add to that a real sense of claustrophobia, great acting and jump-from-your-seat scares and you've got yourself a brilliant fright flick. And that's not easily found. —Paul Knoll
Breast Worship 2
Jukes Jordan Video
Everyone needs something to believe in, and even an agnostic must bow down to the boggling boobs in this superlative two-disc DVD. Why beat around the bush? In fact, why even mention bush at all when you're dealing with an array of oversized mammaries the likes of which are on parade in this second outing of bra-busting worship from adult stalwart Jules Jordan.
Need ye a scroll of worthy icons? For serious cup size, try on Nikki Benz, Tory Lane, Ami Jordan, Carmella Bing, Gianna, and Cassandra Calogera. Wait, let's not forget Ms. Shyla Stylez, a standout diminutive blonde who apparently has been sent from a benevolent God to titty fans everywhere. She is to utter slutdom what Gandhi was to starving, and she's a lot more arousing than the thin Indian peacemaker. Stylez oils up her treasure chest at length before smothering some stud with said knockers, before an extended multi-hole boffing.
Tory Lane, decked in fetish vinyl, is a wood-worker's dream. She not only talks dirty, she screams it. And, with Lex Steele's chocolate ramrod giving her the business, it all makes filthy sense.
If Gianna and Carmella don't have severe back problems, they must have gifted chiropractors; the duo take on porn veteran Marco — and each other — in a spin that'll etch itself into your self-pleasuring brain corner for countless handy memories. —Fern LaBott