Women in Trouble (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama
Screen Media Films || R - 95 minutes - $29.98 || February 16, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-02-13


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Writer(s): Sebastian Gutierrez (written by)
Cast: Simon Baker, Connie Britton, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Sarah Clarke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Carla Gugino, Adrianne Palicki, Cameron Richardson, Marley Shelton, Josh Brolin


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Promo


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

High Hopes. High Anxiety. High Heels.

Plot: A pregnant porn star (CARLA GUGINO), a couple of call girls (EMMANUELLE CHRIQUI, ADRIANNE PALICKI), a teenage goth (ISABELLA GUTIERREZ), a flight attendant (MARLEY SHELTON) with a crush on a famous passenger (JOSH BROLIN)... the troubles of this cluster of LA women couldnít be more different, but on one crazy day feminine compassion will alter all of their lives.

I still canít get the Diane English remake The Women out of my mind, not because it was some amazing achievement in female filmmaking about females, but how utterly awful it truly was. Now we get another ensemble comedy-drama about the daily life of the female gender with Women in Trouble, written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez.

Itís not that Women in Trouble is anything special or one of the better ensembles put together, because it isnít, but I was quite surprised on how funny and touching it was. Youíve got several different yet interconnected storylines going on and each one is as interesting as the next. Some are heavy on the drama while others are purely there as comedy. Although for the longest time Iíve had a crush on Carla Gugino (who can forget her in Sin City?), but the standout of this ensemble is Adrianne Palicki, a name ďFriday Night LightsĒ fans probably know. She plays up the ditzy blonde we all know but also has the heart of gold that makes her endearing. Sarah Clarke (ď24Ē) also does a damn good job with her role as a psychiatrist/wife who catches her husband cheating on her with a patient. How she finds out about the affair is also quite... unique.

The film also features some small appearances (maybe 10-minutes of screen time) from Simon Baker (ďThe MentalistĒ), Josh Brolin (Milk), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick) and Marley Shelton (Planet Terror). There are also a couple cameo roles with Xander Berkeley and Elizabeth Berkley.

Iím still not entirely sure how someone like Sebastian Gutierrez was able to get the cast he did. I know these arenít A-listers like was brought together for The Women, but these are a bunch of talented and beautiful actresses (and actors). Iíve heard of Gutierrez before, but couldnít place his name until I looked at his resume... He had previously written the infamously panned Gothika with Halle Berry, the overhyped Snakes on a Plane and the lauded The Eye remake while also wrote and directed Rise: Blood Hunter starring Lucy Liu.

However, despite the shortfalls in the story (it does drag on), it seems as if Mr. Gutierrez has written something more than half-decent with characters that arenít completely one-dimensional and with biting humor that is funny throughout. Apparently whoever financed the film feels the same way as a spin-off is already being filmed starring Carla Gugino in Elektra Luxx, which returns many of the characters featured here. Oh, and a more direct sequel is also in the works tentatively titled Women in Ecstasy.

For some of the scriptís shortcomings, I found Women in Trouble to be a surprisingly funny movie. Probably most men will be drawn to the eye-catching artwork, but inside is a good ensemble with heartfelt stories at the core. Now, I donít want to oversell the movie as some second coming and Iím not entirely sure how women will approach it as thereís some obvious T-n-A there to appeal to the males watching, but I for one was entertained.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Not much here except a short Behind the Scenes with Holly Rocket and Elektra Luxx (1:48) where they explain why you shouldnít see this movie; some deleted scenes (6:08) of the therapy monologues briefly seen in the film; and a teaser trailer (1:06). The only reason Iíve giving this a 1.25 is because of how incredibly hot the trailer and promo is.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Iíve probably watched 100+ Blu-rays over the past few years. Iíve seen a variety of quality with the video from the absolutely mediocre to the incredible, but I donít think Iíve ever seen anything quite like this... First, there were a few mistakes on the back cover like the running time (90 min. vs. the actual 95 min.), the aspect ratio (2.35 vs. 1.78) and 1080p high-definition. Ok, well technically it is 1080p HD but it sure as hell didnít look like it. In fact, this merely looks like it was upgraded from the DVD source than mastered in high-def. The picture is littered with pixilation and as such, the detail levels are awful; colors are also not the best. This is truly one of the worst video transfers I have seen on Blu-ray...

On the more positive front, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is half-decent, though itís still not great. The majority of the film is dialogue heavy so the center channel is the only one that gets used the most. The score probably comprises the rest of the soundtrack and even that doesnít have much of a dynamic range. All in all, itís an unremarkable track.



.::OVERALL::.

Women in Trouble is one of the more surprising movies of 2009. Iím not saying itís some sort of comedic masterpiece, but the ensemble cast are all good with Adrianne Palicki standing out the most amongst them. Unfortunately, the video quality on the Blu-ray is beyond awful and the audio, while OK, is unremarkable. Add to that, there arenít many features (how about a cast commentary?) and youíve got a rare case where the DVD might just be good enough for those who enjoyed the film.