Review: Cat City DVD

STUDIO: MTI | DIRECTOR: Brent Huff | CAST: Julian Sands, Rebecca Pidgeon, Shawn Huff, Brian Dennehy, Alano Massi
RELEASE DATE: 9/28/10 | PRICE: DVD $24.95
BONUSES: deleted scenes, original ending
SPECS: R | 90 min. | Crime thriller | 16:9 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Cat City movie sceneOh, the tangled webs that the characters of Cat City weave when they practice to deceive. Haven’t they seen Body Heat, Basic Instinct or just about every other sexy crime thriller that has risen from the steam of the neo-noir pipeline? But if they had, then the denizens of the titular Palm Springs-area enclave, which takes its nickname from Cathedral City, wouldn’t be in so much trouble…

In the movie, lovely lawyer Victoria Compton (Rebecca Pidgeon) figures her failed casino-developer husband Nick (Julian Sands) is having an affair (which is confirmed via a grizzled private detective played by Brian Dennehy). She embarks on a tryst of her own with a conveniently placed house guest, a young millionaire (Alano Massi), who turns out to be not who you think he is… Yes, there’s lots of dirty sexy money involved.

The bodies are lovely, but the sex is hasty and merely implied. At least the caper is pretty clear, and the desert scenery is nicely rendered in the independent film. Though she’s perfectly fine as the cool-headed femme fatale in the center of it all, Pidgeon isn’t nearly as effective as she’s shown she can be in the films of her husband, writer/director David Mamet (Edmond, Heist). It’s frustrating to see so many of Pidgeon’s scenes start off cold and never really warm up.

Director Brent Huff, better known as a serviceable TV and movie supporting player, has written and/or directed some dozen of independent films, including the not-bad Welcome to Paradise and 100 Mile Rule. He put together independent film Cat City like a jigsaw puzzle that goes from one big obvious piece to the next without varying the pace or intensity. It plays out a little too stiffly for our tastes given the possibilities of the steamy story and attractive cast.

Special features on the DVD include a handful of unspectacular deleted scenes and the film’s original ending.


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About Buzz

Buzz McClain reviews DVDs for Playboy magazine and is a former critic for Video Business magazine. But what he really wants to do is direct.