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||IMDB Rating: 4.7/10 from 16 votes
||Release: 2 May 2013 (USA) /
||Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
||Director: Nicholas Kalikow,
||Stars: Ariel Ladret, Brett Chan, Brian Smith, Carly Pope, Colin Foo, Dean Choe, Diora Baird, James Bamford, Jerry Rector, John Rhys-Davies, Lossen Chambers, Paul Lazenby, Samaire Armstrong, Toby Hargrave, Tony Alcantar
||Synopsis: A wild, party-night out leads three twenty-something women to stumble on a suitcase with 3 million dollars in cash.
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Screwball comedies have been around for decades. There are many good
ones, and, it stands to reason, that there are as many (if not more)
bad ones. I'm not particular fond of them; I don't dislike them, but I
do think they're certainly hard to pull off with a winning script. And
when you don't have a winning script? Well, then you spin it like you
do, and that's largely what you get with something that's as banal and
predictable as CONCRETE BLONDES it isn't a total failure, but it
probably won't win many converts to the careers of the involved talent.
That's a shame, too, because it could have. Perhaps if it hadn't been
in the hands of such an inexperienced writer AND director one who
may've seen the other's weaknesses in time to salvage this. I think
everyone audience included deserved better.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary
solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you're the kind
of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd
encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final
assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at
'things to come,' then read on
Daytime accountant Kris Connifer (played by Carly Pope) can't quite
catch a break. At work, she's struggling with clients who can't pay for
her services in cash, while at home she's torn between the antics of
her live-in-gal-pal Tara (the always lovely Samaire Armstrong) and
their sexy roommate Sammi (Diora Baird). But when Tara and Sammi
stumble across a drug deal gone bad, they find themselves in possession
of a suitcase with over three million dollars. Could it actually be the
answers to all of their money woes, or will it drive the girls to do
unspeakable things all in the pursuit of untold riches?
What hampers CONCRETE BLONDES the most is that fact that it never
establishes a quality tone from the get-go. The opening scenes play
like a bit of farce, and not much later once the three ladies are
thrown together it vacillates between drama and downright screwball
lunacy. Then in the final act it goes full bore farce once more
before eventually succumbing to an almost dystopia-lite urban crime
thriller. Simply put, BLONDES wanted to be more than it was ever
capable of being, and that's logically the fault of writer/director
Nicholas Kalikow. Instead of trying to embrace all elements of perhaps
the films he most likes and/or respects, he should've dialed back all
of the influences, kept it simple, and then gone for broke.
Of course, putting all of the blame on Kalikow's shoulders would
dismiss the relatively inadequate performances he manages to eek out of
these players. In particular, Armstrong is the only one I think far
more capable of giving more than she did here (I've seen her in a
handful of projects, so I trust she did the best she felt possible with
the material); and veteran character actor John Rhys-Davies served as
little more than a functional 'heavy' for the purposes of the mildly
convoluted plot. As for Pope and Baird? Meh. Thankfully, all of the
ladies are easy on the eyes, so much so that a tighter edit or a more
tightly delivered tale would've given this a greater chance to find an
Unless I miss my guess here, BLONDES is exactly the kind of film most
regular folks want to like, especially when it comes to crime capers.
You've got good-looking ladies each with a different version of the
classic heart of gold who've all been wrong by that big, mean world
outside. You want them to get their acts together. You want them to
succeed, even if that means taking it on the lam and heading south of
the border where no one will ever find them and their suitcase of
stolen cash. Had it all started and stopped there, then I suspect this
one would've had a greater chance to win hearts and minds.
Unfortunately, that isn't the case, and we're all left like the girls
wishing for something most will never have.
It's a disappointment, but it's not awful. Just a disappointment.
CONCRETE BLONDES (2012) is produced by CB Films North and Sacred Bull
Media. DVD distribution is being handled through Inception Media Group.
As for the technical specifications, this indie-style feature boasts
the same quality sight and sound you'd find associated to practically
any other indie-style feature. As is often the case when these smaller
films find eventual release, there are no special features to speak of,
save for the theatrical trailer: I'm not sure much is lost by having
nothing extra, as there was little here of any great substance.
MODESTLY RECOMMENDED as more than a 'curiosity' than anything else.
CONCRETE BLONDES isn't a bad attempt at trying to do something a bit
avant-garde with storytelling: it has an interesting criss-crossing and
out-of-chronological-order narrative, and it tries to mix a
contemporary twist on screwball comedies with the gritty crime caper
kinda/sorta like Quentin Tarantino likes. Sadly, it doesn't do either
all that successfully performances aren't quite manic enough when
they need to be, nor are they 'screwball' enough when it's required of
the players and it's all edited together with an almost 'who cares?'
motif. Sadly, it could've been a tight little gem if someone had paid
closer attention to what makes these uniquely twisted films work
instead of going for the workmanship grade. Better luck with a remake.
In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine
folks at Inception Media Group provided me with an advance DVD copy of
CONCRETE BLONDES by request for the expressed purposes of completing
Tags for Concrete Blondes Full Movie
, Brett Chan
, Brian Smith
, Carly Pope
, Colin Foo
, Dean Choe
, Diora Baird
, James Bamford
, Jerry Rector
, John Rhys-Davies
, Lossen Chambers
, Paul Lazenby
, Samaire Armstrong
, Toby Hargrave
, Tony Alcantar
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