Judge Brett Cullum finds this film has only two out of three when it comes to sexy, stylish, and smart.
Me love you long time…
Strapped is about a hustler performing endless tricks in a maze-like apartment complex. It's supposed to be a journey of self-discovery, an Alice in Wonderland where a hooker finds himself going down several various holes in order to find himself. It's sexy, but oh so tedious, and it feels like an endless parade of gay stereotypes and clichés. We have the somewhat chubby dark haired hustler (new comer Ben Bonenfant) and his interchangeable stash of johns. There's a shy inexperienced Russian soldier, an obnoxious coke head, the homophobic on-the-down-low married guy, a hairy older muscle man, and a hopeless romantic to name just a few. We see most of them in various states of undress, and they all have tedious monologues indicating how empty they feel or how wise they are. The whole thing is well filmed and has a nice look to it, it's just too bad the story is so thin and played out. In the script they give a nod to My Own Private Idaho, and that just made me wish I was watching that far better film. The saving grace is that everybody is pretty, and they all look good partially clothed.
TLA Releasing gives us yet another strong disc featuring a pretty transfer and some nice extras. The widescreen film looks great, and that showcases the best parts of Strapped. Flesh tones are spot on, reds pop, and black levels are just fine. There are two choices for the soundtrack including a full surround treatment as well as simple stereo. Extras include an interview with the lead actor, a short film that inspired the feature which is labeled a screen test, and a couple of music videos. In all honesty the film would have worked better as a short or music video rather than a feature length film.
Strapped is a pretty cheap date by hooker standards. There's not much story here, but it does have a certain come hither style that diehard gay cinema fans might be fooled by. Certainly an attractive cast photographed naked and in enough light is enough to get a gay audience. The bad thing is that it could all be so much more, but settles for being pretty instead of clever. The DVD has enough extras to make things seem deeper than they are. TLA always seems to do a good job even when the product they are peddling is B-grade.
Guilty of looking good without any smarts, Strapped is sexy but
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Scales of Justice
Studio: TLA Releasing
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