Sunday, 28 May 2017

Soft Porn Sunday: Kobé Tai & Jeremy Piven

With a few exceptions, most of the things I've reviewed for this here meme have been from relatively low-budget features. If you'll forgive me for making assumptions, I'm fairly confident that the American soft porn industry (or the British one? is there a British one?) hasn't spent the last half-century having millions of dollars thrown at it. There's certainly a lot of money in porn, and in Europe it's different, with arty Italian softcore having more of a budget. Nevertheless, sometimes it's difficult to tell if something has been made on a shoestring or not. And sometimes it's easy, if you're also to see through the softcore sheen.

This, however, is a big-budget Hollywood film, so there's really no excuse.

Appearance: Very Bad Things (1998)
Characters: Tina & Michael

For those of you who don't know this film, seek it out. It's filthy, hilarious and shocking in equal measure. Admittedly, I've only seen it once, but I loved it... for reasons that I genuinely don't understand.

Very Bad Things is a dark comedy in which a bachelor party in Las Vegas takes a dark turn when a
Kobé Tai's face is a Very Good Thing.
hooker named Tina (Kobé Tai, who I've also seen in hardcore porn, so I know by association) accidentally ends up dead, after which the stag and his friends start to turn on each other. Control is lost and the body count increases, all because of the consequences of one dead prostitute. Like all great films, of course, there's a sex scene to start off the madcap antics.


Much as I like Kobé Tai (and I also like Jeremy Piven, who plays Michael) - and I like smart, sassy Tina - it's a bit of a challenge to fully enjoy this scene with the prior knowledge that her character ends up dead. Nevertheless...

Okay, so this scene takes place in an unfeasibly large bathroom, music with loud bass thudding through the walls and the characters bouncing dialogue back and forth. Michael - possibly a little drunk and certainly more than a little horny - crashes into the bathroom, pulling Tina along with him, and tries to explain what he's doing, disrobing as he does so; Tina, already topless, asks him is he wants anything (which could mean anything, one supposes)... and he continues to take his clothes off.

"Not quite what you expected, huh?"

There's quite a lot of play here, for what it's worth. Michael and Tina are having a lot of fun; there's a bit where he's attempting a sexy dance but slips over and falls (I'm not sure if that's scripted - maybe Piven just lost his footing), and some cleverly scripted dialogue ("I just wanna make sweet love to you, because you have no idea what you have gotten into!"), even though I get the feeling that Tina is just going along with things.

It's part of her job, I suppose.

Mirror, mirror on the wall - who will live, and who will fall?

The sex, when it starts, is quick and dirty. They have sex on the bathroom counter next to the sink; up against the wall with Tina's legs wrapped around Michael's back; while spinning around in the middle of the room (yes, really); Michael asking for reassurances ("You thought I was just some punk, didn't you? Thought I was a punk?" / "This isn't work, is it? This is not work!"); roughly against the glass of a mirror; again, against a shower; and it all culminates in a huge, screaming orgasm.

He's the one doing most of the screaming. She even puts her hand over his mouth to quieten him down - a nice touch, and fairly wise!

I like this. I think it's hot, and it's funny, and playful. And the fact that it's a professional Hollywood
Hush. It's quiet time now.
film means that it looks, when compared to anything else I've reviewed, absolutely gorgeous - the lighting is good, the staging is great, the script is sharp and the camera work is fantastic.


The entire scene is intercut with what's going on next door, which is something approximating a full-on brawl: it's a of thrown punches, being thrown against walls and tumbling over sofas, complete with something at the end which almost looks like the start of a Doctor Who regeneration sequence. The cinematography has the mêlée flicking back and forth with the sex, which also has a lot of energy and some pretty violent overtones (although with more nudity) - a marvellous dichotomy matching the scrap in a small, crowded room with the sex in a large, empty one, the same thuddy music throughout. It's a wonderful piece of cinema, never mind what happens next.

But since what happens next is the rest of Very Bad Things, I don't think I mind that at all.

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