The Ranch is a movie about life in bawdy high class brothel. It’s supposedly based on a real life place. Somewhere in Nevada I think. The Ranch is advertised as unrated and uncut. And it’s also SINsational; well…I’m not so sure of the sational part. And maybe not even about the sin. There are some naked breasts from time to time, and some matter of fact and tasteful sex scenes. But there’s nothing really too hot. If this movie is salsa, it would be mild.
But if you’re doing a disserta…ion on prostitute movies then The Ranch is your gold mine. It has every cliché in the book. SPOILERS AHEAD. Let’s see, there’s the prostitute with the kid, and of course the “lady of the evening” is worried that she’s not the proper role model. There’s the prostitute who quits “the life” and has to lie to her fiancé about what she used to do for a living. There’s the prostitute with the “dark past”, and her old pimp comes a runnin’. And there’s the prostitute who starts dating a man in a “real” relationship and well…the dialogue goes something like, “we’re gonna date and you’re gonna watch me take guys to my room all night?”. I could go on. But I’ll just start a new paragraph.
There’s really no plot to speak of. The movie follows the lives and loves of the girls who work at the “Diamond Ranch”. Amy Madigan is the only big name here. She’s the red haired, Oscar nominated wife of Ed Harris. Madigan plays the madame, or should I say “manager”. She’s tough on her girls, but she has a nurturing sprit. But Madigan looks bored in this movie. She longs for the days of doing Field of Dreams with Costner. The other actors are nice to look at, but they’re trying really hard (and a little too hard) to make this dud material fly.
Susan Seidelman directs this cliché stew. Suprising, since she directed the funky Desperately Seeking Susan and the pilot for Sex in the City. I guess she needed the work. But her direction here is bland and lacks a voice. I suppose there are some valid points about the complications of making money in a “man’s world” and how women view sexuality. But it’s all been said before. And with a lot more originality. The movie is a damn prostitute soap opera! And it’s not even that SINsational.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track offers a few token surround effects, but mostly your rear speakers are used for environmental ambience. The dialogue seems a little low. But the music sounds strong in the center. This is one of those “plain Jane” surround mixes.
This disc sports a clean transfer, with no specks to speak of. There’s very little edge enhancement, and the colors don’t really jump out at you. There are a lot of flashing lights inside the Diamond Ranch, but there’s a subdued quality to it all. I think the cinematography is trying to take the glamour out of the “job”. Showgirls this ain’t. Oh…and it’s full frame too, 1:33:1.
There is a trailer, and it’s an accurate representation of how clichéd and boring this movie will be. There are some sneak peaks of other MGM features. Oh…and a sneak peak for Species III. Can’t wait.
If you’re at the video store and see the cover of the unrated and uncut The Ranch, you might be tempted. But temptation can often lead to disappointment. Or so I’ve heard. I mean, for crying out loud, there’s not even any sex for the last half of the movie! Okay okay… I know there are more important issues involved, some deeper social and gender issues. But The Ranch doesn’t even make those interesting either. So save that rental money and buy your loved one a rose. You won’t be sorry (wink wink).
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