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 Michael Bergeron
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Fading Gigolo & Blue Ruin

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Leon casino, Fading Gigolo may be written and directed by John Turturro but the whole affair feels like a Woody Allen film. Allen and Turturro star, and Turturro has never been more handsome and Allen has rarely been as hyper neurotic even in his own films.

The premise is that the broke Allen proposes he pimp out Turturro to some lonely cougars that want to have a ménage a trios and are willing to pay top dollar for an ace stud. Sharon Stone, Sofía Vergara and Vanessa Paradis co-star as client of various economic backgrounds. If this isn’t the movies I don’t know what. Paradis, a leading current French actress in her first American film herself was in a 14-year relationship with Johnny Depp that ended a couple of years ago. Here Paradis plays the homeliest person in the cast and Turturro plays the most handsome. To his credit Turturro has his cock strut down pat.

Fading Gigolo is a light breezy affair with plenty of good laughs. Turturro has a different style than Allen but the dialogue shines and dominates like any ripe Woodman comedy. Only Turturro throws in insert shots, like a close-up of flowers being cut. Allen is more punctual in his fonts and music. Fading Gigolo unwinds exclusively at the River Oaks Three.Fading-Gigolo.jpg

Also opening this week exclusive to the Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park is the dark noir Blue Ruin. A bearded unkempt man literally runs from his house naked when, presumably, law enforcement types but also maybe thugs burst through the door. Over the next two hours the protag takes us on an adventure where he drops below the radar and somehow manages to steal different cars and obtain clothes and weapons and attempt to deal with his ordeal. In Blur Ruin’s most eye-opening scene, about a half-hour in, Dwight (Macon Blair) has shed himself of his long hair and beard and you’re still in the same movie but you’re wondering, “Where did this guy come from?” Issues involving vengeance and family ties round out the proceedings. Blur Ruin had me guessing from the first moment and never let up until its devastating conclusion.

- Michael Bergeron

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