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daños del amor

By Mitch Emerson

Michael Bender (Steve Kahn) has the perfect woman - Mia (America Young). This seemingly perfect love story ends when Bender can't resist the lure of a sexy dancer (Carolina Manrique). Bender's blunder thrusts the couple into a confrontation that erupts into a comedic 1970's Honk Kong Style Chop Suey martial arts brawl.

Sounds strange doesn't it? When I first saw the trailer (see below), I was hooked from the get go. This is a fun 13-minute romp through a bad decision and the consequences (and confrontation) that follow. Boy, if confrontations between the sexes could only be this fun in real life! The use of subtitles to convey the thoughts between the two main characters was very creative. Usually I hate having to "read" a movie, but this added to the experience. I believe that the whole thing was shot with a hand-held camera, and while noticeable, it didn't detract from the overall feel of the film.

Casting: Everybody did a pretty fair job for this type of film. Steve Kahn as Michael was good as the leading man. He has the body to pull off the martial arts sequence. America Young as Mia is a very cute young woman who also plays the martial arts aspects fairly well. You get a good sense of what kind of relationship Michael and Mia had through a montage in the beginning. You can sense the chemistry between them. And then -- Carolina Manrique shows up. She is the sexy dancer who entices Michael with the swaying of her hips. What else needs to be said about her? My favorite actor/character though is Tim Abair as Alvy, the "other man" in the convoluted love pentangle or quadrangle, depending on who you believe. Although he is only in the movie for a short time, you really feel for him because he's truly clueless, yelling "I didn't cheat" over and over again. Final cast member worth mentioning is Kris Petkov as Raskolnikov, who runs around saying "Bitches!" all the time and getting his ass kicked.

Final Words: All in all, an entertaining little film. The only problem I had was with the sound mix. The music was a bit overpowering, or they just needed to bring out the dialogue a little. I will be sure to keep my eye out for Steve Kahn's future work.

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