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Sebastian Gutierrez
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Carla Gugino, Ermahn Ospina, Jake Hames, Kathleen Quinlan, Melissa Stephens, Susie Goliti
Writing Credits:
Sebastian Gutierrez

Trouble has a name.

What’s a pregnant porn goddess to do? Well, if you’re legendary adult film star Elektra Luxx (Carla Gugino), you decide to quit the industry, take a job as a “sexology” instructor at the community college and look forward to your new life with your baby. Except, that may not happen quite yet - not until she wrestles with a solicitous bride-to-be, an obsessed web streamer, a studly private investigator, a clothing - challenged neighbor, a criminal twin sister and even the Virgin Mary. It’s one hysterical ride with plenty of uninhibited comedy along the way.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$5.601 thousand on 4 screens.
Domestic Gross
$10.822 thousand.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1/16X9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $24.95
Release Date: 6/21/2011

• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Elektra Luxx (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 26, 2011)

No matter how many times movies with reasonably notable participants go straight to video, it continues to surprise me. 2011’s Elektra Luxx did get a theatrical run – on four screens for a total gross of about $10,000.

When it showed up on the PR e-mails I get, I thought it sounded like it’d be worth a luck. Super-hot Carla Gugino as a porn star? I’m in!

Star adult actress Elektra Luxx (Gugino) retires from the business when she becomes pregnant. To fill her time, she teaches a sex-ed class to women at a community center. Her rock star boyfriend died recently, and she finds out this occurred during a sex act with a flight attendant named Cora (Marley Shelton).

Elektra learns this when Cora approaches her with a proposition. Cora feels guilty that she cheated on her fiancé Benjamin (Justin Kirk) so she wants Elektra to seduce him and even the score. Elektra declines, but rethinks the idea when she sees how hot Benjamin is.

Or so she believes. Due to some complications, Elektra beds Dellwood Butterworth (Timothy Olyphant), a private detective who attempts to locate some missing lyrics written by Elektra’s dead boyfriend. This starts an odd relationship of sorts between Elektra and Dell.

In addition, the movie follows two other occasionally stories. Elektra’s dim-witted porn actress friend Holly (Adrianne Palicki) takes a trip with her girlfriend Bambi (Emmanuelle Chriqui) where they attempt to milk some guys. Bert Rodriguez (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) runs a website devoted to adult actresses, with an emphasis on Elektra. His sister Olive (Amy Rosoff) tries to add some exclusive adult content – shots of herself – but Bert disapproves.

At the risk of seeming like King of the Horndogs, I have to say this up-front: Luxx disappoints in the skin department. It includes a grand total of two nude shots: we see a scrawny guy’s butt after he gets locked out of his apartment, and we see Elektra’s behind as she rises from a bathtub. The latter’s pretty nice, but it’s brief and not what we’d expect from a movie that follows this one’s subject matter.

Leave the absence of substantial skin out of the mix and Luxx still delivers a lackluster movie experience. The main problem stems from the odd decision to develop the two additional plotlines. If the movie needs the tales about Bert and Holly, I can’t figure out what purpose that might be.

Perhaps the final 100-minute Luxx comes chopped down from a much longer, more ensemble-oriented version. The DVD’s deleted scenes add credence to this notion, as they show scenes that indicate an even broader focus beyond the final product’s three main plots. I get the feeling writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez wanted to make a multi-character piece that revolved around the title character but didn’t really focus on her.

That’s not what the end product delivers, though, and the film’s halting attempts at an ensemble film harm it. As noted, the flick does spend the majority of its time with Elektra, so the times we leave her don’t make much sense. I really can’t figure out why we go visit Bert and Holly, respectively; their stories get chopped to the bone and add nothing to the experience.

Even Elektra’s tale feels abbreviated and disjointed. Rather than develop her as a woman at a crossroads, Elektra seems vague. She occasionally shows concerns about her future – what’s a middle-aged porn star to do? – but mostly we just see her amble about and not do much of anything. The film even throws in fairly useless diversions like Elektra’s visit to see her sister in prison. Sequences like this should add some depth, but instead, they become so fragmented that they just muddy the waters even more.

At least the actors make the most of it. Gordon-Levitt delivers some laughs as the stereotypical horny Internet guy who lives in his mother’s basement, and the others do their best to elevate their sketchy roles.

They just don’t have enough to work with to do so. If Elektra Luxx showed more consistency and/or purpose, it might fly. If it delivered greater wit or insight, it could succeed. If it simply followed a reasonably coherent narrative, it could’ve been enjoyable. It does none of these, though, so it ends up as a mildly entertaining but ultimately frustrating mess.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

Elektra Luxx appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. For SD-DVD, the picture looked fine.

Sharpness came across reasonably well. Some wider shots tended to be a bit iffy, but those failed to create prominent distractions. Overall, the image was acceptably accurate. No issues with jagged edges occurred, but I saw some light shimmering and edge haloes. Source flaws caused no concerns, as the flick remained clean and fresh at all times.

Luxx went with a fairly natural palette. We saw a little of a golden tint, but not to a great degree. Colors usually appeared pretty lively and dynamic. Blacks seemed deep and firm, while shadows provided nice clarity and delineation. For the most part, this was a positive presentation.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Elektra Luxx worked fine for the material. The soundscape didn’t provide a lot of pizzazz. Music demonstrated nice stereo imaging, and various scenes added a nice sense of place. This was a forward-oriented mix that used the surrounds in a moderate manner to reinforce the sound of different settings and it did that well.

Audio quality seemed satisfying. Speech always appeared warm and natural, with no edginess or other issues. Music was full, as the score showed solid reproduction. Effects also boasted good clarity and definition, though they didn’t exactly push the auditory envelope. Overall, the soundtrack was perfectly acceptable for this sort of flick.

In terms of extras, we get three Deleted Scenes. These include “Bert Meets Venus” (5:10), “Eleanor” (4:25) and “Rita’s Night Out” (9:19). The first shows an interview with a porn actress, while “Eleanor” offers more from a character who plays a minor – but eventually crucial – role in the final film. Lastly, “Out” performs the same part, as it shows a whole bunch from another member of Elektra’s sex ed class.

None of these should have made the finished flick; it already has such a disjointed narrative that these sequences would’ve sent the plot even farther off-course. We do get a little extra nudity from “Eleanor” though, and “Out” features a cameo from a moderately well-known actor otherwise absent from the movie.

A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Bloodworth, Exporting Raymond, You Got Served: Beat the World, The Big C and Quarantine 2: Terminal. These clips also appear under Previews. No trailer for Luxx shows up here.

With a good cast and a fun premise, Elektra Luxx should’ve been an enjoyable romp. Instead, it lacks a coherent tale and just feels like a collection of vaguely-connected situations without much to make it move. The DVD comes with reasonably good picture and audio as well as minor supplements. Luxx isn’t a bad movie, but it’s pretty forgettable.

Viewer Film Ratings: -- Stars Number of Votes: 0
0 3:
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