Spin
Visual Entertainment // Unrated // $19.99 // January 23, 2007
Review by Phil Bacharach | posted February 27, 2007
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The Movie:

The DVD case for Spin promises a thriller marked by sensuality and hot Latin music. Now, that's what you call some serious spin. Instead, this movie boasts awful production values, a hackneyed script and some very sexy people doing some very bad acting. In other words, it has all the makings of a pretty good porn flick.

But no such luck. The most scintillating thing about this soap opera are its muy caliente actresses in tight-fitting outfits flouncing around to a reggaetón soundtrack.

Beneath the pedestrian filmmaking is crusty, old-fashioned melodrama. Inez (Elika Crespo) and Dolores (Catalina Rodriguez) are fellow waitresses in Miami's Little Havana who dream of making it big in the music industry. Dolores has the pipes and sex appeal for singing stardom, while Inez, no slouch in the looks department herself, has the brains and drive to maneuver them into hooking up with an upstart record label called Spin. Dolores quickly falls in love with the label's pretty-boy owner, Theo (Fernando Carrillo), while Inez lands a role as Theo's second-in-command.

But crafty Inez has ambitions that stretch beyond Spin. After Theo tries to further Dolores' career by striking up a quasi-partnership with EME, a larger record label, Inez kicks into femme fatale mode. She proves to be a skilled maniupalor, ingratiating herself with EME's head (David Selby) and seducing cocaine-addled producer Carlos (Shalim Ortiz), who is assigned to helm Dolores' debut album. Inez is particularly deft at twisting Theo into jealous rages over Dolores' platonic working relationship with Carlos.

Such shenanigans should be much more fun than they turn out to be. Spin's prevalence of reggaetón dance music, beautiful actors and scheming backstabbers has the potential for lurid trash. Unfrotunately, director Dan Neira takes things far too seriously. Spin is too respectable for its own good. That isn't such a welcome trait when coupled with on-the-nose dialogue, subpar acting and amatuerish production.

The DVD

The Video:

The picture quality, presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, is compromised by softness and a general haziness.

The Audio:

The Dolby Digital 2.0 is God-awful -- inconsistent audio, occasionally nonsynchronous sound -- but such problems appear endemic to the movie itself.

Extras:

An 11-minute, 22-second making-of featurette includes moderately informative interviews with the cast and director Neira, who brags on his actors: "The cast is ... gorgeous to look at." In addition, the disc includes a music video of Shalim Ortiz's "Rosario" and a theatrical trailer.

Final Thoughts:

Spin is hobbled by poor acting, on-the-nose dialogue and the sort of amateurish production that almost makes you half expect half-naked women to open the door to a pizza delivery guy while chicka-boom-chicka-boom music plays over the soundtrack. The movie's turgid melodrama could have made for some sexy trash, but the filmmakers strangely treat the proceedings with disproportionate respect.



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