Hey gang, Valkor here. This next vid slipped into my mailbox unexpectedly and though there were countless DVDs I needed to watch before it, I gave "40 West" a pass to the front of the line, given its premise and what not. And while I thought it dragged on longer than it need be, I still found the film to be rather engaging and entertaining.
40 West centers on Maeve (Jennifer Nichole Porter) – a blues singer with much to sing about; her mom's a whore, her ex is abusive, and at the beginning of the film her car breaks down and her purse gets stolen, which has all the makings of a blues song if you ask me. She's rescued by good Samaritan Elijah (Scott Winters), who sets her up in a seedy motel. But it turns out the whole thing was a set up by her ex-hubby Colin (Brian A. White), who has a "special" gift he wants to give her, which would lead up to Maeve forgiving him for the things he's done to her in the past (he's the ex for a reason). Things get further complicated when Colin's jailhouse sweety, Arlene (Kathleen Kimball), shows up. And to complicate things even further, Arlene's husband Bud (Wayne Newton) is also hot on their heels. Colin was dumb enough to use Arlene's credit card - given to her by her husband, to buy his cellphone and you can bet your bottom dollar Bud has been calling him non-stop.
The shit really hits the fan when secrets are revealed concerning Maeve's past and her connection with Elijah. Colin's none to happy about it, Arlene just wants to be the only woman in his life, and Bud is just looking to throw down. 40 West - it's 50 shades of everything!
40 West really surprised me; I was truly expecting something long and boring, but not only is the film immersive, it's also compelling and dark with a touch of humor to make it interesting. The plot is straightforward with a few not so surprising twist; you won't see much of them coming but when they happen it's not jaw dropping. However that's not really a negative because it's the twists that keep things popping! The film is dialogue heavy, so you need stunning actors to carry the burden and I think everyone performed quite well… almost everyone (one actor makes an appearance in the section below), but standout, without a doubt, goes to Brian White – dude is AMAZING!!! He keeps that dark, creepy mood flowing plus he's very… sinister. I also wanna give props to Wayne Newton as Bud who looked to be having a lot of fun with his role. And why not? When he makes an appearance, you know it's about to go down! Finally I loved, loved, looooooooved me some Kathleen Kimball as Arlene. I just found her to be so adorable; I know I'm not supposed to like her all that much but her relationship with Colin reminds me of The Joker and Harley Quinn, its crazy!
I thought the weakest link in the acting chain goes out to Scott Winters, whom I found to be very one dimensional; he lacks any sort of emotion needed for his role, especially when things got really rough. I won't go into detail because then I'm treading on spoiler territory, but watch the film and you'll see what I mean. I also felt that the film, overall, was just a little too long – run time of two hours. There was a lot of fat that could have been cut out to make this pill a lot easier to swallow.
40 West is getting a DVD release date on October 16th and it's definitely a film you won't wanna miss. It delivers a one-two combo of fine acting and a compelling story, adding up to one exceptional film. 40 West gets 4 stars out of TOV 5. Not at all perfect but certainly worth the price of admission.