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Cat City (DVD Review)

22 Sep, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 9/28/10
$24.95 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for language.
Stars Julian Sands, Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Pidgeon, Alano Massi, Shawn Huff.

Femme fatale movies rarely disappoint. The combustible mixture of beauty, cunning and double-cross blind most viewers except the eternally cynical.

Slick indie Cat City is no different. Lawyer Victoria Compton (Rebecca Pidgeon) and husband Nick (Julian Sands), a Palm Springs real estate developer, appear to subscribe to the affected West L.A. lifestyle: luxury cars, clothes, a second home in the desert and a mistress (his) on the side.

Victoria finds out about Nick’s affair with her law partner Allyson (Shawn Huff, conveniently director Brian Huff’s buff wife) after hiring an ex-cop/private investigator (a slimmed down, slightly bored Brian Dennehy) to document the tryst.

Nick, of course, has bigger problems than infidelity after follow-up financing for a $50 million casino in neighboring Cathedral City (aka “Cat City”) goes bust, leaving one particularly aggrieved investor wanting his money back.

Surprise houseguest Jonas (first-timer Alano Massi), whose youthful charm appeals to a scorned wife, adds little plausibility. It is surprising filmmakers didn’t find a more seasoned performer for the key role, possibly actor Jon Foster (Thirteen Days) or Bryan Greenberg (The Good Guy), among others.

Shooting on location in Palm Springs represents a welcomed cinematic change from ubiquitous Las Vegas, even if director Huff appears infatuated (for what reason?) with the giant wind-driven propellers that symmetrically dot the surrounding landscape.

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