The Ranch (2004) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

If I had known more about this I never would have watched it.

Not that it is so very bad. It is just a typical made-for-cable kind of project about a bunch of girls who work at a legal bordello in Nevada. Several of the girls have their own storylines. One is leaving to get married, but has not told her family or her fiancÚ that she is a prostitute (they think she's an international flight attendant). One is running away from a vicious pimp. One aspires to be a professional singer. One is trying to be a real mother on her week off (they work "three on, one off"), and hopes to leave the life, even if it means a pay cut. And so forth. The script tries to generate additional dramatic tension through the interaction between the girls. One of the girls is a complete loner who refuses to get along with the others. One of the girls is a closet lesbian who is secretly in love with a co-worker. You get the idea. It's a soap opera in format, with the only twist being their unusual profession. Come to think of it, their profession is not so unusual in real life, only as a subject for a TV series.

In fact, The Ranch even has a few creditable professionals attached to it. Amy Madigan plays the manager, and Susan Seidelman directed. She's the director of Desperately Seeking Susan.

So what's so wrong with The Ranch that I regret having watched it? Well, you see it was not made to stand as a discrete 90 minute movie. It was meant to be a pilot for a series on Showtime. As a result, none of the plot lines are resolved. Everything is simply left hanging in order to whet our appetite for a series which would never materialize. Given that fact, I'd advise you to stray away.

One piece of advice. If you do decide that you just have to see this, do not get the R-rated version. It has no skin, and the dialogue has all been re-dubbed to eliminate the naughtiest words. Yeah, I know that's pretty silly when you consider that it is already rated R for the thematic material, but that's the way it is. The "uncut, unrated" edition does have lots of topless exposure, although no lower body action. It also has the original, natural dialogue, although even that will not be mistaken for the richest parts of  "Scarface." In other words, the "uncut, unrated" version would probably also be rated R if it were to be submitted, but at least it could be deemed worth watching for some lurid guilty pleasure. The so-called "R rated" version is simply a complete waste of your time.

 

DVD INFO

  • Bare-bones. No widescreen, no meaningful features

NUDITY REPORT

Breasts from the following:

  • Jennifer Aspen

  • Jessica Collins (repeatedly)

  • Nicky Michaeux (in a girl-on-girl scene with Collins)

  • Paige Moss

  • Samantha Ferris

Bonnie Root appears in a see-through bra.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 5.0/10. That could be OK for the unrated version. The R-rated version would be much lower.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, the R-rated version is an E, a complete waste of time with no redeeming features except minimal technical adequacy. The "uncut, unrated" version is not a good movie, but has lots of breasts, and could be rated C- as a barely acceptable piece of softcore erotica.

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