Cheeky! UK (Region B) Blu-ray Review

Tinto Brass adds yet another sexploitation flick to his résumé in Cheeky!, known under a number of different titles. Known in Italian as Trasgredire, Cheeky! has the veteran auteur of erotically-charged cinema tackle lesbianism for the first time. Originally released in 2000, the movie does not stray from his prior work and should prove entertaining enough for his admirers. The story is lightweight and somewhat silly, serving mostly as background noise for Brass’s ardent appreciation of the female form.

Free-spirited beauty Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk) moves to London from Venice, away from her boyfriend. Looking for a flat, Carla becomes the object of her lesbian real estate agent’s desires. Moira (Francesca Nunzi) has forsaken men and makes no bones about it, hitting on the beautiful Carla as soon as they meet. Carla is not a lesbian but plays along in the hopes that Moira will find her a great place in London.

Carla’s boyfriend Matteo (Jarno Berardi) remains stuck in their native Venice as Carla begins her dalliance with Moira. Already suspicious and possessive of his lovely girlfriend, Matteo discovers a cache of letters from an ex-boyfriend, accompanied by a highly revealing photograph of her. Matteo begins to argue with Carla over the phone and gets frustrated by her answers.

Having already succumbed to Moira’s lesbian advances, Carla decides to call Moira up and let her wild side out to possibly spite Matteo. Moira takes Carla to an orgy, where the angry young woman quickly makes a connection with Moira’s ex-husband. Both Carla and Matteo eventually realize they love each other and push their issues aside, after Matteo has a change of heart about Carla’s infidelity. Brass inserts some strange advice into Cheeky! as a capper, including a tacit endorsement of cuckoldry to liven up a relationship.

What Cheeky! has going for it is the absolutely stunning Yuliya Mayarchuk, more often appearing out of clothes than in them. She makes for a very appealing lead actress as a free spirit in this role. It’s a lighthearted romp that doesn’t have the depth or comedy of Brass’s other offerings, but should entertain those looking for some level of erotica in their movies.

Special Note: Arrow Video’s Blu-ray set is locked for Region B.

Movie ★★★☆☆

Tension @ 6:55

Once again for a Tinto Brass picture, British distributor has licensed the transfer from Cinecittia’ Digital Factory in Rome. This time the picture quality results turn out much better than the previous case of Frivolous Lola. While that transfer had a number of issues, Cheeky! looks relatively fine for a low-budget Italian comedy.

This is a true Hi-Def transfer from decent film elements, though it still lacks the resolution and superior detail found in the latest film scans. Likely made from an older telecine, the video shows moderate increases in definition, color saturation, and clarity over standard-definition video.

The transfer is framed at a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, slightly altered from its original theatrical exhibition of 1.66:1. The AVC video encode is spread out over a BD-50 at an incredibly high 35.00 Mbps average, nicely replicating the 35mm film print’s grain structure. There is no evidence of DNR or edge enhancement as the 1080P video found on this region-locked Blu-ray is extremely film-like in appearance. No one will mistake this transfer as reference material but it’s a solid presentation that will please most fans.

This is supposedly the first time the film has been presented on home video in widescreen and uncut.

Video ★★★☆☆

Two soundtracks of varying quality are provided for Cheeky!’s lively score. The Italian soundtrack arrives in a fine, if limited, 5.1 DTS-HD MA presentation. It expands the soundstage and adds a number of ambient surround elements to the fairly confined stereo mix. A 2.0 PCM audio option in English is a tinnier version of the more spacious Italian surround mix. Italian productions often dub-in both the English and Italian dialogue, which is the case in Cheeky!.

English SDH subs are included for the English audio, while the Italian soundtrack features all-new English subs. Both are defeatable by the user and appear in a white font.

Audio ★★★☆☆

Arrow Video has dug up a featurette with Tinto Brass’s hilarious insight into Cheeky!, as he discusses his exploration into lesbianism for the first time in one of his films. It features some brief, behind-the-scenes material. The included booklet and artwork are typical classy products from Arrow Video.

  • High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the film uncut and in widescreen for the first time.
  • Optional English and Italian audio
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian audio
  • Featurette on the film with director Tinto Brass (08:17 in SD)
  • Original English Trailer (03:25 in HD)
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly designed artwork by The Red Dress
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Maitland McDonagh, illustrated with original archive stills

Extras ★★★☆☆

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For more information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

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Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.