HALF MOON is a new film by director Jason Toler. Shot digitally in Los Angeles, nearly all of the action takes place in a hotel room. A pimp sets up his ladies for their nightly sojourn walking the streets, but a chain of events leads Rose (Tori Black) to the hotel room of Jacob (Marek Matousek), a john with a lot of problems - one of which is being a werewolf.
Rose, played by porn star Tori Black, doesn't come off like a lady of the night. For one thing, she's too fresh-looking and free of scars, needle marks, malnourishment and the usual hallmarks that are indicative of a life on the streets. The woman looks more like a supermodel who should be sporting wings and following Miranda Kerr on the catwalk to the beat of Justin Timberlake. The raw, emotional intensity that Ms. Black brings to her sexual roles in the adult video world is missing from her dialogue-filled scenes, and anyone hoping to see her in her birthday suit will be disappointed. The little action there is unfolds like a two-character play. It is very slow and stagey, and the film feels more like an audition tape for something bigger.
Why Rose chooses to be a prostitute is anyone's guess, as there have to be other less dangerous methods for a beautiful woman to make money. She seems smart, but perhaps the lack of a determined back-story is what is responsible for any motive she might have to remain at the mercy of a violent pimp. Ms. Black tries her best, but if she's looking to break into legitimate movies, she may want to take a hint from her contemporary, Sasha Grey, who has made a successful venture into mainstream films.
The end credits misspell the word "starring" as "staring," which is something you'll probably be doing to Ms. Black for the film's duration. The DVD is set to have a full-length commentary by director Toler, with a short behind-the-scenes featurette. It would be interesting to hear his comments on the film, what its genesis was and how it came about.
- Jonathan Stryker