Whip It


Whip It! is a hybrid of two genres which one might not normally associate together:

The first type of genre film summoned here is the standard sports underdog tale. The perennial losers pick up some new blood and some new motivation and eventually challenge the champions in The Big Game, after taking some hard hits along the way.

The second is the official English provincial film. It seems like there are only two types of English films these days. Type one is a gritty and violent urban crime drama with a darkly comic overlay. Type two, the template for this film, is a dramedy about eccentric provincials who aspire to do something in stark contrast to our stereotyped expectations. The steelworker's son wants to study hairdressing. The kindly old grannies want to be drug lords. The fat factory worker wants to be a stripper. A boy in a small industrial town wants to study ballet. The message of these films is acceptance, and that pill is made easy to swallow by laughs and sentiment. Whip It! is exactly that kind of film, except that it takes place in a tiny town in Texas rather than in the U.K. Bliss's strong-willed mom wants her to earn her college education by competing in beauty pageants. Bliss, on the other hand, is not really into the big hairdos and insincere speeches required by the pageant circuit. She's more like the alternative rock chicks who stand around making ironic comments about everything and who are in turn ridiculed by the cool kids. To be honest, she's not really very enthusiastic about anything at all until she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin, which seems to summon her as powerfully as the sirens did to Ulysses. She lies about her age to get a tryout and eventually becomes one of the league's stars. Unlike the muscular but slow bruisers who dominate the sport, she is small and fast and therefore ideally suited to the "jammer" role, which requires her to skate past other competitors before they can prevent it.

The screenwriter of Whip It! actually did a pretty damned good job at blending those two genres. Since Bliss is only 17, and her bitter rival discovers that, she will need her parents' permission to keep skating. Therefore the two plots synch very nicely. The team will require their new star to gain the acceptance of her parents before they can count on her for the big game!

Both IMDb voters (7.7) and movie critics (83% positive reviews) loved this flick, but that love did not translate into box office success. It finished dead last among the four new theatrical films released in the first week of October, 2009. That week's competitive situation was unfortunate for this movie. If Whip It! had opened against one drama, for example, it might have done very well, but it opened against three other comedies, one of which was another, stronger coming-of-age dramedy (Zombieland), and that was all she wrote.

Or it's possible that the film's box office failure can be attributed to the lack of a distinct audience. The people who would like an American version of Billy Elliott may not be the same people who would like to see bone-crunching roller derby action.

The film deserved a wider audience. Whip It! represents Drew Barrymore's debut as a theatrical director, and the film resembles its director in many respects. It's physical, middle-brow, highly accessible, down-to-earth, enthusiastic, unpredictable, casual, and wears its heart on its sleeve. And like Drew, it's almost always fun to watch.


Ellen Page didn't get naked, but she did do an underwater scene in her underwear.


The Auteur


Arturo Domingo is a difficult, uncompromising filmmaker with a deep love for art and a total mastery of the technical possibilities of film. Unlike most such men, he doesn't make art films, but hard-core pornography. He is the "Stanley Kubrick of porn," and he takes his work just as seriously as Kubrick took his. In fact, he takes it far too seriously, as evidenced by comments like this: "Of course my films include fucking, sucking, Cleveland Steamers, bukake and other sexual activity - but only if it is justified by the plot."

He's in Portland to accept a lifetime achievement award which is being presented to him as part of a film festival being held in his honor. Also in Portland are his former muses, the ex-wife who abandoned him, and the estranged leading man whose collaboration inspired him to the great masterpieces of the past which he can no longer seem to duplicate.

The present-day action also includes plenty of scenes at the Portland film festival, and that festival includes a documentary about Arturo as well as excerpts from his greatest triumphs, so the documentary provides the back-story painlessly and naturally, while the excerpts provide various opportunities for satire and cheap gags.

Will Arturo make peace with his demons and recharge his stalled career with his unfilmed masterpiece, "Gang Bangs of New York"? Who cares? The plot and character development, while not non-existent and actually fairly interesting, are just the threads used to string together the gags. And, by golly, those gags are actually pretty funny! I laughed out loud a few times, particularly at some of Arturo's pretensions, and the short excerpts from "Five Easy Nieces," "Full Metal Jackoff," and "Dyke Club," which manage to spoof the porn industry as well as the films which inspired their titles.

The Auteur is rated 7.2 at IMDb - as high or higher than several of Oscar's "Best Picture" winners of the past! While I'm surprised that this obscure and raunchy little Tribeca film gets that much love from the voting public, I have to admit that I enjoyed it as well! Hats off to an indie film which accomplishes quite a bit without much money and without drawing any attention to its tiny budget. The script actually demonstrates a lot of knowledge about all sorts of films, and shows a lot of love for for those who make films  - porn films, great films, indies, art films - even while letting us enjoy a few laughs at their expense.


Indie Wire's amusing interview with the writer/director



There is, as you can imagine, a lot of nudity from porn stars and obscure actresses. I took the best excerpts and zipped them together here. The clips also demonstrate the film's sense of humor. (There's a lot more humor and a little more nudity.)


  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.









2 Days in the Valley


First up today a young Charlize Theron shows off her tits in "2 Days in the Valley."

Caps and an HD clip.




TV Land

Then we go over to TV Land for Kate Hudson looking oh so sexy and leggy as she visits Jimmy Fallon on "Late Night". Caps and a HD clip.


My Summer of Love



Emily Blunt and Natalie Press film clips



Into the Blue



There isn't much nudity, just a brief slipped nipple (first thumbnail below) and the bottom of Jessica Alba's buns as she swims, but it is a spectacularly beautiful woman in her prime wearing a bikini. She isn't really sexy so much as just downright spectacularly beautiful.

Jessica Alba and Ashley Scott film clips

Alba caps and collages






Eva Mendes frontal nudity in Training Day  (blurry, unfortunately)

Ashley Greene

Michelle Williams in Incendiary

Naomi Watts in 21 Grams

Sinia Kinski in All God's Children Can Dance

Sally Kirkland in Big Stan

Lady GaGa flashes her panties to photogs

Bai Ling topless on the beach.

Nancy Vee in Emmanuelle 2000


Film Clips