Her Name is Carla (2005)
This is essentially a four character play on film. In fact, to be
more specific, it is structurally similar to some of Harold Pinter's
plays in which mysterious strangers intimidate sedate households
without making any outright threats, but just by exuding a vague
malevolent presence. Her Name is Carla is a tale of two couples.
Carla and Bill, who seem to be settled and miserable, live near a
small town on a remote stretch of beach. One day, while Carla is in
town running some errands, she runs into the other couple, Jack and
Molly, strangers who are stranded in town after his business meeting
was cancelled. They start up a conversation. Carla volunteers that
their boat has a broken motor, and Jack volunteers to fix it. Carla is
reluctant to bring these people into her life, but a combination of
their persuasiveness and Carla's loneliness seems to wear down her
resistance. By the time they get back to Carla's house, they have
wrangled an invitation to have dinner and spend the night. Bill is
obviously uncomfortable with having strangers intruding into his life,
but he can't seem to come up with any reason to disinvite his guests,
so he tries to relax.
The evening starts out
pleasantly enough, but the strangers gradually seem more menacing, and
Bill is the first to notice that his guests don't have a credible
back-story. Half of the time, when they are questioned about matters,
they reply with some vague platitudes like "I had a thing with the
financial guy," or "you know how it is." The rest of the time it is
obvious that they are lying, because their stories are either
contradictory or just outright nonsense. (Jack is in the diamond
business, but doesn't seem to know how diamonds are mined.) The
couples have too much to drink and pair off without their spouses.
Carla and Jack go for a walk, and are having sex almost immediately.
Molly makes an attempt to seduce Bill, but he is becoming aware that
his guests are plotting something malicious, so he is keeping his
distance. Within a short while, Bill wants the guests to leave, but by
this time Carla is infatuated with Jack and wants the strangers to
stay. Bill is not the sort of man who keeps guns or uses force, and he
might lose his wife even if he could force the strangers out, so he
has no way to get the unwanted guests from his house. He ends up
acquiescing to the presence of visitors for a night, although he is
certain that their intentions must be malevolent.
Who are the two strangers, and why have they
come to this household? That two-edged question is the essence of the
In the Pinter path, the
psychological drama would continue to center around veiled menace
involving undeveloped characters who meet more or less at random. The
mystery usually remains mysterious. In this film, the Pinteresque
portion is more or less confined to the set-up, and the second half of
the film veers from the Pinter formula to become concrete. It provides
the history of the characters and the connections between them, as
well as a concrete solution to the mystery. In addition to the
revelation of critical incidents in the past, it also includes a
number of unexpected plot twists in the present. Things don't work out
exactly as the menacing strangers had planned.
It is an extremely low budget film shot on
digital video, and it relies entirely on the actors and the editing to
develop and maintain its aura of suspense. The digital video work is
dreary, although that works with the somber tone of the film. There is
too little lighting in most of the indoor shots, and the outdoor shots
on the water lose all definition, so that the water looks like it has
been painted by Seurat. At times the sun's reflection on the water
tends to bleach out everything on camera.
There is very little action. The one time when
action is necessary, it is filmed so clumsily that it is does not
communicate clearly what has actually happened. That scene, one of the
most important scenes in the film, is so clumsy that I had to replay
it a couple of times, wondering what the hell I had just seen. (As it
turns out, the result of the scene can be determined from what happens
subsequently, so the confusing edit didn't really matter.)
The director of this film is also the author,
editor, and cinematographer. If he gets more money for his next
project, he should consider keeping the other three jobs and hiring a
professional cinematographer, because he has some talent elsewhere.
Despite the fact that the film's overall appearance is no more
professional than a home movie, it does have some emotional power. The
director knows just how to use the right combination of hollow
dialogue, silence, and music to make one's hair stand on end. By the
way, the person I'm talking about here is Jay Anania, and he is the
brother-in-law of Democratic former Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards.
(Anania is the younger brother of Edwards's wife.)
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
There is no additional nudity in the unrated
special edition DVD
Where the Truth Lies (2005)
This is Atom Egoyan's new film, which I'll cover in
depth in a later edition. These images come from a mish-mash of
sources. Some are from LC, some from Mr Blonde. Since LC had covered
it all, I passed, given the poor quality of the screener. I will do
some when the DVD streets.
And the film clips:
"Analysts Estimate 1.3 Million X360s Sold
Microsoft appears to be falling short of quarterly sales
- OK, I'll ask the obvious question. How can you fall
short of sales goals when you sell every single unit you
- Or, to word it another way, if Microsoft only had
1.3 million units to begin with, why did the forecast
call for them selling more than that?
Gadget lovers - here are complete reports from the
Consumer Electronics Show
Clinton Portis's mom reportedly punches out a fan
Where Are They Now .... The Griswold Kids
It could have been worse. At least you didn't get these
things for Christmas.
Survival Guide to Drunken New Year's Eve Sex
- Oops! Sorry if you got the advice too late. My
apologies to any of you who did not survive. Well, my
apologies technically go to your loved ones if you did
not survive, but you know what I mean, or at least you
would if you were still with us.
Troubled teen star Lindsay Lohan has sparked rumours she
is pregnant ... after a friend was photographed
bringing unusual items to Lohan's bedside, including a
pregnancy testing kit and a box of Cocoa Puffs.
- So she's not only pregnant, but Cuckoo as well?
- Wow, I am impressed by Lohan's efforts so far this
year. Between the asthma, the Vanity Fair drug and
bulemia confessions, and the quasi-pregnancy, she's
packed a full year's worth of celebrity shenanigans into
these five short days. She's driven Brangelina off the
gossip sites completely! Of course, Cruise still has
managed to come up with the postponed wedding, and Paris
Hilton has the lawsuits, but apart from that, Lohan has
"President Bush called Texas coach Mack Brown on Thursday
morning to congratulate the Longhorns"
- Unfortunately, Brown's answering machine was already
- President Bush seems to be showing Nixonion
symptoms. He called Brown at 6 AM, on a morning after
the coach had partied well into the night
Gates says Google still on their "honeymoon"
- I guess that explains why they want to fuck him 24/7
Tip o' the cap department:
Looking back on ESPN.com's pre-season NFL power rankings
- Man, they sure had these nailed! Here are the teams
they rated 25-29 out of the 32 in the NFL: (actuals in
parens). Giants 25th (11-5, won division), Bears 26th
(11-5, won division and first round playoff bye), Tampa
Bay 27th (11-5, won division), Dolphins 28th (9-7, won
last six games), Redskins 29th (10-6, made playoffs)
- They also ranked the Eagles second best in the NFL
(they finished last in their division), and ranked the
Jets 9th best (they sucked so bad they may get Vince
Young if he skips his senior year!)
Emily Stern abruptly quit an Off-Off-Broadway religious
satire in which cast members strip naked. The show's
creator blasted her, and called her famous father, Howard
Stern, 'a psycho.'
Cuba paid Oswald to kill Kennedy, per new documentary
- "Cuba lay behind the 1963 assassination of President
John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald and its agents
provided the gunman with money and support, an
award-winning German director says in a new documentary
Italian court to decide whether Jesus existed
- At the heart of the dispute is an atheist suing the
Catholic Church for swindling and conning people into
believing in the godhood of someone who never existed in
the first place
- He wants an Italian judge to rule that Christ never
existed? That atheist better learn to pray fast, because
he needs a miracle.
Indiana's WTWO is refusing to air a new NBC series that
features Jesus Christ as a supporting character.
- Hey, c'mon, His agent pushed Him for the lead, but
there are no good agents in heaven
"WHICH three-way celebrity sex video could be headed to
the Internet any day now?"
- "We hear that a '90s-era rock star taped a menage a
trois with a porn star and the ex-husband of one of our
favorite Hollywood hellcats in the bathroom of L.A.'s
trashtastic Roosevelt Hotel. Now, two of the three
carnal combatants are eager to release the freaky
UNCONFIRMED REPORTS say PRIME MINISTER SHARON IS BRAIN
DEAD, joining Chirac and Bush among major world
Enron defendants' lawyers decry Houston's bias
- "Noting that some potential jurors think ex-Enron
CEO Jeff Skilling 'would lie to his mother if it would
further his cause' and ex-Chairman Ken Lay is a 'lowdown
scumbag' their lawyers are asking once again that their
trial be moved."
- In searching for a place where potential jurors do
not find Lay a scumbag, his attorneys have settled on
either Uzbekistan or Dick Cheney's undisclosed location.
X-Entertainment: Book Reports of Children's Books.
"Top Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting Free
- #2 - "Wasn't that Joan Rivers in the waiting room?
Arrow In The Head's Top 10 favourite genre films of 2005
Fake Quotes of the Year: 2005
Conan, Max and Triumph look back on last year's
The trailer for She's the Man, a modern day youth
comedy loosely based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
- "It's hard enough being the nerdy new guy on campus
without also being the new girl on campus, who has
fallen for the coolest guy on campus, who is totally
obsessed with the most beautiful girl on campus, who is
crushing on the nerdy new guy on campus. Viola Johnson
(Amanda Bynes) had her own good reasons for disguising
herself as her twin brother Sebastian (James Kirk) and
enrolling in his place at his new boarding school,
Illyria Prep. She was counting on Sebastian being AWOL
from school as he tried to break into the music scene in
London. What she didn't count on was falling in love
with her hot roommate, Duke (Channing Tatum), who in
turn only has eyes for the beautiful Olivia (Laura
Ramsey). Making matters worse, Olivia is starting to
fall for Sebastian, who - for reasons Olivia couldn't
begin to guess - appears to be the sensitive type of guy
she'd always dreamed of meeting. If things weren't
complicated enough, the real Sebastian has come back
from London two days earlier than expected and arrives
on campus having no clue that he's been replaced... by
his own twin sister."
The trailer for Dirty. Official blurb:
- "From writer-director Chris Fisher ('Rampage: The
Hillside Strangler Murders,' 'Nightstalker'), comes
'Dirty,' an edgy, suspenseful and action-packed story
about a day in the life of two corrupt cops going for
one final score. Gang member-turned-cop Armando Sancho
(Clifton Collins Jr./'Capote') begins to question the
life he and his partner Salim Adel (Cuba Gooding Jr.)
have chosen. Sancho must decide whether to heed his
conscience or his loyalty to his fellow officers as the
two rogue cops agree to run a lucrative, illegal
operation for the station's top brass (Keith David and
Cole Hauser). Focusing on an adrenaline-fueled urban
drama set in a decaying American metropolis, 'Dirty'
cuts through the thin blue line between police
corruption, gang violence and street justice. Rooted in
neo-noir storytelling that pays tribute to writers like
Raymond Carver and Dashiel Hammett, shot in an
aggressive, pseudo-documentary style that puts the
audience in the driver seat, peppered with just enough
subtext, humor and poetry to elevate the film above mere
genre convention, and buoyed by an all-star cast."
Screen Actors Guild Award nominations announced
- "The nominees for best actor in a film are Russell
Crowe ('Cinderella Man'), Philip Seymour Hoffman
('Capote'), Heath Ledger ('Brokeback Mountain'), Joaquin
Phoenix ('Walk the Line') and David Strathairn ('Good
Night, and Good Luck').
- That is the same roster which comprised the "Drama"
category from the Golden Globes, except Phoenix crossed
over from "Comedy/Musical" to supplant Terrence Howard
for the fifth slot.
- Surprising to me, Howard was nominated for neither
best actor (Hustle and Flow) nor best supporting actor
(Crash). I'm OK with the best actor nominees, I guess (I
haven't seen Brokeback Mountain), but I would have
nominated either Howard or Mickey Rourke (Sin City) in
the supporting category, rather than George Clooney.
- I would, however, completely support Clooney for a
nomination for best director. As I see it, there are
three guys who should be (but will not all be) shoo-ins
for best director nominations: Clooney, Robert Rodriguez
and Peter Jackson. I don't see any sign that Rodriguez
will be nominated, despite his skillful, innovative
work. The academy doesn't much care for sleazy genre
films these days.
- The nominees for best actress in a film are Judi
Dench ('Mrs. Henderson Presents'), Felicity Huffman
('Transamerica'), Charlize Theron ('North Country'),
Reese Witherspoon ('Walk the Line') and Ziyi Zhang
('Memoirs of a Geisha')."
"Scarlett Johansson has signed a deal to be the new
spokesmodel for L'Oreal."
The results of AskMen.com's poll for the Top 99 Women of
The trailer for Bareback Mountain
- Forbidden love between a man and a horsie. A MALE
UPS picks the Weirdest Stories of 2005
- This one is both funny and profoundly sad: "Daryl
Atkins, a Virginia capital-murder inmate who had
previously registered an IQ lower than the minimum-70
needed for execution, scored a 76, and a jury then sent
him to death row. Legal experts attributed the
improvement in IQ to the intellectual stimulation Atkins
received from discussing his case with lawyers."
- Instead of the five obvious punch lines in that
story, I'd like to point out that his improvement proves
he IS retarded, not that he isn't. If he were of normal
intelligence, he would certainly have answered the
questions wrong to save his ass, as any of us would
have. If I had been in his shoes, I would have scored an
IQ of about 9 on that test. Of course, I wouldn't have
to fake it - that's the same as I scored in eighth
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Scrapbook is yet another serial killer film, conceived and written
by Tommy Biondo, who also played the lead, and directed by Eric Stanze.
It took years for Biondo to get someone to make the film, and he was
off on another project when it was being edited. He Just before he
would have been able to screen his film (he hadn't seen a single
minute of the finished film), he was killed in an auto accident.
The premise is interesting. The killer was supposedly permanently
bent as a child when his older sister (Elizabeth Hammock) molested
him. He captures women, then tortures them, keeping a diary, and
forcing them to write in it, until he tires of them, and kills them.
As we join his story, he is disposing of his most recent victim, and
capturing Emily Haack.
The ordeals faced by Haack are graphically depicted as she is held
prisoner on a remote farm. Since the nudity and the torture are the
entire point of this film, I won't give details, in case you want to
see this one. I will say that it is sick, twisted and gruesome. Biondo
evidently did a lot of research into real serial killers as background
to his screen play. For the B&D crowd, there is an interesting twist
in the exchange of power, as Haak makes use of her writing in the
Scrapbook to gain the upper hand.
Elizabeth Hammock shows breasts while molesting the young Tommy.
Emily Haack shows all three Bs
IMDb readers say 5.7. The B-Movie festival awarded acting,
direction and screenplay. I am a little surprised that Emily Haack
didn't also get a nod, as she did her usual great job. This is sure to
become a cult favorite, if for no other reason than the torture and
gore, which is well over the top. This should not be my type of film
at all, but I was strangely attracted to the story, possibly because I
was rooting for Haak to overcome the odds and survive. The genre is
serial killer stories, and this fictional one is a C+.
Today we have three actresses in five clips on the
For starters there's 2 clips of
Fiona Shaw (1,
in Mountains of the Moon (1990). Fiona is fully nude but hard to see because
the scene is so damn dark, but brightened caps can be found in the back
issues. Scoop awarded this film with a solid B in his lengthy and informative
review in the Movie House.
Our main course consists out of 2 clips of a
surprisingly chaste Laura Antonelli (1,
2) in 1982's Viuuulentemente...mia. Laura is
down to her underwear, however she allows us a brief glimpse at her ample
bosom. She also says that one shouldn't look at naked women. Sorry Laura.
Let's end with a light dessert that won't cause
indigestion. Slender Martha Plimpton exposes her
tiny titties in
1 clip to some guy and us in Alice's
Restaurant back in 1969.
Dann reports on Thriller: A Cruel Picture
Quentin Tarantino has
credited this 1974 Swedish (with English soundtrack) rape/revenge flick as
the inspiration for the Kill Bill series, and for the one-eyed
character. The movie preceded 1978's I Spit on Your Grave, another
notorious rape/revenge flick well known for its nudity and violence.
In this one Frigga is raped as a child by an old man, leaving her
unable to speak. She is kidnapped and brutalized by a slick brothel owner
who hooks her on heroin then forces her into prostitution in return for
being supplied the dope to feed her habit. When she resists, he puts out
Frigga stashes away all the money she earns and uses it to get training
in martial arts, high speed driving and eluding, and marksmanship. She
then goes on a rampage taking revenge against her clients and the man who
engineered her miserable life.
Lots of nudity and sex, violence, and a decent storyline make this
classic well worth watching. The master was apparently in bad shape, so
even on DVD, the quality is poor and was hard to cap, but definitely worth
adding to the collection.
Just a few collages today, all of them featuring babes from the UK.
Luan Peters spent a fair amount of time on the telly (Fawtly Towers and
Coronation Street) but turned to the exploitative sex comedies of the 1970's
that kept the UK movie industry alive. Luan had the equipment. What we have here
are caps from Pacific Banana (she was borrowed by the Aussies for that one)
and from Not Tonight Darling. The source for the latter is about as far from
DVD as you can get and so the quality is a problem.
And I threw in a performance of former Miss World, Ann Sidney, in...well,
Performance. Ann was in her mid-20's and looks spectacular. Again, the source
was not DVD.