A Change of Seasons (1980)
A Change of Seasons is a bittersweet romantic comedy - sorta,
Hannibal Lecter is an English Professor who is married to 40ish Shirley
Maclaine and having an affair with 20ish Bo Derek to reaffirm his continuing
sexual appeal during his midlife crisis. (You go, Doctor Lecter!) Ol'
Shirley comes to the conclusion that she may as well make the best
of the situation, so she finds her own young lover and reaffirms her
own attractiveness. Once everybody is reaffirmed, the four of them
decide to go on a skiing weekend together for some reason or
another. While they are embarrassing the crap out of each other, their daughter
shows up to announce that she's lost the love of her life. Then Bo
Derek's father shows up. Then the daughter's boyfriend shows up.
Hilarity ... doesn't ensue. It isn't really a
comedy at all, but a sort of meditation on getting older without
getting wiser. It's not very good as a drama either. The plot unfolds like a talky two-act play with two
sets and a small cast, the dialogue is artificial (especially the
daughter's boyfriend, who makes speeches rather than statements),
the direction is pedestrian, and the whole thing gets
resolved sadly and
The author, or at least one of the authors, is
Erich Segal. If you are under 40 that name probably doesn't mean a
thing to you. If you are a baby boomer, you probably have the feeling
that you should know who he is, but can't quite bring him up to the top
of your consciousness. You'll remember when I tell you, because ten
years before this film came out, he had his full fifteen minutes of fame. He's the
Ivy League classics professor who went slumming long enough to
write "Love Story," the incredibly successful
script-turned-novel-turned-film. It was actress Ali MacGraw who found
the script and took it to her husband, Robert Evans, the executive
vice-president of Paramount. Although the script had already been
widely shopped and rejected, Evans chose to back it as a starring
vehicle for his wife because, "I thought it might be a good, small,
profitable, trend-bucker away from all those 'now' movies I hated." While the script was being made
into a movie, Segal turned it into what he called a "one-sitting"
quickie novel. The book was a runaway best seller, thus building up anticipation for the movie. The film itself was
virtually a license for Paramount to print money. It was produced for
two million bucks and grossed more than the GDP of Western Europe,
finishing as the top-grossing film of 1970.
Why? There are many theories, and I suppose the most prevalent is that
the simple, apolitical, old-fashioned and conventional Love Story
seemed to be an anodyne for the divided nation's suffering during the
darkest days of the Vietnam era.
Whatever, dude. There's more than a whiff of
bullshit in that theory, but there's probably some truth to it as
well. Evans obviously was not the only one sick of "now movies," and
he made exactly the right call.
Whatever the explanation, there is no denying that
in 1970 the book and the film were ubiquitous, as was Segal, who
seemed to be on Johnny Carson or Merv Griffin constantly, first that
summer when he promoted his book, then again in December when the film
came out. He was younger (33) and hipper than our image of a
classics professor, so he seemed
pretty cool at first, but by the end of that year he was over-exposed
and it seemed that pretty much everyone was sick of Segal and his
made-for-Hallmark catch phrase, "Love means never having to say you're
sorry," which adorned about 103% of the girl's t-shirts in the world.
For reasons which have never been very clear
to me, the film version of Love Story was honored by the Academy,
which nominated it for seven Oscars, including five major ones (best
... adapted screenplay, actor, actress, director, picture). Its
nomination for the best picture Oscar and the nomination of Ali
MacGraw as the best actress remain two of the most embarrassing
moments in Academy history. Pauline Kael, the New Yorker's legendary
film critic, said that "... its venality and infantilism make us reach
for the barf bag instead of the Kleenex." Whatever lightning had sparked
the success of Love Story, Segal could never really capture it in a bottle. The
sequel, Oliver's Story, bombed with both the critics and the public,
as did A Change of Seasons, the movie I'm supposed to be writing about
here. A subsequent screenplay called Man, Woman and Child earned him
some respect, but not many simoleans, although it had been a
successful book. His fifteen minutes having expired in the film world, Segal
departed from the top of the public consciousness, but has continued to this day to write both
bestsellers and scholarly books.
As for A Change of Season. Well, you already
know that it features Hannibal Lecter in love with Bo Derek, as
scripted by the author of Love Story. What more do you need to know?
Actually there is one more interesting tidbit.
This film was already "in the can" when Bo Derek was transformed from
an obscure pretty girl into the sex goddess of a generation. Bo's
career-making 10 came out in October of 1979. When that happened, the
director of this film called Dr. Lecter and Bo back for some more
footage of them making nice-nice. The result of that was the opening
credits, in which Bo and the Doc frolic wordlessly in a hot tub - in
slow motion!! My kind of exploitation. Unfortunately, the opening
sequence is the highlight of the film in more ways than one. Once the
film actually begins, Bo keeps her clothes on except for a brief
peek-a-boo tease behind a frosted shower door. Although this film
opened at the height of Bo's popularity and during the lucrative
period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it could muster no better
than $16 million at the box office, and was soon forgotten.
I did love the theme song:
Oh, you don't wanna be a rejecter
When your suitor is Hannibal Lecter ...
Lecter in Love, Lecter in Love
He's gonna eat her below and
You're gonna need a protector
If your boyfriend is Hannibal Lecter ...
Is he a lover or a meat inspector?
No, he's just Hannibal Lecter ...
Researcher: Early Man Was Hunted by Birds, thus
explaining Jude Law.
Universal Pictures 2006 Preview
Conan's Endorsement No Joke to Some Finns
Daily Box Office - Friday, January 13, 2006
- New releases: Glory Road (Disney basketball flick)
takes #1, Last Holiday (Latifah) does a little better
than expected and slides into the #2 spot, knocking
Hostel down a peg lower than expected. Hoodwinked kicks
off in the #4 spot. Tristan and Isolde finishes sixth.
- Hold-overs: Narnia and Kong drop to #7 and #8, Dick
and Jane holds up a little better and passes them both
to finish #5.
I just found this out. Contrary to Captain Kirk, the
correct route to Neverland is:
"Second to the right, and straight on till morning."
Rowan Atkinson as the Devil in Hell where, ironically,
he will have to go for playing Mr Bean. Sorry, old ... er
Golden Globes may make a star of 'Brokeback' Or not.
Funny rant from Bill Maher on Iraq
18 pics from the set of 'Superman Returns'
"Brad Pitt, newly of Brangelina, neglected to tell his
ex-wife Jennifer Aniston that he will be the father of
Angelina Jolie's next child" - Our panel responds
"Stephen Colbert Is A Lying Scumbag"
"Top Ten Chuck Norris Facts"
The Washington Post review of Wonkette's new novel - as
written by the ever-prickly P.J. O'Rourke
- "Ana Marie Cox made her name writing a political
blog, Wonkette.com. I've never seen it. As far as I can
tell, no one has."
- "She combines this with a likeness of the Kerry
campaign so thinly veiled that it's like seeing John
Kerry in a John Kerry mask at a Halloween party."
- "It's a novel torn from the day before yesterday's
- "Dog Days is devoid of ideas or even references to
ideas, thus giving an accurate picture of practical
politics at campaign time, as if anyone needed this."
"Former Federal Prosecutor Edward Lazarus talks to Jon
Stewart about his book 'Closed Chambers.'"
The trailer for Curious George
Oscar Winner Shelley Winters Dies at 85
The trailer for Akeelah and the Bee
- A heart-warming, triumph-over adversity drama, "Akeelah
and the Bee" centers on a precocious eleven-year-old
girl, Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer), from south Los
Angeles, who is discovered to have a talent for words.
In spite of the objections of her mother Wanda (Angela
Bassett), Keke enters a spelling contest. Her gift takes
her to compete in the National Spelling Bee, the most
famous competition of its kind in the world. On the way,
she is helped by a forthright, mysterious teacher, Dr.
Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) and a cast of colorful
characters from the community. Her journey evokes pride
in the neighborhood, bringing them together and, in the
end, all witness the courage and inspiration of one
amazing little girl.
The R-rated trailer for Slither
- The sleepy town of Wheelsy could be any small town
in America--somewhat quaint and gentle, peopled with
friendly folks who mind their own business. But just
beneath the surface charm, something unnamed and evil
has arrived and is growing. No one seems to notice as
telephone poles become clogged with missing pet flyers,
or when one of the town's richest citizens, Grant Grant,
begins to act strangely. But when farmers' livestock
turn up horribly mutilated and a young woman goes
missing, Sheriff Bill Pardy and his team, aided by
Grant's wife Starla, uncover the dark force laying siege
to their town and come face-to-face with an
older-than-time organism intent on absorbing and
devouring all life on Earth.
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Hidden Beauties (1999) is a soft core that has Michelle Hall, Catalina Larranaga, Hall's brother, and her boyfriend visiting a castle she is to inherit. The lord of the castle died when the three women he was engaged to compaired notes, and then screwed him to death. A devoted Nikki Fritz cast a sleep spell on them, and kept up the castle for 100 years. The sleeping beauties are awakened, and everyone finds the perfect partner. Now all that remains is to break the spell so everyone can get to the happily ever after part.
This film does as good a job on photographing nudity as I have seen in a soft core effort. All of the women are seen clearly in a huge variety of positions, resulting in a huge image count.
Tonight, we have the nudity from Nikki Fritz, who seduces Hall's brother, and Catalina. All of the women in this film give three B performances.
Tomorrow night, the other women, and the rest of the review.
'Caps and comments by Dann:
"Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders"
Although this 2005 drama can't be much worse, the good news is Brittany Daniel finally takes off her bra, not just for a few topless scenes, but for most of the movie. Even better, much of her wardrobe is very revealing. And of course, the topless scenes are there, too; several of them. In addition, there's considerable other toplessness in this flick.
The Hillside Strangler, released in 2005, told the story from the murderer's point of view. Based on the many things I've read about this case over the years, they did a pretty good job. This version, however, tells a highly fictionalized account of the murders, and is surprisingly and disappointingly bad.
While they did include the two men ultimately convicted of the crime, the focus of this version is on a female psychiatrist, apparently completely fictional, who helped the police interrogate the suspects. To spice things up, the lady is a dope using free-will type whose live-in boyfriend is a dope dealer, and who loves to party and engage in swinging and three-way sex. This is the character played by Brittany Daniel, which explains the nudity.
This thing is a mess. Brittany Daniel was all wrong for this part, and it showed. The screenplay is bad. The cinematography isn't great, and the editor should be shot on sight for using overlays time and time again. Perhaps 30% of the film is overlaid. It is distracting and hard to see anything. Effective if used occasionally, it really sucks when overdone. To add insult to injury, it seems there were a few things they couldn't get by Big Brother and keep the R rating, so there are a few blur boxes floating around in some scenes.
Britt, what the hell were you thinking? It's inevitable given your looks and great figure you'd do nudity, but why in the world did you save it for this turkey?
Here are a few edits of recent paparazzi pics of "Lost" star Evangeline Lilly on the beach in a bikini.
More paparazzi-at-the-beach. This time it's UK pin up babe Nell McAndrew wearing nuthin' but sand.