"This Girl's Life"

This Girl's Life (2003) is a slice of life film about Moon, porn goddess, and her life and times. She went into porn with eyes wide open, and has become a superstar. Several things make her think twice when her contract is up for renewal. First, she has a new boyfriend who has trouble with her career choice. Second, her father (played brilliantly by James Woods) is sinking into Parkinson's disease, and requires more and more of her time. Third, when her girlfriend asks her to hit on the man who has proposed to her to see if he would cheat (he would), she has found a fun new career. An AIDS scare in the adult film community also makes her think, and then one of the men she nails with her sting operation doesn't take the loss of his wife and child very well.

Moon is played by Russian born Juliette Marquis, and unless she makes some poor role choices, she will become a huge star, as this girl can act. She, and actual porn star Cheyenne Silver supply the nudity doing full frontal and rear. Several men also show the full Monty.

IMDb readers have this at 6.6. Most critics were impressed by Marquis and by Woods' performance, but found the film unfocused and lacking in plot. I agree with those criticisms, but still found it worth the watch, primarily because of Marquis' ability. C.

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  • Cheyenne Silver (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Juliette Marquis (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    I'm back.

    James Joyce's Women (1985):

    Joyce's Ulysses, in addition to being considered the greatest work of 20th century literature, is also considered the most controversial. The court battles and censorship struggles of this book rival any in history, including The Origin of Species and Newton's In Principia. Excluding scientific works, Joyce's book must rank #1 as the most condemned book in the history of publishing, since the controversy over its publication easily eclipsed the furor over Lolita or any of D.H. Lawrence's books.

    Fionnula Flanagan, a classical actress proud of her country's literary heritage, wrote and produced this film about six women in James Joyce's life: three fictional characters plus Joyce's wife, his benefactress and his publisher. Fionnula wanted to represent the Joycean universe correctly, so she played all six characters herself, and delivered close to 90% of the spoken words in this film. It is more or less one of those "one woman shows".

    The highlight of the film is probably Molly's masturbatory reverie from Ulysses, a passage often cited as the most erotic in all of literature, the filmed version of which must occupy about 20 uninterrupted minutes of screen time within the stream of one woman's consciousness. When it came to the nudity required for the masturbation scene, Fionnula did not demur, and did everything on camera. This is an extraordinary moment in cinema, because the naked woman playing with her privates in front of you is not a queen-B or a stripper or a porno star or a fading movie queen making a final grasp for attention, but a legitimate classical actress, ala Dame Edith Evans or Meryl Streep.

    As you can deduce from the above, this is the type of film that will be considered a great treasure by a very small percentage of the population, and will also be viewed by some others curious about the masturbation scene. Those who are studying Joyce will find this film very useful to make Joyce more accessible and to understand the context of the society he wrote about. For the great majority of film audiences, this is simply a static, highly literary film which is fundamentally a long series of monologues. Most people will find those monologues as dull as dishwater, despite the sexual charge they contain.

    Back in 1999, I tracked down "James Joyce's Women" in the pre-viewed bargain bin at Blockbuster for $2.99. At that time, it was not available on DVD. I am writing this six years later, and it is still not on DVD. Worse still, the VHS was never priced for retail sales, so it costs about $70 new, although you can find it for as little as $25 from people who have stock to liquidate.

    • Flanagan (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). These caps are quite decent, but are still from the same old bargain basement VHS copy.



    Anchorman (2004):

    Anchorman is actually TWO movies:

    Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is a Will Ferrell comedy about a pompous, preening, male chauvinist of a local 1970s newscaster who feels challenged and bewildered when his station brings in a female co-anchor.

    Although it was highly touted as Ferrell's final step to superstardom, it didn't turn out to be quite as funny as expected. The promotional campaign promised a rich treasure of material to be mined from the pop culture of the 70s, but that didn't really materialize. The film dressed everyone up in bright polyesters and gave all the men outrageous facial hair and smirking misogynistic swaggers ... and then stopped short of knockout blows, as if to say "OK, we've mocked the 70s, now let's just do all of our stock SNL routines." And that's just what it did - presented a series of Saturday Night Live sketches loosely tied to the rivalry between the two anchors. To make matters somewhat worse, the material was not tightly scripted, and the improv material is hit and miss. There's a lot of "miss" - not because it isn't funny, but because it is predictable. Comics have a only certain number of devices they can fall back on for improv. Ferrell has been in the public eye for many years, and we in that public have seen and heard his best improv bits before, so Anchorman seemed like a "fill in the blanks" approach - like doing Will Ferrell Mad Libs. To make matters very bad indeed, Ferrell has a comic Achilles heel that was not protected in this film. He's a funny guy, but he never knows when the joke is over and it's time to move on. When he's working with a tight script, he can deliver solid laughs within the words and character he's been given, but when he's allowed to roam free, he often misses by going too broad, and even his hits tend to drag on too long.

    Every once in a while the film breaks loose with some genuine inspiration, but most of it is just predictable, dependable laughs with no real unifying concept, and the concept it starts with covers the exact same ground (chowderhead 70s anchorman) which Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore show already milked to death. (Anchorman gives a tip o' the hat to MTM in the name of Burgundy's smarter-than-him doggie, Baxter.)

    Mind you, dependable laughs are not such a bad thing. It may be formulaic humor, but "dependable" is a decent substitute when "inspired" isn't available. Anchorman is generally a pleasant way to pass the time.


    I have to warn foreign readers that you may not like this. There was a major difference of opinion between American and foreign critics on this film. I suppose the jokes are rooted too deep "inside" American pop culture. Roger Ebert and James Berardinelli both found it amusing and awarded three stars, and the film scores an average critical score of 64 at Metacritic, which is outstanding for a lowbrow comedy, but the British critics generally despised it, awarding an average of one and a half stars. Perhaps you non-Americans won't "get it," because the outrageous characters are actually not far from the truth, and recognizing that makes it funnier to us.



    Anchorman: Wake Up, Ron Burgundy is not really a sequel, but a straight-to-vid consisting of some footage which was not used for the theatrical film. When the first film was released, the director was sitting on two and a half hours of additional material. A lot of that extra footage had to do with the improv technique, in which actors try to do radically different versions of the scenes, and a lot of it had to do with a sub-plot which was completely deleted and replaced. What to do with all that great material? Hell, let's cut it into another movie, and explain the plot of the new film with a lot of voice-overs. Some of the plot of the second film is downright confusing if you saw the first film, because the chronology is obviously cobbled together. Events that are supposed to take place after Burgundy and his co-anchor become lovers are obviously taking place before they were an item. Ultimately, that doesn't really matter. A foolish consistency, after all, is the hobgoblin of little minds, and nothing is more foolish than caring whether the plot makes sense in a lowbrow comedy that has a lot of good laughs.

    I'm pretty sure you will enjoy the second film if you liked the first one. I watched it with my youngest son, who is a huge Will Ferrell fan, and we both felt that the second film had some great moments that were excised from the theatrical release for reasons unrelated to their quality. Steve Carrell, as the drooling , "retarded" weather man, delivers a brilliant comic turn when he suddenly snaps back to the brilliant military strategist he used to be, and takes charge of the team by barking a complicated series of commands, which the others all obey unquestioningly. Their only response when the mental midget suddenly turns into General Patton? Will Farrell calmly, portentously says "looks like the Captain is back!" My son and I almost fell out of our chairs! That was a really funny idea that simply had to be cut because it was tied to the deleted sub-plot, which involved some terrorists, and it would have made no sense without the paramilitary counter terrorism required from the news team (!!). Another brilliant Ferrell line had to be cut from the first film because Christina Applegate smiled, which was out of character, but the director wisely realized the line was too good to be lost forever, and placed it in the second film, warts and all.

    All in all, the two disk set includes about five hours of madness, and is well worth owning if you're a comedy buff or a Ferrell fan. It may not be as cohesive a comedy concept as we hoped for, but it's still a lot of fun, and there's a lot of it in the two-disk set.

    • Christina Applegate from The Legend of Ron Burgundy (1, 2)

    • Christina Applegate from Wake Up, Ron Burgundy (1, 2)



    This Girl's Life (2003):

    This is a strange one. It is a pseudo-documentary about the internet's first great porn star, who lives in a house full of web cams. She talks to the camera for a good portion of the film's running time. This role is played by an unknown actress, and her best friend and sometime co-star is played by Cheyenne Silver, as herself, a real-life porn star.

    Yet those actresses are working with some extremely impressive people like James Woods and Ioan Gruffudd,  as well as some dependable back-up actors like Michael Rapaport, Tomas Arana, and Rosario Dawson. Impressive cast.

    The film portrays the web porn star as a person with great depth of character. She was the smartest girl in her school. She takes care of her dad, who has Parkinson's Disease. She is open and frank about her sexuality. She is able to charm anyone into or out of anything. She has the same trouble getting a date with a nice guy as the rest of the women in the world, probably even more trouble since her latest boyfriend doesn't really know if he wants to thinks about a future with a porn queen.

    It's a movie based almost completely on characterization. The plot is minimal, and mostly episodic. The key development is that she has an AIDS scare, and this bears on her decision whether to re-sign with her producers. She is considering an alternate career as a sexual investigator who well test boyfriends or husbands for faithfulness, but this job can be riskier than porn if she busts some guy and he finds out her real name and address.

    On the one hand, this film is extremely well acted by the experienced stars and (in the lead) newcomer Juliette Marquis, who looks like a larger-breasted version of Milla Jovovich. On the other hand, those actors are performing in a production which basically contains the production values of a home movie. It is possible to argue that the home movie ambiance is basically a nifty piece of artifice which makes the "documentary" seem more real. There is some truth to that, but the amateurish production values and minimal camera movement can also be distracting. I watched this without ever getting convinced by it or absorbed into the story. I kept wondering if James Woods knew that he was giving one of the best and most difficult performances of his career in a glorified home movie.

    Oh, well, maybe you will see something special if you watch this film. Several reviewers, including Roger Ebert, remarked that this debut by Juliette Marquis should mark the beginning of a tremendous career. If those people are correct, this could be your chance to see a star in the making. Perhaps in ten years we will look back on this in the same way that we now look back on Cyborg 2, Angelina Jolie's first adult film role, and her first screen nudity. One nice feature is that we will not have to wonder what Juliette looks like naked if she becomes a superstar, because she flashed it all right here, and even did a lesbian sex scene with a porn star.


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    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
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    'Caps and comments by Spaz:

    "Heart of America" (2003)
    Teenspoitation about some high school students who take revenge on their classmates.

    Da Vinci's Inquest: Cinderella Story part 1 & 2
    Season two opener about a prostitution ring with Katharine Isabelle returning as a hooker showing alot more then her bellybutton. No nudity but lots of hooker cleavage.

    Moccassin Flats season 2: The Ties That Bind
    Sarah Podemski sister to Jennifer and Tamara joins the cast and clearly is the best stacked of the Podemski sisters. Episode opens with a lesbian sex scene between Andrea Menard and a no-name actress with an unpronounceable name.

    Battlestar Galactica minsieries
    Opener for the latest installment of the television series but without Pa Cartwright.

    • Tricia Helfer: bare back having sex, very nice cleavage.
    • Unknown: parital boob and panties caught having sex.

    Cold Squad
    Various episodes mostly from season four.

    Cleaning up my hard drive...

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "This Girl's Life"
    It should be easy to write a review for a movie that everyone seems to think is terrific. 2003's This Girl's Life which first appeared on Showtime, got good reviews from the critics, raves from viewers, and was generally very well received. My problem is I was under whelmed. It's not bad, but based on all the things I'd heard, I expected better.

    Basically, this slice-of-life drama follows the daily life of internet porn star Moon. She narrates most of the movie as if talking to a friend. Moon has lost her mother to suicide, and we meet her father, who suffers from Parkinson's disease.

    Moon is happy in her work, and unapologetic about her lifestyle, because she likes sex, so she's she's doing something she likes to do. She does yoga to prepare herself for a scene, and frankly, one of the things that kind of put me off on this movie was their attempt to turn porn into some mystical life-awakening experience. Hey, guys, at the end of the day, it's having sex for money. I have absolutely no problem at all with that, but let's not turn it into something glamorous, because there's a lot about the adult industry that isn't.

    On the other hand, I was very impressed with the scenes involving the father, played by James Woods. He did a great job as a man suffering from Parkinson's, and the interplay between the two characters was very well done. The father knows what his daughter does for a living, but he prefers to insist she's a vet, and asks if the "animals are behaving", to find out how she's being treated by her co-workers.

    Another problem with the film for me was that after setting a liberated and positve tone through about three quarters of the movie, they suddenly switched gears and ended with a predictable and almost lame moral message. That was fine, but had a phony feel because of the first part of the movie. In short, I thought they snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory.

    Apparently, based on the comments I saw, a lot of people expect great things from Juliette Marquis, who played Moon, and was appearing in her first film role. I hope so, because she is very pretty, but her implants aren't great (which made her a more realistic porn star, I guess), and even though her acting in this film was very good, she still reminded me of a lot of other pretty girls with bad implants who show up night after night in the cable skinploitation flicks. Personally, I hope she does much better.

    As you'd expect of a film about a porn star, there's plenty of nudity. Although I think it drags in parts, this film is definitely worth seeing, but if you make the mistake of reading all the hype first as I did, you may be disappointed.

    Clementine Shepherd-Ford Cybill Shepherd's daughter making a busty guest appearance on the FOX series "House, M.D.". As I've mentioned before, while I haven't seen the show yet, it does have some star power behind the scenes. "X-Men" director Bryan Singer is one of the executive producers and even directed the pilot episode. Check it out Tuesday nights on FOX.

    Marla Sokoloff The cute young actress posing for "Holding your own boobs" magazine during a guest spot on last week's episode of "Desperate Housewives". In the collage by Gman, we also see Eva Longoria showing a bit of cleavage, and Marcia Cross stuffed into some tight pants and walking away from the camera.

    Angelina Jolie
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Mr. Nude Celeb 'caps of one of the most beautiful women in the world starring in one of the lamest movies in the world...1993's "Cyborg 2". I'm not really sure why this movie was even made considering the original "Cyborg" was not only a stink fest, but such a lame movie they couldn't even get Van Damme to come back for a sequel! Regardless, at least the producers were smart enough to provide us with Jolie's first screen nudity.

    Drew Barrymore
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

    Señor Skin 'caps of Barrymore baring her breasts (side views) and also giving us an upskirt-ish view in link #4 in scenes from the amazing lame Western, "Bad Girls" (1994). Barrymore, Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson and Andie MacDowell play old west prostitutes who decide to do something cliche like 'get out of the biz and buy some land to make an honest livin'". Naturally there are some evil men who try to stop them, so the "Bad Girls" decide to fight back. One IMDb user summed it up perfectly like this..."(it's) A girl-power western for the MTV generation".