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"Atame!" (1990)

Atame! (1990), released as "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down" on DVD, stars Antonio Banderas and Victoria Abril in a "Comedy/Romance/Drama/Thriller" directed by Pedro Almodóvar. There will be spoilers throughout this review, so if a Black comedy with subtitles and clear nudity from Victoria Abril is something you might watch, you should probably skip to the images (which, in my opinion, are my best in a while).

Banderas is released from a mental hospital where he has been since an early age. We learn that he has become a handyman, and lover of the female administrator, and several nurses.The administrator feels he is not well enough to go out in society. He, however, is a man dedicated to a mission -- Victoria Abril. Victoria is a former porn star and junkie who is making a "B" movie, who he met in a bar and had sex with during one of his many escapes from the hospital. Obsessed with her after the one experience, he vows to "kidnap" her, and hold her until she returns his love.

Eventually, she is touched by his obvious appreciation of her and the way he takes care of her, and, at the same time, is free from responsibility for a relationship, as he keeps her tied up, and doesn't give her a choice. When he is beaten up trying to buy her drugs to help a toothache, she decides that he didn't deserve that kind of abuse, and has sex with him. It is at this point that she remembers the previous encounter -- the great sex is familiar. He leaves her alone, and her sister discovers and releases her, but she realizes she does love him, and finds him.

The film was slapped with an NC-17 by MPAA. It is easy to see why. Abril moves her hips during sex, and, earlier, masturbates using a bath toy. Masturbation is usually R, but not when it is done by a woman for sexual pleasure without fantasizing about a male partner. Rather than cut the film, Almodóvar had the courage to release it Unrated. If only more film makers would stand up to MPAA, we might have intelligent adult films in the US. Technically, this film is superb. The DP used many innovative camera angles, and the Art Direction is amazing. The DVD transfer is one of the better ones I have seen, although it is lacking in Special Features. The film is in Spanish with English sub-titles (which could have been more accurate).

The critics agree on 2 1/2 stars. IMDB readers say 6.7/10, which is somewhat higher. It is fascinating to read the IMDB comments on this film. People are totally polarized. Many found it to be "dreck," pointless, sexist, and of no worth. Others claim it to be a brilliant black comedy, and a masterpiece by Almodóvar. I agree with those who say masterpiece. Anytime IMDB folks disagree so completely, it indicates to me that something pretty powerful happens in the film to cause that much controversy. In this case, it is a very hot sex scene, and the concept that a woman could fall in love with someone who has imprisoned her. For me, the change from fear and hate to love was believable. First, he took better care of her than she took of herself. Second, they had met before. Third, he genuinely cared and was devoted. Sure, it is not a mainstream relationship, but it is a fascinating view of Dominance and Submission, and explores who is in charge, the "Dom" or the "Sub." The film was, for me, a total delight.

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  • Victoria Abril
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27)
  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Note: in our continuing search for the person who has been in the most movies, an interesting footnote. Mel Blanc has 784 credits at IMDb!!! (Five times as many as Mastroianni). Of course, the credits are mostly for Blanc's voice(s). He was the voice of all the famous Warner Brothers characters - Bugs, Daffy, Pepe, Foghorn, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester, and about a zillion others.

    Charlie's site is updated.

    Mean Streak is a non-theatrical new release about racists trying to prevent a black baseballer from overtaking the sacred DiMaggio streak. Yawn.

    I'm Gonna Git You Sucka is an early effort from the Wayans Brothers. Keenan wrote, directed, and starred in this satire of Blaxploitation flicks. Uneven, but some very funny moments, beginning with the opening credits, in which a Masterpiece Theater voice speaks over a string quartet, while we see the elegantly lettered script in the title card for what is apparently a forgotten Jane Austen novel, "I Am Going To Get You, Sucker". You Austen fans may remember that the actual title was "I dare say that I fully intend to reprimand you to the limits of my capabilities, my dear Mr. sucker"

    • Miscellaneous. (I think her name is Terri Bevilacqua, but not sure)

    The Yards is based on an actual scandal from the 1980's , featuring the NY Transit Authority, some borough officials, and some contractors. There was your basic kickbacks, bribes, murders, and eventually the suicide of the borough president. This story is kind of a fictionalized retelling of the event, and features another brief topless scene from Charlize Theron. It's pretty far from the camera, and we'll need DVD to get a really good look, but her it is so far.

    • BONUS: Here is a better version of that nearly-topless picture of Hollywood hotshot producer-director (28 Days, Private Parts) Betty Thomas, back in her comedy days, not lookin' bad at all. The movie is 1976's "Tunnel Vision", which I have seen, but don't remember. I capped it from (of all places) the trailer to "Rock 'n Roll Frankenstein". The picture also features Funhouse favorite Count Floyd, minus his monster makeup.

    • BONUS 2: This is one more from Steal This Movie. The character is Anita Hoffman, Abbie's wife. Janeane Garofalo played the role, but this is almost certainly a body double.
    For the newer readers...Brainscan is great guy and we often enjoy trading zingers with each other.

    Comments by Brainscan:
    Before we get to the babes... I don't remember pronouncing policy on Hilary Swank. The memory ain't what it used to be, more of a steel sieve than a steel trap, so I could have forgotten, but I think the only thing I said 'bout Hil before yesterday was that she wasn't a major babe. Who is? Well, there is Laetitia and Kelly Brook and Tyra Banks and Liz Hurley (especially Liz Hurley) and Anna Kournikova, to name a few. And therein lies one definition of a major babe: can you imagine taking any one of these women and with something other than serious and misguided plastic surgery, make any of em look like a boy? Huh? Ever? I dun thin so. Hilary? Well there was that movie thing where she played that part... of a woman... who passed as a boy. Right? I know you must have heard of it, Junior, even if Bill Shatner or Keanu Reeves wasn't in it. So by this one definition, Hilary is not a major babe.

    And then there is a much more subjective definition: have I ever gone out with a woman who looked better than her, whoever the her is? Well, the woman I dated for two years in college was the second brightest person I have known, funny as Janene Garafolo (who is not a major babe) and looked a lot like Hilary Swank. Pretty? You betcha. A major babe? Nope. She was the one who got away until I met Mrs. Brainscan, THE brightest person I know and, to be sure, a lot better looking than Hil. But better looking than Laetitia or Tyra or Liz? Sadly for both of us, no. So there you have it. Just as I define "old" as anyone fifteen or more years older than me, I define "major babe" as anyone better looking than my wife. Can we move on now?

    So to start off things, I wait for Wednesday not because it's some sort of hump day but because Shadow updates his paparazzi site on Wednesday. Three of the many things on his site this week: 1) Naima Belkhiati of the group, Honeyz; another pic of Gwyneth Paltrow is her white shirt; and a collage of Britney with some serious pokies. Cleaned up these scans a bit but otherwise they are just what you find when you enter the Shadow boy's site.

    To move on to scan-type thingees. There is Shania Twain. Yes, yes she is a major babe by anyone's definition. Still waitin' for that Hefner boy to listen up and get Shania on the pages of his magazine, even though ALL of US would buy it for the biting satire, the timely advice and the witty prose. yes we would.

    And before she was Brandy Ledford, Baywatch babe...even before she was Brandy Sanders, B movie bim... she was Jisel, Pet of the Month. PETScan got busy and scanned her loveliness in the altogether. Seriously major babe. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Excellent Non-Nudes
    The ol' inbox is currently overflowing with amazing, high quality collages and desktop wallpaper from several top imaging artists. Trust me, if you're a fan of any one of these ladies, you really can't go wrong here despite the lack of visible goodies. Enjoy!

    Kirsten Dunst
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    5 Excellent scans from the February Mademoiselle, by Artisane.

    Jennifer Lopez
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    Or for those much more hip than I..."J Lo". Let's face it, I'm just a white boy from the suburbs, if I actually referred to her as "J Lo" in public, it would basically be an open invitation for a serious beating. Kinda like driving a pink Cadillac through Compton. Just go ahead and paint a bullseye on me.

    But anyway...excellent scans from In Style Magazine by Artisane. #8 is an absolutely fantastic desktop wallpaper.

    Mena Suvari
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Britney Spears
    (1, 2, 3)

    Charlize Theron
    (1, 2)

    Alicia Silverstone

    Heidi Klum

    Katherine Heigl

    Daniela Pestova

    Hannah Spearritt

    This next batch offers a great combination of superbabes and outstanding graphic art by Ecoli. The highlights for me are Heidi Klum, Katherine Heigl, and Daniela Pestova.

    and ...
    Venus Williams Popping out of her top! The best nip slip we've seen from Venus!

    Jun Kusanagi An excellent collage of the Asian model by Akira.

    Road Trip Babes Dann scores big with this collage featuring someone other than Amy Smart nekkid from the movie "Road Trip". Nice topless, and even some full frontal nudity here as well.

    Asia Argento A very nice full frontal B&W scan by DaRed.

    Bobbie Phillips More topless goodies by Don Juan of the lovely Ms. Phillips from "Luscious Lola".

    Rosie Perez
    (1, 2)
    Excellent vidcaps of Rosie's nude scenes in "Perdita Durango", by Scanman.

    Nadia Farčs
    (1, 2, 3)
    Superb vidcaps by Touch from the French movie "Elles n'oublient jamais". Who cares if you've never heard of this actress...she looks great nekkid, and Touch covers just about every angle!

    Leah Remini The "King of Queens" babe looking great and wearing very little on the cover of the December issue of Bold.

    Lesley Anne Down Vidcaps from the 1979 movie "Hanover Street".

    The Funnies
  • Odd street signs
  • Political statement

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