"After I got married I was one
of those people who let themselves go a little bit."
The Last Tattoo (1994)
Watching The Last Tattoo is one of the most disappointing and
frustrating movie-going experiences I have had in the past year.
When the legendary Howard Hawks was directing The Big Sleep, he became
very confused about several points in the labyrinthine plot. He
figured out most of the important points to his own satisfaction, but
was totally stumped about the identity of the person who killed the
family chauffeur, Owen Taylor. His screenwriter, the even more
legendary William Faulkner, was certainly no stranger to anfractuosity,
but could make no more sense of it than Hawks could. The frustrated
director finally got desperate enough to wire Raymond Chandler, the
author of the novel upon which the film was based. Chandler thought
about it, consulted his notes, thought about it some more, and cabled
Hawks back to say he had no goddamned idea.
Well, the Last Tattoo is so complicated it makes The Big Sleep seem
like an Adam Sandler movie.
Not that it's a bad movie. It's pretty good in some ways, and I
think the explanations all make sense to me in a hazy way, but there
are so many characters and relationships that keeping track of them
requires one of those flow charts that college debaters use. That fact
alone was not what bothered me. The real structural problem with the
film is that it builds and builds for 100 minutes, spinning its
complex web, and then the whole plot is suddenly explained in a long
monologue delivered by a character who seems to have figured it all
out. Two problems. First problem: I didn't really keep a flow chart,
so she explained it too fast for me to keep up with all of it. It was
just a flurry of names, mostly minor characters. I'd be thinking, "Now
who was that again?", but by the time I figured it out, if ever, she
was two plot points down the road. Second problem: I still
didn't "get it" all when the film ended. The hero, who was framed for
a crime he did not commit, was set free to go back to the war, but
various bad guys remained unpunished, I wasn't sure whether one main
character was innocent, and at least one guy was dead for reasons
totally unclear to me, at the hands of a character unfamiliar to me.
And I still don't know who killed family chauffeur Owen Taylor.
was watching The Last Tattoo with Elya, and we both shouted at the TV,
"That's it? That's the ending? Maybe there's more." Nope. The credits
were rollin'. The sad thing about that is we both
kind of liked it while it was developing, and we stopped a film a
couple of points to discuss points of interest. It has two very strong
The background is fascinating. There's the
tension between New Zealand and the USA in the Pacific theater.
There's the tension between the various American officers - some
warriors, some merely political animals. There is a lot of
unfamiliar and interesting material there, and the film was actually
lensed in New Zealand.
The noir premise is original. An American
soldier is killed in New Zealand. He is about to be married to a
Kiwi prostitute with a rare strain of venereal disease. The American
military investigates the murder. The Kiwi health authorities
investigate the V.D. Their lines of authority cross and conflict,
but the investigators finally co-operate, and ... well, one of
them is a man, and the other a woman, and ...
One last point. Do you remember those reading
interpretation questions on the SATs where the item begins with a
literary citation and then quizzes the student with something like,
"The best name for this paragraph would be ..."? Here's a hint. If
somebody ever recites you the plot of this movie and then asks you the
best name for it, the right answer is NOT going to be The Last Tattoo.
That title has some connection to the plot, so it will be one of the
weak choices put in there to distract you.
Blood and Wine (1996)
Director Bob Rafelson has collaborated six times with
the ultimate icon of American film, Jack Nicholson. Nicholson has been
his star five times, and the two men co-wrote a film in which
Nicholson did not act.
- (7.38) -
Easy Pieces (1970)
- (6.39) -
Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
- (6.28) -
(1968) (Nicholson as co-author. It stars The Monkees!)
- (6.26) -
of Marvin Gardens (1972)
- (6.09) -
and Wine (1996)
- (4.50) -
Their collaborations have generally been interesting and/or
memorable, but the last great one was in 1981, and the PG-13 comedy
Man Trouble is reportedly a completely forgettable film (I haven't
seen it), so Blood and Wine is a "comeback" of sorts for the former
A-list duo. Unlike their two famous 70's
collaborations, Blood and Wine has very little in mind beyond the
slick execution of a basic noir formula. It is closest in content and
tone to their 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Nicholson runs a wine store and has apparently
run into a financial dead end, having overextended himself by
impressing toney clients and maintaining young mistresses. His vices
have not been very good for his marriage, and the situation is
exacerbated by the fact that his wife is the actual owner of the wine business which furnishes his fancy
lifestyle, and which he is steadily draining of value. His wife becomes a heavy substance abuser. His stepson can
see what is going on, and generally despises Big Jack. Desperate for a
score, The ol' Joker turns to an old and unhealthy two-bit safecracker for
assistance in robbing the home of a rich family whose nanny is
Nicholson's latest girlfriend, a sexy Cubana one third his age.
Obtaining the priceless necklace in the safe is easy enough for the
old codgers, but getting away with it proves difficult.
Nicholson pays a heavy price for the messy life
he has led. His troubles begin when his estranged wife leaves him.
Although she knows nothing of the necklace caper and her flight is
unrelated to the crime he has committed, the suitcase she takes just
happens to be the very place where he has hidden the precious
necklace. He and his sleazy crony must therefore track down
Nicholson's wife and son. Meanwhile, the sexy Cubana finds out that
she has been used to rob her employers, and that she's likely to take
the rap. She also seems to be in love with both Nicholson and his
stepson, which makes matters even messier. Those five characters parry
and thrust their way through various crosses and double-crosses and
half-baked plans until ...
have the idea.
I'm sure you can see that this script could
have resulted in a direct-to-vid erotic thriller starring Richard
Grieco, but it is elevated
to a higher level, if not quite a classic one, by the
Rafelson-Nicholson pairing. They managed to surround Nicholson with an
excellent supporting cast. His partner in crime is played by Michael
Caine. I was going to write, simply, "Michael Caine is in this movie"
until I realized that that phrase is as unnecessary as "The Sun rose
in the East this morning." Michael Caine is in every movie. It's a
given. But he's almost always good. Nicholson's wife is played by Judy
Davis, and the role of his Cubana girlfriend is played by Jennifer
Lopez, the then-unknown actress who would soon transmogrify into a
walking entourage through her work as a singer, an actress, and an
all-around media ho. In this film, before the days when she was
surrounded by sycophants, Lopez demonstrates her pre-glam natural
beauty, as well as the soulfulness that eventually led her to become a
one-woman media conglomerate.
is not a genre classic, but it's too interesting to be forgotten, and
it's an excellent illustration of how a top-notch team of
professionals can breathe some life into tired B-movie characters and
familiar plot twists. If
the idea interests you, Fox did an excellent job on the DVD. It is
loaded with featurettes and deleted scenes, and includes two commentary tracks
which are, in the main, done by film legends! All that and a look at
J-Lo's bum when she was 26 years old. Not so bad at all for ten bucks.
link for the dancing sequence. (RapidShare - enormous file 60 meg.) Play it with PowerDVD
if you have it. It should expand to 960x540
J-Lo and the world's most famous behind:
Jimi Hendrix sings
All Along the Watchtower
- This is widely considered the best, or at least one of the
best ten, "cover" songs of all time, along with a few of Joe
Cocker's best and, of course, The Dan Band's version of Total
Eclipse of the Heart.
Sarah Polley to direct her first feature film, Egoyan to produce
A very naughty
X-rated clip from The Ketchup Effect (Hang on. It has a surprise
Angry Bond Fans Publish
Protest Website, Call for Worldwide Boycott of Casino Royale
The first six
minutes of Running Scared, uncut
Four new clips from, and two featurettes about, Running Scared -
- Paul Walker ("The Fast and the Furious") stars in the
fast-paced crime drama "Running Scared" from critically acclaimed
director Wayne Kramer ("The Cooler"). Walker plays a low-level
mobster who, in order to save his family, must recover a gun used
in a mob hit before it's found by his bosses or the cops.
"U.S. OUTSOURCES HOMELAND SECURITY TO NORTH KOREA ...
Little-known Korean Firm ‘Seems Okay,’ Says Chertoff"
trailer for Bandidas (Hayek and Cruz as Cowgirl/Thieves)
Kong in 30 seconds with bunnies.
first opening monologue of the season.
Mad TV -
Oprah giving away money
"Spielberg confirms Indiana Jones 4 to follow Munich"
The Weekend Warrior - box office analysis and predictions for the
weekend of Feb 24-26
Brad and Jen conclude divorce settlement
- Aniston got the house. That alone is said to be worth $29
million dollars. What's the mortgage payment on that baby? That's
like a quarter of a million dollars per month, right? As Spicoli
would say, "righteous bucks!"
"Charlize Theron has been named Woman of the Year at this year's
Elle Style Awards."
"the hottest gym in the known Universe"
Porn Star to speak at Yale
- "Oh, I just love your cute little locks!"
Playboy is looking for the Girls of My Space
Note from Cheerleader Guy... The
Carolina Panthers Top Cats have announced that an audition will
be held on March 4th. There are rather well-known vacancies. No word
if requirements include any oral skills, or the ability to balance
on a public toilet with another cheerleader in the stall.
Leading Republicans Among Registered Voters in House Race
- "If the congressional elections were held today, 50% of
registered voters would support the Democratic candidate in their
district, while 43% would vote for the Republican"
- Last August, however, Democrats led by 12 points, 53% to 41%.
A legend passes.
Sportscaster Curt Gowdy dies
- Gowdy had been on TV since it was invented. He had one of the
world's most recognizable voices, and was THE voice of my
"A UNIVERSITY graduate student abandoned the institution in
frustration after a marking fiasco during which a lecturer told him
to produce 'more smarter writing'"
Steven Seagal and Carrot Top - together at last
TIME: The Top 25 Olympic Moments
"Yahoo! is banning the use of allah in email names - even if the
letters are included within another name."
- As an example, you cannot be Dirty Harry Callahan
Attempting to Calm Islamic Anger, New York Times Reprints
Dung-Covered Virgin Mary
- "to steer global dialogue back to the evils of Christianity."
Unlikely headline of the day:
Rhames to Star in Aquaman
- Cuz ya ain't got a thing if ya ain't got that Ving
- I take it by "star" they do NOT mean he will actually be
playing the part of Aquaman, though that would certainly be some
"Mischa Barton has slammed Paris Hilton as a 'silly bitch'"
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Virgins of Sherwood Forest (2000)
A soft-core sex film, Virgins of Sherwood Forest (2000) starts
during a rock video shooting, where Amber Newman is having it off with the
rock star. Gabriella Hall is the director of the video who is knocked unconscious and wakes up
in Sherwood Forest. As in The Wizard of Oz, her fantasy world is peopled by people
she met in real life.
Sherwood has changed. Maid Marion dumped Robin when she broke
in on his bachelor party. Robin and his merry men have long since banished the
sheriff of Nottingham, and have little to do. They finally meet a challenge -
a new sheriff has come to town in the form of Shannan Leigh. She is young, she
is stacked, she is horny, and she is power-hungry. It seems that she has
triumphed when she tricks the merry men and captures all but Little John, but
John and Gabriella Hall attack the sheriff's castle, assisted by two local wenches
(Amber Newman and Susan Hale), who seduce a guard to help break in.
Yesterday: breasts and buns from Gabriella Hall, and all three
Bs from Shannan Leigh.
Today: Amber Newman shows breasts and buns, and Susan Hale
shows all three Bs.
IMDb readers say 2.0. This is low even by soft core standards, and I have
to agree. This is a D. While the forest scenes are attractive, the nudity,
while frequent, is not very explicit, and the sex is rather ho-hum. With a
little more heat, the plot would have been barely good enough for genre
standards. As it is: close, but no cigar.
Divorce Law - Phone Job (1993)
Divorce Law - Phone Job (1993)
- A woman asking for divorce and wanting alimony. Her husband knows she is
working at a phone sex job, and making a fortune.
- Melanie Warner is accused by her husband of husband battering. She
doesn't deny it, but points out that he deserved it, since she caught him in
bed with cosmetic saleswoman Lauren Mann.
A dialogue example, as the battered husband explains that sex with his wife
is great, will help you appreciate this madness.
"She spread salsa all over her body and made me lick it off. I tasted her
taco. I filled her frijole. She sizzled like a chicken on fire. She was so hot
inside I burnt my burrito and shoved it deep in her oven. We turned up the
heat until ours buns became fried, then I exploded like a cream filled
Again, it's short, no time to get bored, and high camp. Life is good.
These are available in a 4 DVD set called "More All-Night Movies." I will
be covering one a day for a while.
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Halle Berry is wearing very little
and is absolutely soaked in Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005) but,
unfortunately, nothing is visible. Still, we have some sexy caps of her.
New Year's Evil
New Year's Evil (1980) is unashamedly a B-grade horror movie not meant to be
taken seriously. The topless nudity comes from an unknown who gives a very brief
flash and Teri Copley who is getting felt up in the back seat of a car at a
drive-in. There's just a bit of sex-appeal by Louisa Moritz
... Taafe O'Connell ...
... and Roz Kelly.
We're No Angels
There's some brief side breast exposure by Demi Moore in We're No
Angels (1989). Unfortunately, the view is through a window, complete with
Cosmopolitan Lingerie (2005) was a TV show showing the making-of the
Cosmpolitan Lingerie edition. As you can imagine, there are plenty of models in
lingerie and a few see-through shots. Unfortunately, most of the models are
relatively unknown South African and Brazilian. Identifying some of the women
was also a problem. There were plenty of brief arty-farty shots, not helped by
inaccurate credits. The models are
... and some I couldn't identify.
The Company (2003) is a ballet company and stars Neve Campbell. The nudity
and an unknown.
We see a topless Neve Campbell through a curtain
but we see nothing really interesting.
So Graham Norton
Lots of cleavage by Naomi Campbell in an episode of So Graham Norton (2000).
One shot shows what looks like a nipple, but I think it is just a microphone.
The Graham Norton Effect
The Graham Norton Effect (2004) is the American version of Graham Norton's
We have some nice pokies by Mena Suvari ...
... and we know Sharon Stone is not wearing a
There's sort of nudity by Janet Wright in Double Bill (2003), but you might
not want to see it!
We also have some good pokies by Dervla Kerwin
... and some sexy
images of Cheryl Hines.
Finally - a bit of cleavage from Margot Kidder in Trenchcoat (1983).
Pat Reeder's comments in yellow:
for yet another Paris Hilton sex tape. Playboy Playmate Nicole Lenz claims that
in 2003, she and Paris were partying in Las Vegas when they checked into a
luxury suite, and "Paris had only one thing on her mind: sex." Lenz said soon
"we were naked and rolling around together" on the king-size bed, and "Paris had
brought all manner of sex toys - to make sure we didn't miss out on
anything simply because there was no man in bed with us!" She added, "We just
pleasured each other for hours,
recording it all."
* Using the one sex toy Paris Hilton is never without: a
* I wonder if we'll ever see a really shocking tape, where Paris opens her
toy bag and takes out a Scrabble game.
* There was so much screaming, the team from "CSI" showed up.
* I thought that what happened in Vegas STAYED in Vegas...Can't we hold them to