In the Valley of Elah


Written and directed by Paul Haggis, who has won two Oscars and has been nominated for three others, In the Valley of Elah is a drama disguised as a police procedural. Tommie Lee Jones plays a retired military investigator whose son has disappeared shortly after returning from his own Army tour of duty in Iraq. Tommie Lee knows enough about his son to know that he's not the kind of guy to desert or go AWOL, so he becomes determined to get to the bottom of the situation. He drives to the base and stars asking questions, but gets very little co-operation from either the military or civilian authorities in the area.

It is only a matter of a day or so before he finds out that his son's body has been found in an open field, stabbed 42 times, burned beyond recognition, and devoured by wild animals. Although he is overwhelmed by grief, he is determined to follow the investigation through to the end. He gets no co-operation from the military, but catches a break when a diligent civilian cop (Charlize Theron) assumes control of the case when she determines that the murder happened away from military jurisdiction. Theron and Tommie Lee follow the case through a trail of lies and red herrings until they peel away every layer and expose the real story.

Haggis has been nominated for Oscars for three different films, as a director, as the producer of Crash, and as a writer, so this film comes with an impeccable pedigree, and it has several strengths:

1. Tommie Lee Jones turns in a poignant, grief-laden performance as the taciturn father. Although it's a one-note tune, he plays that tune effectively and he's on screen just about every minute. He earned his Oscar nomination as Best Actor.

2. The story is complex enough and interesting enough to sustain viewer interest over a long running time (124 minutes). The drama alone might weigh too heavily for such an extended length, but the film's thriller overlay keeps the action intriguing and mysterious.

 It also has some glaring weaknesses"

1. It is consistently guilty of "piling on" tragedy after tragedy in an exploitative way. Don't you think a father's grief over his utterly mutilated son would be enough to build to emotional crescendo, especially when the father finds out that his son is very different from what he believed him to be? Not for this script. The author gives Tommie Lee another son who also died in military action, and forces poor ol' Tommy to deal with his grieving wife at the same time. She, of course, blames her husband's military pride for having caused both of her sons to lose their lives. Every character in the film has a similar story. You get to the point where you long to meet a person whose life wasn't plotted out by the writers of General Hospital.

2. The film's presentation of America's involvement in Iraq is strident and one-dimensional, and follows the same path as the rest of the movie in layering tragedy on top of tragedy in a simplistic manner, without balance or perspective. The ending of the film is just ridiculous and cheesy grandstanding, totally lacking in both artfulness and subtlety.

In both of those matters the film is so full of Henny-Penny dialogue ("the sky is falling") as to make Ron Paul seem measured, optimistic and constructive.

There is quite a bit of nudity:




This is yet another one of those films where inbred rednecks torture, maim and kill city kids out for a camping trip. I am too much of a pussy to watch torture porn, and I just hate this kind of stuff, so I just fast-forwarded to the nudity, but while I was watching:

  • one woman got her head sawed off while she was still alive

  • one woman got some nails driven into her forehead

  • one guy got his testicles squeezed and ripped off by a pair of pliers

  • blood and limbs were flying everywhere.

So if you like really, really grisly material, this may be your Citizen Kane.

The nudity comes from:




French Cinema Nudity is updated



  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.









Interesting but sometimes draggy biography of the life of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt has one outstanding feature: a bunch of full-frontal nudity. Klimit lived from 1862 to 1918, and was well known for lavish and erotic paintings that became known as the art nouveau style.

The picture starts with Klimt (John Malkovich) lying in a hospital dying, and thinking back over events in his life, focusing on the early 1900s in Vienna and the World Exposition in Paris. It touches on his art and his romances, which apparently were many.

This film is probably mostly for a lover of either art or the artist, but the nudity is nice. Saffron Burrows did show nipple in a couple of close-ups, but the full frontal nudity was apparently Georgia Reeve doing the body double work.

Ariella Hirshfield Saffron Burrows Verena Mundhenke
Veronica Ferres   Unknown






"Two and a Half Men"

And now for something completely different. Teri Hatcher shows off her spectacular legs and some still-sexy cleavage in an episode of Charlie Sheen's popular sitcom.








Notes and collages

Hotel Chevalier

Natalie Portman










"O drakoulas ton Exarheion"


The Dracula of Eksarhia (IMDb) is a Greek satire and black comedy.

The Dracula, down on his luck, having left his Carpathian home, now lives in the Eksarhia area of Athens, Greece, and is working for multinational record companies, trying to create a "new wave" super group that will top the charts. He creates his band in Frankenstein-fashion, robbing graves and using the body parts of famous dead musicians, like the arms of Jimmy Hendrix and the torso of Manos Hadjidakis. Then he uses music hypno-pedia making them listen to new wave rock 48 hours nonstop, but someone switches the tapes and the results are disastrous. His daughter falls in love with the lead singer - and escapes with him in a hearse. What follows is a series of jokes, gags, and cameos from famous cult figures, ending with a concert from the band.

The film was written by and starring Tzimis Panoussis, a one-of-a-kind figure, a singer, songwriter, musician, stand-up comic and performance artist. He and his band, "Mousikes Taksiarhies" (musical brigades) play the part of the  band created by Dracula. Their songs feature prominently during the whole movie. The director, Nikos Zervos, has been described as the Greek John Waters or the Greek Alomodovar, and indeed this film has the punk aesthetics of some early Almodovar films.

However all the jokes and ironies and swipes at –among others- Communism, Anarchism, consumerism, the political parties of the time, “high art” directors like Theo Angelopoulos etc., will almost certainly be lost on non-Greek-speaking audiences, and it was not surprising when the Aurum horror encyclopedia book wrote about this film: “besides the silly premise it is noted for its unremitting ugliness”.

There’s nudity by Isavella Mavraki, playing Dracula’s daughter, and some other women I could not identify.

Isavella Mavraki







An exploitation classic: twin sisters Vicki Michelle and Ann Michelle in Virgin Witch (many film clips, big download)

If anyone still cares, here's Paris Hilton doing that burlesque number for her 27th birthday bash.

One of our regulars wrote in to say that we missed Episode 1 of this year's series on The L-Word. Fair enough. I dug up Mkone's HD clips and his sample captures. (There is no nudity in the one with Jennifer Beals and Marlee Matlin.)



Amber Smith in two different episodes of Sin City Diaries



Mariah Carey on St Barts

How does she manage to run around topless and still keep her boobs covered?

If these were paparazzi shots, wouldn't she have at least one unguarded moment?

I'm guessing that she co-operated in producing these.