"Femme Fatale"

Femme Fatale (2002) is a beautifully made film. Every camera frame is a masterpiece, the set design and location choices are wonderful, and the cast, which includes Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Rie Rasmussen, does an excellent job. The only problem is that it is a terrible story. We see a jewel robbery and a double cross, and are given enough information to guess the ending, then have about 95 minutes of plot development that doesn't match what we already know to be the ending. This is pretty disorienting, but then we find out we have just watched a 95 minute dream sequence. Then, we get the ending telegraphed in the first few minutes.

The good news is nudity. Romjin-Stamos shows everything. We see breasts and buns in several scenes wearing skimpy undies, and a great underwater full-frontal near the end. Rasmussen shows breasts wearing a diamond bustier in a very hot lesbian scene with Romjin-Stamos. There are some lesbian kisses at the end of the Rasmussen series for those that enjoy them. The DVD has several featurettes and a great transfer. Director Brian De Palma, at the point that Romjin wakes up from the dream, said that this is were he would lose half the audience, with some saying, on no, don't tell me this was all a dream, and the others say, wow, this was a dream ... how interesting. Put me squarely in the first group. Ebert awarded a full 4 stars, while Berardinelli said 1 1/2. Some argue that this is a spoof an homage to noir suspense films. I can't support that decision, because two elements are absent, an evil dwarf, and any humor at all. Still, the film is technically superb, and the nudity is also very good, so the proper score is probably a C.

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  • Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
  • Rie Rasmussen (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)

    "Une vierge chez les morts vivants"

    Une vierge chez les morts vivants (1971) is a Jess Franco film made in France. Many versions have existed, including some that had footage from Rollin's Zombie Lake spliced in, but the film never did well, and nothing even close to the director's cut had ever been seen in the US before the DVD was released. The story is simple enough. A young woman (Christina von Blanc) travels to a remote family chateau to attend the reading of her father's will. The relatives she meets there are all rather weird, or at least seem so until we find out they are all zombies. She sort of descends into insanity, but not before showing every inch of her body several times. Britt Nichols, as another relative, shows breasts and buns, and an unknown also shows full frontal.

    The film takes place in nearly slow motion, and has only about 3 minutes worth of plot, but the imagery (both nudity and gore) are worthy of Euro-horror. This is a true C. Genre fans will love it, but their is absolutely no danger of any crossover at all.

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  • Britt Nickols (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Christina Von Blanc (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, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37)
  • Unknown (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)


    Abandon (2002)


    This Katie Holmes film took a beating from everyone.

    The studio tried to sneak it into a tweener period where it wouldn't face any competition for its key demographic, a ploy similar to the strategy that worked for Daredevil. They opened it hopefully, in 2300 theaters in October, but it could reach no higher than 7th place for the week, beaten out by some films in fewer theaters. Given lackluster reviews and poor word-of-mouth, it sank to about two million worth of box office receipts in its second weekend, although still playing on approximately the same number of screens. Its gross fell below the receipts of films it had beaten the previous week. On 2347 screens, it fell several notches beneath Punch-Drunk Love, which was on only 481 screens, and which Abandon had out-grossed the previous week.

    While audiences were Abandoning it, critics were knocking it down with Abandon. The reviews at RT are 85% negative. Almost every reviewer scored it in the same range as Berardinelli and Ebert, between 1.5 and 2.5 out of four, or the equivalent on their own scale. The voters at IMDB were no more enthusiastic, scoring it in the accursed 4's. The exit interviews were similarly bad. People aged 21 and older scored it with nearly straight F's. People under 21, Katie Holmes's hard-core fans, and the target demographic, scored it only C-.

    So it stinks, right?

    I didn't think it was so bad.

    Mind you, I'm not telling you that it can be compared to Rear Window in the genre of thriller/psychodrama, but I watched it through without the fast forward. I guess part of this was my own density. Most critics complained that the surprise ending was completely obvious. Silly me, I didn't really figure it out until I was supposed to, and then I enjoyed the cynical sequence of events that transpired after the secret was revealed. In the meantime, I thought that the film maintained a spooky atmosphere, which was effective because "normal" people like Katie Holmes and Benjamin Bratt anchored the story in reality.

    Katie plays a smart college student whose boyfriend disappeared two years earlier. Bratt plays the cop investigating the re-opened case. Zoe Deschanel provides comic relief in the official Eve Arden role as Holmes's wisecracking classmate. I liked all three of those characters. Bratt always seems to be just about to the final exit on the highway to stardom. Why did he never arrive? Possibly walking to refill his gas can?

    Why do people hate this movie so much?

    1. I found the character of the missing boyfriend to be a complete irritation, arrogant, pretentious, condescending - a complete and unredeemed asshole in every conceivable way. Every second he was on the screen, even in Katie's treasured memories, was pure torture. She was supposed to be a genius finance major who was hired immediately out of college by McKinsey's consulting group. So she can tell Shell where to build refineries, but she can't see that this guy is a schmuck? Love must be even blinder than people say, especially since Katie had approximately every guy in the world in love with her, including professors, McKinsey guys, her psychologist, and the investigating cop. Out of everyone pursuing her, she chose the biggest douchebag, some guy doing a permanent impersonation of Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. I really think this film might have done better if they had rewritten that character, making him more interesting, more likeable, and less visible. His complete detestability seemed to permeate the film in a way, because he was the only character with a high level of energy on screen. Although Holmes and Bratt are the stars, they are actually background types. Bratt is handsome, soft-spoken, and very "nice". Holmes is beautiful, baby-faced, and equally soft-spoken. They are the types of actors that stand around and look good, observing the colorful characters while acting sympathetic. Those types don't drive a picture very well, and the tendency of those two to fade into the woodwork allows the boyfriend to dominate the film far more than a minor character should have.
    2. I suppose the other thing that turned people off was the fact that the "nice" characters either turned out to be not nice at all or met a very ugly fate.
    3. As noted by several critics, the director used too many nested flashbacks, and also made some small editing mistakes, particularly a flash-forward that came out of left field and clumsily revealed some key information about a red herring, perhaps a little too early in the plot.
    4. The cinematography sometimes got lost in arty colored lighting effects, even the highly dreaded "colored strobe" effect. There were some times when this reinforced the spooky atmosphere, but it was often just gimmicky and infuriating.


    • Katie Holmes. She ain't nekkid, but she's still Katie. (1, 2)


    Winter Kills (1979)


     I don't think I can top the summary written by Richard Jameson for He nailed it, and he did so articulately.

    This exhilarating kaleidoscope of a movie, from a surreally layered novel by Richard Condon (The Manchurian Candidate), combines post-Watergate paranoia, gallows humor, political sci-fi, dazzling suspense set pieces, something we might call postmodern historical burlesque, and gonzo performances by a truly all-star cast. It's held together by Jeff Bridges as the surviving scion of a Kennedy-like dynasty who reluctantly sets out to solve his brother's assassination. John Huston's own dynastic credentials and rough-hewn aristocracy make him perfect casting as the family patriarch, a simultaneously genial and appalling American monster. Writer-director William Richert, a virtual unknown, somehow corraled an amazing ensemble, including an unbilled Liz Taylor, North by Northwest production designer Robert Boyle (who also contributes a delicious cameo), composer Maurice Jarre, and the great cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. The widescreen camerawork and zesty primary-color palette demand DVD, which may finally do right by this quintessential '70s film that the '70s just weren't ready for.

    The Huston role which Jameson is talking about is a thinly-disguised version of Joe Kennedy: profane, conniving, amoral, horny to the end. The plot of the film centers around a 1979 investigation of the JFK assassination (the names have been changed, and the facts altered slightly), as conducted by the president's fictional half-brother. It would not be completely unfair to say that the film is a comedy. It's now a lowbrow comedy or a farce, and you may not laugh very much, but it is a comedy in the sense that it retells the story of the assassination with the most jaded possible perspective, as if written by Ionesco, or one of those Theater of the Absurd masters.

    The premise: What if all the JFK conspiracies are true? What if it was the mob and the communists and the Cubans and the FBI and everybody else who has been suspected. How can that be? What if there was an even deeper conspiracy beneath the outer layers of the onion? What if the crime was arranged by a power cartel who placed JFK in power and later had to dispose of him because he wasn't following orders like a good soldier. That whole presidency thing made him think he really was important.

    Do you remember who it was who placed JFK in office in the first place? It was his father.

    Did his own father kill him? Or maybe even old Joe Kennedy had masters to answer to.

    I guess if you want to be really picky, you could argue that when the plot is finally unraveled, the explanation makes no sense at all. Once I knew the secret, I looked back on some of the earlier scenes and couldn't figure out why they happened. When you try to do that, you end up against the wall of "but if X is true, then so-and-so wouldn't have done Y". I fully agree with the people who proffer that criticism, but I don't really care. This is a fascinating, crazy, lunatic movie. The director Bill Richert never did anything before this film, and he didn't do much after it, but he pulled off a minor miracle here. He managed to land the right to write and direct a movie from a novel by Richard Condon (The Manchurian Candidate, Prizzi's Honor). He managed to land some superstars: John Huston, Jeff Bridges, and Elizabeth Taylor, in addition to cinematographer Szigmond, set designer Boyle, composer Jarre. He landed some incredible character actors: Toshiro Mifune, Eli Wallach, Anthony Perkins, Sterling Hayden and Richard Boone. And everyone connected to the film has the time of their life filming it.

    The film is good, not great. In fact, it bombed completely at the box office, grossing only a million dollars on a six million dollar budget, and effectively delivering Richert's career stillborn. The world was not really ready for a comedy about the Kennedy assassination in 1979. After 1979, it would be nearly a decade before Richert would get another film, and he would never make another film of any real significance.

    The DVD is absolutely magnificent. It is one of the best example of an older film given a proper release on DVD. It's packed with interviews an commentaries, and it's obvious that everyone liked and respected everyone else. They tell stories on each other constantly, and they all tell stories on that ultimate colorful character, the late John Huston. (Both Bridges and Richert do good impersonations of Huston and Zsigmond.) In addition to the commentary track, there is one entire disk of additional special features. I recommend it heartily for anyone interested in an accurate and fascinating account of how the novel became a film, and how Richert pulled off his little recruiting miracles.

    Based on this description, this film is only a C+, but if you love films, get the DVD and watch every minute of every feature. It is a textbook illustration of how every older film should be brought to DVD. Props to Anchor Bay for the job they did on this.

    Oh, yeah, it has some terrific sex and nudity as well. Jeff Bridges and Belinda Bauer have one of the noisiest sex scenes on record

    • Belinda Bauer (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    • Helen Curry (1, 2)

    BONUS: Here are two collages of Belinda Bauer in other appearances


    Other crap:


    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • 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.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick Locke, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Graphic Response
    • Amanda Peet, excellent breast views in scenes from "Igby Goes Down".

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    'Caps and comments by Hankster:

    We return for one last visit to "Two Moon Junction" with the focus on Sherilyn Fenn's steamy sex scene with co-star Richard Tyson. Sherilyn shows us every possible inch of her magnificent body and as an added bonus (any ladies around) an unusual sight from a major studio release we get a glimpse of Richard's member.

    All in all pretty sexy stuff.

    Demi Moore
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Demi in amazing shape and showing off her bum and robo-boobs in scenes from "Striptease".

    Drew Barrymore An 18 year old Barrymore, topless and covered in movie blood in scenes from "Doppelganger" (1993).

    Elizabeth Hurley The always gorgeous Liz showing a brief breast view, plus see-thru nipple views from "Double Whammy".

    Joanna Going
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Breasts, bum and a quick bush view in "Keys to Tulsa" (1997).

    Linda Fiorentino
    (1, 2)

    The husky-voiced brunette topless and showing some partial rear nudity in "The Last Seduction" (1994).

    Kate Winslet
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

    A career nudity retrospective by BFD. Fantastic collages featuring Kate showing us all three B's.

    Here's the breakdown:
    Link #1...breasts in "Hideous Kinky"
    Links 2,3, and 4 from "Holy Smoke" with full frontal views in #3.
    Links 5 and 6...all 3 B's in "Iris"
    Links 7 and 8 from "Quills" with breasts visible in #8.
    Links 9 and 10 from "Titanic" with toplessness and a bit of rear nudity in #10.

    Jane Alexander
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    Absolutely gorgeous topless and thong view scans of the Italian model.

    Kari Wuhrer
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    The long time Fun House favorite bares her now removed robo-hooters in scenes from "Poison" aka "Thy Neighbor's Wife".

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Blow Millionaire - Monica Lewinsky has been hired by Fox to host the dating show "Mr. Personality," in which a female contestant is wooed by men whose faces are covered.

  • Monica is an expert at judging men without looking at their faces.
  • Monica will warn them that if they pick the wrong man, they'll end up blowing it.
  • It's like "The Bachelor," except on this show, it's the woman who gets down on her knees in front of the guy.
  • Who did she have to blow to get a gig like that?!
  • Monica should host "Fear Factor"...She'll put anything in her mouth.

    Swallow Your Pride - Unilever, owner of Ben & Jerry's, is introducing seven new ice creams in Germany named after the Seven Deadly Sins: Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, Sloth and Wrath. This drew the wrath of German Catholic leaders, who accused them of making light of serious religious matters. A Unilever spokesman said they're not an endorsement of mortal sins, "they're just seven great flavors of ice cream."

  • Especially Gluttony! You can't stop eating that one!
  • Greed ice cream is even more overpriced than Ben & Jerry's.
  • You gobble Gluttony, but you lick Lust.
  • The deadliest of all is a double dip of Gluttony and Sloth.
  • Isn't Ben & Jerry's sinful and deadly enough?

    Rats! - The Detroit Free Press reports that rat lovers are upset about the remake of "Willard," and some are boycotting it. They claim it depicts rats as creepy animals that can be trained to kill, and shows them being cruelly mishandled. They say rats bred in captivity are actually cute, affectionate and smart enough to train. One pet shop owner said just like the Dalmatian boom after "101 Dalmatians," people who've seen "Willard" come in to buy rats for the wrong reasons, and she tells them to hit the road.

  • After "101 Dalmatians," people would come in to buy 101 Dalmatians and train them to kill their enemies?
  • People who love rats won't see it, and people who hate rats won't see it...That's just about everybody!
  • Compared to Crispin Glover, the rats don't seem all that creepy to me.