The Moon and the Stars


This is an entry into the "show must go on" category, but a more serious one than usual. The circumstances which may close down the production are far more dire than skittish backers, skeptical parents or censors. The production is threatened by World War 2 itself. The story takes place in Rome in the late summer of 1939 and a multi-national production is rushing to complete a non-musical production of Tosca before Germany invades Poland and unleashes hell in Europe. The beginning of the war will affect more than just shooting schedules and cash sources. The members of the cast and crew are about to be re-cast as enemies in real life, and many will have to flee Italy. The film has an Italian producer, but from a Nazi perspective he's not one of the good Italians because he's triply cursed with liberal anti-fascism, Jewishness and homosexuality.

Tosca's co-stars are a British man with a wife in a mental institution and a German woman in a loveless marriage to a Nazi. Predictably, they fall into a doomed love affair, but the romantic pairing of 62-year-old Jonathan Pryce with Catherine McCormack never really seems to work. The couple had absolutely no electricity between them, to the extent that the film was more than half over before I figured out that Pryce's character was not supposed to be the gay confidante but was, in fact, the love interest. When the two bid farewell, presumably forever, in their hotel, the scene just never conveyed the overwhelming sadness which two lonely people must have felt after finally finding love's bloom and then being forced to nip it in its bud.

The film makes both tacit and explicit references to Michael Curtiz, the Hungarian director who made Casablanca. Curtiz had not yet made that masterpiece by 1939, but he was already the most famous Hungarian in Hollywood history, and was the idol of the fictional Hungarian director portrayed in this story. In homage, many of the vintage Curtiz scene transitions, wipes and so forth, are used in both The Moon and the Stars and in the Tosca within it. It is also probably not a coincidence that the scheming Nazi in this film bears a very strong resemblance to the actor who played Major Strasser in Casablanca. The most direct attempt to evoke Curtiz occurs in the farewell between the film's lovers as they are separated by the war. It's a scene that tries to evoke the same kind of feeling as the "hill of beans" farewell in Casablanca, which is considered one of the ten most memorable scenes in history.

As far as wartime farewells go, I knew Casablanca, sir, and you are no Casablanca.

The drama comes up as short as the romance. The sub-plot, in which the Jewish producer is swindled out of everything he has by a cagey Nazi pretending to be his friend, never really produces the dramatic tension that should inhere in such a story, and a key element of that sub-plot is spoiled by the fact that something which should be a last-minute surprise is telegraphed too obviously in an earlier scene. The dramatic rush to shoot the final three days of the filming schedule in one long overnighter could have been a great opportunity to show dozens of people rising to a difficult occasion under immense pressure and working through fatigue and short tempers, but instead it comes off as a rather routine period with no real sense of urgency, followed by an unlikely champagne celebration.

Because of all those missed opportunities, the film misses the mark overall, even though it has good moments, good intentions and good ideas. In addition to the Curtiz homages, the overall conceit is that it is a 1939-style film about making another 1939-style film in 1939, and in some respects the machinations and betrayals shown in the film-within-a-film version of Tosca reflect the events unfolding simultaneously in 1939 Italy. The film can't be faulted for laziness or lack of ambition. The Moon and the Stars has a good enough concept, and was made by some smart people, but it just seems to lack the passion and drama necessary to rise above the pack and be noticed.

  • There is male nudity (rear) from Rupert Friend and Niccolo Senni.
  • Catherine McCormack shows her breasts in a very charming scene in which the director is trying to get her to give up a little extra cleavage for the sake of the box office. She just whips out her breasts and asks, "Is this enough?"




  • * 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.








The Return of Martin Guerre


Le Retour de Martin Guerre is a French historical drama based on a true story. Gerard Depardieu is married to Nathalie Baye in a small French farming village in the mid 1500s. At first, he is not much good as a husband but a little whip work from the priest gets him hard enough to conceive a son. He also isn't much good as a farmer, and when his father catches him selling two bags of wheat, he disappears for years. He returns years later a new man. He has grown, and all of his personality problems are corrected. His wife is clearly thrilled with him, and forgives him for being in the war all those years. Then he asks his father-in-law for a share of the money his land earned, and suddenly everyone is accusing him of being an imposter. The rest of the film is his trying to convince the judges that he really is Martin Guerre, and not a man from a nearby village who served with Martin Guerre.

I suppose it had to happen that I would eventually find a Depardieu film where I enjoyed his performance. The period detail is excellent, the costuming deserved the Oscar nomination it received, and the story is so strong it was remade as Sommersby (1993).

IMDb readers say 7.3, and it was nominated for a host of awards, including several Cesars.


It is available new from on a region-free PAL.

The Return of Martin Guerre DVD Widescreen

Nathalie Baye shows her left breast in two different scenes.









Poison Ivy 3: The New Seduction


A little soft core erotica today with "Poison Ivy 3 : The New Seduction." Not a great movie, but some very nice nudity. Jaime Pressly was stunning and showed off the body in several scenes.  Caps and eight clips.


Athena Massey had only one scene, but it was hot. Caps and two clips.







Notes and collages

Full Body Massage


part 5 of ?

Mimi Rogers


Full Body Massage DVD Mimi Rogers (1995)

Purchase info from RLDVDs








El Orfanato


Sinopsis: Laura (Belén Rueda) es una mujer adulta que adquiere un inmueble el orfanato, en el que cual vivió durante su niñez junto con otros cinco niños, hasta su adopción. Así, acompañada de su marido y su hijo adoptivo, regresa con la intención de abrir una residencia para niños discapacitados. Su hijo adoptivo, Simón, comienza a comportarse de un modo muy extraño, al encontrarse éste con unos nuevos amigos imaginarios. Hecho que hará que Laura comience a enterarse de todo lo que aconteció en la casa tras su marcha. Al desaparecer su hijo, Laura empieza a investigar y descubre el horrible pasado del orfanato, puesto que allí vivía un niño, hijo de una encargada del orfanato, que al tener un "defecto congénito" era apartado de los demás niños. Tomás usaba una máscara de tela parecida a una calabaza. Laura, al buscar a su hijo, descubre la historia del niño deforme, cuya muerte fue causada por los otros niños del orfanato, quienes, jugando, lo llevan a una cueva cerca de la playa y le quitan la máscara retándolo a salir sin ella. Tomás, al no atreverse a salir sin su máscara, muere ahogado al subir la marea. Laura encuentra los cadáveres de los otros 5 niños, que, a su vez, fueron asesinados en venganza por la cuidadora del orfanato (madre de Tomás). Laura sigue investigando y, desesperada, retoma el juego que se llama busca el tesoro, donde Laura tiene un tesoro, en este caso Simón, quién es escondido por los demás jugadores. En este caso Laura juega con Tomás, el niño muerto. Al terminar el juego, Laura tiene derecho a un deseo que se le hará realidad. Tomás le da pistas como una flor etc. Él le da la chapa de la puerta que va al sotano, donde ella encuentra a Simón ya sin vida y se da cuenta que Simón, al quedar encerrado en el sotano (pues Laura inadvertidamente puso unos tubos en la puerta sin saber que ahí estaba su hijo), cayó por las escaleras y murió. Laura recuerda que, al haber encontrado su tesoro, tiene derecho a un deseo y pide que su hijo vuelva a la vida. Definitivamente el sueño de Laura no se cumple, ya que ella muere debido a una sobredosis de pastillas al descubrir a su hijo muerto, y tras su muerte se reune con él y sus antiguos compañeros de orfanato para cuidar de ellos.

Como curiosidad es la película española más taquillera del año 2007, y la segunda más taquillera de la historia después de "Los otros". El Orfanato fue vista por más de cuatro millones de espectadores y recaudó casi 12 millones de euros en sus primeros veinte días en los cines españoles.

Ganadora: (Goya Awards)

  • Mejor director novel (best new director)
  • Mejor guión original  (nest original screenplay)
  • Mejor dirección artística  (best art direction)
  • Mejor dirección de producción  (best set design)
  • Mejor maquillaje y peluquería  (best make-up and hair styling)
  • Mejor sonido  (best sound)
  • Mejores efectos especiales (best special effects)

y candidata a: (Other Goya Nominations)

  • Mejor película (best picture)
  • Mejor actriz: Belén Rueda (best actress)
  • Mejor actriz de reparto: Geraldine Chaplin (best supporting actress)
  • Mejor actor revelación: Roger Príncep  (best new actor)
  • Mejor musica original (best original score)
  • Mejor montaje (best editing)
  • Mejor vestuario (best costumes)



Plot summary quoted from Wikipedia in its entirety. Total spoilers.

Laura, with her physician husband Carlos, returns to an orphanage where she had lived as a child with plans of reopening it as a home for sick and disabled children. They adopted a son named Simón who is HIV-positive, though he is unaware of either his adoption or his illness.

Upon moving into the cavernous and hauntingly beautiful home, Laura takes Simón to visit a cave near the beach, and he claims to see an imaginary friend. After returning home, he draws a picture of him. He is named Tomás, and he wears a sack mask. Because Simón has always had imaginary friends, both Laura and Carlos play along with his stories. Simón later says that he has become acquainted with six imaginary friends.

A mysterious social worker appears one day, talking obliquely of some new treatment for Simón. After inviting her in for tea, Laura becomes suspicious and sends her away. That night, after investigating some rattling noises she hears outside, Laura finds the mysterious social worker skulking around the grounds. Though Laura screams for Carlos' help, the woman escapes before anything else occurs. After reporting the incident, it is discovered that there is no social worker registered with the name Benigna, which the woman gave.

One day, Simón tells Laura about a game that Tomás has created for him, a type of scavenger hunt. The game leads them to the locked drawer where Simón's medical records are hidden. Simón reveals to Laura that he knows that she is not his real mother and that he is going to die. When she asks him how he knows that, he responds that his friends told him.

Soon after, Laura hosts a party for the disabled children to welcome them to their new home. Simón begs to show Laura Tomás' house, but after an argument, and a slap on the face in the spur of the moment, Laura leaves Simón alone upstairs. Back in the garden, she notices a boy with a sack mask, a lot like the picture that Simón drew after their visit to the cave. When Laura returns to check on him, she cannot find him. She checks in the bathroom at the end of the hall, only to be confronted by a boy in a sack mask who she saw earlier at the party. After she tries to remove the boy's mask, he violently locks her in the bathroom, injuring her, and disappears. No one else at the party remembered seeing the boy because all the children were wearing masks. Simón cannot be found; he has simply disappeared without a trace.

Months later, Laura and her husband go for a drive. It is evident that both are still haunted by the loss of their son. At a traffic light, they are surprised by Benigna crossing the street with a pram in front of them. However, in the tension of the moment, a speeding ambulance completely mauls Benigna. Laura, in a panic, checks under the ambulance that killed Benigna, thinking Simón was in the pram. Instead, she finds a doll that looks like Tomás, with his mask on. Laura then rushes to the scene of the accident. And barely see's Carlos attempting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Benigna. After a few moments, he says that the woman is dead. Laura reaches for the woman's whistle necklace, and in her dying breath the woman snatches Laura's hand away.

After searching the woman's home, the police discover that Benigna worked at the orphanage long ago. She had a deformed son named Tomás who drowned in the oceanfront cave near the orphanage. Though his face was hidden from the other orphans, they led him to a cave and took off his mask. They wanted to see if he would dare to come out without his mask; ashamed, he refused and drowned overnight once the tide rose.

The desperate Laura then agrees to have a medium explore the orphanage for supernatural clues to her son's disappearance. The medium sees five child ghosts, screaming in pain and dying of poison. The medium reveals that the reason she can see the dead is that she is close to death herself. Laura begs the medium to tell her how she can find her son - the medium replies that she must use her grief as strength to help her find him, but it all depends on how far she wants to go. Soon after, Laura, following clues she believes were left by Tomás, finds five sacks full of ashes and human bones in the very shed that she caught Benigna snooping in. Laura surmises that the woman had murdered the five children, after their trick had killed Tomás.

Carlos does not believe in the supernatural; he thinks his wife has gone crazy and begs her to leave the orphanage, but she refuses. She insists that she must stay and explore every nook and cranny of the creepy house until it disgorges its secrets. Laura insists that there are too many memories in the house and she needs two days alone to say good-bye.

Carlos goes, leaving Laura alone in the house. After recreating her time in the house as a young girl with the help from some footage of the orphanage that police had found at Begnina's house, she sees the ghosts of the dead friends from her childhood, and they lead her to a hidden door in a closet. Behind the door are stairs leading to a dark basement, and at the bottom she finds Simón alive. However, when she wills the ghosts to go away, she notices a body on the floor, having what seemed like Tomás. After unmasking the boy, it turns out to be Simón, who is dead as well, having fallen down a broken banister on the stairwell the day he disappeared. In her frantic search for Simón, she'd unintentionally prevented his escape from the basement.

She carries his body up to the dormitory and kills herself by overdosing on her medication.

Laura awakens, in what seems to be the afterlife, and the ghosts of the five murdered children plus Tomás and Simón, appear before her. Simón asks her to stay and take care of him and his friends forever, and she happily agrees.

Later, Carlos is seen in front of the house where a memorial to Laura, Simón, and the other children of the orphanage had been built. After going inside one last time to say farewell, he spies a good-luck necklace he had given Laura earlier, on the floorboards inside the children's bedroom. He hears a noise and looks up as the doors slowly open, and slowly smiles.

"The Orphanage was a box office champ in Spain, the highest in 2007 and the second-highest of all-time, trailing only The Others. On its opening weekend, it grossed more than the other nine films in the top ten, and it went on to hold the #1 spot for six weeks, eventually grossing about $35 million dollars and selling more than four million tickets. The population of Spain is only about 13% that of the United States, so this is roughly equivalent to a $300 million blockbuster in the States. The Orphanage also grossed a respectable $7 million in the States, and was chosen as the Spanish representative to the Oscars, ahead of "The 13 Roses" and "Sunday's Light."

Belén Rueda







Feast of Love


This very good 2007 romantic drama examines the relationships of several friends in Portland over a period of 18 months. It is both sad and funny, and very well done.

Bradley, who owns a coffee shop, experiences a series of bad marriages, none his fault. Bradley's wife (Selma Blair) begins a lesbian relationship while Bradley is blissfully ignorant. Oscar and Chloe (Alexa Davalos) fall in love while working at the shop. They try to make a life together, but Oscar's father is a drunk who will do anything, including murder, to break them up.

After the divorce, Bradley meets and falls in love with Diana (Radha Mitchell), but even while romancing Bradley, and even after they marry, Diana continues a relationship with a married man, even though he makes it clear he'll never leave his wife.

Character-study movies can be boring, but this one is so well done it will keep your interest throughout.

Radha Mitchell Selma Blair Alexa Davalos








Anna Beatriz Barrios with an exposed nipple in a photoshoot



Sienna Miller caught topless by the paparazzi twice in one day!



Amy Madigan in Alamo Bay


Lisa Zane in Bad Influence


Serena Williams in a bikini.

Seeing her on the beach and not knowing her, you'd never guess that she's one of the world's best female athletes.


Scarlett Johansson in A Good Woman

This enhancement shows you what all the fuss is about.

Here are the captures (the third one has no exposure of any kind):


Vintage clips:

Carole Bouquet appears today in two films. One is well known, That Obscure Object of Desire, a Luis Bunuel film which made Bouquet a star at 19 in her screen debut. The other is the obscure Lucie Aubrac, which came twenty years later.



Diane Keaton in Looking for Mr Goodbar. (1977). Her other nude scene came 26 years later in Something's Gotta Give. Although we now think of her as a great comic actress, thanks to Woody Allen, she did plenty of serious roles like this in her early career. (The Godfather movies are the most obvious examples.)

To my knowledge, this film has never appeared on DVD in any region, so these 640x480 TV broadcast clips represent the best we have had. While they are not spectacularly good, they are more or less the same quality as a slightly below average DVD, and therefore a great improvement over the previous VHS clips. Some samples are below: