This is the original version of the film which Madonna and Guy
Richie remade in 2002, much to the joy of the Razzie committee.
I agree with Tuna's analysis that the
original is an interesting film once the two principals reach
the island. In many respects the Guy Richie remake is nearly a
shot-for-shot recreation of the original. So why is one
considered a masterpiece, or nearly so, while the other won the
Worst Picture Razzie (and several others)? Well, besides the
obvious - the presence of Madonna in the remake - I see three
main areas where the remake failed:
1. One reason is that the intricacies of Italian
politics and Italian sectional rivalries are lost in the remake,
and that loss, in turn, takes much of the tension out of the
struggle between the protagonists. Italy is virtually two
countries which barely manage to co-exist: the sophisticated
industrialized north, birthplace of the Renaissance; and the
rural, sometimes lawless south. If Italy were split into two
countries, the part from Rome north would contend to be the
richest in the world per capita (adjusted for buying power), and
the part south of Rome would have economic data more appropriate
for Africa than Europe. The cultural and economic divisions
between the halves mean that the country of Italy is essentially
two distinct cultures sharing the same language. (The rich woman
in the film even looks down on the sailor's skin color.) In
order to capture this in an English-language film, the two main
characters would have to be changed to a rich, white,
thinly-disguised racist from the Confederacy and a poor black
man from Harlem, two people who would be divided not only by
money, but by a vast chasm in their cultural values. Without
making such a transposition in the remake, a lot of the tension
between the characters is lost.
2. A second reason is that the original film
balances romance, politics, and humor. The remake lost all of
3. To me, the most important
reason is that the remake toned the film down to make it more
politically correct, and that took away all of its edge. The
remake's failure to capture the original's racism was only a
part of that. The new version also toned down the brutality, the
dirty talk, and the nudity. I find the S&M aspects of the
original film to be very powerful and very sexy in their way -
one might call the sex and violence transgressive, even now, by
the standards of a period thirty years after the film was made.
I think the remake might have been a good movie with
three changes: (1) dump Madonna and hire a real actress who can play
an upper-class bitch effectively - like
Patricia Clarkson or Nicole Kidman, for example; (2) make the servant a poor but
bright and very sexy black man, ala Denzel Washington, and the rich
woman the racist wife of a greedy corporate robber baron; (3) keep
the same levels of nudity and brutality as in the original - or even
City Limits (1985):
I haven't seen this film, but Watty says it is awful
and the Region 2 DVD quality is unacceptable. Be all that as it may,
we get to see Kim Cattrall when she was
young and fresh in this zipped .avi.
Brewers hit five homers in one inning.
- Here's a real curiosity: this has only been done four times in
National League history, and all four were against the Cincinnati
Chernobyl's lost city - 20 years later
Incredible early-60s kitsch: Vic Damone singing Look What I Found
- If I'm not mistaken, this is a clip from an obscure TV show
called The Lively Ones, which was basically one long "swingin'" car
commercial for Ford products. "If you wanna ride, get some wheels,
but if you wanna swing - get a Ford."
- A bit of trivia to win bar bets: Vic Damone and Al Martino are
two different people, impossible though it seems.
A fun clip:
The great Ray Charles and the Blues Brothers
A collector deliberately placed three valuable U.S. pennies into
circulation in New York in April 2006.
Dave Barry's summer vacation tip:
2006 Great Lakes Manure Handling Expo
- This year's theme: "keep it in the root zone"
Bonds ends 30 AB power drought with first homer of season, 709 of
Prep school QB phenom commits to Notre Dame
Daily Box Office - Friday, April 21, 2006
- No major surprises. Silent Hill was #1, as expected. Scary Movie
4 held on to the #2 spot, as expected.
Speedy Share Video: Kim Cattrall topless in City Limits
The home page of the World Rock, Paper, Scissors Society. Includes
strategy tips, info on R-P-S-playing robots, and a gallery of World
Weekly World News: "JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES TO USE BULLHORNS ON PEOPLE
THAT DON'T ANSWER THEIR DOORS"
Massachusetts Mandates Health Care, Bush Calls in Nuclear Strike
Our nominee for the douchebag of the year.
A clip from Stick It
- "The writer of the hit comedy 'Bring It On,' takes on the world
of competitive gymnastics in 'Stick It'."
APOD: an interesting chart of the Mars retrograde effect. (I
wonder how the ancients explained this.)
Running of the nudes (A naked protest to the annual running of the
Letterman talks to Gretchen Mol about being Bettie Page
AbsurdlyCool Freebie Finder
- "Freebie Finder is an automated free stuff aggregator. I've
designed it to collect free stuff offers from top freebie sites,
while filtering out most scams and referral pyramids."
Denise Richards' declaration, asking for a restraining order on
- Among other things, Richards says in her declaration that during
their reconciliation last September, she discovered Sheen was
visiting websites with "very young girls, who looked underage to me,
with pigtails, braces, no pubic hair, performing oral sex with each
Oleanna Potter is the women whose nude stamp was rejected by Canada.
looking for a gift for dad? How about being able to play Pebble Beach
in his den, with full swings? (Better have a high limit on your
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
"The Fruit is Swelling"
The Fruit is Swelling (1997), or Mi tao cheng shu shi, is a category 3 (NC-17) film from Hong Kong. Think Big, but with a young girl in the Tom Hanks role. Peach (Chun Chung) is 8 years old. She is curious about sex, but her father (Elivis Tsui, king of the genre) and mother won't give her useful information. She is also very jealous of her big sister Lychee (Christine Hung), who is always going out on dates. When her best friend, Fatty Girl talks her into running away from home, they camp by the magic tree, and both wish to be 18. They wake up in the morning with the bodies of 18 year olds, but 8 year old minds.
Of course they can't go home. Peach spies on her sister having sex, and also her philandering father, who does the police woman sent to investigate, and her school teacher who comes to find out why she has missed classes, and still doesn't fully understand it, but sets her sights on her swimming teacher, whom she has always had a crush on. He is taken with her innocence, but his ex girlfriend, Baby (Stephanie Fong) is stiff competition. She ends up getting a handle on love and sex, but not overnight.
Chun Chung, Christine Hung, Stephanie Fong, and two unknowns do full frontal.
IMDb readers say 6.6, which is a very high score for a soft core in any language. It is well deserved. The characters are wonderful, the film sparkles with humor, and the story is touching. This one makes my list of top ten soft core films, which are, in no particular order:
I Like to Play Games
Warm Texas Rain
The Fruit is Swelling
The Erotic Adventures of Zorro
9 1/2 Weeks
Two Moon Junction
To me, of course, this is an A, but the proper score under our system is C+.