The film: Young People Fucking. Major distribution problems in the United States because of that word in the title. But the UK DVD release is June 30.





Anna Nicole

This film covers 22 years of Anna Nicole Smith's life in 88 minutes. If you are particularly cynical you might note: (1) that's because she never did anything important; (2) enough time has been devoted to her already. Those are superficial comments. Anna Nicole's life was, in fact, full and interesting. One day she was working in a fast food joint in East Noplace, Texas, and a short time later she was the spokesperson for Guess Jeans, a Playmate of the Year, a billionaire's wife, and an actress in some feature-length films. Not too long after that, she was monstrously overweight. Then she lost 69 pounds and looked great again. Then we looked away for a few seconds, and when our gaze returned to her, she and her grown son were both dead. In the background were several legal contests between her and the billionaire's family, plus a sexual harassment suit filed against her by a former employee. An aspect of one of her cases even made it to the Supreme Court! That was just while she lived. The end of her life was followed by various additional legal complications relating to the circumstances of her death, the custody of her infant daughter, and the disposition of her estate, with all of the legal maneuverings chronicled daily by the cable news networks.

While Anna painted no masterpieces and brought no peace to the Middle East, her life fascinated us in its own way, and there is probably enough material there to make several interesting movies, with several different possible perspectives, because Anna's public life was larger than ours, was both innocent and sleazy, both a comedy and a tragedy.

  • On the comic side, there was her ridiculous movie career in the mid-90s, her notoriously dim-witted public comments, her obese phase, and the ridicule she received from stand-up comics and shock-jock Howard Stern.
  • On the tragic side, she lost her billionaire (she really did seem to love that old geezer, and he her) and totally fell apart. Then just when she seemed on the verge of a comeback by regaining her figure and producing a new baby, she lost her grown son and her own life, all before her 40th birthday.

Unfortunately, the script has no focus and no point of view. It's a broad-brush bio, and there is too much material in Anna's life to cover in a docudrama. This film just walks through her life, checking off the highlights and taking no time to reflect upon any of it. The center of the film, to the extent it has one, is the relationship between Anna and her son Daniel, but even that feels half-finished. The only part of the film I liked at all was the brief part that explored the relationship between Anna and her billionaire. As portrayed in this film, they were two completely ingenuous people who genuinely brought pleasure to each other in an atypical way. When the film concentrated on their offbeat love story, it was interesting. Unfortunately, that relationship was given the surface treatment, like everything else in the film. The rest of the film ... well, it's got nothin'.

In her everyday appearance and using her natural voice, Willa Ford doesn't look or sound like Anna Nicole, but she did deliver a reasonably convincing impersonation. Unfortunately, all of the other characters are virtually anonymous, excepting her son. As I watched, I kept thinking to myself, "Now who is this character again?" Even the familiar characters like Larry Birkhead and Howard K. Stern are just undeveloped background players in this broadly painted treatment. If I had not known a bit about Stern and Birkhead in advance from various Larry King Shows, I would not have understood their significance in Anna's life by watching this film. In fact, I wouldn't even have known their last names.

With a sensationalized choice of excerpts and some really bad background music, the trailer below makes the film seem like a 1970s porno flick, or maybe a surreal Ken Russell biopic. That's utterly misleading. If the film had really gone for some Ken Russell decadence, it would have been more fun. Or it could have ridiculed Anna Nicole. Or it could have treated her as a tragic victim of the lust for fame created by her culture. Any of those positions might have worked effectively, but the actual film took no position at all and created no hook, so it plays out like a network TV "movie of the week" from the 1980s.

Here's all the nudity. This is considerably more comprehensive that the material in yesterday's edition, but the real topless shots are from background actresses and an obvious body double in the strip club audition. Willa Ford herself showed virtually nothing, as seen in the caps below. (A bit of areola and the bottom of her butt.) Samples below:


The Take


Every once in a while, the practice of looking through every new release produces some unexpected pleasures. I had no special expectations for The Take, but this low budget indie turned out to be an excellent crime drama.

John Leguizamo plays a family man who is a straight-arrow guard for an armored car company. One Friday there is an is ambush and the guard is shown proof that the robber's accomplices are holding his family hostage, just in case there are any lapses in his co-operation. He dutifully executes his normal daily run, and helps the baddies unload the truck full of cash, but the robber turns out to be a homicidal maniac who blows away everyone at the armored car HQ, including Leguizamo.

Short movie?

No, not quite. The guard lives, despite a bullet in his brain. That's the good news. The bad news is that he is the one who has been framed for the crime. A sharp FBI agent (Bobby Cannavale) smells something fishy, and does not arrest the guard, but he decides to keep a close eye on him because he seems to be keeping secrets. The guard is keeping secrets, in a sense, but they are also secrets from himself. The bullet in his brain impaired several of his normal brain functions, including short-term memory and reasoning skills. As the investigation begins, the guard is not really capable of understanding exactly what happened, or that a dangerous psychopath still lurks in the shadows, waiting for a chance to remove a witness who has seen his face.

The other key brain function which the guard can't gain control of is his temper, so he's not pleasant to be around, and his wife ends up leaving him. In danger of losing his family permanently, being killed by a sociopath, and/or and ending up in prison for a crime he doesn't think he committed, the guard must somehow try to piece together enough dribs and drabs of memory to convince the FBI that he's an honest man and is probably in danger himself.

The premise is difficult to accept. There's the overworked memory loss gimmick plus the ol' "accused man solving the crime on his own to prove his own innocence" cliché, so the film requires a great deal of "suspension of disbelief." Despite those liabilities, this film is quite satisfying, absorbing, and three dimensional, so much so that I completely forgot that it had some problems to begin with. The director did a helluva job for his first feature-length drama, and showed how a well-crafted film with some good actors can deliver a lot of bang for a small buck. Scene after scene crackles with tension, and the three main performances (Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo and Bobby Cannavale) are absolutely natural and spot-on, which really helps to make the contrived premise seem credible. Rosie Perez has talked about how difficult it was to do the graphic sex scene with her platonic friend John Leguizamo, but the two of them seemed to deliver the scene with just the right edge.

Since the film functions both as a psychodrama and a police procedural, and since the guard is faced with constant threats from so many directions, there is no possibility to lose interest. Once we are put inside the guard's situation, we will see it through with him, particularly since we know even more about his innocence than he himself knows. He gets ornery and crazy from time to time, and even beats his beloved wife when he gets a particularly painful headache, but we don't turn against him or start to dislike him because our identification with him and his situation is so complete that we accept it as valid character development. He's a complex character forced by his situation into certain forms of unacceptable behavior.


In fact, I enjoyed the screener so much that I pre-ordered the commercial DVD, so I'll be doing all of this again in better quality on May 25th or so, but here's what we have so far.

The film clips of Rosie Perez and John Leguizamo. (More or less the same as what you saw in yesterday's edition from somebody else. If you looked at those, there's no reason to download these.)

Some samples:


  • * 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.







Charlie Wilson's War


Some biographical dramas can be pretty dull, but this true story of congressman Charlie Wilson's efforts to kick the Russians out of Afghanistan in the early 1980s is a lot of fun, and extremely interesting.

Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) was at the time a member of the U. S. House of Representatives, from Texas. He was a womanizer and not especially well known or highly regarded, and with seemingly little power except that he was a member of two major foreign policy and covert-operations committees.

With a lot of pressure from a rich conservative supporter, Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts), Charlie takes a trip to Pakistan and learns of the plight of the people of Afghanistan, who are suffering from the brutal Soviet occupation. Children are being especially hard-hit, since the Soviets figured out that it takes more resources for the parents to take care of wounded children, than to deal with dead ones. Explosive pieces of candy and explosive glittery toys are left in fields to wound the kids that pick them up.

Once Charlie becomes convinced that the Soviets could be kicked out of the country by clandestine help from the U.S., he starts using his numerous political skills to drum up the multiple millions that the effort will take. Along the way, Charlie also learns a valuable lesson in unforeseen consequences.

Well done but also quite humorous, this is a fascinating story that held my interest throughout.

Cyia Batten and Hillary Angelo Julia Roberts
Emily Blunt Tracy Phillips







I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry


No nudity in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, but we still have a very sexy Jessica Biel showing off her new bra and is there a sexier derriere in Hollywood than Jessica's? I don't think so.


Also Chandra West who appeared in yesterday's "The Tooth Fairy" is back still keeping her clothes on, but sexy in her lingerie.



The Hitman


We also have a "Babe in Bondage" with Olga Kurylenko all strung up stark naked in Hitman.







Notes and collages



Jennifer Grey (age 41!)


OK, maybe some people do put Baby in a corner.







Film Clips

A very brief look at Lysette Anthony in The Pleasure Principle.

Sarah Carter in Berkeley. The pretty Canadian actress did this topless scene many years ago (2005), but this film about student unrest in 1968 has been buried in distribution limbo for three years. (Sample right)

Whitney Able in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2008). Teen horror film. See description below. (Crap quality. Sample right)

From Movies.Yahoo.com: "Mandy Lane. Beautiful. Untouched. High school royalty waiting to be crowned. Since the dawn of Junior year, men have tried to possess her. Some have even died in reckless pursuit of this 16-year-old Texas angel. Chloe and Red invite Mandy out to Red's family ranch for the weekend. Mandy sees it as an excellent opportunity to cement her new friendships. The boys see it as an opportunity to finally get with Mandy Lane. Driving across the Texas landscape, the kids begin to gently chip away at the wall that surrounds her. Joints are smoked. A keg is stolen off a beer truck. Pills are crushed to fine powder and inhaled. Mandy observes it all with the gentle interest of a foreign tourist. And they love her for it. At the ranch, all the boys start to make their move--each one hoping to be the first to attain the unattainable Mandy Lane. However, as night falls and the booze, drugs, and hormones take over, things are said and advances made which can never be reversed. Suddenly, sweet Mandy finds herself pit in a brutal struggle for survival against someone whose interest she has rejected. Forget reading, writing and arithmetic; in high school, learning to be yourself and not succumbing to peer pressure is the ultimate test. And this is one exam that Mandy is determined not to fail."


The "rarely capped scenes" guy, aka Crash 3rd, presents Just Say Julie Brown and Jennifer Aniston in The Edge, a show that aired in 1992, two years before Aniston found stardom in Friends. He wrote: "Poor quality from an old tape but it is a different fashion statement than the usual bikini."


Natalie Dormer in The Tudors, Episode 12

Gloria Guida in La Ragazzina