Author/director Bertrand Blier was one of the stars of the
French Cinema in the late 70s and early 80s. Some of his films,
like Going Places, became international hits, at least on the
arthouse circuit. He's still at it today at age 67, but I think
you'll see from his rated filmography of writing credits that he
really doesn't seem to be his old self.
- (7.52) -
Buffet froid (1979)
- (7.36) -
- (7.29) -
Préparez vos mouchoirs (1978)
- (7.16) -
Valseuses, Les (1974)
- (7.06) -
'Merci la vie' (1991)
- (7.00) -
Tenue de soirée (1986)
- (6.97) -
Notre histoire (1984)
- (6.84) -
Trop belle pour toi (1989)
- (6.65) -
Mon homme (1996)
- (6.57) -
Grosse fatigue (1994)
- (6.45) -
Un, deux, trois, soleil (1993)
- (5.97) -
Femme de mon pote, La (1983)
- (5.95) -
- (5.53) -
Combien tu m'aimes? (2005)
- (5.52) -
Acteurs, Les (2000)
- (4.88) -
Côtelettes, Les (2003)
- (3.91) -
Pédale dure (2004)
His four worst movies are also his four latest movies. Not a
good trend. On the other hand
Variety gave this film an excellent review. It is about an
insignificant middle-aged guy who wins the lottery and uses his
earnings to hire the most beautiful prostitute for life, or until
he runs out of money. Of course, he tries to win her heart as
well. Can a guy who looks like Rob Corddry really win Monica
Bellucci? You'll have to watch the film to find out. The part of
her angry pimp is played by ... (wait for it) ... Gerard
Depardieu. For our purposes, the important thing is that the movie
gets Monica Bellucci naked, so Blier didn't really need to do much
Comes to Region 2 DVD on May 23.
Four film clips: (1,
Bettie Page: Dark Angel and How to Pose Nude by Bunny
Yaeger (about 2004)
(The two DVDs are sold as a set.)
Bettie Page was the
queen of the fetish pin-ups in the early 1950s. She first posed for
various camera clubs, then appeared in some fetish magazines like
Black Nylons until she became New York's top model in her specialized
and sexy field. Some of her most famous work was done for Irving Klaw,
who ran a Manhattan-based mail order company specializing in light
bondage photographs and videos. Bettie and the legendary photographer
Bunny Yaeger teamed up in 1954 for a notorious jungle-themed session
with two live cheetahs at a wildlife park, and Yaeger subsequently
sent Bettie's pictures to Hugh Hefner, who was impressed enough to
make Bettie Page his Playboy centerfold in January of 1955, which
represented the summit of her popularity. Her career ended shortly
after the Senate's "Kefauver Hearings" in which a senate subcommittee
ended up shutting down Irving Klaw's mail order business. By the time
she left the business, Page had gotten married, and had become
interested in Christianity, so once she left the modeling
business in 1958, she never looked back. She disappeared from
public life for decades, and gradually disappeared from the
cultural consciousness until a Bettie Page revival in the 1980s.
In the 21st century, the combination of DVD and the internet has
raised the public's awareness of her to a point where she is
just as popular and as well known as in her prime, if not more
Page: Dark Angel is a short (75 min) film which offers a thumbnail
overview of the last three years of the public part of Bettie's life.
It is a stilted, low-budget (less than six figures), amateurish affair with
a dull script and some painfully bad
line readings, but fans and students of Bettie's output may find it
interesting for one reason. When Irving Klaw shut down his business,
he burned his Bettie Page fetish videos to avoid future prosecutions
and subpoenas. Bettie Page: Dark Angel makes a meticulous attempt to
re-create some of those old vids as they would have looked, right
down to the funky direct lighting. The 16mm B&W re-creations, shown in
their entirety, occupy about half of the film's 75 minutes of
running time. The film itself is in color and appears to have been
shot on digital video. It contains absolutely no nudity, although
there is some flesh in the special features. The star, Paige Richards,
does resemble Bettie Page, and has the same radiant, innocent smile,
but does not have a Tennessee accent. The director chose another
actress to do the voice-over narration, and she does read her lines
like a professional actress, but she couldn't manage to sound like an
authentic Tennessean either, managing to sound like a cross between a
Northerner trying to mimic somebody from Savannah and Vivien
Leigh as Blanche DuBois. For reasons not clear to me at all, the
"actor" who plays Senator Estes Kefauver (another native
Tennessean) does so with a heavy German accent! The film
co-stars an actor named Dukey Flyswatter as Irving Klaw, and I
think it goes without saying that this is probably the Citizen
Kane of Dukey Flyswatter movies, although I haven't seen Dukey's
other appearance in Cool Air, in which he assailed the
challenging role of "street bum."
from an IMDb member sums things up fairly well (all the words are his,
but I have edited somewhat):
saw it during the 2004 San Francisco Film Festival. Before it
started the owner of the theatre got up and told us how half the
audience had left the theatre the night before, which happened to be
its "world premiere." I don't think anyone in the theatre understood
just how bad the movie was going to be at that point. We all
understood by the end.
A scene would start, then someone would say "wow you're so great
Bettie, why don't we make another movie?" This would be followed by
five minutes of a Bettie Page remake which was almost as ridiculous
as (and even more boring than) the normal part of the movie. By the
end of the movie people were laughing every time another Bettie
Page movie remake came up. I heard a lot of laughter in that
theatre, but people were not laughing with the movie maker, they
were laughing at the movie and its poor content and structure.
How to Pose Nude by Bunny Yaeger (63
min) is simply Ms Yaeger, a famous photographer who often snapped the
real Bettie Page, recreating some of the original photoshoots with
Paige Richards, star of Bettie Page: Dark Angel. There is no
storyline. The audio basically consists of Ms. Yaeger's real-time
instructions to her model, like "move your hand farther from your body
so I can see your bust." The good news is that it offers almost
non-stop nudity, perhaps to compensate for the total absence of flesh
in Bettie Page: Dark Angel. Unlike Dark Angel, this film does not try
for an authentic period style - Paige Richards has an airstrip trim & Brazilian wax,
for example. The special features include a comparison of the original
shoots to the re-shoots.
Dubai resort islands - 'The World'
Daily Box Office - Friday, May 5,
- Mission Impossible opened with
a $17 million day. That may be a bit below expectations,
but it totally dominated the day, as the remainder of
the top ten only accumulated $13 million between them!
The $100,000 bill!
- The $100,000 Gold Certificate
was never released into general circulation and was only
used in fiscal channels. This note cannot be legally
held by currency note collectors.
- The US Govt no longer prints
any denominations larger than $100, but you can see the
other discontinued large bills (which, unlike the
$100,000 bill, are legal to own)
Osama's strategy for coping with
rising gasoline prices
Rick Reilly tells Colbert he's
written the Jerry Springer of golf books.
Colbert's "Better Know a District":
The Colbert Report: the Vatican
Daily Show: Celebrity Interview -
John Malkovich, who used to live in a French 19th century
The Daily Show's Dan Bakkedahl
profiles the gorgeous, blonde and sexy world of
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Grandma's Boy (2006) is a Puerile bong comedy about a group of video game testers. It managed to earn $6.09M in a 7 week release that began in 2,016 theaters, dropped to 20 by week three, then tapered off to nothing. I watched the Unrated version, but was unable to find the difference between it and the R rated theatrical release.
Allen Covert is a 35 year old video game tester. He is evicted because his room mate was spending the rent money at a Filipino massage parlor, and spends the night with a work buddy who lives at his parents house. This does not go well, as the mother catches Allen whacking off to a Laura Croft doll, so is forced to move in with his grandmother and her two roommates. Shirley Jones as a horny granny is the closest thing I found to humor in the film. Allen has been secretly developing his own video game. The game designer at the company was a child prodigy and is a super nerd, but is stuck working on his next game. Samantha (Linda Cardellini) is hired as program manager to get the current game through testing and released on time.
The climax of the film is at a party to celebrate the completion of testing that ends up at the home of a pot dealer. The rest of the plot is easily guessed, even from the short description above.
The nudity is provided by Heidi Hawking, who shows her breasts to a fat game tester, who spends the rest of the party sucking on them.
IMDb readers say 6.4. Berardinelli awarded 1/2 star, saying, "There are plenty of toxic waste dumps around this country where prints of Grandma's Boy would be at home." The DVD has both a theatrical R version and an Unrated version, but I could find no difference. There are scene after scene of deleted scenes and bloopers, but, again, I couldn't see any difference between those and the film for the most part. The scarry thing to me is that some people must have enjoyed this to get 6.4 at IMDb. I will assume that I am not the target audience (thank God), and give it a C-.
"Los Amantes del Círculo Polar"
Los Amantes del Círculo Polar (1998), or lovers of the Arctic Circle is a love story by Julio Medem (The Red Squirrel, Sex and Lucia). It tells the story of Ana and Otto, both palindromic names, which is fitting, as the story is very circular. They first meet as children, and fall instantly in love. The occasion is the death of Ana's father. She runs into the woods, and Otto is running after a ball. Later, Otto writes a romantic love question on paper airplanes, and throws them over into the yard of the girls school. Ana is impressed, but also feels that her mother needs a little romance, and gives it to her, saying it is from Otto's father. The parents get together, and Otto's mother is not pleased. When Otto leaves his mother to live with his father (and Ana) as a teenager, the two consummate their love. However, when Otto's mother dies, he can't stand the guilt, and leaves to become a pilot. Ana has a lengthy affair with a teacher, and her mother runs off with someone else, but Ana still pines for Otto, and tries to manufacturer one more coincidence so they can be together in Lapland.
The adolescent Ana, Kristel Diaz, shows her right breast, and buns. The adult Ana, Najwa Nimri, shows her right nipple, but with a map super-imposed over her.
The narrative structure is complex, jumping around in time, and also switching points of view, sometimes Otto's, sometimes Ana's, sometimes both. The same events are not always evaluated the same by both, and Bardem doesn't give much help here. IMDb readers say 7.8. It is equally popular with men and women. Ebert says three stars, and Berardinelli 3.5, but many US papers were unimpressed. I suppose it is very European, meant for an intelligent art house crowd, and lacks the sort of pace we see from Hollywood fare. The performances were supurb, and the film won many awards for Best Picture, best screenplay, editing, score and performance (Nimri). It was beautifully shot, but required paying close attention. This is a C+, as a European Art House love story. For those who prefer action and easy answers, steer clear.
'Caps and comments by Dann:
Charlize Theron does her normal great job, and kicks major ass, in this pretty good 2005 Sci-Fi adapted from an MTV animated short.
In 2011, a virus kills off 99% of the earth's population. The one percent that's left settles in a single city, whose government is headed by the scientist that discovered the cure for the virus. In 2415, still run by a scientist descendant of the original scientist, a group called the Monicans opposes what has become oppressive rule by the government.
As a member of the Monicans, Aeon Flux is assigned to kill the scientist/chairman to restore freedom. When she doesn't, for reasons the rebels can't understand, she herself becomes a target.
The story itself is not unique; several Sci-Fi’s having similar themes have been around for some time, however, excellent special effects, plenty of non-stop action, and of course Theron, make this a must-see for Sci-Fi fans.