I had to take some drastic action with my mail settings. From now on, for those of you who send mail with attachments to, only four addresses will work:

Also, if you write the word "comedy" in the subject line, you will by-pass my spam filters.


As always, the best address to contact me if you send a mail without an attachment is


Powder Blue


minor spoilers

Oh, no.

This turned out to be yet another example of my least favorite genre of all: separate stories of a seemingly unconnected multi-ethnic group of people in Los Angeles whose lives become mysteriously interrelated in a short period of time. The most noteworthy antecedents for this film include Short Cuts, Crash, Babel, and Magnolia. Another recent STV, Crossing Over, follows this same general format.

As I write this, Powder Blue has one of the strangest male/female scoring ratios ever seen on IMDb. Men 18-29 rate it 9.4, a score which, if it held up across all demographics, would make Powder Blue the top film of all time. Women in the same age group rate it 4.9, which would be a weak score for a straight-to-vid. Among all voters, the male-minus-female score is 2.0. That score would theoretically make this one of the most testosterone-filled "dick-flicks" films of all time. In the IMDb Top 250, only two old war films 1 have a male-minus-female score higher than 0.7. After those two rarely-seen films, the Wrestler and Magnolia are next at 0.7, Sin City scores 0.6, and the two most popular Guy Richie films are each at .5. Surprisingly, the most popular films which are filled with war scenes and/or mindless violence do not have wildly unbalanced testosterone-heavy scores, and that includes many films you would probably think of as dick-flicks, including The Dirty Dozen, The Usual Suspects, and Full Metal Jacket.

"So Powder Blue is a dick-flick, right?"

Not at all.

Consider the story lines. It's Christmas Eve. A stripper is looking for her lost puppy while her young son lies in a coma in a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, her long-lost father is trying to reestablish contact with her because he's dying. A cleric is desperate to commit suicide because of a careless act which caused the death of his beloved wife, who appears to him in dreams. A tranny seems to be a hardened street person, but is really just looking for love, and is in prostitution to earn enough money to get his sex change operation. The two other main characters are a painfully shy mortician and a lonely waitress trying to re-enter the dating scene after a midlife divorce. The characters are all damaged and forlorn, and many of them are doomed. At least three of those main characters will die before the night is over, and the suicidal guy is not among them!

Oh, and don't forget the melancholy and sparse musical score, the ghost, and the miraculous frogs ... er ... I mean snowflakes ... definitely not frogs ... which fall from the heavens in Southern California.

Does that sound like a dick-flick to you?

Clearly not, based on the "Earth Girls are Easy rule." One of the aliens in that story observes that Earth men like movies in which many people die quickly, while Earth women prefer films in which a few people are dying slowly. Powder Blue is obviously in the latter group.

So what's going on with the IMDb scores? Well, a few things. One is that very few females have rated the film, so there are not enough degrees of freedom to establish a true statistical pattern with any confidence. The other main reason for the gender gap is that Powder Blue is widely known for only one reason: it is the film in which the spectacularly toned and muscled body of Jessica Biel can be seen naked on screen for the first time.

Is it a good movie? Kinda. Setting aside my distaste for this overworked format, and the fact that I did not personally enjoy it,  I'd have to say that the film has many plusses:

Unlike many such films, the multi-story format is appropriate for the material and the interaction between the stories is sensible and unforced.

Unlike many weep-fests, this film allowed some of the main characters to find hope and/or happiness.

The performances are quite solid from top to bottom. I'm not sure about Eddie Redmayne, the Michael Cera impersonator who played the young mortician. I just don't know if I disliked the character or his interpretation of it, so maybe he just did what he was supposed to do. The rest of the leads (Ray Liotta, Forrest Whittaker, and Jessica Biel) certainly earned solid As and B plusses. As a bonus, Biel's performance also includes some of the most sensuous and athletic stripping you've ever seen. The solid minor players include veterans like Kris Kristofferson, Patrick Swayze, Lisa Kudrow and Sanaa Lathan, as well as a newcomer named Alejandro Romero who played the tranny. Swayze had the oddest role in the film. He was cast against type as the strip club owner, a complete sleazeball with long blond hair. Given the strange role and his illness, you will not know it is Swayze unless you are specifically looking for him. Maybe not even then.


1- The Battle of Algiers (1966) and All Quiet on the Western Front (1930).

Nudity (lots):

  • Ray Liotta and Eddie Redmayne show their bums.
  • Jessica Biel shows T&A across several scenes.
  • One other stripper is topless and wearing a thong while she blows Patrick Swayze.
  • Several strippers are seen topless in background scenes.

We saw lots of Biel clips yesterday but we have some new spin today. Here is the LC's take on the high-definition version (caps below), and here are some clips which have been brightened and enhanced.


  • * 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 Omega Man


As many times as I Am Legend has been made into a movie, every single version has tended to miss the key point of the story. (It is somewhat retained by the alternate ending on the DVD of the Will Smith version.)

Rosalind Cash film clips. Blu-Ray quality. Samples below.








We have another all TV Land day, but tomorrow we head back to the seventies. Jill Hennessy is sexy and leggy as she visits with Jimmy Fallon on "Late Night." Caps and an HD clip.

More from "Dancing With the Stars", this time busty professional dancer Cheryl Burke.
Later in the interview room Cheryl talks with Samantha Harris who also shows a little cleavage. Caps and two HD clip.  








Notes and collages

The Tempest

Susan Sarandon










At first glance, it would be easy to dismiss this 2007 drama as just another gimmicky movie, the gimmick being that the whole movie is shot through the perspective of security cameras. Well, the gimmick is there, to be sure, but the story is solid and interesting, and the point is well made that nowadays, almost everything we do is under the scrutiny of multiple cameras. There simply is no privacy any more. Big Brother really IS watching, but Big Brother isn't always the government; it can also be the local mini-mart.

The story follows the lives of people involved in five different stories that eventually get interconnected just as we all often do in everyday life. Because of the way the story is constructed, giving you any of the plot would perhaps be too much of a spoiler, but the stories are centered around a high school teacher, a department store manager, a convenience store clerk, a lawyer, two desperate criminals on the run, and the various people they interact with during a normal day.

There have been other movies done from the perspective of video cameras or web cams, but I found this one to be perhaps the most effective of the bunch. For the most part, quality stayed decent and they made their point without using video that was impossible to see. More importantly, the story was good, and the movie overall was enjoyable and fascinating. It also might make you think twice before using a department store dressing room.

Heather Hogan and Spencer Redford







Emmanuelle Beart in the book "Cuba Libre"



Keira Knightly with an ever-so-slight see-through. Old, but new to me. Damn, she has a beautiful face.

Film Clips

Alexandra Maria Lara in Mensch Pia

The women of Timecop: Mia Sara and Laura Murdoch

Two films starring the luscious youthful version of Virginia Madsen: Creator and Gotham

The latest sweet HD nudity from TV: Sarah Manninen in The Line (episode 7)