Gross Misconduct (1993)
Gross Misconduct is stuck in limbo somewhere halfway between a
morality play and an erotic thriller. That is not a good limbo to be
in, because those two things simply cannot go together without
hypocrisy. All the cautionary vibes splash cold water on the
eroticism, while the gratuitous shower scene tends to expose the
sermonizing as fulsome.
Jimmy Smits plays a
charismatic, goody-two-shoes philosophy professor in Australia who, in
a moment of weakness, gives in to the sexual advances of a pretty
student (Naomi Watts) with a crush on him, even though he is
ecstatically happy in his marriage. The lovemaking is pictured as
tender and gentle, but the next morning we see the student looking
battered. She says that her professor raped and beat her.
Of course, the professor's dream life crumbles
into ruins even before his trial, because he has to admit the affair,
although he denies the rape. The film's dramatic tension hinges on
whether he committed the rape and whether he will be convicted of it.
It is obvious that either the student or the professor must be lying,
but if she is lying, her motivation is not immediately evident. Could
she have been raped by someone else the very same night she made love
to her professor? If so, by whom? Her jealous boyfriend? But if the
boyfriend did it, why didn't she simply implicate him instead of the
professor? Nothing seems to add up.
"mystery" derives from one hole card which is almost completely hidden
from the audience.
Frankly, this is a
ham-fisted film. It reminds me of the Sunday morning religious dramas
that used to be on TV when I was a kid, where the hero always turned
out to be innocent of the mortal sin he was accused of, but hid
something else shameful which made it seem that he did the more
important thing as well. The lesson always seemed to be that he would
not have gotten into major trouble if he had been a good boy and
hadn't committed the venial sin in the first place. Gross Misconduct
is the film for you if you really enjoyed those "made for guilt"
dramas like "Lamp Unto My Feet," and think they would have been
perfect entertainment if only they had been 90 minutes long and filled
with topless scenes.
The good news is,
of course, that those topless scenes were performed by a 24 year old
Aussie starlet named Naomi Watts who had the good fortune to become a
major international star about a decade later, thus creating some
value for her early film exposure. The depressing news is that the
film is dark and grainy. I don't know if is the fault of the original
film, a weak source medium, or a bad transfer, but those options all
work out the same in the end, don't they? The result is that the
film's only real positive, nudity from a youthful future star, is
ruined because said nudity is depressingly dank and dingy.
The film is now available in America from an
importer, but it is not a Region 1 DVD. It is Region 4, PAL. Click
on the pic for info.
Paradise Lost (1987)
A brilliant adaptation of Milton's epic poem,
starring Marina Sirtis.
As the baritone says in the trailer, "Counselor Troi IS Satan."
I'm kidding. Milton had nothing to do with this.
It is really a no-budget eco-parable. And when I say
there was no budget, I'm not kidding. They show a crop-spraying plane flying
far overhead, then they show two people from the waist up, dusting
themselves off, apparently shaking off the crop spray. We know this
because they tell us, with witty dialogue like, "What about that
spray, eh? Here, let's shake it off." The production values are exactly the same as those
mid-1970s Saturday kid's dramas like Mighty Isis, Electra Woman, and
I've covered this before, but went through it again
to look at another version of the Region 2 DVD. No improvement.
William Forsythe plays a mega-developer who wants to
place the world's greatest resort in the middle of the jungle. His
plan is to spray a super-duper new defoliant which will instantly
clear the jungle. Marina Sirtis plays a
biologist/archeologist/chemist/physicist/physician, Mrs. Wizard, who
is working in the jungle studying ... um ... important jungle
stuff that involves microscopes and Bunsen burners and numbers
scrolling on computer screens. She has an inquisitive little kid who
hangs around and asks her questions ("Gee, Mrs. Wizard ..."), and
that is the clumsy way in which the script
handles off-camera exposition and pseudo-scientific explanations.
Marina teaches Forsythe that science must be evil,
and that progress is bad, and that we would all be happy if we could
just hold hands and sing that "teach the world" Coke song,
except without the Coke, and live
in harmony with nature as the Toltecs did ... well, at least until
nature kicked their asses and made them disappear forever.
And while she's at it, Marina also teaches Forsythe
And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say
... that Forsythe's small heart grew three sizes that
The love part gave the movie its only redeeming
feature - Counselor Troi's bare chest. She had exposed the girls in
several movies way back before she got the Star Trek job, but this
is the only time she exposed her breasts on film after
playing Counselor Troi, and the only time she did a nude scene as a
mature woman. She went 14 years in between topless scenes, making
Death Wish 3 when she was 25 and this movie when she was 39. In
addition to her grainy, dark topless scene (which is further marred
by the fact that she is in motion), she also has a lot of screen
time standing still in a white t-shirt, and those scenes were shot
outside in sunlight.
By the way, did you know that her last name is supposed to be
pronounced "sir-tay"? I had no idea, but that's what her IMDb bio
says. I'm pretty sure this is some kind of bullshit, because in the
bonus features on the DVD for
Blind Date, director Nico Mastorakis refers to her as "Greek
Cypriot Marina 'sear-teece.'" Mastorakis and Sirtis are
both Greek, both their names end in "-is", and Nico is
obviously an intelligent man who speaks Greek, so you'd think he'd be
able to pronounce it right. Something doesn't add up here.
Did I mention that the film also has some silly
looking monsters that are about half human, and they are
always shown in shadow, holding their hands aloft to look more
impressive. Actually, that's not completely true. There are also some
close-ups of their eyes, with maybe a single tear, like that Indian
in the famous public service ad. Well, anyway, it turns out that they are not
monsters at all and that their DNA is quite a bit closer to human
than William Forsythe's. You see the moral, kids? If the evil Forsythe had gone ahead
with his project, he would have destroyed an entire unknown species
- people who are just like us, except hairy and scary, like your
Uncle Mike after he has too many drinks at your family's Fourth of
July beach party. Would you like Forsythe killing your Uncle Mike,
kids? Hell, no! He gave you twenty bucks for your birthday, and he
once showed you his Playboy collection.
Not to mention, as Counselor Troi reminds us,
Forsythe might also have destroyed that elusive plant she has been
looking for - the one which might cure cancer, AIDS, and
If you take away Marina's topless scene,
the film is really just a preachy, G-rated episode of Mighty Isis
without the superpowers. Think about it. Looks like it was shot on
video tape; female archeologist; kid around to ask her questions;
science and respect being taught though the plot; special effects which consist
of shaking the camera a little (at best); important moral lesson
learned at the end.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Now that I think about it, if Joanna Cameron had taken off
her top once in a while, Mighty Isis would have been pretty cool.
This movie, however, is not.
This one is also available from an importer. Region 2, PAL,
originally from Scandinavia.
Chained Heat (yes, again)
I reviewed another DVD of Chained Heat, hoping that the Dean
Wormer rape scene had been left intact. It had not. You do NOT
want to order this version of the DVD:
Not only is it cut, but the quality is no better than VHS. On
the other hand, the Anchor Bay edition which I reviewed last week
is absolutely gorgeous, and has approximately the same amount of
cuts as this one, so get the one from Anchor Bay UK, Region 2, if
you have to own one.
This edition has one positive. The Anchor Bay edition has a
widescreen theatrical A/R, while this one is a full screen version
- the good kind which uses the entire 35mm negative. For practical
purposes, that means that the Anchor Bay version cuts off Linda
Blair's breast in the shower scene. While this one is poor in
quality, it does show the entire frame, and that means all of
Linda' breasts. (It also shows, hilariously, that Sybil
Danning wore pants in the shower!)
Chained Heat is an excellent over-the-top exploitation picture
with a top-notch cast for the genre (Dean Wormer as a sex-crazed
warden - how great is that?), and I'd love to see a worthwhile
DVD. Alas, we are still waiting for a DVD with these three
characteristics: (1) top-quality (2) uncut (3) full-frame. So far,
none of the existing issues has fulfilled more than one of those
Anyway, here's the extra Linda Blair nudity:
A couple of videos:
- Here is that famous xxx video that Julie Smith and Lorissa
McComas did, in which Julie violates Lorissa with an enormous
strap-on. (Note: 52 meg, Zipped .avi)
- Here is Debra Wilson flashing her big 'uns in that TV show
about Drew Barrymore. (zipped
Steve Carell in
The trailer from 50 Ways
of Saying Fabulous
- Set in the long hot
summer of 1975, "50 Ways of Saying Fabulous"
is the beguiling story of 12 year-old Billy,
who is about to discover that growing up is
a lot more confusing than he could have ever
imagined. He is a farmer's only son who is
out of step with the other boys at his
school. They only want to fight and play
rugby; Billy tries to be the same, but feels
he was never cut out to be a farmer or a
rugby player. Instead, he would rather dream
about an imaginary life in outer space. In
this world, a turnip paddock becomes a lunar
landscape and a cow's tail a head of
beautiful blonde hair which transforms him
into "Lana" the heroine of his favourite TV
show. When Roy, arrives at Billy's school
and Jamie the sexy young farm labourer comes
to work on Billy's farm Billy’s world is
changed forever. As he learns about his
sexuality, everything he knows is called
into question, including his lifelong
friend-ship with tomboy Louise, whose world
is changing alongside his. Set in New
Zealand's stunning Central Otago landscape,
"50 Ways of Saying Fabulous" carries the
audience along with Billy as he embarks on
life as teenager.
The BBC, intending to
interview a computer expert, mistakenly brings
a cab driver to the studio and puts him on
live television for a Q & A about online music
sharing. The look on his face at the beginning
chooses the power couples formed from athletes
"The Immaturist's Guide
Pipecleaner Dance III
The complete Playstation
3 Roundup from E3
The rarest of all
baseball phenomena - a switch pitcher.
- Venditte's strength
is location, not power. He throws around 80
mph as a lefty and about 85 mph from his
natural right side.
Follow up to the story
from a few days ago...the Florida teacher that
got in trouble for her pictures on a non-nude
web site...here are more pictures.
I'll bet the guys rarely cut that class!
"Dressed to the Nines" -
National Baseball Hall of Fame's History of
the Baseball Uniform
"Porn industry the first
to offer legal downloads to DVDs"
- The technology will
allow consumers to buy a movie online, burn
it onto a DVD and watch it on a living-room
TV, not just a computer
Sleazy headline of the
Russell Crowe Did Not
Call Sharon Stone An 'Orangutan'
... Great technique from the "Have you stopped
beating your wife?" school of innuendo. Spread
a salacious rumor by placing "not" in the
headline. You could substitute just about any
noun or grammatically appropriate phrase for
"orangutan" and the story would be equally
- Russell Crowe Did
Not Call Sharon Stone A 'Jansenist'
- Russell Crowe Did
Not Call Sharon Stone A 'Flea-Bitten Nag'
- Russell Crowe Did
Not Call Sharon Stone A 'Lame Plastic Cunt'
In other headline
- Dick Cheney did not
receive massive defense contact kickbacks
- Ted Kennedy did not
rape Mother Teresa
- George Clooney and
Brad Pitt did not have an affair
Christina Aguilera Gets
Nearly-Naked For GQ
Death Of The Internet:
"Big companies are trying to own the net."
Stevie Ray Vaughan
performs Pride & Joy
"Exclusive script review
for the upcoming Jennifer Lopez and Antonio
Banderas thriller, BORDERTOWN"
going strong overseas
Sudan Passes "No Child
Left Alive" Act
The R-rated (for drug
use) trailer for What We Do is Secret
- "'What We Do is
Secret' is a biographical movie about Darby
Crash and The Germs. It starts with Darby
creating the concept of The Germs in 1975
and ends with his death in 1980. Through
this perspective, the movie will show the
birth of punk rock in Hollywood and the rise
Best Theme Park EVER!
Fantazy Land, Alexandria, Egypt.
The R-rated international
trailer for Perfume,
a thriller starring Alan Rickman and Dustin
Hoffman, and directed by Germany's film
wunderkind Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run). The
trailer has significant nudity, which should
compensate for the fact that it is in German.
Two clips from
Linklater's A SCANNER DARKLY
(and a re-mix contest, to boot)
"BUSH ORDERS NATIONAL
GUARD TO PROTECT APPROVAL RATING"
... 10,000 Troops to Prevent Supporters From
"What created this
unusually textured rock on Mars? Most
probably: a volcano."
DARFUR NAMED HOT NEW
CELEBRITY VACATION SPOT
... Vanity Fair names African genocide
epicenter "the new St. Tropez"
- “George Clooney
just came back from Darfur, Brad and
Angelina spent time there, and I hear it’s
next on Leo’s list,” said Vanity Fair editor
Graydon Carter. “If you’re a power player in
Hollywood, especially one who likes to talk
about politics, Darfur is THE place to go
CHARLIE SHEEN CLAIMS
PROSTITUTES, PORN AND DIVORCE ARE PART OF
WACKY REALITY SHOW
- "I’ve got the
reality show camera crews here as I watch
porn and prepare to have sex with a Thai
hooker who may or may not be a woman. Hey,
I’d rather be home with my wife and kids,
but this is the life I chose as an actor.”
"DAVID BLAINE PROMISES TO
DIE IN NEXT STUNT"
(assuming he doesn't die from the
after-effects of this last one.)
- "I just want my
fans to get what they really desire, says
NSA RESOLVES AMERICAN
IDOL PHONE VOTING CONTROVERSY
- "See, we told you
those phone records were a good thing."
Kiefer Sutherland Vs. The
Christmas Tree: The Video
"Paris Hilton sings about
her former best friend Nicole Richie in a
track on her new album."
- This is surely
destined to become a sing-along classic like
19 new albums are
available at "Full CD Listening Party"
- "Hear the latest
albums, track by track, before you buy them
- AOL Music"
My main man, The Filthy
Critic, reviews Poseidon
- "Raise your hand if
you thought the world wanted a remake of the
Shelly Winters disaster flick The Poseidon
Adventure. Now, take that same hand, cut it
off at the wrist and shove it up your ass,
- "It's dreadful,
pointless, mindless horseshit. If the people
who made this turd could have made a fortune
more easily selling bogus dick-enlarging
pills, they would have."
The full episode of last
night's Desperate Housewives is now available
Penelope Velasco in Crimen Ferpecto
RapidShare Video: Kira
Miro in Crimen Ferpecto
RapidShare Video: Holly
Lewis in These Girls
Caroline Dhavernas in These Girls
If you are into
Caroline Dhavernas, the charming Canadian
actress who starred in the late, lamented "Wonderfalls,"
then you really need to see Peter Greenaway's
The Tulse Luper Suitcases: The Moab Story.
Like all of Greenaway's movies it is dense and
totally disdainful of traditional narrative
structure. You'll be more than willing to
overlook that, because Dhavernas is totally
naked throughout much of the movie.
WARNING: It is a
Region 2 PAL DVD, so don't order it unless you
know how to play one of those! (Or there's a
DVD player link below, if you are interested.)
If you Americans are
interested in obtaining a DVD player which
will play the disks from any region, you may
find the following link interesting. I do not
own one of these, but I can vouch that the
people selling it are trustworthy.
Are the utility companies
jacking us off? This newsreader thinks so.
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Sinful Intrigue (1995)
Spoilers, I Suppose
This spoils the alleged plot, although it wasn't until near the end of the
film, when they started explaining it, that I even knew the film had a plot. To save
you some time, here it is, although you won't find too many traces of it in
the first 2/3 of the film.
Someone wearing a ski mask and dark clothes is terrorizing women in a
wealthy neighborhood. The attacks are sexual in nature, but the women are not
penetrated, and are left upset but unharmed. It turns out that this is all an
elaborate scheme to get one woman's money. The focus of the first two acts
is on the relationship problems between that woman and her husband, who has
intimacy issues and needs to role-play to enjoy sex with her.
IMDb readers say 4.3 based on 37 votes. This is way too high.
This is supposed to be an erotic thriller, which would require a mysterious
or violent plot, and lots of nudity from many women. It fails on both counts.
The film possesses neither a coherent plot, nor the level of nudity consistent with this
genre. Worse than that, the film is not only bad but technically incompetent
as well. It is almost totally lacking in production values, and all of the
photography, with the exception of a pool party scene, is too dark, some of it
way too dark.
This is an F.
Here are some clips from the 1993 video, Teasers. This one
involves a couple of guys who find a wallet and use the poor slob's credit card
to hire one stripper after another to come over and strut her stuff. End of
plot. A bunch of B-movie gals did the stripping, including
Julie Strain (1,
Say want you want, but the gal has legs up to her ears and when she was the on
the good side of 35 she was impressive), Lisa
Ashlie Rhey (1)
... most of the performances are of the triple-B variety. Be advised, however,
that this magum opus comes in VHS format only and so the clips are a long way
from crystal clear.
Dann reports on Chocolate:
From Showtime's "Masters of
Horror" series of mini-movies, this 2005 horror tale puts a nice twisty
ending to a fairly conventional horror gimmick: seeing things through
A newly divorced scientist who creates commercial scents for use in
products suddenly starts getting flashes of things that he isn't seeing.
Eventually, as the problem grows worse, he realizes he is experiencing the
sights and feeling of a woman.
When he sees her looking at herself in the mirror, she is beautiful,
and he falls in love. He tracks her down, but things end quite differently
than you might expect. A good horror story with some nice surprises,
especially at the end.
Pat's comments in yellow...
Friday at the Statue of Liberty, the world's largest cruise ship, Freedom of the
Sea, was christened with a bottle that held the equivalent of 34 regular bottles
of champagne. The ship carries 4,000 passengers and is already booked up
through 2008. It's so big, even the captain says he's still discovering new
parts of it. It has 2,000 deck chairs, a 9700-square-foot gym with boxing ring,
an ice rink and a big wave pool with simulated surfing. The
bow stands above the water higher than the elevation of the Eiffel Tower,
and can carry 160,000 registered tons, about four times more than the Titanic.
* But don't worry: this ship is so big, if it hit the
iceberg the Titanic hit, the iceberg would sink.
George Michael finally got his Range Rover back after his recent traffic
infractions, so he went out cruising London bars again Thursday night. The Sun
tabloid reported that he fell asleep at a traffic light and it changed four
times before one of the many drivers stuck behind him angrily rapped on his
window. Michael woke up, moved forward, knocked over a highway post, then drove
on. A witness described him as sweating heavily, looking wasted and driving
with his iPod on.
* Obviously, George just doesn't care how many times he
gets rear-ended by
On Mother's Day, the US government announced that for the 10th straight
year, Emily and Jacob are the most popular baby names. For some reason,
Ava has risen from #952 in 1990 to #9 last year. And in Texas, the most
popular baby name was Jose
* Well, to be precise, that was the only baby
name in Texas.