TV Round-Up

Claire Forlani's body double had to work overtime in last night's episode. Eva Green had the week off, since evil Morgan le Fey (usually Eva) was disguised as good Queen Igrayne (Claire) while the real Igrayne was held captive. So:

  • Wearing a flimsy, diaphanous gown, Igrayne was bathed while chained up.
  • Morgan (looking like Igrayne) bathed herself. This appears to be part of a ritual that allows her to change her appearance.
  • Morgan (looking like Igrayne) had sex with Merlin (looking like Shakespeare in love).

That plot line gave Claire Forlani three nude and see-through scenes, and she seems to have used a body double for all three. (I'm not sure about the see-through.) You have to wonder why they cast her, knowing there would be multiple nude scenes, and knowing she would not do them. If all those conditions were really known in advance, why not just hire an attractive 40ish actress who is willing to get naked and still looks good in the buff? There must be in inside story there, but I don't know what it is. Yes, Claire is still gorgeous, and she is a good actress. (She did a good impersonation of Eva Green's intonations and mannerisms.) But surely there are actresses who could have fit the role and would also have looked good naked.

Tamsin Egerton did show a breast in a short sex scene


Barney's Version

Barney's Version is  a Canadian screen adaptation of a novel by famed Canadian author Mordecai Richler. Richler is sort of the Canadian Philip Roth, an outspoken, sometime raunchy chronicler of life in the Jewish community of his youth. His stories are often based on the places and people who occupied his childhood in a blue-collar ethnic neighborhood in Montreal. Richler's sensibilities were formed by his having been part of a third level of disrespect: English speakers are outnumbered and often scorned in Quebec; within that minority Jews are outnumbered and often scorned by Christians; and within that minority everyday blue-collar Jews tend to be looked down upon by the snobby successful ones. Richler uses all three of those conditions as a backdrop, or maybe a frontdrop, for his novels. The most famous of Richler's novels, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, was made into a prestigious, if little-seen, 1974 film starring Richard Dreyfuss, who was then hot off his success in American Graffiti. Duddy Kravitz took in a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Film (Canada being the foreign country), and the screenplay by Lionel Chetwynd was nominated for an Oscar.

In simplest terms, Barney's Version is the life story of a blunt, crude fellow who finds his true love on the day of his second wedding to another woman, but Richler is a serious author, so there's a lot more going on than can be summed up by that catch phrase.

There are actually three main stories going on in Barney's Version. The central story is Barney's pursuit of his true love. The second is Barney's relationship with his dad, a Montreal beat cop played by Dustin Hoffman. The third is a murder mystery. Well, sorta. A Montreal detective believes that Barney (Paul Giamatti) shot and killed his friend Boogie. This is not an unreasonable assumption, given that Barney is known to have fired two shots after having caught Boogie in the sack with Barney's second wife. Did Barney commit the crime? Even he does not know. He and Boogie were both extremely drunk and playing with a gun on a private boat dock. Barney fired a shot in Boogie's direction and passed out. When Barney regained consciousness, Boogie was gone. On the other hand, Boogie, a junkie and a free-spirit, was known to disappear for years without telling anyone, and his body was never found. So ...

Of the three central threads, the only one I truly enjoyed was the loving relationship between Barney and his outspoken dad. The love story is movie business as usual, and the murder mystery is mostly unmysterious and unsatisfying as a sub-plot, but Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman are two of the greatest character actors of their respective generations, and they are absolutely magnificent when they perform together, whether engaging in witty banter or mushy sentiment. Barney's second wedding is the best scene in the film. Barney and his dad get falling-down drunk and are obviously fish out of water in the company of Barney's snobby in-laws. Barney's dad shocks most of the staid crowd by telling raunchy and violent cop stories, but dad seems downright dignified compared to Barney, who spends the entire reception drinking sloppily, watching hockey, offending his father-in-law, and flirting with another woman, who he then pursues to the Montreal train station, thus abandoning his own wedding. That woman turns out to be his true love.

If the rest of the film had retained more of the high spirits and iconoclasm of that wedding, Barney's Version could have been an excellent film. Unfortunately, the plot degenerates into maudlin scenes about Barney's eventual Alzheimer's disease, although that specific term is never spoken aloud. Barney goes from being a likeable curmudgeon in the first half, to a pathetic and helpless old man in the finale. Since the feisty personalities of Barney and his dad are the only elements that make the film work, the film simply grinds to a halt when they are gone. Unfortunately, the author and director did not seem to realize that. The film runs more than two hours. After an hour I was completely absorbed with Barney's Version. After 90 minutes I was looking at my watch, trying to figure out how much longer things would drag on. After 120 minutes I was wishing to be a religious man, so I could pray for deliverance from this film.


  • * 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.



Four Rooms


Ione Skye. Captures below.


Sammi Davis and Ione Skye. Captures below.


Alicia Witt (no real nudity). Captures below.






Johnny Moronic's comments:

Let's continue with the lost Australian VHS classics

Ebbtide is a 1994 thriller (possibly erotic thriller) set in Adelaide about a hotshot lawyer Jeff Warren (US actor Harry Hamlin) who takes over the cases of his long time buddy who is killed while investigating a case against a company accused of polluting the water around its plant which resulted in the death of a boy fishing nearby. Turns out his friend is nothing more than an ambulance chaser who stumbled onto this case because his mother wants justice, but what Jeff finds is a massive cover-up involving its two owners Ellen and Harry Fielding (New Zealand actress Judy McIntosh and John Waters). Jeff becomes obsessed with Ellen, and they begin an affair, which the Fieldings will use to frame Jeff for the murder of the real Harry Fielding (don't ask). And then...

Well, Ebbtide starts off earnestly enough before it loses the plot completely as soon as Judy McIntosh hits the screen (not her fault). The film devolves into a pointless erotic thriller and any plot momentum goes straight out the window. But then the early 90s is full of dodgy erotic thrillers cashing in on Basic Instinct (hell, Harry Hamlin was in another called Save Me, remember that?). John Waters sleepwalks through his limited screen time. Then there's the ending, which is absolutely preposterous. An open ending for a film like this, really? It's a shame about director Craig Lahiff because he's a decent genre director (Coda, Fever, Heaven's Burning... dodgy Russell Crowe sideburns and all), but this and his previous Strangers are utter stinkers, only memorable by morons like me who remember the nude scenes in them (note to self: find a copy of Strangers for Anne Looby's nude scene).

Just a reminder, these collages and videos are from a VHS, so it's not perfect, but perfectly watchable.

Judy McIntosh film clips. Collages below.


one more film clip of an unidentified actress



Film Clips

Tiffany Shepis, last of the scream queens, in The Violent Kind (2010). see below.

somebody else in The Violent Kind. See below.

Emily Meade in Burning Palms (2010). See below.

Anna Koenig in Freunde Von Frueher (2009). See below.

Lenna Simonetta in Freunde Von Frueher (2009). See below.

Joan Allen in Off the Map (2003) in full 1080p resolution. See below.

Mara Lorenzio and Paula Romo in 1970's El Topo in 720p. See Lorenzio below.



Patti Davis in More magazine at age 58

Anna Paquin in True Blood

Jenny Agutter in the sci-fi classic Logan's Run

Kate Upton

Geri Haliwell