Shadows in the Sun
An uptight corporate book editor flies from London to a small town in Tuscany
with the mission of enlisting a reclusive Salinger-style former writer to end
two decades of literary abstinence. While the city boy is in Italy:
- The simple and warm people of Tuscany melt the editor's frosty uptight
- The editor learns much about writing from the crusty old writer, enough
to rediscover his own desire to write.
- The editor also learns much about life from the legendary writer. The
two men form a relationship very similar to that of the lusty Zorba and the shy Basil in Zorba the Greek, so similar in fact that the two
men even have a variation on the "teach me to dance" scene. In
another classic Zorbaesque scene, the lusty writer offers to sign the contract if the
uptight editor will kiss his ass in a crowded cafe.
- The writer (Keitel) also has a really smokin'-hot daughter (Claire
Forlani) and the handsome young editor (Joshua Jackson) predictably falls in
love with her.
- The writer eventually rediscovers what he had lost from his own life.
- The editor eventually rediscovers what he had lost from his own life as
well. And I don't just mean his artistic sense of abandon, or his writing talent,
or the love he had been missing. He also becomes part of a new family, and a
new community, and a better system of hair care, then discovers the Fountain of Youth and the cure for cancer,
and finally locates both Judge Crater and Amelia Earhart, who are living in
the same modest Tuscan village.
As you have undoubtedly already determined, this film manages to
incorporate just about every possible arty chick-flick
cliché. It's Under the Tuscan Sun meets Winter Passing meets Zorba the Greek. As if all that weren't phony enough, the hot daughter speaks with an
Italian accent that would embarrass John Cleese. Mind you, she has been raised
by one parent - an American - for the past twenty years, so she would be very
unlikely to have any accent at all while speaking English. That alone should have
been enough to dissuade the director from allowing the character to speak
broken English, but he certainly should have put his foot down and stopped it when he heard Forlani assay the dialect.
If the elements above actually appeal to you, or at least fail to scare you
off, the film's execution is not
bad. You've seen it all before and you're probably heard every line of
dialogue and seen every set piece in other, better movies, but it's filmed and
performed with heart by pros, so the story will find an appreciative audience
among those with a taste for more sentimental movies, especially among younger
Whether is is your kind of movie or not, you do NOT want the Region 1 DVD,
which is some kind of Disneyfied version of the original movie, which was
called The Shadow Dancer. The film has been truncated, censored, and cropped!
First matter: it has been formed into a TV-friendly aspect ratio through
pan-n-scan cropping. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 2.35:1. The DVD
version is presented in a 4:3 TV version. That is, as you might imagine, a
very big difference.
The cropping has an especially deleterious impact on this film's outdoor
scenes, which often consist of expansive panoramas of the beautiful Tuscan
What's worse that that, at least for those of us who think Forlani is one
of the world's great beauties, is the fact that the film has been censored. Claire's topless
scene has been cut, and (far less significant to most of us) Harvey Keitel's
standard obligatory nude scene has also been cut!
To tell you the truth, I am no longer as outraged about that as I was
originally. I looked closely at the Forlani nude scene, and realized it didn't
really matter since (1) you can't see jack squat anyway (2) it probably isn't
Forlani at all! You can draw your own conclusions, but I'm just about 100%
sure that it is not Forlani. The following capture is a 4x enlargement from
the sex scene. Even though her face is clearly visible, my opinion is that
it's just a pretty girl who looks something like Forlani. Forlani has a very
distinctive profile, and this doesn't seem to be it:
The following images and
this film clip are NOT taken from the DVD, but from the film clip by
Devilworks. Pay especial attention to the face of the girl in the movie clip
version of the sex scene. Forlani or not?
* Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).
* White asterisk:
Blue asterisk: not mine.
No asterisk: it probably
Catch the deluxe
version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles,
Stolen Sex Tapes
Stolen Sex Tapes is "couples erotica" presented in the thriller format, light
on the thrills.
Sydnee Steele plays a local news commentator known for a short editorial at
the end of each broadcast. She has paid her dues, and is so good that she is
about ready to sign a network deal. The newscaster has hired a new agent to find
her the best network deal, and has even slept with her to improve her
motivation, but she has a small kink that might spoil her plans. She tapes all
her sex acts. This becomes a huge problem when she gets robbed, and the missing
items include sex tapes of her and her political candidate boyfriend, who had
been unaware of the taping.
The person who stole the tapes did so for someone else, but watches them with
his girlfriend, after which the two have great sex, and he decides to ask for
more money. We are to assume that the thief works for the political opponent,
who is a sleazebag. So, who was behind the theft? Will Sydnee get her job?
Will her boyfriend win the election without resorting to dirty campaigning?
Syndee Steele shows everything, first in living color and then B & W when the
tapes are played. Bobbi Harper, as the agent, shows everything in the girl/girl
with Sydnee, and then has sex with the network guru. Cecelia Simon shows
everything as the girlfriend of the thief. An unknown hooker shows everything
offering a dirty story to discredit the political opponent.
IMDb readers say 4.0, but based on nearly no votes.
This is a C. It will never break into my top soft core list, but is not a bad
watch. It's a decent genre effort, and should get you laid if you watch it with
someone of the appropriate gender.
It is now available from RLDVDs.com on a dual region (1 and 4) DVD with the
original English soundtrack, and optional Spanish subtitles. The DVD also has an
English trailer and a "making of" faaturette, also in English. Click on the
picture below for purchase details.
The GAL was the Spanish government's anti-terrorist wing. They killed the
members of ETA, who were in France under politic asylum. After France
started treating them as terrorists, the GAL were quiet for a year when
suddenly an innocent man was blown up in France. He was not their first
Journalists Manuel (Jose Garcia) and Marta (Natalia Verbeke), working
under editor Pablo (Abel Folk), get an anonymous tip and are soon on the
trail of GAL head Ariza (Jordi Molla). As the complex tale unwinds
involving high-level government corruption and incompetence, both of the
journalists get roughed up by heavies. The movie moves between present
and past, introducing a plethora of lawyers, mercenaries and politicians.
Sadly Natalia only uncovers the government's plot and not her luscious
body, but some uncredited girls show a lot of skin.
Notes and collages
Jolie Day 1 - Mojave Moon
Note: the numbering starts at three because RW did
two from this movie back in December.
There's no nudity in the TV series Ugly Betty (2006) but there are some very
nice scantily dressed women.
From the episode Fake Plastic Snow we have Mini Anden,
and from Sofia's Choice we have pokies by Salma Hayek
and Vanessa Williams.
Again, no nudity in Striking Distance (1993) but Sarah Jessica Parker is very
nicely undressed, and ready for bed.
The Art of Murder
Full frontal nudity in The Art of Murder (1999). It is supposed to be Joanna
Pacula but it is her body double Sheri Noel.
Out of Season
There is more full frontal nudity in the British movie Out of Season (1975).
It is supposed to be Susan George but it is probably a body double.
Vanessa Redgrave is shown topless but it's not the best quality.
Alfie Darling (1975) is a sequel to the original Alfie and has some nice
topless nudity by
and Annie Ross.
Plus some sexy views of
and Sheila White.
Stranded (2006) is an average made-for-TV horror movie. No nudity just plenty
of eye candy by
Brienne De Beau
and Jessica Lauren.
Caroleen Feeney is topless in Bad Manners (1997).
The nudity in Surrender (1987) is brief and comes from some extras in a
robbery scene where all the victims are forced to strip.
Sally Field is one of the victims but, although she looks good, the most we see
is Sally in her underwear.
Mozart and the Whale
Also down to her underwear is Radha Mitchell in Mozart and the Whale (2005).
2 become 1
It's a similar situation by Miriam Yuen in the Honk Kong movie 2 become 1 aka
Tin sun yut dui (2006).
It's pokies and an upskirt by Julia Sufvenius in the Swedish movie Saraband
Two for the Money
No nudity in Two for the Money (2005). Jaime King is supposed to be topless
but, instead of a nipple outline, we can see an outline of the nipple tap she is