Venus is Peter O'Toole's latest variation on the same theme he's been playing for most of his career, one that has stamped role after role with his own wit, intelligence, quirky charm and heart. Mostly heart. That's really what distinguishes him, isn't it? He is perhaps the most blatantly sentimental famous actor of his generation. The gushing of Richard Harris was leavened by a certain mad, macho ferocity. The gentleness of Michael Caine has always been tempered by a roguish carnality. Richard Farnsworth was locked out of effusive emotional displays by the natural reserve of the gentlemen of the American West. But there has never been anything ferocious or reserved about Peter O'Toole, and he's at his best when he can stay on the  fey side of sexuality. He just seems to be out there with his heart on his sleeve, puckish but wise, and seeming to possess infinite layers of compassion - a man who has seen too much malice and always understood it, but forgave it anyway.

This time he's wooing a woman barely out of high school (actress Jessie Whittaker is 24), even though O'Toole is 74 and looks ten years older, and is playing a character who is impotent, incontinent, and dying of cancer. He can't provide much in the way of hanky-panky, and his beloved is actually quite thankful for that, and yet there is genuine sexual love between them, and their talks are the playful banter of lovers, not the asexual chit-chat of a grandfather and his favorite granddaughter. There is the kind of mutual mocking and hesitant suggestion that marks our courtship rituals, and there is even some nudity and a tiny bit of physical contact. It is a testimony to O'Toole's unique genius that he can play an 80-year-old man telling a 20-year-old girl that he has been thinking of her "cunt" and not only avoid the concomitant creepiness vibe, but actually make it sound as if he were serenading her with a love song, or reading from a very vivid translation of the Song of Solomon. The important point is that there is a physical love connection between them, if not in the normal sense.

I suppose O'Toole is the greatest performer never to have won an Oscar. O'Toole's alpha and omega nominations are more than four decades apart. He was nominated again for this role, and lost again, this time to Forest Whitaker. His first nomination came for his iconic portrayal of Lawrence of Arabia, a performance which would probably have won in 90% of Oscar's years, but O'Toole ran up against a performance which, while perhaps not requiring as much talent as Lawrence of Arabia, may be the single most beloved portrayal in screen history - Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. When O'Toole lost that one, he had his passionate defenders who thought he should have won, but nobody gave it all that much thought because O'Toole was a mere stripling, still in his twenties when he played Lawrence, and he was obviously possessed of such prodigious talent and good looks that he would win many future Oscars. Didn't happen. He has picked up eight nominations, but has come home empty-handed each time. He's a feisty ol' fucker, though, and continues to make two or three films a year, so he may do it yet.

Venus is one of those films much beloved by critics but with very little broad-based appeal. It is rated 82 at Metacritic, and received 88% positive reviews, including 100% from the top critics. In spite of that it grossed an anemic $3 million and is rated a sturdy but uninspired 7.3 at IMDb. I image that a composite critic and a composite mainstream moviegoer would have a dialogue like this:

CRITIC: I have to see so many films, that it's wonderful for me when something like this comes along - so original, so quirky, so filled with real characters and witty banter. Thumb up!

AVERAGE JOE: I suppose all that is true, but I see only four or five films a year, and I'm not going to spend one of my movie nights on a film about a dotty old dying grandpa who's hitting on a young girl. I was hoping for something with a little more energy.

So it goes.

My head can sympathize with both positions, but my heart came down on the same side as the critics. I enjoyed the film. Of course, I seem to enjoy almost everything O'Toole does (My Favorite Year is one of my favorite films), so maybe I'm not Mr. Objective in this case.

Film clip



* 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 King


The King is a difficult film to classify. A young man named Elvis (Gael Garcia Bernal) is discharged from the Navy. We learn that he is the son of a prostitute. His father is a man who has become a minister, and now has two kids, a wife, a big home in Corpus Christi and congregation that thinks he is special. Elvis heads to Texas to meet his father. The preacher (William Hurt) is not thrilled to see him, and rejects him. The rest of the story is about revenge.


First, he seduces his half sister, Mallory (Pell James), kills her brother and hides the body, gets Mallory pregnant, kills her and her mother, then goes to William Hurt with blood on his hands and tells him he needs to get right with God.


The film is well made. It also asks questions about the sincerity of fundamentalist Christianity. On the other had, it is thoroughly depressing. It is a C+, but one with a very narrow audience.

  • IMDb readers say 6.7.
  • Ebert awards 3.5 stars.

Rare Licensed DVDs has a much better price than Amazon on this disk - about half price on a new one!

The King (2005)


Pell James


Victoria Bernal









Foxy Brown

The Time Machine is in 1974.


Juanita Brown in bra & Panties, but look closely as you  can see some "Fuzz-Buzz" through those transparent panties.


Juanita is joined by Pam Grier who is just teasing at this point.


More tease from Pam Grier and then she's a "Babe In Bondage" and those magnificent boobs come tumbling out.


Sally Ann Stroud topless in bed before she has her throat slit by two intruders.



"Hooter Time" with that fabulous Redhead Sharon Kelly.


And top it off with two topless unknowns.








Vacances Mortelles

Typical horror film, where a group of friends go to an island and start dying one by one. Anne Caillon plays a con-artist that joins the group while getting away from the police and finds herself in an even worst situation. Stephanie Pasterkamp is also in the movie, and I always like to watch her, hope you like her too.



Anne Caillon



Stephanie Pasterkamp



Constance Dolle








Notes and collages

Jolie Day 3 - Gia

This series starts at #2. The first one appeared back in December

Angelina Jolie










The Dead Girl

Outstanding writing by director/writer Karen Moncrieff and amazing performances by a top notch cast make this 2006 drama/mystery a great movie that is far more than just a crime drama.

A woman (Toni Collette) who lives with her extremely abusive mother finds a dead young woman in a field. In reverse chronological order, the lives of six women, some strangers, who directly or indirectly touched the life of the dead girl, are detailed, ending with a look at her life immediately before she was killed.

This is an amazingly powerful drama that took my breath away. It would be good just for the great acting, but the script is just dynamite. This is a must-see movie that deserves a lot more acclaim than it got.

Kerry Washington Mary Beth Hurt Toni Collette

Mr Skin pays tribute to the obscure films of Marilyn Joi

Coffy. I gotta get me that red suit.
Mean Mother  
Naughty Stewardesses
Nurse Sherri
The Student Teachers
Tender Loving Care

Salma Hayek in Ask the Dust

Ana Claudia Talancon in Alone With Her (film clips)


Asia Argento shows off the cleavage.

Somewhat of an upgrade of one of the most famous pictures of Monica Bellucci

If you like women wit a little meat on their bones, here's a film clip of Susan Allenback in Dirty Shame
The Tudors, Season 1, Episode Six. (Film clip) Rebecca Friberg and Fiona Ryan

The Tudors, Season 1, Episode Seven. (Film Clip). Amy Hastings