Finding Amanda


A comedy writer who has lost hot-shot status (Matthew Broderick) finds himself in writer's purgatory, scripting a third-rate TV sitcom. He got himself there through his addictions to drugs, alcohol, and gambling, which led him to miss a lot of appointments, tell a lot of lies, and screw over a lot of people. As the film begins he's doing well at staying off the drugs and booze, but is just as addicted to gambling as ever, and is lying about it to his long-suffering wife. She's about at the end of her tether with his behavior, but has resolved to give him one last chance to redeem himself by persuading a prodigal niece to enter rehab. That will be no small task since the niece is fairly content with her prosperous and independent life as a Nevada hooker, and is well aware that her uncle needs rehab a lot more than she does. Making the task even more difficult is the fact that the gambling-addicted uncle is trying to perform his mission of mercy while surrounded by Las Vegas in all of its glory.

I enjoyed seeing Matthew Broderick playing a lying, hard-cussing dissolute. It's the type of role in which we might reasonably expect to see Don Johnson or Michael Madsen, but the presence of Broderick in the role tends to invest it with a greater humanity and warmth, and that in turn lets us appreciate the character as a man rather than a movie stereotype. Unfortunately, that's about all the film has. Poor ol' Broderick needs a hit. A couple of years ago The Last Shot went almost directly to video (after a perfunctory theatrical release), and Finding Amanda is going to repeat that experience without the "almost."

It's a disappointingly conflicted movie. Is it a drama? Is it a black comedy? It certainly seems like a comedy at times, but it has two problems which will cause it to lose its connection to comedy audiences:

(1) There are moments of intense drama. Broderick gets his hands broken by a pimp. The niece is beaten by her boyfriend. In another scene, the reality of her life finally manages to erode her cheerful facade, and she weeps uncontrollably.

(2) The comedy takes a "nudge-nudge" attitude toward subjects which some, perhaps many, will consider off-limits for cheap laughs. The niece talks about being repeatedly raped by another uncle over an eight-month period, and Broderick responds cavalierly, "And I thought I was a bad uncle." I'm all in favor of letting comedy seek humor in dark places with no restrictions, but that particular one-liner, in the casual context, made me cringe rather than laugh.

The film doesn't work very well as a drama, either. For one thing, the characterization is too one-dimensional. The niece's creepy boyfriend is obviously not a real character, but a farcical exaggeration. For another thing, some of the plot details are not buttoned up enough to work in a realistic storyline. There is a matter of a missing $186,000, which seems to be an important enough plot element to occupy many minutes of exposition - until the film ends without explaining what happened to it! Finally, the film is too ambivalent about the moral issues it essays, so it gives off mixed messages about the niece's life as a hooker. Is she a pragmatist who is building financial security faster than any of us could dream of, or is she forever destroying her humanity? Apparently both. Or neither. Hard to say.

Overall, one would have to call Finding Amanda a dark comedy, but the proper tone for black comedy is difficult to find and maintain, and this script never seems to hone in on it. The film walks an uneasy line between social relevance and broad farce, never commits to either, sometimes lapses into bad taste, and never seems to find the balance necessary to deliver a satisfying film.


This film clip features two women in various stages of undress. I don't know who plays the topless stripper on stage. The other woman, the one who waxes her ass with Nair, is Jennifer Rau.




  • * 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.







Babewatch: Forbidden Parody

Today we have a lame beach movie, Babe Watch: Forbidden Parody, aka Bikini Academy. The highlight of this one is a fair amount of boobage.

Raelyn Saalman stars as she is a cute one with nice tits. Caps and two clips.


The Venerable Tane McClure also shows off her assets. Caps and two clips.


Ashlie Rhey winds us up with a lovemaking scene. Caps and two clips.








Notes and collages

The Rapture


Mimi Rogers in HD










Tomb is your typical vengeful mummy shit made infinitely worse by the directive talents of Fred Olen Ray. Two women get topless, although that terms is a gross misnomer for one of them. That would be the pneumatic Kitten Natividad, playing the part of a stripper. She shakes 'em and she bakes 'em.


Film clip here. Sample right.

Other topless gal in Tomb is Dawn Wildsmith. If all one did was count the number of movies in Dawn's resume one would say she had a successful career. Yes one would. What would one say, however, if one looked at the titles of said movies and the roles she played in them? Why bother?


Film clip here. Sample right.

Another clip from Tomb is of Michelle Bauer as the mummy-like character with a dress cut down to her navel. But she is not nekkid and never gets nekkid, which makes no damn sense at all. Fred, what were you thinking? You pay Michelle Bauer to appear in a movie and then never get her clothes off???? Michelle would get nekkid in a film about the religious practices of Carmelite nuns, if you asked her nicely enough. And as you can see from this film clip, the gal was looking mighty good 25 years ago.













Part 1 of 2

I've done some hi-def collages and movies of Kelly Craig and Lena Headey in "300." The hi-def movies are at 1280x720 (OAR of 1280x544) and they look great. I'm working on different compression settings to find that right compromise between quality and file size, and these are a lot more efficient than my previous hi-def movies.

Lena Headey film clip. Collages follow below.


Kelly Craig tomorrow








Lisa Arturo in Cattle Call


Even more pics and collages of China Chow hanging out topless on the Riviera with Keanu



Iris Berben in Companeros. This is from very early in her career.



Film Clips

Two women from Touch Me (a 29-minute film made in 1993): Claudia Karvan and Gosia Dobrowolska. I really don't know anything about Gosia, but IMDb says she starred in something called "Tydzien z zycia mezczyzny" in 1999, then disappeared. My theory is that somebody was able to get her to say it backwards and sent her back to the fifth dimension. As for Claudia, she's a popular Aussie actress who has appeared in two dozen films and has also had starring roles in popular TV shows. She also had a small part in Revenge of the Sith (as Sola Naberrie).

Alice Poon in The Corruptor

Linnea Quigley in Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. Although it is rated a paltry 3.1 at IMDb, this is the only Fred Olen Ray film I've ever enjoyed. 74 of Fred's films are graded at IMDb, and not a single one is at 5.0 or higher. I think that must be a record. His fellow King Bee and occasional collaborator Jim Wynorski has 62 rated films, but one of them somehow snuck up to 5.03! (I also like one Wynorski film: Deathstalker II, which cracks me up.)

Mariel Hemingway in Fourplay

Rachael Taylor in Shutter. Horror movie that came out in March. Did OK; opening weekend was ten mill, grossed 25 mill altogether. I haven't seen it.

This last one is a "making of" featurette which shows Kylie Minogue doing some backstage prep for a music video in 2002. She is in a wet, white t-shirt with no bra, all but topless. (Sample right.)