The Last Time

Michael Keaton plays a cynical hotshot salesman in a big New York technology firm, and Brendan Fraser plays a Midwesterner who is new to the company's sales force. They say Ol' Fraser was a superstar back in the corn belt, but the hick is lost in the Apple, so he gets paired with Keaton in the hope that some of the latter's tough urban savvy will rub off. The strategy needs to work soon, because their division is struggling and needs big numbers from both of them, but the hayseed just doesn't seem to get it. He not only fails, but he starts to bring his mentor down as well, so the pressure escalates on both of them ...

... and then just when you think you're going to watch Boiler Room 2, the film starts to go off in some really wild directions.

The Last Time is an uneasy hybrid of two genres that don't really go together: the talky "shallow world of business" exposé, and the erotic thriller. It's Glengarry Glen Ross meets Body Heat. In the pantheon of famous combinations, that's not likely to unseat chocolate and peanut butter for the Jovian throne. After all, the whole point of "business sucks" movies is to expose the tribulations and emptiness of everyday existence: the shallow associates, the pressure to produce at all costs, the stress on family life, and so forth. It completely destroys the point if it turns out that everyday life is not really so bad, and in fact would be quite livable except for the shady over-the-top scheming and diabolical machinations of a few monsters who ultimately destroy our lives with dramatic plot twists.

I'm not going to tell you how that all worked out. As a general rule I don't mind spoiling the plot of minor films, because I often ask "what's wrong with the film," and the answer is often "the plot," so the problem is impossible to describe without some spoilers. And after all, these essays are reviews, not previews, so some spoiling is sometimes inevitable. If a film sucks because of an improbable ending, for example, it's difficult to make that point without showing precisely how the ending is ruled out based on previous plotting. The case here, however, is quite exceptional. It is a totally plot-driven film and the presentation is really not as clever as it may have been because the director spoiled the surprises too early. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the hyperbolic plot twists and didn't really see the last one coming, so I don't want to ruin the film for you.

You're thinking, "So then what the hell did you enjoy about a plot-driven film with plotting problems."

A few things:

1. Michael Keaton. I wish he would work more. This guy seems to go so long between appearances, and it's a shame because he's really a fascinating actor. He has a way of always seeming lost in thought, a posture of "OK, I'm mouthing some words, but I have something completely different going on in my head." He creates great moments with pauses and quirky missteps that would hurt just about any other actor, but work for him. He fires off comedic riffs and insults with deadly accurate timing, but he can also use his mannerisms to reach out to an audience with an assurance that he knows what's really going on. The other characters in the drama may think they know what's happening, and we in the audience may think we do, but Michael is always the guy who's really on top of it, and his tongue will show the rest of us no mercy if we're too dense to catch on. He has that Bogartian ability to convey that he's jaded, but not really. I've scoffed every time somebody has proposed a remake of Casablanca with an actor like Ben Affleck or Sean Penn, and I'll continue to do so, but if anybody could pull off Bogie's "cynical exterior masking an idealist's heart," Keaton would be the man.

Is there any other actor like Keaton? Kevin Spacey and Kurt Russell are close. Kurt's essential screen persona is equally dismissive of pussies and fools, but Kurt is more laid-back, less pensive. In this film Keaton plays a sensitive college professor turned ruthless business shark, and it's easy to imagine him in both roles. It's difficult to picture Kurt Russell lecturing about Matthew Arnold's poetry to an honors class at Northwestern, but Keaton can pull that off.  Of course, Spacey could pull that off as well, but the difference is that Keaton could make it seem positively rock-star macho!

The Last Time wandered into a few theaters in New York and LA in May, but it was fundamentally a straight-to-DVD release, and while I'm saddened to see a favorite like Keaton appear in a non-theatrical B movie, I'm pleased to say that he makes the entire experience worth the watch. I can't think of anyone else who could have pulled off the "snarky guy turned romantic" role quite so well.

2. This film has quite a wicked sense of humor. Keaton delivers most of the zingers, but some of the others get their licks in as well.

3. I didn't exactly figure out the biggest plot surprise. I knew something big was coming, but the script was deft enough to convince me that it was something completely different.

4. Former supermodel Amber Valletta is, of course, gorgeous. with a great smile. Looks like a younger version of Cameron Diaz.

I wasn't the only one to enjoy the film. It's rated a solid 6.4 at IMDb. Critics, however, were not forgiving of the film's flaws and it scores a weak 38 at Metacritic.

Film clips:

Amber Valletta. There are two versions of one of the clips. The DVD includes a widescreen and full screen version. The widescreen version of this clip is longer because a topless Valletta entered from the side of the screen. On the other hand, the full screen version is bigger (the meaningful raw output is 720 x 480, compared to 720 x 304), and it's also a bit brighter, so ...

Various unknowns. One early scene takes place in a strip/lapdance club, and there is a deleted scene in which Brendan Fraser bangs some random woman at a party. I don't know who any of them are.


Damn these scenes were dark, but here's what I came up with ... (It's Amber, of course.)



* 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.








Sexual Magic


IMDb lists this as a horror film, which will surely lead to some major disappointments for horror lovers. It actually belongs to the genre of "couples erotica," and the supernatural aspect centers on the ever-popular subject of witchcraft as practiced by large-breasted college coeds. Not unexpectedly, most of the spells have to do with sex, so there are numerous male/female and female/female couplings.

There is also plenty of solo action but presumably they did not need witchcraft to masturbate.

Jacy Andrews is top of her class with straight As, and is engaged to the rich hunk Jared Lincoln. The only challenge in her life is that she needs to find a new apartment. She finds the perfect place, sharing with Amber Newman, Jezebelle Bond, Tenna Kai and Nikki Fairchild. What Jacy doesn't know is that the other four are witches looking for a fifth to complete the coven. To make matters worse, one of them practices black magic and covets everything Jacy has.

The film consists almost entirely of rather lame rituals followed by simulated sex, with some occasional narration by Jacy lest you get lost. On our scale, this is still a C-, as it does have five well known women who do full frontal and rear nudity, and lots of simulated sex, thus meeting the genre minimums.  If any of these women are among your favorites, you will certainly see lots of them here.

It is available from in a dual region (1 and 4) English Language edition with optional Spanish Subtitles.

Sexual Magic (2001)

Jacy Andrews, Amber Newman, Jezebelle Bond, Tenna Kai and Nikki Fairchild show everything.



Jacy Andrews


Amber Newman


Teanna Kai


Nikki Fairchild


Jezebelle Bond








Night Fire



Shannon Tweed shows breasts during a "Babe In Bondage" scene as she is tied to the bed, then more breast action in the shower and on the run from a guy trying to kill her.


Rochelle Swanson also shows off her hooters.








Notes and collages

Die Another Day


The Rich Man's Wife

Halle in The Rich Man's Wife.

 Halle was a Bond girl in Die Another Day ...








Lucky Number Slevin


Slevin Kelevra (Josh Hartnett) finds himself in the middle of a war between two big-time crime bosses, 'The Boss,' (Morgan Freeman), and 'The Rabbi,' (Sir Ben Kingsley), both of who mistake Slevin  for a man named Nick Fisher, someone with a $96-thousand-dollar gambling debt.

Forcibly convinced by both The Boss and The Rabbi to do something he doesn't want to do, Slevin draws the eye of Detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci), who smells trouble and is hot on Slevin's trail. Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis), is an infamous assassin who is trailing Slevin as well, but he also seems to be playing both sides, helping The Boss and The Rabbi against each other, so his true intentions are unknown.

With four pairs of eyes all focused on him, The Boss, The Rabbi, Detective Brikowski and Mr. Goodkat, Slevin has to plan his way out of this mess before he gets killed or imprisoned.


Jennifer Miller




Lucy Liu









The latest film clips to match some of LC's earlier collages:
Hannah Whalley in Haunted Boat

Viva Wei Hua in Lethal Angels






Abigail Clancy paparazzi (UK sports girlfriend)

Bai Ling out and about and - shock! - a gigantic nipple falls out

Beyonce - maybe some areolae, maybe not. (Images too small to make it out clearly.)

Nika McGuigan in The Tudors

Scarlett Johansson ... butt-crack in Barcelona. Surprisingly, that is also the title of Woody Allen's new film.

Film clips:

Marie Ravel in La Bande Du Drugstore (2002)

Natasha Alam in Shadow Puppets (2007) Comes to DVD in about a week. Natasha was born in the same city as my daughter - Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Franka Potente in Bin ich schoen? (1998 - same year as Run Lola Run.)

Finally, Marvin's collages of Mari Maurstad, to go with his recent videos from Drommeslottet







The Comedy Wire

New Scientist magazine reports that male dogs may soon be able to escape being fixed, thanks to the Australian company Peptech. They've developed a contraceptive implant that blocks testosterone and sperm production in dogs for up to a year. It curbs breeding and aggression, but it's reversible, so your dog can breed later on if you want him to.

* Hillary had one of these implanted into Bill, just until the campaign’s over.



Welsh education officials did a study to find out why teenage girls aren't very interested in school sports and PE. Surprisingly, the chief reason was the facilities. The report said that because most of the money is spent on boys' sports, girls' locker rooms tend to be "open, uninviting, poorly decorated and bleak." Also, the girls are embarrassed to use group showers because of the lack of privacy. Officials urged that some action be taken to fix this.

* I suggest installing some nice, bright lighting and some video cameras to monitor the problem.

* You never hear boys complaining like this. They LOVE their group shower!



A new book called "The End" claims to reveal the truth about Doors singer Jim Morrison's death: he officially died of a heart attack at 27 in his bathtub, but the former manager of a Paris club claims he really died of a heroin overdose in their bathroom and two drug dealers took his body back to his apartment

* Oh come on! He expects us to believe a 1960s rock star died of a DRUG overdose?!