Sunday Cable Report (Update)

True Blood - Deep at Sea did some upgraded (720p) clips from Sunday's episode:


  • * 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 Station Agent


Patricia Clarkson film clips (no nudity; samples below).

The Station Agent was one of the most popular films at Sundance in 2003, winning both the screenwriting award and the audience award. It may be the best-reviewed film of that year, with 95% positive reviews, according to Rotten Tomatoes. It is rated 7.8 at IMDb. Most people who have seen it have liked it, as you might well have guessed from its having received the audience award at Sundance.

So why haven't you ever heard of this film? A couple of reasons:

1. Miramax believed it was a small, personal kind of film without sufficiently broad appeal to compete toe-to-toe with the big Hollywood epics, so they gave it a cautious arthouse roll-out. Actually, "cautious" doesn't say the half of it. After four weeks, despite great reviews and good revenues per screen, it had reached only 58 screens.

2. For some reason, they marketed this as a comedy. While the author does have a sense of humor, it is really just a real-life character-based drama with a few moments to make you smile, all of which come naturally out of the characters and situations.

What is it all about? Not much of anything. In a small town in rural New Jersey, three completely mismatched people come together because of their mutual loneliness. An upper-middle class female artist, a Cuban-American hot dog vendor, and a reclusive dwarf are brought together mainly through the efforts of the gregarious hot dog guy, who really wants to make friends. Many of the film's best moments are based on the fact that the three friends really don't have much to say to one another, but they hang out anyway, because "It's better than drinking alone." They push each other away, pull back together, and eventually come to a genuine warmth in their friendship.

The film has a lot of guts. Some examples:

  • Rather than try to make the dwarf a sympathetic character, the author wrote him as the world's most boring human being. He gets off on reading about trains, and is obsessed with them, even timing their passage to the exact minute. As if being boring weren't a big enough character flaw, he's also taciturn and dour, and more than a little bit cynical and distrustful. He's not a bad person, but he's not a loveable one, either.

  • There is very little dialogue, and very little action. A lot of the movie consists of three people sitting quietly, or walking along railroad tracks. That pacing required three terrific actors to make the whole thing work, and the director found them in Bobby Cannavale, Peter Dinklage, and Patricia Clarkson.

I wouldn't normally like this kind of movie. I was at Sundance that year and I didn't even go to see it because I read the summary and it sounds like it sucks. Grieving woman, having lost a child, retires to the woods to paint. Dwarf retreats from a cruel world. Minimal dialogue. I pictured a film which was slow and boring, not to mention smugly sensitive. I was wrong. The concept may be precious on paper, but the execution is excellent. The film is not meant for the fanboy audience, of course, but it is handled well enough by the director and actors that it is not boring at all for thoughtful adults, and the sensitivity is really just a natural level of human compassion and sharing, not a false kind of Hollywood sentimentality. And there's humor to liven the pace, so I ended up liking it even though it is not my kind of film.

The film's auteur, Thomas McCarthy, was an actor by trade. The Station Agent was his first credit as either a director or a writer. Nice job. If you like low key, personal, character-based independent films, check it out. It hooked me in against my will, and it may do the same to you.



Rudo y Cursi


Johnny's comments:

"Back to Mexico today with a Y Tu Mama Tambien reunion.

Rudo y Cursi is a comedy about two brothers (Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna) from the country who are talent spotted by a big city football scout and are placed in opposing city clubs. Their transition into city life is helped by being successful but both brothers will come across hardship as they head to the deciding game where they play against each other, one on the brink of being dropped to the reserves and the other one game away from the keeping shut out record. The film gets by through the charismatic leads who work extremely well together, but the film is just your stock standard fish-out-of-water comedy. And bizarrely, there's a complete lack of football for a film about footballers. Hmmmm...

And speaking of Y Tu Mama Tambien, it seems it has been released on Bluray here. Might have to check it out again..."

Jessica Mas film clips. The collages are below:




Angeles Lopez Baria in Scent of Passion


Malu in Scent of Passion


Heather Graham wandering around Italian beaches. She still looks OK but no one, not even Rollergirl, can defy Old Man Time forever.

Shannon Kane in Brooklyn's Finest

Tiffany Cara in South Beach Academy

Patricia Edmunds in South Beach Academy

Elizabeth Kaitan in South Beach Academy

Lorelei Leslie in South Beach Academy

Kristina Rodriguez in South Beach Academy

Amy Lynn Ropsenthal in South Beach Academy

Ute Weigel in South Beach Academy

 Janet Tracy Keijser in Parasomnia

Cherilyn Wilson in Parasomnia





Alba Ribas and Belen Fabra in Diary of a Nymphomaniac. Monumental nudity (see the samples below), but a massive download (340 meg)

Emma Booth in various episodes of Underbelly: episodes 5 and six; episode seven.

Emmanuelle Seigner in Detective. She has been married to Roman Polanski for more than two decades.

Nathalie Baye double feature: Rive droite rive gauche, Une liaison