Monday

Kill Switch

(2008)

Kill Switch is one of the very few Steven Seagal films in which the screenwriter is as big as the star. In fact, they are precisely the same weight, because Seagal assumed the double role in this police procedural about the pursuit of serial killers.

Seagal plays a Memphis homicide detective who specializes in deranged serial killers, and in this storyline he's tracking two of them simultaneously. One is a pseudo-Zodiac killer who "channels spirits good and bad" and leaves behind encrypted clues with some kind of astrological significance. The other is a bad-ass hillbilly who just enjoys killing and torturing people. Because Seagal is a genius at finding and apprehending serial killers, the FBI wants to study his methods and they assign a shadow to the Memphis police, a callow woman in her twenties. Because the Zodiac clone is particularly demented, he tries to frame Seagal himself for the killings, using an ingenious scheme to obtain Seagal's DNA and place it under the fingertips of victims. Seagal knows that he's not the killer, of course, but the FBI is not so sure.

This movie is not a worthwhile police procedural, but it could have been with just a little tweaking. The biggest problem with it is that it is very short on both plot and character development, and very heavy on fight scenes, chases, and shoot-outs. That problem is compounded by two elements: (1) some of the fight scenes involve minor characters or even extras who are irrelevant to the plot; (2) they are not very good fight scenes because the director employed a lot of stunt doubling, embellished the pace with jumpy editing, and shot too many head-and-shoulder shots.

That's the film's major flaw. If it had been resolved by spending more time with the major characters and making the Zodiac plot more interesting and mysterious, the film could have been a good straight-to-vid. It has a bit of down-and-dirty Memphis atmosphere, and the basic plot is not bad. Seagal even attempts a bit of uncharacteristically ambitious acting by mumbling in a Memphis accent instead of his normal generic midwestern American mumbling.

There are, however, some other issues to pick over.

First, the "Seagal as suspect" angle is a completely undeveloped throwaway that gets resolved with a convenient confession. The film could have been far better if this idea had either been dropped altogether or introduced earlier and left as a legitimate possibility. The way it is handled in the existing film, it's introduced late in the film, resolved almost immediately and too conveniently, and was never a legitimate possibility from the viewer's perspective, so it seems like just a completely off-the-wall theory proposed by the FBI agent.

Second, the film's final scene is a totally irrelevant and utterly confusing post-script. It shows Seagal arriving in a country home, bringing presents to a Russian-speaking woman and her two sons, then following the sexy woman into the bedroom where she disrobes. Seagal and the blonde close the bedroom door, and the credits roll! Don't get me wrong. I'm all in favor of adding gratuitous female nudity. This scene, however, seems to be leftover footage from a completely different Seagal movie. These characters have never been introduced at all. We don't know why they are speaking Russian, or why Seagal speaks Russian to them, although the boys call him "papa." We don't know if this takes place three days or fifteen years after the main plot.

Nudity:

  • As the Zodiac guy, Michael Filipowich shows his bum.
  • Apollonia Vanova shows her breasts as a corpse. (Film clip.)
  • Andrea Stefancikova is the Russian woman in the epilogue from another planet. (Film clip here. Samples below.)

Despite all those Eastern European names above, the film seems to have been filmed entirely in Vancouver, per IMDb.

 

Wanted

2008

Wanted is a fantasy film about a brotherhood of assassins with super powers.

The film stars James McAvoy, who begins in what seems like a completely different movie from the one hinted at by a contrived and complex assassination plot happening elsewhere in the same town between men who do not seem to be bound by the laws of physics. McAvoy, on the other hand, is a wimpy cubicle drone who seems to be trapped in Office Space 2, in which he narrates about his loathing for his boss, his TPS reports, his medical problems, his disloyal best friend, his irritating girlfriend, the office rituals, and his fellow employees.

Imagine his surprise when he is suddenly recruited to join the fraternity of killers. They know that he, too, possesses super powers. It seems that all the medical problems which he has been dealing with are not problems at all. Instead of taking medication to stop his heart from racing, he just needs to let it run free, at which time he speeds up so much that the world seems to be moving in ultra slo-mo. He is skeptical until agents of the brotherhood show him that if he lets his pulse run wild he can shoot the wings off of flies. Later he learns to curve bullets, and even to use his bullets to shoot the bullets of other assassins.

Blah-blah-blah ... rogue agent killed McAvoy's father ... McAvoy is the only one powerful enough to stop the rogue ... he's "the one" ... but he must be trained ... blah-blah-blah.

None of this is really supposed to make sense. The members of the brotherhood take their orders from a loom, and have done so since the middle ages. Who channels assassination requests through the magic loom? God? Satan? It's apparently "fate." Whatever that is supposed to mean. It seems to me if "fate" wanted someone dead, it could probably pull it off without the assistance of encoded underpants. The assassins' abilities make little sense and vary from scene to scene. The violence level is constantly over-the-top, and innocent bystanders are not spared. Thousands get killed, including every passenger on a train which plummets into a canyon as a result of the battle between McAvoy and the rogue. Nobody cares.

Now set all that aside, because this film is actually a lot of fun if you can suspend all sense of disbelief. It's a twisted, tongue-in-cheek version of The Matrix, all cool attitude and comic book antics. McAvoy is basically Neo. Angelina Jolie is Trinity. Morgan Freeman is Morpheus. The bad guy isn't really like Agent Smith, but he has something very important in common with Darth Vader. You'll recognize it when you encounter it. So forget the laws of the physical universe. Forget the inconsistencies in the powers of the antagonists. Forget the illogic of the plot. Forget the pseudo-mystical mumbo-jumbo. It's not meant to be taken seriously. Just sit back and let it wash over you. It's a stylish film with visual flair and a lot of humor. It entertains.

Nudity:

An actor named Chris Pratt shows his butt in a minor role as McAvoy's shallow best friend in his pre-assassin life.

Angelina Jolie does full rear nudity from a distance, and shows the top half of her butt in close-up. (Film clip here, samples below)

 

  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.

OTHER CRAP:

Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


That Obscure Object of Desire

1977

The Time Machine goes back to the seventies again to see Carole Bouquet in this typically opaque Luis Buuel movie. Lovely Carole shows off her sweet little "Tiny Tots" while playing around with one lucky old dude.
 

 

 

 

 

 

El Menor de los Males

(2007)

Here are the film clips of Veronica Echegui

The collages are below:

 


 

The Chatterley Affair

(2006)

Here are the film clips of Louise Delamere (Warning: 275 meg!)

The collages are below:

 


 

Finish Line

(2008 TV film which stars Chachi!)

Here are the film clips of Taylor Cole

The collages are below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christine Reinhart in an episode of Rosamunde Pilcher (1998)
Claudia Messner in Wohin and zueruck (1986)
Collien Fernandes in SAM (2008)
Cornelia Froboess in Ein Klotz an Bein (1984)
Guelcan Kamps on the Neils Ruf show (2008)
Ingrid Cannonier in Wohin and zueruck (1986)
Marianne Koch in Liebling, ich muss dich erschiessen (1962. trans: Darling, I must shoot you)
Nadja Puls in an episode of Polizeiruf 110 (1991)
Sabrina White in Jennerwein (2004)

 

 

 

 

 

Notes and collages

The Deep

1977

Jacqueline Bisset

Sexiest non-nude scene ever?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Instinct

HD - unrated - 1992

Part 5 of 5

Today, the HD film clip of Jeanne Tripplehorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This section will present film clips to accompany Charlie's collages (which are found in his own site).

Today's star is Alexandra Lorska in Le Grand Mome

 

 

 

 

 

Pics

Nia Long in Love Jones

Film Clips

 

 
Erika Maroszan in Ghetto (2006, sample right)