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"Where Angels Dance" (1994)

Where Angels Dance (1994) is a film you are not likely to have heard about. It has never had a theatrical release, and is not listed at IMDB. It is finally being released on DVD next Tuesday. Most of the production facts in this review are from an exclusive Funhouse interview with Patrick Coppola, who wrote, produced, directed and stared in this film. Coppola has struggled for 7 years trying to get distribution for this film, but it has only been screened at a handful of festivals. He was unable to find out why nobody would pick it up. Indeed, even Blockbuster refused to release it as a rental. I am dumfounded, as this is an exceptionally good character driven drama.

Coppola plays Alex Blake, an ex fighter who works second shift (the lonely man's shift), and keeps to himself. Things change for him because of two women, a hooker trapped under a sadistic pimp, and a Harvard Psychology student working on her doctorate who moves into his apartment. Alex is a nice guy, but has a lot of rage inside, which gives him a temper that he has more and more trouble controlling. We slowly learn through the course of the film why he lost his will to fight, and how interactions with the two totally opposite women end up causing him to "fight his fight." So, the main plot line is one man's redemption, but it is the sub-plots and rich characters that make this film what it is.

Lauren Martin (As the World Turns, Another World) plays the Psych student, who is sleeping with one of her professors, and decides to make Alex her doctoral thesis. We see her breasts in two different love scenes. She ends up nearly falling for Alex. His relationship with the hooker, Ayo Hanes, is purely platonic. He decides that she needs saving, and makes doing it "his fight." Everything about this film is top-notch. The screenplay is masterfully written. For instance, Alex's friend, at the beginning of the film, is waiting in line with him to go into a dance club. He has a short conversation with two shadowy figures in an alley, and once inside, asks Alex to buy the drinks because he is broke. This sets the background for events near the end of the film. It is in the club that his friend meets Belinda Carroll (Sister of Kate O'Mara), who he is later seen in bed with (her breasts are briefly visible).

Another example of the tight writing is a beat cop, who is introduced in a diner. When he tells the ex-hooker/waitress that she will be seeing him often, she tells him the coffee will be free for him. He has no moral problem accepting the gratuity. This insight into his character also explains events near the end of the film. There is breast exposure from several unknown strippers in the film. Flashback sequences, which explain his boxing career were shot in B&W, which seemed a perfect choice, as it showed a change of time frame and location. These flashbacks were kept to a minimum. The film didn't have a single word of voice-over, had one of the cleverer expository gimmicks I have ever seen (Alex called a sports talk show, and anonymously asked about his fight career), and developed thoroughly fleshed out characters with, in some cases, a minimum of screen time.

Although the DVD is not a very good transfer, it is obvious that the photography is excellent. The DVD was mastered from video, which was mastered from an old positive. I am sure the film would be spectacular if re-mastered from the original negatives. It was shot on a budget of $70,000.00 in 18 days in 35mm. Another $100,000.00 was spent in post production, for a total budget of around $175K. Coppola is "Coppola Entertainment/Five Angels Productions," and also did one of the films I will be doing tomorrow. I give this film an enthusiastic thumbs up, and a B-.

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  • Belinda Carroll (1, 2)
  • Lauren Martin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Strippers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  • L'Helvete
    Jane Birkin Going all the way back to 1974 with these 'caps from "Le Mouton enragé". She is fully nude in these 'caps, but the footboard of a bed in the frame blocks all but the slightest hint of pubes.

    Lou Doillon Keeping it in the family...Lou is one of Jane Birkin's daughters. Here she is topless in scenes from the French TV series "Nana".

    Irène Jacob Nice topless 'caps from "Incognito" (1997).

    Romy Schneider Also showing her breasts in scenes from "Le Mouton enragé".

    Kate Nelligan
    (1, 2)

    Topless in a couple of scenes from "Eye of the Needle" (1981).

    "The Wrong Guy"
    First up, in reply to a request, somebody wanted Jennifer Tilly in The Wrong Guy. There's no nudity but some sexy caps as she stands in front of a lighted doorway. I think she is wearing underwear but a bloke can dream, can't he?
  • Jennifer Tilly

    "Kiss the Night"
    A couple of caps of Patsy Stephen from Kiss the Night appeared a few days ago. Patsy is known in Australia by us older blokes as one of the leads in the TV soap Chances, produced in the early nineties. It was infamous for the nudity by many of the performers, although I don't think Patsy was one of them. In Kiss the Night Patsy played a prostitute, which explains the number of different men in the caps.

  • Patsy Stephen (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Praise is another Australian film and Sacha Horler played a nymphomaniac prostitute. She spent a large part of the film without her clothes. She's no beauty but she is nude. A depressing film to watch.

  • Sacha Horler (1, 2, 3, 4)

    "Fortress 2 : Re-entry"
    Fortress 2 : Re-entry reminds me of Starship Troopers, they all shower together. This provides some nudity by Liz May Brice and the unknowns in the caps. Thea Slikboer is another prisoner and looks like a refugee from WWF. She provides some pokies.

  • Liz May Brice (1, 2)
  • Thea Slikboer
  • Assorted shower scene nudity
  • Beth Toussaint

    "Luck of the Draw"
    Luck of the Draw is a passable gangster film. There's quite a bit of nudity shown by a group of 'Boudoir Girls': Tess Broussard, Alexandra Nice, Kira Reed and Regina Russell. Unfortunately, you can't be sure who's who. You also see Susan Petrie's entire contribution to the film. She's topless throughout. Wendy Benson plays the main female role and you see a side view of her and there's some pokies by Elisa Gabrielli.

  • Wendy Benson
  • Susan Petrie (1, 2, 3)
  • Elisa Gabrielli
  • Other nude babes (1, 2)

    Crescendo is one of those Hammer horrors from the 70s and it was enjoyable. The most nudity is shown by Jane Lapotaire who goes skinny dipping. Stefanie Powers also gives some brief topless action.

  • Jane Lapotaire (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Stefanie Powers (1, 2, 3, 4)

    "Lulu on the Bridge"
    No nudity by Mira Sorvino in Lulu on the Bridge. But there are some mild pokies and she has a cute face.

  • Mira Sorvino

    "Two Minute Warning"
    Two Minute Warning was one of the better thrillers and is about a mass murderer who chooses a Superbowl to do his business. There's a brief topless side view of Brooke Mills early on in the film. A widescreen cap might be more revealing.

  • Brooke Mills

    "Range of Motion"
    Range of Motion appears to be a made-for-television movies that is quite forgettable. There is a side view of a topless Rebecca de Mornay. She's either putting on a lot of weight or something is filling the jugs!

  • Rebecca de Mornay

    "It's My Turn"
    Jill Clayburgh is not adverse to nudity but I think that the topless revelations in It's My Turn are a bit of a mistake. A very brief view as she turns over in bed.

  • Jill Clayburgh (1, 2)

    "Verspielte Nächte"
    Sharon Brauner plays a stripper in Verspielte Nächte (Nights Gambled Away) and gives us a topless show.

  • Sharon Brauner (1, 2)

    "Universal Soldier : The Return"
    In Universal Soldier : The Return there are strippers who are unidentified. Kiana Tom keeps her clothes on but has a nice cleavage shot.

  • Kiana Tom
  • Strippers

    "Any Man's Death"
    I think that these topless caps of Mia Sara from Any Man's Death have appeared before but she (or a body double) has a nice breast.

  • Mia Sara

    Leslie Browne is briefly topless in Nijinsky. Unfortunately the quality of the caps are not good.

  • Leslie Browne

    "The Boyfriend from Hell"
    The Boyfriend from Hell is an Australian movie without a lot of overt nudity but Carole Davis shows some nice cleavage. The swimming pool shots are also interesting, but they could be a body double.

  • Carole Davis (1, 2)

  • Schmutzfink
    This week's theme:

    One German actress nude in three different movies.

  • Simone Thomalla, undies, partial bum, being groped, and some very nice breast exposure in "Tatort - Bienzle und die blinde Wut" (1999)

  • Simone Thomalla, partial bum exposure in "Cornelius hilft" (1994).

  • Simone Thomalla, bra and side breast exposure in scenes from "Fremde Frauen küsst man nicht" (2000).

  • The Funnies by Number 6
    Rimshot Specials

  • The coma patient
    There's a woman in a hospital in a coma. Her nurse notices after a few days that every time she sponge bathes the woman around the crotch, her vital signs increase significantly.

    The nurse gets the bright idea that oral sex might just provide the stimulus to bring the woman out of her coma. She calls the woman's husband, tells him her idea about oral sex, and he agrees.

    When he arrives at the hospital, the nurse ushers him into the room, closes the curtain around the bed, and closes the door. Five minutes later, the man comes running out of the room screaming that all of his wife's vital signs have plummeted to zero and she needs a doctor immediately.

    The nurse, upset that her idea had not only not worked, but seemed to be threatening the life of the woman she had sought to save, asked the man what had happened.

    "I'm not sure, but I think she choked".

  • The Plane Crash
    As an airplane is about to crash, a female passenger jumps up frantically and announces, "If I'm going to die, I want to die feeling like a woman."

    She removes all her clothing and asks, "Is there someone on this plane who is man enough to make me feel like a woman?"

    A man stands up, removes his shirt and says, "Here, iron this".

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