"Strike a Pose"

Strike a Pose (1993) day two. As you remember from yesterday, Robert Eastwick is a suspended cop, who shot a young women in a convenience store hold-up. The deputy DA, who is now seeing his ex, Michelle Garrin who is also a cop, has managed to get him placed on desk duty, claiming that he used excessive force. His girlfriend, Michele Brin, is an ex fashion model turned photographer. Yesterday, we saw tons of models from three photo shoots.

It is misleading to go on and on about the plot, as very little screen time was devoted to it, but here goes. A convicted rapist put away by Eastwick is turned loose pending a retrial, and has sworn revenge on those who arrested him. His girlfriend, Tamara Landry, picks him up from jail, has a gun and smokes ready, then takes him to a hotel to fuck his brains out. Eastwick's partner is run over by a hit and run driver, and everything points to the rapist, who, they think, is after anyone Eastwick likes.

They carefully introduce another character, a new assistant to Brin, who has no real function in the plot. So much for the surprise ending. Brin shows breasts and buns in three long sex scenes. Garrin shows breasts and buns trying to seduce Eastwick, and then breasts with her husband. Landry shows breasts and buns in a long sex scene, and Jeanine Antoine and Sindy Tennes, as two models, have a lengthy girl-girl, showing lots of breast and some good lesbian kisses.

Acting was nearly universally poor, with the exception of Michelle Garin, who was quite competent. It is puzzling that she has no other credits, as she was good enough to merit more work. IMDB readers have this at 2.7 of 10. Comments range from "trashy nothing garbage" to great mindless T & A. Both are probably fair. Unfortunately, this is a very early DVD, and is undersaturated and very grainy. All of the women wore crotch patches in sex scenes. They are especially obvious in the first few images of Landry. This film is a C-, mainly due to the poor image quality, as it certainly delivers on the T & A, and I have seen worse plots.

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  • Jeanine Antoine (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)

  • Michele Brin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40)

  • Michelle Garrin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)

  • Sindy Tennes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

  • Tamara Landry (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
    Solaris (2002)

    The critics seem to have noticed a lovely wardrobe here, but the people have a different view of Emperor Soderbergh's new clothes. Verdict: naked.

    The following charts represent exit interview scores given by moviegoers to the pollsters at Cinema Score.


    (PG-13)  Male  Female
    Under 21
    21 to 34
    35 and Up

    Battlefield Earth

    (PG-13)  Male  Female
    Under 21 B- 
    21 to 34 D- 
    35 and Up

    No film, to my knowledge, has ever come close to straight F's. That pretty much says it all. It was a bomb of nuclear proportions, the likes of which we have never before seen. That's the cake. The words below are just frosting.

    The great Soviet-era filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky had an interesting career, the progress of which could be measured by the speed at which his characters moved. In his great work of youthful genius, Andrei Rublev, people walked at normal speed, on the ground, swinging their arms naturally, in a path which moved directly toward the target. Sometimes they ran, or even frolicked, when running was appropriate. With each successive film, his characters moved farther and farther from natural human behavior until, by the time he made Nostalghia, all the characters moved as if they were in a processional in some kind of Catholic liturgical rite, moving each foot only an inch or two in front of the other, weighted down by some kind of spiritual grief, taking indirect paths toward their target, or intentionally walking through water when solid ground was available, never swinging their arms but sometimes even carrying a candle ceremoniously.

    In Andrei Rublev, people stand around in normal configurations, as if they were people. In Nostalghia, people pose in a stagy tableaux, as if acting in a 19th century theatrical performance. In Andrei Rublev, when one character asks a question, another responds naturally and rapidly. In Nostalghia, when somebody asks a question, the other person stares out of the window for a couple of minutes, then mutters a non-sequitur about his dead mother. The first time I watched Nostalghia, I thought my DVD player was broken because nothing moved. Then I realized that I could still read the sub-titles if I played the film at 8x speed, and at that speed the people move at exactly the right speed to duplicate actual human movement. Since Tarkovsky doesn't really use any background sound track except for dripping water noises, losing the sound really makes no difference, thus making the film an excellent 15-20 minute watch at 8x speed. Unfortunately for most people, they have to watch it at normal speed.

    Based on Andrei Rublev, made when he was only 37, Tarkovsky could have been the greatest filmmaker of them all, but he gradually let the weight of ideas tip the balance against the weight of simple humanity in his filmmaking, and the man who should have been the Shakespeare of the cinema instead became a turtle-necked pretender to artistic gravitas.

    In 1972, only three years after he made the dazzling Andrei Rublev, Tarkovsky made an intellectual s/f story called Solaris, which was about people in a remote space station who, for some reason never really explained, create other living beings out of their imaginations. In the case of the main character, he brings his dead wife back from her suicide. This context provides the springboard for pretentious long-winded discussions about the nature of reality, God, nihilism, and various other philosophical issues. At that point in Tarkovsky's career, his films did not yet require 8x speed on the DVD player. He was in the 2x stage. The film is 165 minutes long, is in Russian, has virtually no music or background noise, and the characters move and speak at half speed. Therefore, it makes a fairly good 83 minute movie if you play it at 2x speed. There is no problem reading the sub-titles at that speed, because the characters take so long to respond to one another. In fact, when you play the film at 2x, the only thing wrong with it is that it looks cheesy, because there was no real attempt to create a feeling of being in space.

    Steven Soderbergh was nice enough to fix all that. He remade the script closely, using a little more than half the running time, added some scary monster chiller horror music, and spent tens of millions of dollars to make it look like they were in space on a real spaceship.

    And the characters almost seem to be moving at normal speed.


    Based upon my experimentation with the Tarkovsky version, Soderbergh could have made the pace exactly right if he had kept the first script but condensed it to 83 minutes. Thus, it still seems quite slow at 98 minutes. By "quite slow", I mean that if Ingmar Bergman watched it, he would be shouting, "get on with it" at the screen -

       - assuming he could stay awake long enough to get that involved.

    This was still a great improvement over Tarkovsky's version in two ways:

    1)  it now looks good.

    2) it will only bore you for 98 minutes instead of 165.

    Thank heaven for DVD. I didn't even know there was any female nudity in this film, but if you mess with the DVD long enough and get just the right frames, then mess with those frames in photoshop for a while, you get a clear look at Natascha McElhone's bum, and a possible look at her left breast. Of course, with all that fucking around, it all looks like shit, and McElhone (though extraordinarily beautiful in an unusual way) is not voluptuous (flattest butt ever?)

    .. but it is all visible.

    And of course, there is Clooney's butt, which makes two appearances. I'm sure you've been waiting for that with bated breath.

    The movie is a C-. If this movie were an actress it would be Catherine Deneuve - incredibly beautiful, remote, uninvolving, overrated by the critics

    By the way, I don't recommend the book. I just read it about two months ago, thinking that I might better understand what's going on in the two Solaris movies. The book is clumsy. It was written in Polish and has never been translated directly from Polish to English. It was translated from Polish to French, then French to English, and I doubt if either of the two steps was done very well. There are indications that it was originally an articulate and visionary story, but whatever literary merit it may have had is gone, whatever eloquence it may have had has been garbled, and whatever clarity it may have possessed is greatly diminished. I would like to read it again if there is ever an acclaimed English translation.

    • Natascha McElhone (1, 2)



    Final Destination 2 (2002)

    Back in 2000, Final Destination was kind of a surprise mini-hit at the U.S. box office, with a $53 million domestic gate. Critics didn't generally care for it, but I sorta enjoyed the youth-targeted entry in the horror/slasher genre. It had a modicum of ingenuity, maintained an ominous tone, and managed to pull off some creative deaths which seemed to come jarringly out of nowhere. Oh, sure, it used the same old basic formula, but at least it handled everything pretty well.

    In that first film, a teenager pulled his friends off a plane based on a premonition that they would all die. The plane did blow up, but ol' Mr Death was mighty ticked off at being cheated, so he eventually caught up with them and killed them in the same order in which they would have died if they had stayed in their seats.

    That Death has always been a sore loser! He makes John McEnroe look as gracious and white-bread noble as Lou Gehrig. Hell, he's still hacked off about losing that chess game in The Seventh Seal.

    This year's sequel takes place on the anniversary of that plane crash. In the latest development, a young girl has a premonition of a massive pile-up on the interstate highway, so she uses her car to prevent her friends and some others from using the on-ramp. The pile-up does occur, so she saves many lives, but Mr. Death is still being a poor sport in the sequel, and he starts immediately to kill off the people who were spared unduly.

    Um ... assuming that makes sense to you so far, it pretty much stops making sense there. The girl with the premonition goes to a mental institution to visit the one girl who survived the airplane incident in the original movie. (Ali Larter, who appears in both films and should have a better career than this.) Together, the girls go to visit that Candyman dude with the really low voice, who is apparently in this movie because his own horror series has run out of sequels. He's supposed to be an expert in death, and they hope he will offer them some advice on how to beat the curse. He mutters some profoundly spooky stuff which makes little sense but sounds important, so the survivors mull it over for the rest of the film. He tells them that "only a new life can defeat death".

    Does that mean they have to make babies? Does that mean they need to update their old version of the Parker Brothers' game of Life? Who knows? Before the survivors can figure out the precise meaning of Candyman's advice, they come up with several misinterpretations of the cryptic remarks, and most of them end up dying in grotesque fashion - their bowels chopped out and their nostrils raped and ... well, for the details, consult the Sir Robin song in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, except that these people ARE afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

    Will any survive? You have to watch it to see.

    The sequel does not have the talented Devon Sawa. It has none of the jarring surprise engendered by the Rube Goldberg deaths that marked the first film. It also has very little of the macabre wit that powered the original, the only real exception occurring in the very last ten seconds of the film. Mostly it just has scenes which depict the explicit dismemberment, piercing, decapitation, and fricasseeing of various humans, and the distribution of their remains in unpleasant places. It includes many gruesome details.

    Although the original was a popular film with young audiences at home and abroad, most critics hated it. I rather enjoyed that first one in a guilty pleasure sense, but I didn't consider the sequel worth watching. I don't really get into "grotesque and gruesome" as stand-alone entertainment, but you might enjoy it if that is your thing, because it is pretty slick, and it is rated a surprisingly high 6.3 at IMDb, so it has a strong following.



    Daredevil (2003)

    The big problem for Daredevil as a comic book was that it had no really original hook. Oh, yeah, Matt Murdock was blind, and he was a regular human being in terms of physical strength, but when you really got down to the nitty-gritty, a Daredevil comic was exactly the same as a Spiderman comic. Her had special senses that told him when trouble was coming, he cavorted around the rooftops of New York, he swung from place to place Tarzan-style, he mourned for his lost parents, and he even fought some of the same bad guys as Spiderman. After all, Daredevil was no match for The Dread Dormammu or Galactus, so he had to fight villains who were just normal guys like him - like Kingpin, for example.

    Daredevil was the grade B Spiderman.

    You might say the same for the movie. Some of the special aerial action effects were excellent. Unfortunately I had seen them all the previous summer in Spiderman. The only new spin in Daredevil is that more action takes place at night. Two good reasons: (1) Daredevil has a day job (2) a blind guy has advantages over sighted people when it is completely dark.

    Far above my expectations, there were some moments in the film that I really enjoyed:

    • A beautifully storyboarded visual - a bad guy runs from Daredevil at night, falls into a puddle. Sees the reflection of Daredevil in the puddle, as the cowled one approaches from overhead. Then, as the bad guy leaves, the camera stays on the puddle, and Daredevil's feet plop down into the water. Very dramatic, and a creative way to film the scene.

    • Daredevil uses his super-senses to "see" Jennifer Garner as raindrops fall off of her. He can pick up the shape of her face from the sounds of the raindrops, because his hearing is not really hearing as we experience it, but something like a Dolphin's sonar.

    • The police inspector tells the smart-ass reporter (Joey Pants, one of the best things about the movie) that there is no reason to think Daredevil was involved in a situation, or even to believe that Daredevil exists. The reporter flicks his cigarette butt insouciantly into a puddle of gasoline, which flames up into a giant "DD" symbol. Pants says nothing, just looks at the cop. It could have been overplayed very easily, but they made it very cool, and it was very well done. Joey Pants's role was poorly written. He had some rhetorical and corny lines to deliver, but he read them all credibly and seemed like a real person. Joey Pants is rapidly joining Samuel L Jackson and Sam Elliott in my pantheon of character actors who should be in every movie.

    • Daredevil (Ben Affleck) and Bullseye (Colin Farrell) do a great fight scene on a giant pipe organ in a cathedral.

    There were also some things that really bugged me. I know that comic book stories are not supposed to be completely logical, but once they establish their world and ask me to buy into the premise, they have an obligation to hold it together consistently, and provide some normal level of continuity. Didn't happen.

    The "origin" story goes on way too long, and features one of the silliest scenes ever. Little pre-Daredevil is running through Hell's Kitchen when he passes a storefront with hundreds of barrels outside, all being loaded on a truck. All of the barrels say "Biohazard". Do you want to know that midtown Manhattan is filled with factories that are storing barrels of biohazardous waste on the streets in 19th century beer barrels? Or maybe that isn't waste. Maybe there are factories in midtown Manhattan which are actually manufacturing biohazards and shipping them out in beer barrels. If so, they should do this across the river in North Jersey, where a spill would never even be noticed.

    • After Daredevil and Bullseye have their first fight, Daredevil escapes on the rooftops to a cathedral. Bullseye, who is a completely earthbound tough Irish street brawler, tracks him there. (Bullseye's superpower - he can throw any object with fatal accuracy, including baseball cards, condoms, water balloons, and hangnails). How exactly did Bullseye manage to track a guy who swings across rooftops?

    • Although Daredevil has absolutely no trouble defeating a room full of maybe twenty tough thugs with firearms, he gets his ass kicked by a 120 pound woman with a lot of martial arts training, but no special powers of any kind.

    • Daredevil is stabbed through the chest by a blade which pierces all the way through his body and out his back. He recovers from this wound enough to defeat two bad guys in hand-to-hand combat the same night - even after one of them cuts his windpipe! Not only is there no explanation for how Daredevil could have such recuperative powers, but there is no explanation for why his pretty burgundy uniform has no tears in the front where the knife went in, or in the back where the knife went out. 'Tis a mystery.

    Daredevil comes off in some scenes as an insane vigilante. He loses a case in court, and an accused rapist goes free, so Daredevil does what the law would not do, and kills the guy the night after the trial. This might have worked if the audience really had a chance to hate the rapist, but we don't even know whether the guy is guilty. Daredevil acts like a petulant schoolyard bully who doesn't get his way. "Well, if I can't beat you in court with my brains, I'll just beat you up."

    A little more comic relief from Jon Favreau as Daredevil's law partner might also have been good. This film tended to take itself seriously, and it didn't have the grotesque and creative Tim Burton world-view to justify that noir atmosphere. Spiderman was just much more fun than this movie

    I guess the bottom line is that the film has some good comic book moments, but it would have seemed more impressive if it could have come out before Spiderman. It ends up where Daredevil always ends up.

    He's the grade B Spiderman.

    • Jennifer Garner (no flesh) (1, 2)



    • Updates: Julie Strain, Tiffany Shepis




    Other crap archives. May also include newer material than the ones above, since it's sorta in real time.



    days left until International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept 19)



    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick Locke, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Graphic Response
    • Sean Young...full frontal and rear nudity in 'caps from the rare, unrated version of the 1992 movie "Love Crimes".

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    'Caps and comments by C2000:

    "Forever Mine" (1999)
    Not a great film...but without doubt the best quality DVD I've encountered, plus excellent nudity from Gretchen Mol!

    Johanna Quintero Toplessness in scenes from her one and only IMDb credit, "The Apostate" (1998).

    Natasha Henstridge Topless in a brief love scene with Van Damme from the stinker of an action flick "Maximum Risk" (1996).

    Kelly Hu
    (1, 2, 3)

    About 98% nekkid in "The Scorpion King". Sadly, even with the skin, they kept the exposure pg-13.

    Charlie Spradling
    (1, 2, 3)

    'Caps from the DVD of "To Sleep with a Vampire". Spradling looks great while working the brass pole like a pro, and shows off her robo-boobs and some thong views.

    Asia Argento
    (1, 2)

    From "xXx" star showing us some very lovely breast exposure, plus a very quick crotch shot in scenes from "B. Monkey" (1998).

    Betty Mars
    (1, 2)

    Nathalie Guérin
    (1, 2)

    Setting the way-back machine to 1975 for these 'caps from the French movie "Emilienne". Both ladies bare breasts and bum, and Guérin adds bush and a scene wear she is covered in honey.

    Girls Gone Wild
    (1, 2)

    Thanks to Twitchy for actually sitting through the GGW Dormroom Fantasies video to bring us a "college co-ed" showing all 3 B's.

    Arcelia Ramírez
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    Señor Skin 'caps of the beautiful Mexican actress topless and showing just a hint of pubes (links 2 and 4) in scenes from "La Mujer de Benjamín" (1991).

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Yes, We Must Think For Ourselves! - Pop singer Dannii Minogue, sister of Kylie, was performing a concert by a lake near Tamworth, England, when she saw a boat capsize. She tried to alert the crowd by frantically waving and pointing at the lake to get them to turn around. But the crowd thought she was trying to start a new dance craze and began waving their arms and pointing back at her. Minogue said she was about to stop singing and shout for help when she saw the boater climb safely back onto his boat.

  • Kylie would've flashed her butt, and the Coast Guard would've come running.
  • She was going to shout, "Help, help!" And the crowd would shout back, "Help, help!"
  • Apparently, Dannii Minogue gets the fans who are too dumb to be Kylie Minogue fans.

    Fill Your Hand, You SOB! - British historian Michael Mann told The Sun newspaper that Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered KGB hitmen to try to kill John Wayne. Stalin saw Wayne's tough, American, anti-communist image as being as dangerous to the USSR as the atom bomb, and feared that Wayne's popularity would thwart his plans for global communism. The plan got as far as two Ukrainians breaking into Wayne's dressing room at Warner Brothers in 1943, where the FBI ambushed them. After Stalin died, Nikita Kruschev called off the plan because Wayne was his favorite actor.

  • Not Ronald Reagan?
  • Kruschev thought "Red River" was about the Volga River.
  • See, liberals? John Wayne really DID save the world from communism!