Game of Thrones
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(brightened and color enhanced)
Very impressive chest, and beautiful enhancement
Huxley, April Jorgensen, etc. in Code of Honor
(2016) in 1080hd
Kidman and Melora Walters in Cold Mountain (2003)
Cold Mountain, according to some critics, is the Homeric tale of The Odyssey relocated to the era of the American Civil War. This is the kind of thing that critics say when they want to impress you with their knowledge of classical literature. Personally, I don't much care for classical literature. When I was studying The Aeneid, I could never get past that part about singing of the arms and the man, because I wanted to know the tune. Should I sing of arms and the man separately, or together, and in which key? I would tell you that I tried to sing of arms and the man to the tune of The Whiffenpoof Song, but I'm afraid that you'd too soon determine that I just like to use the word "whiffenpoof".
So what does Cold Mountain have to do with The Odyssey? Well, a guy leaves a war to return to his faithful beloved. Along the way he has many distracting adventures, each of which is a separate episode only peripherally related to his trek home, and ...
Oh, let's face it, the Odyssey thing is just a red herring meant to distract you from the fact that this movie is The English Patient filmed over again with different costumes. A guy fights against all obstacles to return to his true beloved. In fact, this one is like several English Patients, because Jude Law plays a Confederate soldier who gets wounded at Petersburg, and his wounds keep re-infecting. Therefore, he is tended not by one compassionate nurse, but by several along the way as he meanders home and keeps passing out. Jude Law feigns more unconsciousness in this one movie than Iron Mike Sharpe did in his entire winless wrestling career. No matter where Jude passes out, women want to nurse him back to health. Contrary to Dr. Kissinger's famous aphorism, it seems that fainting, not power, is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Important lesson: you might think about a sling and a fake cast the next time you want to get laid.
Provided you look like Jude Law.
I did learn one thing from this movie. No matter how hard times got during the Civil War, even when there was money for neither food nor clothing, Nicole Kidman always had enough Confederate money set aside for make-up. She would never be seen without eyeliner and a little rouge. You have to admire that. A gal has to look her best when starving to death and shivering in the cold. Amazingly, Kidman looked perfect in every frame, except maybe for an occasional loose strand of hair which only served to make her seem more relaxed and beautiful. About 11 years pass between the earliest and latest scenes in this film, yet Kidman never ages one day, and actually looks much better after the war than before it. Man, I never guessed that the Civil War was the ultimate beauty treatment. Those guys who do Civil War re-enactments should consider supporting their costs by marketing the hardship as a budget alternative to a spa.
Like The English Patient, this is a big retro romance which looks great, and goes on far too long. It is the kind of shamelessly corny romantic film that Hollywood made before the cultural revolution in the late 60s. The male star (Jude Law) has the looks for the job, but is lacking in the energy that old-time Hollywood stars would have brought to the role. Let's face it, Clark Gable simply shows more vitality and personality than Jude Law. And I'm talking now, after a forty year dirt nap, Gable still shows more life than Jude. Of course, I don't know how much life Jude could have shown in this movie when his entire role consisted of short bursts of wakefulness before passing out.
The best news in this film is that the supporting players were colorful and entertaining. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Renee Zellweger, and others provided some much-needed relief from Law's tedious and oblique peregrinations toward Kidman. Even Natalie Portman delivered a competent performance, which is very good news indeed for those of us who had come to believe that her abysmal, wooden performances in those Star Wars pictures represented the true level of her adult acting skills.
If you liked The English Patient, or if you hated it, you'll feel the same toward this film. Great production values, old-fashioned love story, same writer/director. I'm not inclined to like that kind of film, but I might have enjoyed this one if it had been about 30 minutes shorter.
Pressly and Athena Massey in Poison Ivy 3 (1997)
This Poison Ivy series sure 'nuff made a right turn after the opening film. The first one was a stylish erotic thriller with very little nudity, about a girl who slowly ingratiates herself into a family for the purpose of taking over, doing whatever was necessary to eliminate any obstacles in her way. It had a spooky elegance, and featured Drew Barrymore as the jailbait turned serial killer. The last two decided that you couldn't repeat that formula, because nobody would watch the same gimmick again, so they spiced it up with plenty of nudity. Alyssa Milano played the lead in number two, and Jaime Pressly took over for number three.
This time it's Poison Violet, Ivy's sister, who is the resident psychotic.
There's not much need to go over the plot. A rich family did something to Jaime when she was little. In her mind, they ruined her perfect girlhood when her slutty housekeeper mom was booted out of the house she was working in, on the grounds of slatternly behavior. So mom's two young daughters ended up living as trailer trash instead of the dreamlike rich existence they had previously shared with the family as virtual sisters. Years later, Violet wants revenge for this imagined injustice, so she shows up to reignite her sisterly love for the daughter, while seducing the dad, and killing everyone in the way. Actually, she doesn't kill them right away. First she tells everyone a lot of lies which causes a lot of pain, like a diva in a nighttime soap opera. Then she gets down to exacting her fearsome revenge.
First she gets revenge by taking some baths. Then her fiendish plot leads her to skinny dip. Then she has some sex. In fact, pretty much her entire scheme consists of getting naked.
My kind of plot.
Oh, yeah, although it is not relevant to the plot, she appears to be a dominatrix prostitute in her spare time. It is not explained how a woman can arrive in an upper-class neighborhood from out of state and, within a day or two, be getting calls for specialized fantasy services. Hell, it isn't even explained how she got phone service that soon. I guess she has an excellent advertising agency. I take it back about the relevance. It was pretty much relevant to the plot. I forgot momentarily that the plot consisted of Jaime getting naked, and this profession allowed her to first wear leather and metal, then get naked.
Finally, when nudity isn't enough, she kills the boyfriend and the housekeeper so she can have the dad and sis as her family. But dad isn't that enthusiastic about her. He sleeps with her a few times, then wants out, so she kills him. Then she and sis have the final epic struggle for the fate of the demesne, like Arthur and Mordred on Camlann Plain.
You long-term readers know that I think Jaime is really sexy, with a perfect behind, but her acting skills were rudimentary back in 1997. A lot of her lines were expressionless when they were meant to be suggestive or threatening. Her facial expressions were either confusingly inappropriate, or exaggerated petulant schtick. What can you say? She was a rookie. Does it matter? Look at her, for heaven's sake.
What else do you need to know? It's basically a softcore porn film,so let's evaluate it as such:
IMDb viewers rate it very low, and I think they are measuring it by the standard of real films, as opposed to the standards of softcore erotica. As a film in general, it is way below average. Take the same film and cut the nudity for broadcast TV, and it would be as bad as the ratings indicate.
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