"Les Novices"

Les Novices (1970) is a comedy/female buddy film staring Brigette Bardot and Annie Girardot. Bardot is a novice in a convent, and escapes to Paris, where she ends up living with prostitute Girardot. Bardot's presence is hard on business, the dog she acquired is an expense and a nuisance, and Bardot proves inept at everything she tries to make money, including her attempt to be a street walker. Finally, they decide to convert an ambulance into a mobile cat house. Bardot will drive, Girardot will satisfy the customers. When a customer turns them into the police, it becomes a road trip film. The ending surprised me.

Both women show breasts through a sheer net bra practicing swim strokes on the sand. IMDB readers have this at 5.3 of 10, but with only 11 votes. The transfer is very nice, Girardot is naturally funny, and some of the humor still works, but much of the film is dated. It will be of interest to fans of the two stars. C.

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  • Annie Girardot (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  • Brigette Bardot (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    "Speaking Parts"

    Speaking Parts (1989) is Atom Egoyan's second film following family viewing. In it, he is exploring the way that modern communications actually get in the way of human interaction, and how images are purely subjective, with people reading anything they want into what they see. The film starts with 8 minutes of no dialogue, and the characters are introduced, but it is a struggle to figure out how they relate to each other, and what is going on with them. We slowly understand that Gabrielle Rose has written a screenplay devoted to the memory of her dead brother, who died donating a lung to her. In the opening scene, we see her in a mausoleum, where she is able to watch a video of her brother over and over. Note that Egoyan came up with this concept before such places actually existed. Michael McManus is an aspiring actor who has only worked as an extra to date, and works in housekeeping in a hotel by day, however, his real day job is as a gigolo. We never know if his "clients" are male or female. Arsinee Khanjian works in the hotel, and is fixated on McManus. When she isn't following him around the hotel, she is watching videos of his films, only screening the sections where he is on camera.

    She comes to know the clerk at the video store where she rents the films, and goes with him a couple of times shooting videos. Meanwhile, Rose has checked into the same hotel. McManus sees the script in her room, and leaves a picture and resume in her room. He had no idea that he looked exactly like her dead brother. Sense this film is much longer on atmosphere and emotions than on plot complexity, I will leave the rest to discover for those of you who are interested.

    Rose shows her breasts in a pivotal scene in the film, where she and McManus are masturbating over a video conference line. IMDB readers have this at 7.0 of 10. The film is a long watch. The rewards are there if you stick it out to the end, but if you are an action/thriller type, you probably won't get through ten minutes before hitting eject. Also, to prove his point that people are increasingly isolated, the film is very cold, as are the characters, so it is hard to like any of them. This is a C, well made, but only for a select crowd.

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  • Gabrielle Rose (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Unknown (1, 2)
  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Bringing Down the House (2003)

    Formula studio comedy that was an unexpected box office smash this Spring ($132 million!). Steve Martin is a top lawyer who is separated from his wife. He makes an internet date and ends up with an escaped female convict (Queen Latifah) who takes over his life. She works on making him less white, and he works on her case. Eugene Levy plays a law partner who falls in love with Queenie.

    Pretty funny film, and quite well performed, with some great minor characters, although almost as edgeless as a Disney comedy. 

    What can I say? I watched the whole thing without fast-forwarding.

    There is no nudity, but there was a pretty cool fight between Missi Pyle and Queen Latifah. I don't really know much about Ms Pyle, but she has the makings of a great comedienne in the old school tradition. She must be about six feet tall and totally buff. She's quite pretty in repose, but she doesn't know the meaning of the word repose. She must be the most uninhibited comedienne since Tracy Ullman. She'll ugly herself up, twist her body or her face into any position, and she has some positions I haven't even thought of. Funny woman.



    Arachnia (2003)

    Arachnia is kinda funny in a way that is hard to read. I don't know how much of the humor was intentional. It is, in essence, a perfect 1950s giant creature movie in every respect - same set-up, same poor effects, same amateurish acting, same cheesy sets and hyperbolic dialogue. The characters are exactly what you would have encountered in a 50s movie - the insensitive professor, the crazy old man, the stalwart pilot, the bimbos, and the Gilliganesque comic relief guy. There were only a couple of ways to spot that it was made fifty years after its time:

    • nudity

    • color

    I honestly don't know whether they were making an homage to 50s creature features, or a subtle parody. I guess you can find out if you want to, because there is a director's commentary on the DVD!

    I'm not sure it really matters because it's the same from your viewing perspective - a bad movie, but a movie that is so bad in so many silly ways that it can be quite fun to watch. I thought some of it was a hoot, but it can be slow going in between laughs, and the terror isn't even remotely terrifying because of the cheap effects.

    It would make an excellent candidate for MST3000.

    Some pictures with the full Movie House page here.

    • Alexxus Young (1, 2, 3, 4)


    OTHER California CRAP:




    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.

    'Caps and comments by Brainscan:

    Spent the last two weeks in Montana, with no one in sight for days on end. If Sartre was right and hell is other people, then I was in heaven.

    Speaking of heaven, here are some caps from Hollywood Boulevard (1976). The star of this farcical titty flic is Candice Rialson. She was yummy, a true B-movie babe in the days before direct-to-video allowed any gal to make that claim so long as she had C cups, a pleasant face and the willingness to show them off. I've seen just 'bout everything Candice starred in and, for my money, she and Cheryl Smith were the best things the 70's had to offer.

    So Hollywood Boulevard is all about a mid-western girl trying to make it in the movies. Tis an okay effort, in part because the director of her screen debut is an Ed Wood knock-off, complete with a cross-dressing fetish and the willingness to cast a guy in a gorilla suit as a robot monster from outer space.

    Candice shows her perfectly natural hooties in two scenes. One is a film-within-a-film thing, in which Candice's character is manhandled by movie extras who get a little too vigorous. You see her shirt ripped off in the first three collages.

    • Candice Rialson (1, 2, 3)

    The next six collages are of a scene that should be an industry standard, required of all movies released in the North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Antartica. The Artic is on its own. In this scene, three babes... one of them Candice... loll around on a beach, in bright sunlight, for about ten minutes of screen time. Did I mention they are all topless? Yep, that's important. The other babes are B-movie veteran Tara Strohmeier and one-time wonder Rita George.

    • Candice Rialson, Tara Strohmeier and Rita George sunbathing (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Tara Strohmeier was a thin, leggy redhead with a Jennifer Love Hewitt-type upper body. This seems to be the first movie in which she showed off that el primo frame. She is perhaps most famous for the scene in Kentucky Fried Movie, where she and her boyfriend are playing hide the salami while the newscasters on her television look on and offer a running commentary.

    Tara is topless in three scenes.

    • Collage 1 shows her emerging from a van, after she has auditioned for the director.

    • Collage 2 has her topless on the beach with Candice. My favorite. Something about pale redheads with large hooties that gets the blood rushing.

    • Collage 3 is from a long scene in which Tara reclines, topless, in a hammock.

    Something of a mystery is Rita George. She is more than passingly good looking, has a body worthy of serious, close attention and acts with more skill than most B movie types, but this was her only role. Go figure.

    Rita gives up the goodies in a few scenes. The first collage is from that topless sunbathing scene I mentioned above. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving. The second collage is from a post-coital monologue.

    • Rita George (1, 2)

    Oh, and one last collage. It is a young Mary Woronov, showing off some cleavage. And given Mary's build, "some" is about all she had to offer.

    Finally, a couple of items about Candice.

    If you look closely at the sunbathing scene, which I'm sure you won't mind, you might notice that Candice is wearing sunglasses with the initials CR. Yep, she brought her own shades to the performance.

    And according to IMDB, Candice was the role model on which Tarentino based Bridget Fonda's character in Jackie Brown. I can certainly see it. Candice was a real honey. She's 51 years old now and I'd bet she still looks great.

    Nikki Ziering
    Amanda Swisten

    Bootleg toplessness from "American Wedding". Thanks to Twitchy for the collages.

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

    The Material girl bares all in scenes from the 1993 erotic thriller "Body of Evidence" (1993). 'Caps by the Skin-Man.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Unbelievable! Sex Toys Are Dishwasher-Safe? - Monday, the same day Hustler publisher Larry Flynt filed to run for governor of California under the slogan "A smut peddler who cares," he was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Former executive assistant Elizabeth Rene Raymond claims she was unfairly fired a year ago after complaining of a hostile work environment. This includes finding sex toys in the company dishwasher that Flynt had used on the prostitutes who visited his office.

  • That's pretty careless for a smut peddler who cares.
  • That was bad enough, but then he asked her to use them on him.
  • Worse, the prostitutes were paid a lot more than she was!
  • And some people think it's harassment when a bishop touches their arm!
  • Actually, this story makes me think Flynt may be cleaner than I expected.

    The Oliver Stone Of Acting - The New York Post reports that retired CIA agent Herbert Saunders, who did security for Steven Seagal, may be called to discredit Seagal in the extortion trial of his producer, whom Seagal claims is in with the mob. Saunders told a documentary crew that Seagal asked him for help in getting a permit to carry a concealed gun, to have someone whacked, to access secret DEA files on him, and to blackmail a journalist in a gay tryst. Saunders said he thinks Seagal can't tell fact from fantasy and sees himself as his movie characters, from tough cop to "guy who's saving mongooses in the woods of Oregon."

  • Luckily, they all have the same facial expression.
  • But mostly, he's just an ass.
  • Seagal claimed he's just "Out For Justice," and that Saunders is "On Deadly Ground" and may be "Marked For Death."


  • Hillary Clinton told Jay Leno that people who protest her at book signings have probably never read a book...She's one to talk: she's authored three books and never actually written one.

  • A funeral company in Brazil sparked outrage with TV ads that say, "Our clients have never come back to complain"...What's the problem? It's not false advertising...Any problems are thoroughly covered up.

  • ITV reports that the Gap wants to offer ex-lovers Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake over $1.5 million each to reunite for a TV commercial...But Britney says she'll never forgive him for betraying her trust to Barbara Walters! Better make it $10 million...I'd pay Ben and J-Lo that much NEVER to appear together again.

  • To keep from having to hire thousands of extras to sit in the stands, the producers of "Seabiscuit" rented inflatable mannequins from a Los Angeles man who has over 15,000 of them...Surprisingly, it's not Michael Jackson...I wondered what so many inflatable sex dolls were doing at the race track.

  • "Gigli" is such a bomb, it will likely be yanked from theaters as soon as the two-week contractual obligation ends...So if you really want to see it, you'd better hurry to the nearest psychiatrist.