Rian Johnson, you're on notice.

OK, kid, you made a pretty clever movie in Brick (2006). It's basically a Raymond Chandler story, except that the Philip Marlowe character is a student in a high school in California. That's kind of a high-falutin' literary conceit, but it got you some good reviews and a chance to make more movies.

But I got a bone to pick with you, dude. In fact, three interconnected bones:

1) If you were going to get Nora Zeheter topless, why did you film the scene so goddamned dark?

2) Why did you delete it?

3) Most important, since it was already so damned dark, why did you bother to digitally alter it to hide Nora's boobs? That's just cruel!

Here's the evidence. Look at the part I circled in gray. This is black space. There could not be any color splotches there. There are, in fact, no color splotches there in any other part of the deleted scenes, and there are 25 minutes worth of them. It only occurs in the very few frames when Zeheter's breasts are visible - or should I say would have been visible if you hadn't messed with the footage. Here's an extreme example, with all the colors brightened and saturated to the maximum.

So, you're on notice, Johnson. I'm taking "The Cannes Jury" off my personal version of the official Stephen Colbert notice board and replacing them with you. I'm watchin' you. One more move like this, and you're dead to me, much like evil twins and Charles Laughton.

Although now that I think about it, Charles Laughton is kinda dead to everyone.

If you really want to see this scene, here's the film clip as a zipped .mpg. I don't recommend it for reasons which should be apparent from my comments above.

Here are some stills. You can see from the second one that we seem to have missed out on some pretty sweet hooters.

Nora Zeheter

For reference, here is Zeheter in Conversations With Other Women

Nora Zeheter


Troll (1986) and Troll 2 (1990)

Troll was part of a popular sub-genre in the 1980s which consisted of ordinary middle-class people interacting with fantasy creatures in circumstances both comedic and frightening. Joe Dante and Steven Spielberg kicked the ball off in 1984 with Gremlins, a film which was assembled for $11 million and grossed more than of $150 million. This was the biggest success story in the genre, and the only one that was really any good,  but it wasn't the only profitable one. 1985's dreadful Ghoulies (2.9 at IMDb, #91 on the "all time worst" list) was made by Empire Pictures for a paltry million dollars, and grossed $35 million. One year later, Empire decided to try its luck again, this time with Troll.

Long ago, humans banished trolls and their fellow fanciful creatures from our dimension. The king of the trolls is now trying to return to our world and conquer it through a portal which exists in the laundry room of an apartment building in San Francisco. He possesses a magic ring which enables him to do all sorts of things, the most important of which, at least for plot purposes, is to be able to take human form by inserting his spirit into an existing human body. A new family moves into the apartments on the same day that Mr. Troll makes his move, so he takes advantage of that by starting his world conquest modestly, by possessing their 11-year-old daughter. Hey, even the longest journey begins with a single step. Somebody famous said that. Either Confucius or Dom DeLuise, I believe.

As time goes on, the Troll encounters many former television stars who are living in the building. Gary Sandy (WKRP) is there, and was happy for it, since he had not worked in the three years between WKRP and this film, and unemployment checks do not keep coming forever, even in California. Sonny Bono is there as well, playing the part of a real swingin' ladies man, ala Austin Powers. June Lockhart (Lassie's mom) is also there, but King Troll is not that happy to encounter her, since she turns out to be a powerful witch who knew him when humans and trolls co-existed. Best of all, Seinfeld's Julia Louis-Dreyfus is there naked. (Discreetly naked. It's a PG-13 movie.)

Dreyfus had two great successes in her career. She was part of two American comedy shows which were cultural landmarks, having spent  four years (1982-1985) on SNL and nine years on Seinfeld (1990-1998). The path in between those milestones was a bit overgrown, and she was struggling to find her way for a while. I presume that's why she agreed to wiggle her bum while prancing around the woods in an faux-ivy thong bikini, playing a dryad in this uninspired movie (3.3 at IMDb.)

At any rate, the troll summarily disposes of each of the TV guest stars, dispatching each of them to a separate fate. He turns Sonny Bono into a giant green vagina, for example, although the humans didn't really notice any change, and the fantasy creatures felt it was an improvement, especially the Jolly Green Giant, who called Sonny his "ho" three times and felt a certain tightness in his leafy tunic. We never did get to see how Bono dealt with the bean sprout and the niblets, but I guess he did OK, because he subsequently gave birth to several tiny little green creatures.

Troll isn't really a good movie, as indicated by IMDb score, but it has all sorts of guilty pleasures, and offers all sorts of loopy fun. I actually enjoyed watching it for the surreal casting, the silly creatures, and Sonny Bono's crazy overacting. The very competent cinematography was provided by Romano Albani, who lensed several giallo films for Bava and Argento.

(C- on our scale.)

Here is the video clip, in quality approximately equal to DVD. Because of the fog and the silly bikini contraption, the stills make the scene seem like a total rip-off, but the video clip is actually pretty sexy!

Here are the stills:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus


Troll 2 doesn't have any nudity at all, but it is worth a quick mention, since (1) it is currently being offered on the same 2-for-1 DVD as Troll; and (2) it is currently ranked as the worst film of all time at IMDb.

That ranking speaks for itself, but there are some curious elements worth mentioning. First, it has nothing to do with the earlier movie called Troll. It has none of the same characters and no familiar actors at all. Second, it was made in Italy and was not produced by Empire Pictures, the people who presumably owned the Troll name. Third, the film doesn't even have anything to do with trolls, although it belongs to the same fantasy sub-genre as Troll. A family goes on vacation and has semi-scary, semi-funny encounters with goblins in a town called Nilbog. (Get it?)

In other words, it took a big brass set to call it Troll 2.

Well, do you know who had just a set? The prolific Italian porno producer/director Joe D'Amato, who directed 196 films of his own, and also produced a couple dozen, including this one. This may be the only PG-13 one in the lot. Most of his other films have titles like The Anal Perversions of Lolita, and Robin Hood: Thief of Wives.

One more astounding item. The costume design for Troll 2 was done by the famous softcore porn star Laura Gemser (Black Emmanuelle), who was one of D'Amato's favorite leading ladies.

I know that the IMDb crowd thinks it's the worst ever, but it isn't. It's just another crappy script with bad acting and silly make-up. I can't even call this film an F, because the cinematography is gorgeous. The film was lensed by Giancarlo Ferrando, who shot many competent gialli for Sergio Martino, and his work has been transferred nicely to DVD. In fact, Ferrando's beautiful cinematography made the rest of the film seem worse, because it exposed the clumsiness of the make-up and special effects!




Colbert's "Word" - Pencils Down. Colbert argues against "tests"

Stephen Colbert is no fan of the Internets, but he does love to bookmark his favorites.

Colbert rails against public breast-feeding

Colbert Report: Tip/Wag

  • Middle East Crisis ... "Bush is like a cordless Dirt Devil vacuum. If you don't recharge his batteries, he can't suck."

Colbert discusses Lieberman

Samantha Bee equates Lieberman to a stalker

No-mentum: the Daily Show looks at the Lieberman defeat

Jon Stewart discusses the mid-term primaries

Daily Show: Aasif Mandvi reassures us not to worry about the screams during the birth pangs of Middle Eastern democracy.

Geraldo and Bill O'Reilly bad-mouth Comedy Central

Chandler driver accused of tossing 69 speeding tickets, totaling $11,000

"Britney Spears falls down!"

Musical montage: The Rise and Fall of Britney Spears

National Underwear Day Takes It Off in Times Square

  • Damn, I miss all the good holidays.

"Israel's recent incursions into Lebanon are not acts of aggression. 'We are merely clearing out the riff-raff for the world's largest Super Wal-Mart'

The trailer from ZEN NOIR

  • A nameless detective (Duane Sharp), still mourning the loss of his wife, investigates a mysterious death in a Buddhist temple, but his logical, left-brained crime-solving skills are useless in the intuitive, non-linear world of Zen. While attempting to question the inhabitants of the temple -- Ed (Ezra Buzzington), a monk with an attitude and secrets to hide; Jane (Debra Miller), a beautiful, mysterious, bald femme fatale; and the Master (Kim Chan), an infuriatingly obscure Zen teacher, who does a lot of strange things with oranges - the Detective's logical mind is thwarted at every turn by his suspects' Zen thinking...

    Detective: Where were you at the time of the murder?
    Monk: What exactly do you mean by time?

    Increasingly confused and unnerved, haunted by his dead wife's ghost, and with his investigation going nowhere, the Detective finds himself drawn into a deeper, darker, more personal mystery, where he must confront terrifying questions about love and loss, which lead to a startling realization: the mystery he's there to solve isn't a murder at all, but the mystery of death itself.


How to add a Google Map to any web page in 30 seconds.

Aniston says she never even heard of any guy named Vince Vaughn

You're On Notice! - The Stephen Colbert "On Notice Board" Generator

President Offers Heartfelt Condolences to Joe Lieberman on His Vicious Political Lynching by Sissy-Assed Anti-Killing Yankees (WHITEHOUSE.ORG)





Movie Reviews:

Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Headhunter (2005)

Rolling Kansas (2003) is a road movie about some older college students who are all the sons of hippies. One of their number is about to divorce, and is dead broke, when the friends find their parents' map to a massive forest of pot planted by the government. The idea is to find the forest, bring back a huge stash, and solve all of their money problems before finals. Finally, with the help of Rip Torn, they find the forest, but have many more challenges on their way to financial independence.

Most of the humor is supposed to result from the personal characteristics of the friends. One is a fat man with narcolepsy, another in a wheel chair, an third thinks he is gay, and so on. At times, I found it silly, but nonetheless was rooting for the kids, and found some scenes amusing.

In addition to a few laughs, there's some nice nudity along the way. The lads duck into a rural tittie bar, where we see a lot of Mia Zottoli who shows off her buns in a t-back, and more than the usual quota of breast flesh. Mia's legs are so strong she has muscle definition.

This is a C-.

IMDb readers say 6.0. 

Mia Zottoli.







Dann reports on Somersault:

When Mom returns home to find teenage daughter Heidi making out with her live-in boyfriend, she doesn't handle it well. Heidi hits the streets, and starts growing up the hard way in this excellent 2004 Australian coming-of-age drama.

Heidi bounces from one relationship to another as she struggles merely to survive. Along the way, she experiments with sex and booze, and has various encounters with people who may or may not have her best interests at heart.

Well-written, well-acted story that has both pleasant and unpleasant moments, but is never boring, which also describes Heidi's experiences.

Abbie Cornish





Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn Monroe, The Mortal Goddess

Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits

Stephanie Leonidas in La Fiesta Del Chivo

Donna Ball in Shotgun

Rhonda Gray in Shotgun

Sandra Bernhard drops her pants and lets Howard Stern feel her pantied butt. (Zipped .mpg)



Pat's comments in yellow...

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, fewer American teenagers are having sex.  Since 1991, the number of sexually-active teens has dropped from 54.1 to 46.8 percent.  And the number of teens who've had multiple sex partners, meaning four or more, has dropped from 18.7 to 14.3 percent. 

*  To today's teenagers, sex with only three people isn't multiple partners, it's "study hall." 

The Minor League Newark, New Jersey, Bears baseball team got so much publicity with "Britney Spears Baby Safety Night," they are holding a new promotion tonight: "Scientology Night."  All fans who dress as a celebrity Scientologist, such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta or Kirstie Alley, get in free.
They'll also hold drawings for free copies of L. Ron Hubbard's book "Dianetics" and DVDs of Travolta's movie, "Battlefield Earth." 

*  The one drawback to "Scientology Night" is that you can come into the stadium, but you can never leave.

Urban design expert Stephen Bayley declared that London has become a "filthy, lawless and expensive place to live"

* Suddenly, America's crime rate drops, and London's skyrockets.  Isn't it time the police took a long, hard look at Gwyneth Paltrow?