Our Top Story Tonight


Charlie got a copy of l'idole, and you know what that means, doncha kids? Leelee Sobieski stark nekkid.

Here are some international stars represented in Charlie's update:

There are several more in his actual update - go to his section to see the ones which are not known so well internationally.

"The Rose"

The Rose (1979) is finally being released on DVD. Director Mark Rydell was offered the project several years before, and decided Bette Midler was the only performer equal to the role. The studio had never heard of her and said no, so Rydell bowed out of the project. Several years later, the film had still not been made, and the studio had heard of Midler, so they reached an agreement. Originally, it was to be the life of Janis Joplin, but Rydell argued that it be a fictional blues/rock star with some of the same elements of Janis' life, because that gave him more freedom to create a story.

What he created was essentially a musical, and it is no wonder that the concert footage feels so authentic. They created a band, and put them in a studio with Midler to work out a show. When it came time to film, they filled a real venue with extras, and Rydell told them not to respond if Midler didn't impress them. She came out and did this concert to a live audience who had never heard of her, and, with 9 cameras for coverage, they shot the concert in one take. Midler had to actually win the audience, and did.

This is the story of the last few concerts from a rock superstar who has been driving herself too hard for years, and drinks way to much, although she is finally off heroin. She is realizing that she is nearing her limits, but her manager has $3M worth of concert dates already booked. The film builds toward a concert in her home town that is very important to her, as she wants to return home triumphant. Meanwhile, she has found true love, or at least great sex and a willing arm to lean on in a chauffeur/AWOL soldier.

Midler shows cleavage and pokies on and off through the entire film, and may show the top edge of a nipple. IMDB has this at 6.6 of 10. Oscar nominations included Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Sound, and Editing. It also won Golden Globes for Midler and the song, the Rose. DP was Vilmos Zsigmond, who did his usual outstanding job. The film was a little long at 125 min, and while it is a very well made film, it is one of those that is hard for me to watch, for the same reason that I usually don't enjoy drugs suck films. I probably admired it this time through more than I did on VHS, as the DVD did justice to Zsigmond's camera work. This is a C+, a superior genre effort, and rather daring for its time, but, ultimately, a story with a self destructive leading character that we root for, but who doesn't survive. This was Midler's first acting job, and I agree with Rydell, she was the ideal choice for this role.

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  • Bette Midler (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)


    Vacation (1978) is now 25 years old, and they have released a 25th anniversary special edition. It is remastered in the original theatrical aspect ratio, but the best thing about it is the new commentary, featuring Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, Producer Matty Simmons, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, and director Harold Ramis. I will assume every one of you has seen this classic of the Griswalds trying to get to WallyWorld in the world's ugliest station wagon, so here are some of the points I found interesting in the commentary.

    Near the start of the film, Clark and Ellen are doing the dishes. She is scraping them, then he wipes them with a dishcloth and puts them in the cupboard. They never get washed. In a scene I can relate to, Clark is trying to find the gas tank on his new car. He notices that the car across the pump from him found theirs under the license plate, so he grabs his and pulls. It flies off. What I never noticed is that it narrowly missed the actress on the other side of the pumps, and you can see from Chase's look that he really thought he had injured her. Imogene Coco at first didn't want to take the role of the cantankerous aunt. She was afraid she couldn't be mean enough for the role. The ending we all know was not the original ending. They went to Wally's house, and forced everyone to dance and entertain them at gunpoint. Test audiences hated the ending, so they re-wrote it, and then had to shoot the new footage. In the meantime, Hall had hit puberty and grown about 3 inches, and everyone had lost their tans.

    The new release still has the shower breast exposure from D'Angelo, as well as the panties only long shot at the Holiday Inn swimming pool. As you might remember, the 4/3 version showed much more of her, including the fact that she was wearing panties in the shower. Christie Brinkley, in her first film role as the blonde temptress in the sports car, declined to go nude, so we see her in a white bra, and she is wearing a skin-toned body suite in the swimming pool. The reason both she and Chase seem to be treading water is so you couldn't see their clothes through the water.

    IMDB readers have this at 7.0 of 10. Rotten Tomatoes is 100% positive. This is a clear B, one of those rare comedies that nearly everyone enjoys.

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  • Beverly D'Aneglo (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
  • Christe Brinkley (1, 2, 3, 4)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)


    The Omega Man (1971):

    The Omega Man is part of a famous sub-genre in S/F films: Charlton Heston post-apocalyptic movies made between 1968 and 1973. Those movies were Chuck's specialty during that period:

    This was the second major film based on Richard Matheson's novel "I Am Legend". The first, The Last Man on Earth (1964), starred Vincent Price. The recent British film, 28 Days Later... (2002), does not give a credit to Matheson, but is essentially the same story as The Omega Man. Of course, if Matheson ever saw The Omega Man, he'd have to wonder why he was credited in that one. Neither 28 Days Later nor The Omega Man is really a faithful screen adaptation of Matheson's novel about vampirism, so it seems to me that the most interesting question to ask oneself is why 28 Days Later works as an atmospheric and chilling movie, while The Omega Man now appears incurably hokey to our modern eyes and ears, except for the very effective scene where Charlton hears the imaginary phone ringing.

    Some key reasons:

    1. Special effects. London really looks empty in 28 Days Later, but when Heston is driving through LA, we see people and vehicles moving in the background, we see working traffic lights, etc. Better still, Charlton Heston's body double is in several minutes of motorcycle chase footage, and looks nothing like Heston. It's a big wide-bodied guy with silver hair. Might have been Tip O'Neill.

    2. Chatty zombies. The Omega Man script turned the Matheson's vampires into plague victims, which was OK, but also turned them into a religious cult with anti-technology beliefs. It ends up as Charlton Heston against the Albino Amish. The Nouveau Amish Blanc leader spends most of his screen time making Luddite speeches, as if he really wanted to get Heston's vote in the next Zombie election.

    3. Sound track. Over the years, movie makers have really learned a lot about how to co-ordinate the sound track with the mood they seek to elicit. The musical score for The Omega Man, although haunting in spots, basically sounds like a TV theme song or the overture to a Broadway play. I kept waiting for the curtain to open on Gordon MacRae riding his horse, or Yul Brynner pacing about in his bare feet.

    Or maybe for Bill Murray to come out and start singing the words:


    Oh he's not the Beta Guy

    Or the Theta Guy

    He's the Omega Guy

    ....... and he's all alone


    Oh, he don't wear L'Oreal

    just seekin' an Omega Pal

    and someday an Omega Gal

    ....... to call his own


    maybe someday when the world is new

    there'll be an Omega Baby, too.

    so it can finally be true

    ....... when he hears that phone


     Most of the scenes in Omega Man would be better underscored with silence, or with natural noises ala Bergman or Tarkovsky,  or with modern horror techniques - like low, slow repetitious drumbeats (ala The Hole), or even with classic horror techniques like the sudden shrieking sounds in Psycho.

    4. Story consistency.

    • Heston has been living alone in the world for two years. Everyone else on earth is a zombie, as far as he knows. Yet he has fresh sausages and grapes on his table. Zombies running their own vineyards? Raising pigs? Or is he eating Soylent Green grapes and sausages?

    • Heston spends every day trying to find where the zombies sleep in L.A. Even assuming they stay in one place permanently because they are too stupid to move, L.A. is a mighty big place for one guy to cover every floor of every building without even using elevators. Meanwhile, the zombies all come to Chuck's house every night, and he has an entire armory in his den. Yup, every night he knows exactly where they are, but instead of shooting them, he sits in his house, cooks himself dinner, and plays chess with an imaginary opponent represented by a bust of Caesar. During this time, he only shoots them if directly provoked. Here's a suggestion, Chuck. Tomorrow, during the day, get some grenades instead of looking for zombies. What the hell, get a friggin' tank! Tomorrow night, when the zombies come to your house, blast them to kingdom come.

    • The zombies don't use any type of motorized vehicle. None at all. Remember, that is against their beliefs. But they appear at Chuck's house every night promptly after dusk. Therefore, their hideout must be within a block or two of his house, right? So why is he searching miles and miles across town.

    • The power grid in L.A. seems to go on uninterrupted. At one point, the arc lights actually go on in the coliseum, frightening away the photosensitive zombies. Chuck asks his rescuer how she did that, and she answers, "oh, Dutch takes care of stuff like that". Chuck doesn't elect to ask Dutch. 'Tis a mystery.

    And so forth.

    I really liked the early part of the movie that was about Chuck's loneliness, madness, and isolation. That kept me going through the poor second half. It's really a shame that The Omega Man ended up such a cheesefest with preachy zombies and a bunch of additional humans to provide a hokey love interest. The first fifteen minutes are very good, with Chuck wandering through the empty streets, muttering to himself, trying to keep a grip on his sanity, watching movies he's seen so many times before, hearing a phone ring when there is no phone ringing, frightened when he sees that the sun is almost down and he's far from home.

    • Rosalind Cash. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) The best thing about her second nude scene is that it is possibly the most gratuitous nudity ever seen in a mainstream film. Not only is it not necessary for her to be naked in that scene, but there is absolutely no reason for the entire scene to exist. The entire extra scene was written just to add some more nudity. That writer and director are our kinda guys.



    A House of 1000 Corpses (2003):

    House of 1000 Corpses is Rob Zombie's long-delayed homage to the nastiest splatterfest movies ever made, like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and some of the Herschell Gordon Lewis flicks. A group of condescending college kids end up in the hands of a bunch of inbred, insane, murderous freaks. The latter proceed to tear the former to bits. Rinse, repeat if necessary.

    The film starts off with some offbeat style and humor. The first ten minutes are pretty funny, as the mandatory innocent kids visit a cheesy, macabre roadside attraction and ride the ghost train in a murder museum. The proprietor of the museum, a foul-mouthed clown played by Sid Haig, tells them about a local legend. The kids think it sounds really cool and have to check it out. That turns out to be a bad idea because the legend is true and they get dismembered, buried alive, skinned, tortured ... well, you get the idea.

    By showing the cheesy false horror of the ghost train, the director is holding his nose and saying - my movie is not going to be like this, nosireebob. And then he proceeds to pull out all the stops. If the film has a hook, it is that it holds back nothing. Whatever grotesque mutilation can be imagined is actually portrayed on camera, and there isn't a lot of humor in the gore. It's just designed to shock with explicit, graphic, grotesque details.

    I don't like this kind of entertainment, and most of you will share my distaste, but I noticed that it had pretty good reactions from the rating sites, a 3.5/4 from Arrow in the Head, and made quite a good profit. Obviously this genre has an audience. The film pulled in twelve million at the box despite a low budget, poor reviews, and distribution to no more than 850 screens. A sequel is already in the works, and the tentative plans call for a near-blockbuster 2,500 screen blitz.

    Two distributors passed on this film before Zombie managed to get it to the public, but what can I tell you? When he got it out there, it sold.




    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.

    Kim Dickens Topless in scenes from the Showtime series "Out of Order".

    Francesca Rettondini
    (1, 2)

    The Italian beauty topless in scenes from "Ghost Ship" (2002).

    Julianna Margulies The "ER" star strips down to a bra and boxer shorts in scenes from the indie flick, "Traveller" (1997).

    Normally Spaz is right on the money with his info, but as RDO pointed out in his email, "White Slave Virgins" isn't exactly the first time Rena has given up the goodies. Here are some 'caps by RDO from "Showgirls" that features Rena going full frontal and giving us a view from the gyno-cam.

    • Rena Riffel (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Brittany Murphy
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    The perky actress who seems to be in a new fluff comedy every 6 minutes looking great on Leno. A tight dress showed off her chest, and some great leg exposure.

    Maria Tornberg
    (1, 2)

    Showing off legs, undies, cleavage and going topless in scenes from the very funny movie "Super Troopers". 'Caps by Nag.

    Darian Caine
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    More Darian Cane
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    The Skinemax babe who has co-starred in over 30 movies since her debut in 1998 showing breasts and pubes in lesbian scenes from 2 movies. The first 9 pics are from "Lustful Addiction" (2003). The second 9 are from "Mummy Raider" (2001). 'Caps by Señor Skin.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    From Ananova...
    Anna Kournikova to be ambassador for "sex industry" resort

    It Keeps Me Young! - J.L. Hunter "Red" Rountree robbed a bank in Mississippi in 1988 on his 87th birthday and got probation because of his age. He did it again in Pensacola in 1999 and got three years, becoming the oldest person in the Florida prison system. Tuesday, he allegedly did it again. Police said the 91-year-old Rountree robbed a bank and made his getaway, but a witness got his license number and police pulled his car over a half hour later as he was on his way home.

  • It was easy: he was driving 5 miles an hour...He'd only gotten about 300 yards from the bank.
  • It's the only way he can afford his prescription drugs.

    She's His Best-Behaved Offspring - Courtney Love says she was "incredibly shocked" by a report that she is Marlon Brando's granddaughter. Her mother, psychologist Linda Carroll, claims in an upcoming book that she took a DNA test to prove that Brando fathered her during a brief affair with her mom in the 1940s. Courtney said she's heard that Brando has fathered more than 30 children, "so I can't imagine how many cousins I have."

  • Who would've guessed that Courtney Love would be descended from a promiscuous nutjob with no self-control?
  • For all she knows, SHE'S had sex with him...Who can remember everything?
  • She inherited the same singing ability he displayed in "Guys & Dolls."
  • This is unbelievable! Courtney Love's mother is a PSYCHOLOGIST?!

    Well, Some Celebrities, Anyway - Two scientists from DeVry University in Florida and South Illinois University say that Celebrity Worship Syndrome, or CWS, should be classified as a potentially sanity-threatening disorder. In a study of 600 people, they found that one in three were so addicted to celebrity gossip that it interfered with other areas of life and could lead to depression, anxiety and social dysfunction. One in 10 believe there's a special bond between them and a celebrity, and one in 100 are so obsessed, they can become stalkers. The doctors say early humans watched and copied the best hunters; but today, celebrities are the most successful, so people copy them.

  • Except Ted Nugent fans: they copy him because he's the best hunter.
  • Only one thing can cure it: for the celebrities to make a movie like "Gigli."
  • Foolish mortals! There is only a special bond between celebrities and other celebrities!
  • They become delusional, depressed, anxious, dysfunctional...In other words, they become LIKE CELEBRITIES!
  • If you want to stalk a celebrity, just carry a camera: then it's okay.