Video clips: Nicole Kidman, Part
3 of ?
Dead Calm (1989). Movie
House review. Also known as Part One of the Billy Zane Sinking
Ship Tetralogy. Zane is even further over the top than usual, but
the film is generally an entertaining thriller. Important thing is
Kidman removes her clothing. (Zipped
Moulin Rouge (2001).
Movie House review. A musical with no substance, but what
style! Kidman makes a rare display of a sense of humor, but only
shows one brief nipple. (Zipped
Birthday Girl (2001).
Movie House review. Another thriller. Not a bad little flick
after it gets going, but a total box office bomb with $2.4 million
on its opening weekend, a 52% drop the second week, and no
third week. Fortunately, Kidman took a big pay cut ($1.5
million) to do this film. Her normal salary at the time was $7
million (for 2001's Moulin Rouge and 2002's The Hours) -
more than Birthday Girl's entire gross! (Zipped
Incidentally, contrary to her reputation and her salary
expectations, Kidman has never been very strong at the Box Office.
In her entire career she has been in only ONE movie to exceed
$100m in domestic gross, and that was Batman Forever, which was
certainly not driven by her presence. Details from
Box Office Mojo. Her salaries in the last five pictures have
ranged from $15m to $17.5 m, per
IMDb. Four of
the five did between $59m and $95m. The fifth one was the
pretentious Birth, which took in a mere $5 million after having
paid $15m to Kidman! Her last three wide releases had opening
weekends in the $20-$22m range.
Video clips: some silly crap
Nicole Richie falls out of her dress during an interview. (Zipped
Maria Sharapova falls out a bit at Wimbledon. (Zipped
Joan Collins - five clips from the immortal cinema classic, The
.wmv) ... (Movie
Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005)
More from Dario Argento!
A young man named Giulio, now a film student at a
university in Turin, has been a voyeur since he was a child.
He often watches a beautiful young woman named Sasha who lives
in the apartment across the street. Sometimes he sees a little
flesh, and at other times he sees arguments between the girl
and her mother. He becomes sufficiently obsessed with the girl
to follow her around town, where he sees her renting Hitchcock
movies and apparently scheming with another attractive young
woman, a blonde.
When the girl's shrewish mother turns up dead and the girl
inherits a great deal of money, Giulio is intrigued. He knows
that the girl and her attractive friend are both interested in
the film Strangers on a Train, and he imagines that the women
have decided to commit two murders based on the premise of the
Hitchcock film - an exchange of murders between strangers,
with each having an ironclad alibi for the victim they know.
Giulio figures that the blonde has killed Sasha's mother while
Sasha had an ironclad alini, and that Sasha must now
reciprocate. He becomes determined to study the blonde's life
to see who she might want Sasha to kill.
Needless to say, Giulio's girlfriend is not at all amused
by his obsession with the two foxy women, his voyeurism, or
his ridiculous theories about murders inspired by obscure
films. But are they really so ridiculous, or has he stumbled
upon the real plot? Are the women aware of his theories? If
so, and if they really are murderers, isn't his own life in
The main Hitchcock template for this film is not Strangers
on a Train, but Rear Window, a film that is frequently
referenced here right down to some small details like Giulio's
broken leg, which confines him to his apartment with his
binoculars. Oh, yeah, and there is a very strong element of
Dial M For Murder as well, although I can't discuss that
without spoiling a late plot development. While he was at it,
director Dario Argento also referenced two Brian de Palma
films, Dressed to Kill and Body Double. And those are only the
obvious ones that I noticed. He may have dropped sly
references to several other films as well, and all within a
reasonably coherent plot. (The film does have one immense flaw
in its logic, but it is in a matter secondary to the murder
Do You Like Hitchcock? is not particularly bloody by
classic Argento standards; and the individual scenes are not
as taut and suspenseful as they might have been. The whole
film just seems to be a playful homage on Dario's part, the
result being a film which is neither very flamboyant Argento
nor very controlled Hitchcock, and which is really too light
in tone to be the work of either. Given the obvious
references, the Donaggio score, Dario's inherent competence,
and nudity from four attractive women, it is not an unpleasant
way for a film geek to pass 90 minutes, especially since the
English dubbing is far better than usual. In general, I
thought it was good fun, although I didn't really care about
the solution to the mystery. On the other hand, if you are not
already a fan of De Palma, Hitchcock, and Argento, this film
is not likely to provide your epiphany.
The DVD is not recommended because it is too damned dark,
and has only one short "behind the scenes" featurette. If you
want to see the movie, don't own it, rent it.
Dear Uncle Scoopy,
A couple of years ago you, with the help of a member who is an
expert on this sort of thing, did me a HUGE favor by identifying a
soft-core actress (Fawna MacLaren) I'd become smitten with and the
name of the movie (Lover's Leap) I had a scene of her in. Now I'm
in a similar bind, and I was hoping you and your crack squadron of
soft-core experts might be able to help.
A year or so ago, I stumbled upon this movie (on Cinemax, I think)
and taped this fantastic scene. I've since become very, umm,
attached to this scene and the woman in it. I have attached six
photos of the scene in question. I would be extremely grateful if
you or someone you know could identify this woman and/or the name
of this movie.
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Rome (2005) is an award winning HBO offering from the UK based on the end
of Caesar's reign. The deluxe box set is a little pricey, but very nicely
done. Tonight, I present the images from Episode one, which includes full
frontal and rear nudity from Polly Walker and Kerry Condon, and buns from an
unknown doing street theater.
The first thing that struck me about this series was that Romans all had
British accents. I found this jarring at first, but it makes sense. Had this
been a US series, everyone would probably have had American accents. They
actually used accents to distinguish nobles from plebeians. I also thought the
bikini waxing was anachronistic. Other than that, they seem to have gone to
great pains to get period detail correct, and were interested in historical
accuracy, even down to battle strategy.
IN the first episode, we are introduced to all of the characters. Caesar is
still in Gaul, mopping up the last pockets of resistance. His daughter dies in
childbirth, leaving Pompey Magnus with no remaining loyalty to Caesar, amidst
a growing concern with the senate that Caesar has become too popular with the
people, and may try to become king. Pompey Magnus makes his first move against
Caesar. Caesar announces that he will be returning to Rome.
While it was nominated for many awards, it received few. I will reserve
judgment until I have seen more episodes.
Dann reports on Ghosts Never Sleep:
In many ways, this 2005 drama reflects every person's worst fear: that
things spiral out of control putting you in a position where you are held
responsible for things you didn't even do.
Jared is a struggling writer with a tragic
past. When he writes of a dark family secret, his mother, who is
determined to keep things hidden regardless of the cost, causes a chain of
events that eventually leave Jared fleeing from the law.
Further complicating things is his
involvement with Melissa (Shea Alexander), a coke-driven aspiring
producer who strips to make a living while desperately trying to fund her
project. She needs Jared to write the screenplay of his latest work.
The film delivers top-notch acting by
several name stars such as Faye Dunaway as the mother, and Sean
Young as Jared's wife. It's very worthwhile when you're in the mood
for a thoughtful storyline with rich character studies.
Sandra Bullock in the immortal cinema classic
Who Shot Patakango? I really like Sandra, but she has made some of the worst
friggin' movies in history. She has IMDb ten credits in the fours or lower.
- (4.92) - Two If by Sea
- (4.86) - The Preppie
Murder (1989) (TV)
- (4.81) - Miss
Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005)
- (4.66) - Who Shot
- (4.56) - When the
Party's Over (1992)
- (4.29) - Who Do I Gotta
- (4.17) - Religion, Inc.
- (3.34) - Fire on the
Amazon (1993) (V)
- (3.31) - Speed 2:
Cruise Control (1997)
- (3.22) - Hangmen
I've never seen Hangmen, but it would have to be pretty goddamned bad to
be worse than Speed 2 and Fire on the Amazon. Many people consider its
director J. Christian Ingvordsen, to be the worst of all time. He has a good
case. His filmography makes Uwe Boll and Fred Olen Ray look like Spielberg
and Michael Curtiz. He has made 11 films that have an IMDb rating, and 9 of
them are rated 3.0 or lower! (And the other two ain't so hot either!)
- (4.37) - Strike Zone
- (3.93) - Blood Relic
- (3.02) - Cyber
- (2.90) - Hangmen
- (2.89) - Absolute
- (2.79) - Comrades in
- (2.66) - Firehouse
- (2.65) - Backfire!
- (2.48) - The Outfit
- (2.42) - Mob War
- (2.24) - Airboss
Julia Stiles. Every so often, Hollywood invests
a lot of time and effort to convince us that someone is a star, and we just
don't buy into it. Keanu Reeves comes to mind. The latest such project is
Julia Stiles. At various times, they have tried to paint her as a sex kitten
(in a Poison Ivy clone called Wicked), as a Shakespearian actress, and as a
professional dancer - all with hilarious results. Then they cast her as a
CIA bureau chief in the first Bourne movie, even though she was 20 at the
time, and looked 14.
I suppose she may make it yet. She just needs a niche. Keanu was a
laughingstock for years (remember his ridiculous accent in that Dracula
movie?), but now is a dependable go-to guy for certain types of roles. He'll
never be Kenneth Branagh or Russell Crowe, but he's OK as long as he can
speak in his natural voice and doesn't have show any great emotional depth.
Maybe the breakthrough part is out there for Stiles as well.