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The Gist and Lawdog

In yesterday's edition the actress identified as Elisabeth Vitali from the movie "Lautrec" is actually Vanessa Guedj. Thanks to everyone who pointed out the correction!

"Sexual Chemistry" (1999)

Sexual Chemistry did something that few films manage to do -- it pissed me off. After I calmed down and thought about it, Sexual Chemistry is an ok soft-core. It has the requisite attractive bodies without clothes, is clearly lit, and is full of sexual situations. The DVD is very grainy, and not always in focus, but that is probably the fault of the original, not the transfer.

So what pissed me off, you ask? They took a great premise, and intentionally created a tongue in cheek "B" soft-core. Some of the cast should be in the running for worst performance, and the plot simply wasted what could have made a brilliant film. For the premise, they used two ideas I first saw in books by one of my favorite authors - Thorne Smith. For those not familiar with him, he wrote the original Topper series that the three films and the TV series were based on. The first idea was someone changing gender suddenly, and having to cope. This was a central theme in "Turnabout" where a husband and wife swap bodies as a punishment for thinking the other sex had it easy. Turnabout was made into a film, and also a short-lived TV series. The second idea involved a quirky scientist and a woman who can make magic getting together with complimentary powers. This was the premise for "Night Life of the Gods" where a scientist learns to make stone from flesh, then meets a Leprechaun's daughter who can turn stone to flesh. Together , they visit a museum and resurrect the Roman and Greek Gods. If ever there was a book begging to be made into a film ...

In Sexual Chemistry, which had a working title of "Dr. Jeckyl and PMS," Robert is a doctor of something, and works for a drug company. He is also engaged to a fellow employee (Chanda Marie). The drug company is trying to come up with something to compete with Viagra, but that will enhance the sexuality of both sexes. Robert decides to try a formula he created in college with his then girlfriend, the witch, Zelda ( Raisa Ivanic). He swallows the formula, and turns into a woman (Stephanee LaFleur). From there, things go a little crazy. It seems sexual arousal tends to turn him back and forth, his best friend really wants to get it on with the female version of him, his mother visits, and he has to resist the temptation to stay home and play with his breasts all day. While there are some cute gags, such as his girlfriend finding him in bed wearing the bra and panties he put on a few moments before as a woman, they did not match the potential of the premise even by half. Imagine the male version arrested, and changing into a woman in the holding tank. Or changing from man to woman standing at the urinal. How about interacting with gay members of either sex? The possibilities are endless, and are probably wasted forever. Still and all, if you like grade "B" soft-core, don't avoid this one -- it is an ok addition to that genre. I just mourn for what might have been.

  • Thumbnails #1
  • Thumbnails #2
  • Thumbnails #3
  • Thumbnails #4

  • Betty Rudu (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Chanda Marie (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
  • Raisa Ivanic (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
  • Stephanee La Fleur (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
  • Theodora Fredrickson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Johnny Web
    "I Dreamed of Africa" (2000)

    Just a short capsule on this one. It is saddled with the fundamental problem of any true story. It doesn't have a "hook" to make it cinematic. Oh, sure, the idea of an urbanized European family trying to adjust to a new life on the African Savannah is ipso facto a great backdrop, but where do you go from there?

    The family dog is swatted by lions, the husband likes to safari and leave his wife alone, they have to figure out how to educate their son, yadda, yadda, yadda. The usual Tarzan-meets-Old-Yeller cliches. In fact, this same director did "Greystoke". I should warn you, however, that there is a more salient point in his bio. He directed "Chariots of Fire", which I have fallen asleep while dutifully trying to watch on several occasions. And I'm not kidding!

    It would have made a dynamite IMAX film, with all the herds of leaping beasts, and thundering beasts, and quaint villages, and kids from many lands learning to understand each other. In other words, it's a meandering travelogue.

    Otherwise .......... Joanne Worley's schtick summed up this movie perfectly ...... "Borrrrrrrr-ing"

    This movie also bombed el grande

  • The Rotten Tomatoes index: only 10%! Six positive reviews, 56 negative. From the elite critics, it scored a perfect zero for fourteen.
  • IMDb viewers rated it 4.7 out of 10.
  • This movie did even worse at the box office than Supernova, although it didn't lose as much for its investors, thanks to a smaller budget. It was also released on some 2000 screens, and took in only six million dollars on a 34 million dollar budget. More telling still, it was still playing at first run theaters in June, but I am writing this after having rented the DVD in August. Give you the general idea?

    Kim Basinger looked magnificent. Age has not dimmed her beauty. She did a generally unrevealing nude scene, although her one breast was visible and still looked plenty appealing.

  • Basinger

    "Supernova" (2000)

    The online film critic, James Berardinelli, identified three factors that are a sure sign of trouble for a studio release:

  • It is released in January, AFTER the holiday movie season.
  • It is not pre-screened for critics.
  • The director lost control of the project, and asked to have his name removed from the credits. (This used to result in the official pseudonym "Alan Smithee" The new pseudonym is "Thomas Lee"

    Supernova was marked by all three disaster conditions. This project was started, but not finished, by Walter Hill. Incidentally, the additional footage and at least some of the final edit was performed by none other than Francis Ford Coppola. Another director, not a big name this time, (Jack Sholder of Wishmaster 2) also worked on the film.

    It is a space epic more or less directly derivative of "Alien". A small space crew answers a mysterious distress call, and ends up taking aboard a mysterious artifact which turns out to be irreconcilable with human life. Actually, they went it one better. This artifact is incompatible with the universe.

    This film is for genre addicts only. There is nothing original or deep about it. I feel confident you'll know exactly what's coming in every scene. In its current 90 minute cut, it's too short for interesting character development, it has several plot holes, and it has a sappy happy ending. It also features a very odd impersonation of Tom Cruise, as performed by Peter Facinelli, who mimics Cruise's smile, his voice, and his mannerisms. Facinelli is taller, and not as handsome, but the overall effect is remarkable. It is almost as if it were calculated.

    This movie bombed big time with both critics, and filmgoers.

  • The Rotten Tomatoes index: a whopping 9%! Three positive reviews, 30 negative. I read the three positives, and they weren't all that enthusiastic either.
  • IMDb viewers rated it 3.7 out of 10.
  • Despite wide release, it grossed only 14 million dollars on a 60 million dollar budget.

    Strangely, I found it worthwhile in a sense. Oh, the movie is completely predictable, but it isn't as bad as people said it was. I suppose critics were predisposed to hate it because they were shut out of a pre-screening, and because they were aware of the director troubles in the production. Who's going to write a good review of a movie obviously dumped by the studio and three directors? Don't get me wrong, it isn't a good movie, but it had some decent visuals, more or less capable characterizations, and was mercifully short, so I was able to watch most of it without the FF.

    But the film itself is not the reason to rent the DVD. In my opinion, there are two good reasons to rent it. One of general interest, the other of great interest only to film buffs like me who wonder how things change, and why they go wrong.

    First: there are more than a dozen deleted scenes, all fully scored, and these allow to to see how the original movie was a completely different movie - with a philosophical overlay and a deeply distressing ending. (The entire universe is doomed, and the evil guy is not destroyed by being ejected from the ship.) Moreover, there were other sub-plots, an explicit autopsy was performed on a character who was cut from the final version, another live person was found on the contaminated colony, the computer voices were different, two computers were later consolidated into one, etc. From these deleted scenes you can see the movie that might have been and compare it to what resulted. I won't tell you that the other movie was better, but it was different, probably much longer, and I found it interesting to speculate why they did what they did.

    Second: lots of nudity from Robin Tunney and Angela Bassett. The theatrical film was rated PG-13, but the version on the DVD is rated R. According to reports, they also added back some violence. NOTE: I am skeptical on the identity of the Bassett nudes. Tunney is obviously Tunney, but the nudity required of Bassett's character was shot to avoid a facial match-up, and Bassett has avoided this much exposure up till now. Has she suddenly gone bare at 42? She's always been in magnificent condition for it, but this sudden change of heart seems like a dubious proposition. If any of you know, tell me. (

  • Bassett (1, 2, 3)
  • Tunney (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Graphic Response
  • Helen Mirren in "Age of Consent" (1969)

    This is one of Mirren's earliest films. At the time she was just 25, and yes...she looks spectacular!

  • Sasquatch
    Amanda Peet
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
    7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
    Comments By Sasquatch: Still on sick leave, and still looking to pass the today it's Amanda Peet from "The Whole Nine Yards". Just like yesterday, my head really isn't focussed on color correction or anything even remotely close to artistic presentation, so excuse the shoddiness of these captures. These frames are about as raw as a California roll. Straight from Power DVD to PhotoShop to you.

    About the movie: I believe the word "quirky" comes to mind. I liked it a lot, in fact I was even able to put up with Chandler. But...I guess this is one of those movies that carries on with the current trend of making a medium budget "indie". You know, where big time actors opt to take a huge pay cut for a role that is 'more challenging' or the 'story is so good'. If you follow entertainment, than you know most of the time it's all pretentious BS. But in this case, the movie felt like more like a indie. The story is simple, but the characters are great, and the vibe I took away from the film is that the actors all really loved working on this picture.

    It's hard not to like Willis. The man has a gift for comedy, and despite his star power, he was just right in this film. On screen he wasn't Bruce Willis, "Movie Star", as most big actors tend to be these days. Instead he was Bruce Willis, "Actor". Nothing over the top, nothing too crazy, no explosions, minimal gun play, and no harmonica playing!

    But if you really want my opinion, it's Amanda Peet that steels the show! Every scene she is in is fabulous. In most cases I felt she carried the film, especially in her scenes with Matthew Perry. Perhaps that was the intent, and perhaps Perry is really a fabulous actor who was able to let himself appear vulnerable on screen, but somehow I doubt it.

    Anyway...highly recommended.

    Like yesterday's batch, a lot of similar frames.

  • #1-8 Amanda shooting topless
  • #9-11 Amanda sticking her fabulous upper half out of the window.
  • Chumba
    Bridget Hall Great scans from FHM, beginning with one of Chumba's favorites.
    Sarah Michelle Gellar Hard to go wrong with Buffy.
    Sophie Anderton A great headshot of the stunning British model.
    Carmen Electra As Chumba put it in his email...."Another over-inflated Bimbette from Hollywood". I kinda agree with him...even though she is a pretty good looking babe, I think her fifteen minutes were up about a year ago.
    Leslie Bibb The only see-thru of this batch.
    Marisol Nichols From the Showtime series "Resurrection Blvd"
    Tina Arning Topless vidcaps, also from "Resurrection Blvd"
    Yancy Butler
    (1, 2)
    From the "Yancy Butler Workout Video"...or is it a movie that recently aired on TNT called "Witchblade"?
    and ...
    Catherine McCormack Topless 'caps from the recently released DVD version of "Braveheart", by Akira.
    Shannon Elizabeth Here is a great find by Dann! A pre-"American Pie" Shannon topless from the movie "Dish Dogs".
    Polly Shannon Topless vidcaps from and episode of "The Outer Limits".
    Angelina Jolie
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    I find it hard to say no to any images of Jolie, let alone images with Jolie nude! #1-3 are great vidcaps of Jolie with Elizabeth Mitchell from "Gia". In these 'caps, NMD focused on the lesbian love scenes from the film. Excellent.

    #4 is a 'new to me' scan that gives us a view of many Jolie's tattoos. She is topless, but facing the wrong way. #5 is a familiar B&W see-thru.

    Gillian Anderson Gillian sporting an interesting look at the "Blockbuster Entertainment Awards", by Watty.
    Jennifer Love Hewitt A very nice collection of JLH showing off her nude back. Probably the only skin we'll ever see.
    Corinna Drews
    (1, 2)
    Topless vidcap collages of the German actress by UC99.
    The Funnies
    Why did the chicken cross the road?

    Fox Mulder:
    You saw it cross the road with your own eyes. How many more chickens have to cross the road before you believe it?

    President Richard M. Nixon:
    The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the chicken did not cross the road.

    Jerry Seinfeld:
    Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn't anyone ever think to ask, "What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place anyway?"

    Bill Gates:
    I have just released the new Microsoft Chicken 2000, which will not only cross roads, but it will lay eggs, file your important documents AND balance your checkbook.

    Oliver Stone:
    The question is not, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" but is rather, "Who was crossing the road at the same time, whom we overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing?"

    Charles Darwin:
    Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically dispositioned to cross roads.

    Charles Darwin:
    It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.

    Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
    I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

    In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

    Niccolò Machiavelli:
    The point is that the chicken crossed the road. Who cares why? The end of crossing the road justifies whatever motive there was.

    Click Here!