"The Name of the Rose"

The Name of the Rose (1986) is another film distributed on unobtainium. There is a German Pal VHS version, and a region free Brazilian DVD distribution. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the region free Brazilian release, but it was very dark and grainy. There is a new Italian Region 2 PAL release with improved image quality.Audio tracks include both Italian and English. There is a second DVD, containing a making of special, but it is only in Italian. The film was a critical flop in the US (Maltin, 2 stars and Ebert, 2 1/2), and was also a box office flop in the US. It was, however, a smash hit in Europe, and most of the rest of the world, and garnered many awards in Europe. Why? It is a European sort of film. The pace is leisurely, the tone is dark, the locations perfect, and the story is complex, and is not spoon fed to the viewer. IMDB readers have it at 7.6/10, with most of the comments coming from European readers.

Sean Connery stars as Brother William of Baskerville, a Franciscan who has come to a Benedictine monastery in Italy for a debate among Benedictines, Franciscans and Papal delegates as to whether the clergy should take vows of poverty or not. The Franciscans favor helping the poor, the rest believe in helping themselves. As the year is 1347, we are literally taken to the Dark Ages, and one of the darkest periods in Catholicism. The Inquisition is in full swing, and most books are kept in hiding by Monasteries because they conflict with Catholic doctrine. Connery, we later learn, has a history with the Grand Inquisitor, and is the Sherlock Holmes of the religious set, being both brilliant, and more enlightened than his peers.

When he arrives at the monastery (actually Kloster Erbach in Germany), there has been a mysterious death that is being attributed to the devil. He is called upon the solve the mystery. With him is a young protege, who is the narrator of the story, and plays Watson to his Sherlock. I am going to strongly recommend this film, so don't wish to give away any plot details. The mystery story line alone would sustain this film, and has plenty of twists and turns, but there are also many intertwined themes, mostly about excesses of the church, including homosexuality, surreptitious sex with a local peasant girl in exchange for food, murder, heresy, burning at the stake, hoarding knowledge, and economic oppression of the common folk.

Connery's young charge has a sexual encounter with an attractive peasant girl, Valentina Vargas, who shows everything in very dark scenes. The film is very moody, and is darkly lit, which is appropriate to the dark ages, but makes for difficult capping. The film also stars Christian Slater. There was not a flat performance anywhere in this film, the costumes were appropriate, the location perfect, and the art direction top notch. The film didn't just explain the Dark Ages, it took us there.

IMDB list the film under its German name, Der Name der Rose. It also saw major releases in France and Italy. It was made for $20m. and only grossed $7.2m in its US release, but did a very respectable $77.2m worldwide. I strongly recommend this film to anyone who isn't completely opposed to the genre. Some familiarization with Catholic history makes the film more enjoyable and understandable. This is a C+. If you like this sort of film, you should love this one.

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  • Valentina Vargas (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Prozac Nation (2001)

    Hell with the movie. Christina Ricci naked.


    Harnessing Peacocks (1993)

    This is a classic woman's romance novel, in convenient British TV-movie format.

    Hebe is the beautiful daughter of a rich English couple. When she gets pregnant by a masked stranger at a costume ball in Italy, she is determined to have the baby. Her family casts her out of their lives.

    In the course of the next dozen years, she supports herself by cooking for old rich ladies.

    Well, actually, not just that.

    To tell you the truth, she makes most of her money by sucking ... um ... peacocks. But she's not a prostitute. Oh, no. She's the mistress of very wealthy, shy men, and she leads them on the correct path to sexual prowess, which then brings out their extreme gratitude. But she's not a hooker. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But she's not a 'tute. Nosiree. She just makes a lot of money by smoking the White Owl ... er ... Peacock , which is very different from prostitution. Her profession is absolutely not prostitution, but rather "peacock harnessing", which is completely legal in England, where they abhor an unharnessed cock of any kind, pea or otherwise.

    One summer, a mysterious antiques dealer takes an interest in her. He seems to know who she is and about her past. How can that be?

    Are you ready for this?


    He is the guy from the masked ball in Venice. He's the father of her son. He falls in love with her, they live happily ever after, and his peacock is the only one she will be harnessing.

    It has to be the most boring and predictable thing I've watched in months, but I'm not a member of the target demographic, and I guess it has its audience, as shown in the IMDb summary (men 5.1, women 8.8 !!!!). There is one good reason for men to to watch. Find it in the "nudity report". Serena is gorgeous, charming, and very naked in good light. Although she is the sister of Kristin Scott Thomas, she actually looks like she ought to be the sister of Meg Ryan. (See the top left picture in collage #1)

    • Serena Scott Thomas. I really wish these two girls would decide whether they are Something Scott Thomas or Something Scott-Thomas, so I could figure out whether to place them in volume S or T. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)


    Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

    This is the Chuck Barris biopic directed by George Clooney. When I wrote about it last December, I said there was no female nudity, but it turns out that Maggie Gyllenhaal showed a nipple for about one frame - not very clearly, but it seems to be there.

    The biggest news on the full-featured DVD is full frontal nudity. Unfortunately, it's full frontal MALE nudity from Sam Rockwell.

    Although the film grossed only a disappointing $16 million, as compared to a $29 million budget, Clooney did some very smart things with this picture.

    1. He cast Sam Rockwell. That guy is a genius, and should have received an Oscar nomination for this brilliant performance. In fact, he could have won. Although this tongue-in-cheek black comedy can't be compared to The Pianist in importance, Rockwell did everything that Adrien Brody did, and more.

    2. He studied hard and learned well from Soderbergh. Clooney storyboarded every single shot in this movie. He wanted to learn how to direct, and by God he did a helluva job, and proved he could manage difficult tone shifts with elan and audacity.

    3. He took exactly the right approach to the film. He did not suggest that Barris was lying about his CIA career.  He simply told the story the way Barris wrote it. That had the impact of conveying this message - "If this is true, how cool is that? If this isn't true, how sad is that?"



    • Updated volumes: Charlie's French Cinema Nudity Site,




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    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.


    Yesterday, we asked - who has the best breasts in post-Kournikova women's tennis?

    You guys definitely love the big uns. After more than 200 votes, the stacked gals, Iroda and Serena, took 78% of the votes between them, while the tight small ones fell far behind.

     I think Venus has a gorgeous figure, but she limped in with a paltry 6%. Iroda, the gal from my wife's home town of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, got more votes than all the others combined.  Mammoth mams won the day.

    • Venus Williams 6%
    • Serena Williams 27%
    • Iroda Tulyaganova 51%
    • Jennifer Capriati 16%.
    Graphic Response
    A whole bunch of raw frames of "xXx" star Asia Argento naked in scenes from "B. Monkey" (1998). She bares breasts in almost every frame, plus pubes in #5 and a semi-gyno view in #4.

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    Ricci Topless!
    A must see....

    'Caps and comments by Brainscan:

    Another day, another Hefmate. That's what I always say. Well, to be honest, I've never said it before, but it sounds just fine.

    Heffer in question is Shannon Tweed in a movie entitled, "In the Cold of the Night." Aptly named. It is everything In the Heat of the Night was not. Heat had plot, pacing, direction and two male leads who were at the top of their games. Cold has none of the above. How bad was it? Consider these two points:

    1) Two veteran B-movie actresses, Shannon and Adrienne Sachs, are the only ones in this mess who could act. The male lead, in particular, was a cypher, a nought, a black hole into which all talent disappeared. Ya know its gonna be a long movie when the eye candy is the major acting talent.

    2) Marc Singer looked embarrassed to say his lines. This is a guy who had to pretend to tell a couple of ferrets to steal Tanya Roberts' clothes in Beastmaster, and did it without looking self-conscious. Yet here he's embarrassed. That's okay, Mark, so were we.

    The exposure? Well, Shannon lets one twin out to play (collage 1) and shows us quite a nice bit o' rumpus in a thong (collage 2). This was still early in Shannon's career (1989), only five years after Hot Dog, and she looks real good.

    And then there is Adrienne Sachs, who sometimes spells her first name Adrianne. When Tuna and Vejita sent in their caps of this movie, I was tres impressed, but after seeing the movie an adjective is necessary. Something like fucking impressed. The sport-humpin scene with the male lead is long and, tho shot through a blue filter, it is damn-near perfect. Grabbed about a googleplex of frames and managed to stick the first sequence together, which covers her response to the guy's entry into the shower. It gets better. A lot better. Should have them soon.

    Cláudia Ohana
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    The Brazilian actress topless, showing a little bush, gettin' it on, and even doing a little light bondage in scenes from "Erotique" (1994).

    Clémence Poésy
    (1, 2, 3)

    Gorgeous toplessness in scenes from the French movie "Bienvenue chez les Rozes" (2003).

    Mr. Nude Celeb
    Cameron Diaz
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Pokies and a very brief nip-slip in scenes from the Martin Scorsese movie "Gangs of New York" (2002).

    Sharon Stone
    (1, 2)

    Down shirt partial breast views in scenes from "The Quick and the Dead" (1985). Despite the cast of Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe before he was mega-famous, a young Leo DiCaprio and the direction of Sam Raimi, the movie didn't didn't do very well at the box office, possibly because it was essentially a spaghetti western. Personally, I kinda liked it.

    The story isn't great, but Raimi's Evil Dead style of direction worked very well with spaghetti western genre. Lots of close ups, using the point of view of the guns, tilted cameras, etc. A fun watch if you like movies and can appreciate the style while also forgiving the lack of substance.

    Nicole Appleton
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    The pop singer (a member of the pop group All Saints) looking gorgeous in topless scenes from her movie debut "Honest" (2000). 'Caps by the Skin-man.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Madonna's Used That Line A Lot - Britney Spears told "Access Hollywood" that her controversial kiss with Madonna at the MTV Video Music Awards was not rehearsed. She said during rehearsals, Madonna suggested it and said "do what you feel...just go with it and see what happens." But when it did happen, Britney said, "I didn't know to that extent that it was gonna be that long and stuff." Asked if she'd do it again, she replied, "I hadn't kissed anyone in a long time, so that should last me for awhile."

  • She hates kissing people with mustaches.
  • Britney doesn't want people giving her any more lip.
  • The last person she kissed was Justin, and Madonna's a lot more masculine.

    Do They Know The Phrase "Pig Ignorant"? - Beloit College in Wisconsin issued its annual "Mindset List" to explain what this fall's college freshmen know. Most were born in 1985, so to them, Ricky Nelson, Orson Welles and Lawrence Welk have always been dead. They've never heard Howard Cosell broadcast a football game. They have always known what Control-Alt-Delete means. And to them, stores have always had price scanners, all gas has always been unleaded, Paul Newman has always made salad dressing, and the Osmonds have always been talk show hosts, not singers.

  • Those lucky little SOB's.
  • So the answer to the question "What do today's college freshmen know?" is "Not much."
  • I think Lawrence Welk HAS always been dead.
  • To them, Mike Tyson has always been insane...But then, he's always been insane to everybody.
  • They think the greatest generation is anyone who had to use Windows 3.1
  • When asked about "The Great War", they start talking about Operation Desert Storm since American History only goes back to 1990 now.

    If I Ever Lose My Faith In You... - Sting admitted to ITV that his claim that he and his wife had "tantric sex" for up to eight hours at a time wasn't true. He said he made it up to impress Bob Geldof during a drunken night out. Sting said that what he didn't say was that the eight hours of sex "included four hours of begging, and then dinner and a movie."

  • A double feature...
  • And then, they both fell asleep.
  • That's not Tantric sex, it's Jewish sex!
  • Come to think of it, the dinner and movie were more entertaining than tantric sex would've been.