From the mailbox, re the French-Canadian women in the breast cancer
"Hi, there. I can help you with a few names.
- Karine Vanasse is an actress from Quebec whose last movie is
Polytechnique, which relates the killing of female students in a school.
- Mélanie Maynard was in radio and is now the animator of a
French-language morning show on tv.
- Caroline Néron is a singer, tv and movie actress, and artist. She played
in a sort of remake of Countess Bathory a few years ago.
- Anne-Marie Cadieux is an actress who does theatrical movies and tv.
- Anne-Marie Losique is the daughter of the Festival des Films du Monde (
FFM ) in Montreal. She's also a producer of adult tv shows and is trying to
launch an adult tv network in Quebec. She's also remembered for interviewing
a drunk Ben Affleck who was coming on to her like crazy a few years back.
- Caracol is a singer from Quebec.
I'm not too sure about the others."
Quick, name a period film starring Michelle Pfeiffer,
written by Christopher Hampton from a vintage French novel, and directed by
Stephen Frears, in which two scheming French seducers wile away their dotage
manipulating the lives of youngsters. Personal tragedy ensues when one of the
calculating puppet-masters falls in love with one of the innocents, a love
which is prevented by the machinations of the other sophisticate.
Here's the difficulty: it's not Dangerous Liaisons. The answer is this film, Cheri, from two stories by Colette, "Cheri" and
"The Last of Cheri."
Starting with Liaisons, Frears has created several excellent films:
- (7.60) - The Queen
- (7.60) - Dangerous
- (7.60) - High Fidelity
- (7.50) - Dirty Pretty
- (7.10) - Mrs Henderson
- (7.00) - Liam (2000)
- (7.00) - The Grifters
But there has been one noticeable failure in his filmography: Mary Reilly,
rated 5.5 at IMDb, which also was scripted by Christopher Hampton. Perhaps
that was a bad omen for Cheri, which is significantly below Frears' usual
standard. Not only does it feel like a Dangerous Liaisons copycat, albeit
placed a century later, but it also suffers from a script which includes very
little forward motion and in which the most interesting things occur
off-camera and/or are recited to us by the omniscient narrator. Frears and
Hampton both have tendencies toward the prolix, but in this case, the script
is all yakking with no visual payoff, as both author and director seem to have
forgotten that film narrative is visual and not something to be followed with
our eyes closed as if we were listening to a book-on-tape. Even the film's
tragic final surprise is simply narrated to us matter-of-factly. Imagine if
Star Wars had ended with the rebels sailing through space toward the death
star while a narrator told us "Oh, yeah, they won, destroyed the death star.
Got some medals. It was pretty cool. Too bad you couldn't have seen it." This
film has that kind of ending. It's not anti-climactic, but pre-climactic!
And frankly, for a film about sex and prostitutes, it is excessively
delicate in its sensibilities. For example, the film has several sex scenes or
potential sex scenes, but they are all castrated by editing and lighting.
Either we are forced to watch two barely discernable shapes rolling around in
stygian darkness, or the camera cuts away discreetly, just as it becomes apparent that sex
is about to occur. If you didn't recognize the actors, you might think this
film had been made in 1939.
On the other hand, 1939 was a good year. The lavish Victor Fleming style of
filmmaking had its advantages. When Frears is not focused on the plot, the visuals are splendid.
There are old-time motorcars being driven through a beautiful French
countryside by men and women in gorgeous costumes, as photographed by
helicopters. There are impeccably decorated Belle Epoque interiors and
the manicured exteriors of stately mansions.
The film can also count among its positives the beauty of Michelle
Pfeiffer, a beauty which stands virtually alone in modern screen history. She has a
face as beautiful or more beautiful than Jolie's or Megan Fox's, with none of
their aloof insouciance. Pfeiffer is beautiful, yet also obviously normal and
approachable, with compassionate, expressive eyes. There are very few 50+
women who could fit believably into this story as the lust object of a
25-year-old man, but Pfeiffer is utterly convincing in that capacity. Her body
is as slim and narrow as a teenager's. Her chin hasn't the slightest sag. She
has only the faintest hint of crow's feet. She is still beautiful, not
qualified by "for a woman of 50," but just plain beautiful.
So Cheri is not without merit. Prepare to be dazzled by elegance.
But, lord-a-mercy, is this film dull!
Nudity: very little. Feel free to go through
this third-party clip and see
if you can make out anything.
I added this higher-res clip of the only clear female nudity. (An extra in
Catch the deluxe
version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles,
Angelina Jolie film clips
In 1992-1994 Angelina Jolie was in the
struggling actress stage, attracting little attention except the
occasional note that she was Jon Voight's daughter. 1995 and 1996 were
her transition years, during which she was not a star, but was starting
to be noticed with major roles in interesting little films. In
1997-1999, she shot through the roof, climbing through the levels of
stardom as easily as a game geek climbing through the levels in The
Legend of Zelda: she beat one level, went to the next, beat that.
1997: a Cable Ace award winning role
1998: an Emmy winning role in Gia
1999: an Oscar winning role in Girl,
That Oscar put her on the A-list, where
she has stayed, as you well know.
Along with Hackers and Foxfire, Mojave
Moon was from her "major role in quirky little movie" period when people
were starting to notice her. All three of those films are rated in the
mid fives at IMDb, all are watchable for one reason or another. To me,
Mojave Moon is the worst of that trilogy, not because of Angelina, who
did fine, but because her character is oddly scripted and the movie in
general is cheesy.
Danny Aiello plays a car salesman who is
picked up by Angelina Jolie one morning in a breakfast restaurant in
L.A. There's a middle aged fantasy for you, eh? Danny is well aware that
he is not as young or as attractive or as buff as Brad Pitt, so he is
understandably suspicious of Jolie's motivations, but she keeps coming
on to him to get him interested, so ... well, would you resist? Neither
does he. He sort of lets himself be tugged along, although she always
pulls away when he gets too interested. She asks him for a ride out to
her trailer in the desert, and he figures, "So that's what this is
about. Oh, well, why not?", so he drags her out there in his "old guy"
sedan. Upon their arrival, she promptly abandons him with her mother
(Anne Archer) and mom's psycho boyfriend, while Jolie herself leaves to
elope with her boyfriend. All sorts of bizarre behavior ensues.
It seems that Jolie was really luring
Aiello out to the desert as a "gift" for her mom, but Aiello is totally
and understandably uncomfortable with that situation, especially given
that mom is currently attached to a violent, possessive nutbag.
That first act was sorta strange, but not
exceedingly strange. The rest of the film more than took up the slack.
The film stops being an offbeat domestic romance about coping with the
middle age crazies, and shifts gears completely to become a crime
comedy. The boyfriend turns up dead in Aiello's trunk in the desert.
Then Aiello has a flat tire and a cop happens by to help out while the
body is still in the trunk. Eventually, Aiello's car is stolen, corpse
and all. Then the car shows up, but the corpse disappears. Then the
corpse isn't even dead.
Meanwhile Mom's psycho boyfriend wants to
kill Aiello. Through a friend of a friend, Aiello enlists the help of
some mob guys, and it turns out that there are bars in L.A. where
various highly specialized mobsters hang out waiting for people to come
to them. Various black market corpse traders argue over the business
when they think Aiello wants a corpse. The quibbling mobsters prove to
be little help, so Aiello hires his actor friend (Alfred Molina, the
funniest thing in the film) to dress up in Soldier of Fortune garb to
scare the psycho boyfriend (with a paintball gun.)
The good guys keep failing miserably.
Mom, daughter, Aiello and Molina
eventually end up inside a car balanced precariously on the edge of a
cliff, where ...
Well, now you know what the film is about
and you have enough info to determine whether you'd like it. I reckon,
you can watch the movie if you really care to know what happens. I don't
think you'll find any edgy, electrifying surprises in the resolution.
Overall, it's a surreal comedy, or maybe
a dark comedy without much darkness. Jolie is lively and sexy and
offbeat, and steals her scenes, but does not dominate the film at all.
It's really Danny Aiello's movie, and it's just so-so, as you might
imagine of a film with Danny Aiello in the romantic lead.
Raw screen grabs
Nothing for Saturday and Sunday ... be back in time for the Monday edition. Have
a good holiday weekend.
A Passion for Murder
A Passion for Murder (1997) aka Deadlock has all the usual softcore scenes.
Doria Rone and Ashlie Rhey do the lesbian bit
and there are a couple of unidentified
De'Ann Power in her dying scene impersonates
and Shauna O'Brien leaves little to the
Virtual Girl 2
Virtual Girl 2 aka Virtual Vegas (2001) has
another lot of naked ladies.
They are: Amber Newman
Michelle Von Flotow
and one I couldn't identify.
This is the second half of the fourth season of the Charlie's Angels
TV series. There are slim pickings and there is not a lot to get
Episode 14 Of Ghosts and Angels
Cheryl Ladd - looking good
Jaclyn Smith - a bit of cleavage
Shelly Hack - looking good
Episode 16 One of Our
Angel's is Missing
Cheryl Ladd - looking good in a bikini
Episode 17 Catch a Falling
Cheryl Ladd - Olivia Newton John in Grease comes
Elissa Leeds - lovely in leather
Episode 18 Homes $weet
Cheryl Ladd - in bathers
Shelley Hack - a bit of an upskirt
Episode 19 Dancin' Angels
Cheryl Ladd - cleavage
Jaclyn Smith - cleavage
Shelley Hack - minor pokies
Episode 22 Nips and Tucks
Joanna Pettet - cleavage
Episode 23 Three for the
Jaclyn Smith - sexy
Episode 24 Toni's Boys
Roz Kelly - cleavage
Episode 25 One Love - Two Angels