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"Showdown in Little Tokyo" (1991)

Showdown in Little Tokyo is a martial arts action/comedy. I am not sure if the comedy was intentional, but I tend to think so. This is yet another Maltin Bomb that I enjoyed. The tag line from the film gives a great start at the plot: "One's a warrior. One's a wise ass. They're two L.A. cops going after a gang of drug lords. Feet first." The warrior is played by Dolph Lundgren, and the wise guy by Brandon Lee. Neither will ever win best actor, but the martial arts action was top notch. They were given pretty cheesy lines:

Lee: "In case we die, I just had to tell you that you have the biggest dick I have ever seen on a man."
Lundgren: "Thanks. I don't know what to say."
Lee: "How about don't die?"

Tia Carrere, who plays the love interest to Lundgren also has a similarly great line. He has snuck up and surprised her more than once before this. Right after making love, she says: "That time, I heard you coming."

The bad guys are really bad, and can act. They are extorting small businesses, pushing drugs, lopping heads, kidnapping Carerre, and worse. The leader, it turns out, killed Lundgren's parents back in Japan. One look at the Unknown images should convince you, as it did me, that the humor was intentional. Nobody could be serious about female sumo wrestlers, and the sushi platters are at least as good. Carerre never has breasts or buns and face in the same image, so this is likely a double for her.

Yes, this is a testosterone flick with a weak script and some poor performances, but there is a certain chemistry between Lundgren and Lee, the action is good, it has great pace, humor, exposure, and the art direction is good. I would not submit it to Cannes or Sundance, but it is a diverting enough way to spend a little less than 90 minutes.

  • Thumbnails #1
  • Thumbnails #2

  • Renee Ammann (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Tara Fabrizi (1, 2, 3)
  • Tia Carrere (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • Unknown (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Johnny Web
    Chat and news from Johnny Web

  • Bill Clinton became the first president to shake hands with Castro, as the two men exchanged some chitchat at a U.N. meeting. Well, hell yes. I mean they have a lot to talk about, since both men are known for their love of cigars.
  • Charlie has updated his site. Click here for the new stuff.

    "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" (1974)

    This was the maiden directorial effort from Michale Cimino (The Deer Hunter), who also wrote the script, and the film featured a young Oscar-nominated Jeff Bridges and Clint Eastwood in the prime of his career.

    Despite those credentials, it isn't all that good. It's a buddy film that doesn't quite click

    Director Cimino didn't have the skills yet to portray the robbery that had to be pulled off in exactly seven minutes. He didn't know how to convey the urgency felt by the characters when presented with distractions. He seems to have mis-cut the film so that scenes seem to be missing, and characters seem to be introduced and left hanging. And the tone seems all inconsistent. First it's an escapist caper flick. Then it's a gritty cops-and-robbers film with betrayals and shootouts. Then it's a buddy picture. Or it's a broad comedy. Or it's a slice of gritty realism. It couldn't decide.

    I have to admit that George Kennedy and his buddy were hilarious in the ice cream wagon. You see, the four criminals decide to pull off a massive bank heist, but they have no money to buy the equipment they need. So they all take jobs to raise some dough. Well not all of them. George Kennedy refuses to take a job, but he rides with his buddy in their little ice cream scooter in a moment of very broad comedy, and at one point he tells a smart-ass kid to "fuck a duck".

    Although this was funny, it was not really consistent with the tone of the rest of the movie. For example, the final scene involves the death of the third of the four partners, a car driving through the rolling Montana hills, with the cinematography conveying the endless and empty nature of the hills,and the loneliness of it all, reinforced by a sad song from Paul Williams. Not exactly wacky Jim Carrey material, eh?

    By the way, they manage to make enough money at their minimum wage jobs to buy an anti-tank gun, which you can see in one of the collages.

    Does that make sense to you? If so, explain it to me, because I don't know how they could earn that much selling Good Humor products in a short time on desolate streets, and even if they had the cash, I don't know where how they'd get an anti-tank gun in rural Montana.

    So, I think the movie is pretty slow and sometimes confusing, the direction is uneconomical and the tone inconsistent. Having said that, I can't let you go without saying that the film has some plusses, especially in the magnificent shots of the countryside, and the interaction of the four main characters, all four of whom were written well and performed interestingly. The "buddy" part of the picture worked well, I thought.

    You could see Cimino's potential, but it was raw and unpolished. I think the movie is worth watching, but looking at the Apollo and IMDb comments and ratings, I'd say the film is probably overrated.

    The DVD is not good quality. It does preserve the original 2.35 aspect ratio, but the colors are washed out toward green, and there are no significant bonus features except the original trailer. I don't recommend it at all. Worth a rental, but don't own it.

  • June Fairchild
  • Luanne Roberts
  • Leslie Oliver

    IMDB summary: 6.8 out of 10.

    DVD info from Amazon

    "Nashville" (1975)

    A big sprawling slice-of-life movie with a very irregular structure. Basically just a couple of days in the lives of 24 characters who form a representative sampling of life in Nashville. Robert Altman directed this slice of Americana, using Nashville as a metaphor for the way Americans started dreaming about things that weren't that important, while anger and malaise snuck deep into our lives.

    Altman's star was assured with this film, which was the subject of one of the most famous reviews ever written, the encomium in which Pauline Kael, the learned New York critic, not only declared Altman a candidate for canonization, but argued to release the full six hour version that Altman preferred.

    I'll tell you what, though. I am severely disappointed that the long version is NOT included in the DVD. For 25 years I've been wondering about that long version, and I'm still curious about it.

    A lot of the satirical bite of this film is lost today. This film was started during the Watergate crisis, finished slightly after Nixon's resignation, and Altman was a new left type thinker. At the time, there was a starkly apparent contrast between the characters in this film and the direction in which America was moving. Nashville and its denizens were obvious anachronisms in the context of Watergate and Vietnam. All that context is lost now, and much of the film's edge with it. Kael considered it to be a hilarious satire, but it doesn't work as well without the common understandings of 1975. (One line is still hilarious. A smarmy faux-patriotic country star played by Henry Gibson finds that Eliot Gould (playing himself) is at his party - in his most rhetorical tones, he says "welcome, sir, to Nashville and my lovely home" (Imagine it in Henry Gibson's voice)

    By the way, the DVD does include a full-length commentary by Altman, and that is pretty much worth the price of admission. If you are a film buff, I reckon you'll want to hear his thoughts. Many people, not just Kael, consider this a great masterpiece.

    I don't. I think it's deeply flawed, rambling, often boring. Some characterizations are excellent, and the film has some great moments, but they are only moments, and never form a cohesive whole that I can see. Tuna was right, by the way, there are far too many characters to develop, and too many of them are left hanging in the middle of a story, often without much development, almost universally with no closure. I was left wondering what happened to the stories I was interested in, and wondering why the hell they included the other stories at all. (Karen Black's character, for example, seemed to have no purpose other than for Karen to sing a few songs, which she did quite well. Jeff Goldblum's character seemed to have no purpose, period. In fact, I don't think he had any lines.) So maybe Kael was right. maybe they should have released the six hour version .

    I liked the movie more in 1975, when I understood all the attitudinal assumptions, but as I remember, I didn't think it was a great masterpiece then, either, just an interesting film with an experimental structure which I kinda liked.

    One interesting bit of trivia. There is more than an hour of singing in this movie, and most of the songs were actually written by the actors who performed them! The film probably has more singing than most musicals. Keith Carradine played a Jim Croce-like folk singer, and his "I'm Easy", won the best song Oscar.

    Lily Tomlin was probably the best thing in the movie. She looked good, I liked her character and she brought great style to it, but the woman should have not attempted singing. It comes out as an awful screeching sound that makes Shatner sound like Mario Fucking Lanza. (Luckily, she was pretty much covered up by a professional gospel choir.)

    As always with the early Altman films, very creative opening credits! Probably my favorite thing in the movie.

  • Gwen Welles (nudity)
  • Lily Tomlin (partially transparent bra) (1, 2)
  • Shelley Duvall (see through underpants)

    IMDB summary: 7.8 out of 10, about the same as Altman's M.A.S.H..

    DVD info from Amazon

    Sound Track info from Amazon

  • TomCat
    "The Thirteenth Precinct"

    One more from TomCat's collection of nudity in Polish TV sitcoms.

    Man, they never had this kind of stuff in the communist days. Of course they could have made them then, but nobody owned a TV to watch them. Oh, and laughter was specifically forbidden by the party.

    Actually there were some TV's in big hotels and hospital waiting rooms. But the only three shows that were allowed were "Morning exercise with General Jaruzelski" (which basically consisted of one sit-up and firing up a Lucky Strike), "Our Friend, The Tractor" (I loved the spare parts episode, which Polish children watch each Christmas as British kids might look forward to "A Christmas Carol". God bless carburetors, every one.), and "She's the Sheriff" with Suzanne Somers. They were just being careful about that anti-laughter thing. No chance that anyone would laugh at those three shows.

    This is Joanna Jedrejek, who plays a slutty police officer who is having an affair with the precinct commander, and is not subtle about her slatternly ways. I think you can figure out this storyboard with no knowledge of Polish.

    Brigitta Callens
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
    Comments by Brainscan:
    Verrry interesting, but probably stupid...
    So I see this weird magazine from Europe called Che, and on the cover is a picture of a hottie, who I am lead to believe is the former Miss Belgium, Brigitta Callens. Am I interested? That would be a "yes." But there, next to her name and the word "topless" is a question mark. Topless? I would say the woman on the cover is topless, yes. Which begs the question: is she Brigitta Callens. Well, I don't speaka the language in which the mag was published (taint German, Spanish or English), so I have attached the picture on the cover (after cleaning up all that messy type) and several other scans of Miss Callens. And? I don thin so, Lucy; the mouth, the eyes just don't look right. Tis enjoyable, nonetheless.

    #1 is the cover pic, 2-9 are of Brigitta.

    Nikki Tyler
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    Comments By Oz:
    You can thank HBO and Real Sex for these caps. A sex aid manufacturer wanted a new sex toy and needed a model. Nikki was the model. The caps show her being 'warmed up'. It makes for a better mould I gather. You then see the latex being poured all over her - at least on the parts that matter. The final collage shows her erotic dancing and some lucky bloke getting his 'toy' autographed.
    Wendel Meldrum
    (1, 2)
    Comments By Oz:
    Wendel is one of the leads in The Divine Ryans. She plays the widow of a man who kills himself because his son sees that he likes to play on 'both sides of the fence'. The film was nothing to write home about - too heavy for me.
    Anna Karina Scandinavian babes this week...First up, images from 1973's "Pane e cioccolata". Not being Scandinavian, I'm not really sure if this is rare nudity or not. All I do know is that you have to look in the mirror to see the topless exposure in these frames.
    Inger Stevens Side breast shots from one of her last movies, 1969's "A Dream of Kings"
    Ingrid Thulin Ahh...those swingin' 60's! Here's Ingrid in a topless scene from 1969's "Die Verdammten"
    Janet Agren Janet topless in vidcaps from "Aragosta a colazione". aka "Lobster for Breakfast".
    Liv Lindeland Something of a legend for being the first pinup babe from a certain magazine to show pubes. As a result of that layout and scenes like this one from 1974's "Dirty O'Neil", she definitely had a hand in the creation of the stereotype 'Norwegian babes are all large breasted blondes'.
    Summer Altice
    (1, 2, 3)
    From the French Max. #1 has a nice view below the equator, #3 is a nice topless.
    Drea DeMatteo
    (1, 2)
    From Arena UK
    Ali Larter Pokie sighting from Sky magazine
    Frederique van der Wal A topless B&W from the Italian Max
    and ...
    Valérie Kaprisky
    (1, 2, 3)
    Parts 3-5 of UC's coverage from "La Femme publique". Similar to yesterday's batch with plenty of full frontal and topless scenes.
    Amanda Reddington Vidcaps by FR of scenes from "Flodder in Amerika".
    Jessica Alba This is a follow-up from yesterday's submission by Sisyphus. Just in case anyone wants to see how much work goes into a completed scan, here is a before and after comparison. Sisyphus mentioned in his email that it took close to 14 hours of editing!
    He also added the following comments: "Why do I do it? 'Cause no one else will!"
    Traci Shaw From a recent appearance in Front magazine
    Liz Hurley
    (1, 2, 3)
    #1 is a fantastic collage by ZonononZor featuring new to me topless images of Liz in 1994's "Sharpe's Enemy". #2 and #3 feature Liz nekkid, but keeping the goods just out of sight from GQ.
    Jaime Pressly
    (1, 2)
    Two sexy collages for your desktop by ZonononZor.
    Sarah Michelle Gellar
    (1, 2, 3)
    Hot off the press! Buffy in the October issue of Premiere.

    Click Here!