Kicking and Screaming (1995):
A bunch of college graduates can't figure out what to do with
their lives when college is over. After four years of hanging out
with their friends, discussing the philosophy of life, and making
fun of the less sophisticated, they are unwilling to leave their
warm womb to enter the cold world. So they try to cope and they
talk, and talk and talk ...
I have often said that Quentin Tarantino is the most-imitated
man in the past decade or so, but I may be wrong. If I give some
thought to it, I think I can make a better case for Jerry
Seinfeld. In fact, even Tarantino himself is something of a
Seinfeld impersonator. What I mean here is that Seinfeld seems
to have elevated the art of talking about nothing - musing about
Superman or airline peanuts - into a valid art form. Tarantino
himself uses this tactic in Pulp Fiction, in a context which
makes it seem fresh, since it is not Jerry and his nerdy pals,
but two hit men who are babbling about hamburgers.
Tarantino wasn't the only guy who was thinking in 1994 that
interesting small talk could make for good cinema. Pulp Fiction
came out the same time as Kevin Smith's Clerks and Whit
Stillman's Barcelona. Clerks and Barcelona are basically long
Seinfeld episodes, films about nothing, with bright and
discontented but trivial people babbling along so tirelessly and
so insignificantly that Eric Rohmer would be tempted to "shush"
them. Kicking and Screaming came one year after those
three. Although Kicking and Screaming was written by Noah
Brumbach, a man 17 years younger than Whit Stillman, it seems to
me to have about the same characters as Barcelona which, in
turn, also seems to have the same characters as Stillman's The
Last Days of Disco (1998) and Brumbach's Highball (1997).
If I'm not mistaken, these four movies even have some of the
same actors playing the same characters, albeit with different
names. I think one of the actors plays the same character in all
Of course it doesn't really matter which actor plays which
character because they all sound alike. Brumbach even addresses
that directly by having two different characters comment "you
guys all talk alike." If you stop and think about it, that's a
pretty clever screenwriting trick. It sort of co-opts the
This type of film doesn't really derive its appeal from sharp
character differentiation or complex plotting. The value of
dialogue-based movies like this resides in their ability to make
the small talk interesting and fun to listen to. After all, we
know the talk isn't going to be profound, so it had better be
witty. I'd say that Kicking and Screaming is moderately
successful. A few lines were brilliant. One character won't
leave the house with his friends until he sees if a TV character
can remove a stain. His friends are amazed to see that he's
watching not a murder mystery, but a detergent commercial. That
shows you the general level of the humor.
The usually-dependable Criterion Collection really misfired
on this one. Not only did they select a movie of no special
importance or merit, but they did a rather poor job on the DVD
transfer, which is consistently dark and hazy.
Just a C on our scale. Not a bad movie, and one which should spark some
nostalgia if you graduated from college in the early 90s, but
with only 33% positive reviews from the top critics and a mid-level
IMDb score of 6.7, it's a surprising Criterion selection.
I do like the Perrey Reeves nude scene very much. It has some
clear exposure, and even a punch line! The rest of the nudity is
Contest winner can't afford to live in new
Interesting material from The Smoking
Uncle Sam's Porn Collection -
Government lawyer included XXX images in trademark rejection
Establishing Sexual Consent
Map game ...
How well do you know North Africa and the
- This is a tough one. I know my
geography fairly well, but I got Mali and Niger reversed. I
got Kyrgystan and Tajikstan right only because I made the
right 50% guess. I didn't know which was which and frankly
still don't. If I did it again it would still be a 50% guess.
Same deal with Yemen and Oman.
Russian Farmer Asks Putin's Permission to
Six clips from The Last King Of Scotland
- In an incredible twist of fate, a
Scottish doctor (James McAvoy) on a Ugandan medical mission
becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world's most
barbaric figures: Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). Impressed by Dr.
Garrigan's brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly
self-appointed Ugandan President Amin hand picks him as his
personal physician and closest confidante. Though Garrigan is
at first flattered and fascinated by his new position, he soon
awakens to Amin's savagery - and his own complicity in it.
Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his
wrongs and escape Uganda alive.
Ann Coulter Urges Using Nukes in War on
Obesity ... 'We Must Take the
Battle to the Lard-asses,' Says Pundit"
This is tragic:
Anna Nicole Smith gives birth to a
daughter. Her son dies while visiting her in the hospital.
Nobody knows why.
Disneocon Re-Releases Classics
FilmJerk.com's Early Report for September
Sports Illustrated 2006 Swimsuits -Maria
Peyton wins the battle of the Mannings
It's Santana Time!
- You ever wonder what Santana's record
is after the all-star break? Last four years, counting this
year, he's 39-3. His worst year was 9-2. Imagine that. Anybody
would kill to go 9-2, and he'd like to forget that year.
Without it, he's 30-1!!! I've been obsessed with baseball
stats since I was a boy, and I can't recall anything more
Ten of the The Best Movies You've Never
ABC makes some changes to 9/11 series
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Power and Beauty (2002)
Power and Beauty was a Showtime original about the Monica Lewinski of the
Kennedy years, Judith Exner. There are important differences between the two
situations, however. Nobody cared that Kennedy had sex. What they did care
about was the other company she kept, including mobster Sam Giancana and Frank
Sinatra. If you believe everything in the film, Kennedy hired Giancana to get
him elected, and later to assassinate Castro. There is an implication that
Giancana might have had Kennedy killed for getting Exner pregnant. Hoover was
definitely watching her, and there was a much publicized investigation and
secret hearing which was leaked to the press. While I didn't see anything that
I know to be incorrect, the film really didn't make nearly as many hard points
as it did innuendos.
Natasha Henstridge, who played Exner, showed her right breast, that is, if
you are good enough with Photoshop. It is a very dark scene. A unidentified
black woman also shows breasts.
IMDb readers say 5.4, which is incredibly low for a TV offering. I was not
impressed. They could have given us a sleazy sex film full of nudity, or a
great conspiracy theory film, or a history of the political process in the
early 60s, but what they gave us amounts to TV exploitation. It would have
been easy to advertise it sensationally to draw in viewers. This is pretty
much forgotten now, and probably deserves to be.
"The Stockholm syndrome" aka "Il Sequestro - Sindrome di Stoccolma" is a
hardcore italian film directed by Silvio Bandinelli and starring Valentine Demy.
According to the "plot" she is a rich man's wife who is kidnapped for ransom
by a gang of thugs but develops a bond with her kidnappers. (This phenomenon has
been called the
Some weak captures, but we are thrilled to see
this rare scene of Kathleen Beller in
Surfacing. I wish they would get this to DVD or show it on HDTV.
Here is what Kathleen Beller
looks like now. (Supposedly taken in 2003, but I can't verify that. She
looks too young to be 47.) What a natural beauty. She hasn't acted in a
decade and a half and has borne three children, but what a face!! Magnifique!
She still looks better than 95% of the actresses working today.
Another great beauty, Gong Li,
coming as close as she came to showing a nipple in Miami Vice
Gina Gershon at a Greenpeace
benefit. No nudity, but worth seeing.
Henstridge lookalike Linda Hoffman in
Lorelei Leslie in 13 Moons
One of our faves, Linnea Quigley,
in Vice Academy
Jessica Simpson shows a peek of
the peak of one of those Grand Tetons
Pat's comments in yellow...
Australia's Herald Sun sparked an outcry by reporting that children's clothing
makers have started to introduce padded bras for girls as young as six. Saddle
Club, Barbie and Bratz are all now offering tiny lacy lingerie sets, and the
Bratz line includes Bratz "bralettes" starting at size six.
* Calista Flockhart LOVES hers!
In Levice, Slovakia, a 42-year-old man driving an old Citroen drove through a
traffic sign and crashed into a bus. Police found him unconscious in his car,
with his pants off and a penis pump attached to himself. He was taken to a
hospital. A police spokesman said they'd never seen anything like it, and "it's
very likely he had auto-sex while driving," although the investigation is
* With gas prices what they are, he's the only driver in
the world who
enjoys spending time at the pump.
Friday, Joshua Grant of Nashua, New Hampshire, was charged with drunk driving
and other violations after leading police on a high-speed chase through three
towns. Police were finally able to capture him after they realized he was
stopping at every red light.
* You could tell he was a desperate New Hampshire
criminal, though, by the
way he drove right through the yellow lights.
Spanish actress Penelope Cruz just finished six months of filming a new movie
that required her to wear a fake rear end over her own slender bottom, to look
like an Italian sex symbol of the '50s, and she said she was a disaster to be
around for two months afterward. Cruz said, "I couldn't leave the set. I
didn't want to take my false ass off. There was an emotional attachment."
* Being attached to a plastic ass brought up painful
memories of her time
with Tom Cruise.