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 four films!

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 potential criticism.

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 uninspired.

Perrey Reeves in the film. (Zipped .wmv)
Kaela Dobkin in the film (Zipped .wmv)
Kaela Dobkin in the deleted scenes (Zipped .wmv)



Contest winner can't afford to live in new house

Interesting material from The Smoking Gun: Uncle Sam's Porn Collection -
Government lawyer included XXX images in trademark rejection

Funny video: Establishing Sexual Consent

Map game ... How well do you know North Africa and the Middle East?

  • 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 Marry Cow

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 11

Sports Illustrated 2006 Swimsuits -Maria Sharapova

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 impressive.

Ten of the The Best Movies You've Never Seen

ABC makes some changes to 9/11 series


Movie Reviews:

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.


Natasha Henstridge









"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 Stockholm syndrome)


Valentine Demy


Hayni Hilford







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 The Dentist

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 ongoing.

*  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.