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"The War Zone" (1999)

The War Zone is being released September 19th on DVD. The entire time I have been working on the images, I have been trying to figure out how to express how powerful this film is. Perhaps the short message I sent to Scoopy moments after I watched it will do. "I just finished watching The War Zone. It is easily the most devastating film I have ever scene, and is brilliant." We are introduced to a family that has moved from London to the dreary outskirts of Devon. Mum is 11 months pregnant from the look of her, Dad is a caring father and easy-going, good-natured person. The daughter is 18, and has a body to incite lust in a stone. The brother is 16, missing his friends in London, and beginning to have strong sexual feelings. His sister's shape is not lost on him. Mom goes into labor, and the whole family drives her to the hospital. On the way, they roll the car. This intro presents a close family unit.

As the film progresses, we discover that what appears to be a happy family is actually a "War Zone." I don't want to write a spoiler, but I will say the real topic in this film is incest, and what it really does to the family unit. For a more thorough plot description, and a great review that I agree with 100%, read the one by James Berardinelli. For another opinion with fewer spoilers, Roger Ebert also wrote a great review on this one.

It has been two hours since I finished this film, and I am still emotionally shattered, as much from the way the story is told as the content. Incest is not a new subject in film, but you generally see an evil ogre and a sweet innocent. That makes the subject easy to understand, and gives us clear heroes and villains. In this film, there are no easy answers. First time director Tim Roth presents the story as something we experience. There is not one flat note in the entire film. The two leads are played brilliantly by first time actor Freddie Cunliffe and actress Lara Belmont. Each and every performance in the film is Oscar material. What a shame that the subject is too difficult for the Academy to consider. I usually advise you to rent or not rent a film. This time, the hot tip is buy. DVD info from Amazon

  • Thumbnails

  • Lara Belmont (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Unknown (1, 2)

    The business info was not really relevant. Not family fare, not rated, therefore a pariah among the theater chains, it appeared on about one small screen per city, only in major cities. The total gross was less than $250,000. According to IMDb, it maxed out at 7 screens!

    IMDB summary: 7.7 out of 10.

    "The Princess and the Call Girl" (1984)

    The Princess and the Call Girl is likely the last film by Radley Metzger. I discussed him in some detail in a previous issue, but you may remember that he did both hard and soft adult films, probably the best of which is "The Opening of Misty Beethoven." This soft core is not his best effort, although I respect what he attempted. A young rich woman is about to become engaged. She and her boyfriend are both inexperienced sexually, and she decides she should gain some. When her friend tries to calm her fears, and mentions that her fiance is a virgin, she responds, "That is worse ... I am competing with his fantasies." She meets a young man and spends hours with him "breathing on her neck," but can't manufacture any interest in him.

    She returns home, when a long lost college friend phones. Seems they are dead ringers for each other, and her friend saved her from expulsion by pretending she was the one who had screwed up. She is calling to ask for a return favor. Seems she is a high-priced call girl, and has found herself needing to be in New York with her boyfriend, and in Monaco with a series of customers. The princess finally agrees to take her place in Monaco. Armed with the three phrases her friend gives her to handle every situation, and the sage advice that you fuck the huggers and hug the fuckers, she does her best. This is the point when I think Metzger went wrong. This setup could have produced a great comedy, with the inexperienced princess trying to handle being a call girl. In stead, Metzger had her decide to use the situation to learn about herself and the ins and outs (so to speak) of physical love.

    The three phrases?

  • I have to have a drink with a photographer.
  • Love to.
  • I can't wait to see what happens next.

    The film is long on story and short on nudity for a soft-core, but the story doesn't hold up well enough to make it as a drama or a comedy. Don't bother reading the only on-line review (Apollo), as he got nearly every detail he mentioned wrong. Unless you are a real Metzger fan, this is one you can afford to miss.

  • Thumbnails
  • Thumbnails #2
  • Thumbnails #3

  • Carol Levy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
  • Shannah Hall (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • Unknown #1
  • Unknown #2 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
  • Stone Cold
    Stone Cold reviewed a second book of Patrick Demarchelier photos, and sent them by without comment.

    Demarchelier was once chosen by Princess Diana to do some official portraits. I think this is a pretty good indication of his status, since it's safe to say that Di could have gotten pretty much any photographer in the world to do it willingly.

    As far as I can see, the book is only available in a monstrous (15 by 11) hardcover edition. Here is the info, if you are interested.

  • Laetitia Casta (1, 2)
  • Princess Di
  • Alice Dodd
  • Shalom Harlow
  • Kim Lemanton
  • Elle Macpherson
  • Kate Moss (1, 2)
  • Johnny Web
    "Ganja and Hess" (1973)

    This is one of the more interesting chapters in cinema history. A Black Vampire movie with no biting, this art film is a long way from Blacula.

    Ganja and Hess, in the 110 minute version available on the DVD, stayed in theaters less than a week, and only played in the New York City area.

    This happened because of a combination of bad reviews, lack of audience support, and the financial woes of the distributors.

    The distributors got the film chopped by a third, and re-released it as a second feature on the blaxploitation circuit, using a different name, a different score, cutting many scenes and adding in some others which were not used in the "Ganja" version. This was an attempt to salvage some of the investment, and it was largely unsuccessful.

    Yet, the original film had been screened at the 1973 Cannes festival, received an ecstatic standing ovation, and was much praised by the critics and celebrities who viewed it there.

    The only known print was kept at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where it was dragged out for an occasional screening. It was retired some time ago because of the deterioration of the print, so virtually no one had seen this version before the DVD was made from a heretofore undiscovered 35mm print.

    Here is a site with very detailed information on the entire story.

    Is it a good movie? In many ways, yes. It is an extraordinary compilation of excellent visuals, supported by an unforgettable score with roots in both Africa and Black America. I thought the score was really interesting and added a great deal of power and authority to the film.

    Having said that, let me add that the film is amateurish in many ways. The balance between talk and action is swung way over on the talk side. The editing is quite choppy. The performing is uneven, often poor. The store is densely symbolic, and the direction tends toward the arty, so that one is not really sure what's going on. In short, the entertainment value of the film is very limited, and the narrative form is not at all straightforward. It just isn't regular old storytelling. It's allegorical. Think of it as a poem in movie form. A lot of people simply don't like poetry, and if you are one of them, this sure won't be your cup of tea.

    Think about the kinds of movies that are admired at Cannes. If those are your kind of filmmaking, this may be for you. If not, skip it.

    But whether you see the movie or not, I really recommend reading some of the articles featured in that link above. The film may not be as interesting as people would contend, but the story behind it sure is! Bill Gunn, the auteur and one of the performers in the film, was a novelist, playwright, stage actor, and one of the first Black Americans ever to direct a studio film. (In his later years, he was one of Bill Cosby's recurring poker buddies on The Cosby Show)

    IMDB summary: 6.2 out of 10.

    DVD info from Amazon

  • Clark (1, 2, 3)
  • Schmutzfink
    Maruschka Detmers
    (1, 2)
    Geography Lesson and Vidcaps by Schmutzfink:
    Today's images feature women from what we call the Benelux states (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg)- strictly speaking only of the Netherlands and the Flemish half of Belgium.

    On to the pics....
    #1 features the Dutch actress from the French film "The Pirate". Naturally, being a French film, there is a lot of nudity, including full frontal.
    #2 is from "The Mambo Kings", starring not one, but two overrated actors...Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas! (although I will give credit to Assante for "Fatal Instinct") These 'caps feature Antonio and Maruschka gettin' it on.

    Fili Houteman Never heard of her before. But my best guess is she is a former Ms Topless Belgium.
    Hilde van Mieghem Topless scenes from "Zwei Asse und ein König"
    Nada van Nie Showing off the goods in scenes from "Honneponnetje".
    Babette van Neen A brief bit of topless exposure from her first credited role in 1989's "Blueberry Hill"
    Monique van de Ven Topless and full frontal scenes from 1973's "Turkish Delight"
    Halle Berry Comments by Frost:
    From the July edition of Maxim. No skin from Halle this time, but if you use your imagination the fabric seems to be semi-transparent.
    Jane Fonda Comments by Frost:
    I found this one in a old magazine. My guess is that it's some sort of promo material from "Barbarella". The colours were all screwed up, but it turned out ok, and by the way she doesn't look bad at all in that see-thru uniform/space suit.
    Tyra Banks Comments by Frost:
    Not much skin, but it contains some see-thru action.
    Angelina Jolie
    (1, 2)
    Comments by Frost:
    Not much to say, except that she looks lovely as always. No visible nudity, but the dress is transparent so that counts... right? I have to say that Angelina Jolie # 1 is my favourite of the bunch. It just turned out great.
    Carolyn Murphy
    (1, 2)
    Part 2 of Brainscans model review. Unfortunately the only real topless exposure is from the models with the least upstairs. But hey, if that's your bag, then in you're in for a real treat. For those of us who prefer a little more meat on our bones, there are plenty of pokies, bikinis, an teaser breast pics to go around.
    Elsa Benitez
    (1, 2)
    Angella Lindvall
    Anouk Voorveld
    Carmen Kass
    Christy Turlington
    Debbie Deitering
    Cougar Scans
    Liz Hurley
    (1, 2)
    Excellent vidcaps (and cleavage) from Liz from her soon to be released "Bedazzled".
    Tiffani-Amber Thiessen
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    More preview 'caps! Here is hefty amount of cleavage from Ms. Thiessen from "The Ladies Man", due out on October 13. This is another in the "Take and SNL sketch and make it into a movie" series. The last two of these really sorta sucked. "Night at the Roxbury" and "Superstar". So who knows what to expect. I like Tim Meadows, and I think he has a lot more to offer than the other "stars" of the last two sketch to screen movies.

    On a side note, according to the IMDb Tim Meadows is the SNL performer with the most seniority. Since '91 and still going. (Followed by Phil Hartman with 8 years, and Dana Carvey with 7)

    Smadi Wolfman
    (1, 2, 3)
    Wasn't Smadi Wolfman the name of band that used to play the college radio circuit in the 80's? But seriously, here are 3 great collages of topless scenes from "Petits désordres amoureux".
    Ángela Molina Scenes of the Spanish actress going topless, and even showing some pubes from the 1980 movie, "Kaltgestellt".
    Laura Boera Laura showing off a nearly perfect pair of breasts from "Petits désordres amoureux".
    Malgosia Bela
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    5 HUGE, and very high quality topless scans of the model.
    Nicola Charles Best known from the Australian soap, "Neighbours". Here she is topless from the movie "Muggers". A great find by Aussie.
    Mystery Babe Great vidcaps by Dann from "Any Given Sunday".
    Kristin Minter These are dark, but if you're a fan of the Vanilla Ice cinematic masterpiece, "Cool as Ice", then I think you'll find these 'caps by NMD fascinating. The movie is the unknown film "Tick Tock". The scene...Kristin (Better known as "Cat" from "Cool as Ice") 100% nekkid! Topless and even a hint of frontal too!
    Monica Bellucci Excellent detective work by PicCap. Here is a very subtle nip slip from Ms. Bellucci. I didn't catch it myself at first, so here is a tip: look at her elbow in the bottom right corner.
    Heidi Klum From ZonononZor. Here is Heidi wearing a body paint bikini from the '99 SI calendar video.
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