Talk Like a Pirate Day (Tuesday)

The Notorious Bettie Page (2006)

There is absolutely nothing unpleasant in the experience of watching The Notorious Bettie Page. It stays close to the facts as they are known, it reproduces some of her modeling experiences as accurately as possible, and it features a performance by Gretchen Mol that seems to evoke perfectly Bettie's innocent spirit and radiant smile. The distinctive characteristic of Bettie Page was the fact that she was just so "aw, shucks" wholesome and square in a world that previously seemed to belong to perverts and creeps. She was like Annette Funicello in the Marquis de Sade's world. Her presence in that world served to humanize it, and to make it seem normal. As to whether that was a good thing, I defer to the teachings of my spiritual mentor, the esteemed Dalton, the lead character in Road House, who would have said, "Opinions vary." On the one hand, Bettie's presence in fetishland made a lot of people with harmless fetishes feel more comfortable with themselves, and that has to be a good thing. On the other hand, it made fetishland a popular amusement world accessible to more people, and that might or might not be good.

I compare Bettie's cultural influence to that of the new type of strip club. When I was a young man, strip clubs were grungy, forbidden places filled with sleazebag managers and low-rent customers. There was a good chance that any given customer would get ripped off in some way, and there was a good chance that any given night would feature some kind of mayhem. The dancers seemed to be mostly run-down old broads whose primary business was really selling themselves for cash or drugs. These days, the customers in "gentlemen's clubs" seem to be with middle managers in Brooks Brothers suits, many of the dancers are college kids, and the employees run the cash registers as transparently and honestly as the people at Safeway. If your daughter told you she was working in one of the new style clubs, you wouldn't celebrate, but you also wouldn't panic, because there would be no reason to assume that she was a junkie or a whore. Is the change good or bad? I guess it's probably a bit of both. I'm more likely to go into one of the new gentleman's clubs than I was to go into the old sleaze joints, and I think many guys feel the same way, so I guess it means more people spend more time stripping and looking at strippers. I'll leave it to the sociologists to debate whether that is a positive or negative cultural development, but the point is that the business grew because it was turned into an unthreatening and pleasant experience. Bettie Page had the same impact on fetish photography. She made it seem downright wholesome fun!

This movie accomplishes the same thing. It makes everything that Bettie did professionally seem to be a pleasant experience for her which brought other people pleasure. Notorious Bettie will leave you with the feeling that you've been watching a Disney film, even though you've actually spent 90 minutes watching naked people and people in bondage gear.

I started out by saying that there is nothing unpleasant about the experience of watching The Notorious Bettie Page, and that's true. Unfortunately, there's nothing so very interesting about it either. The film doesn't evoke any great feeling of nostalgia for the era. It has no special point. It often drifts aimlessly and dispassionately through its paces. It does not criticize Betty, nor does it find fault with those in power who wanted to stop the circulation of bondage films. The tone is absolutely neutral, and the presentation is completely even-handed. The people who work in the films are just average joes and josephines carrying their lunch-pails to work and making a buck. The cops and senators who prosecuted them are pictured the same way - just doing their jobs, sincerely believing in what they say, really trying to do good for society. The film is refreshingly lacking in cynicism, but it leans so far in the opposite direction that it's also completely devoid of any point of view.

People say there is a fine line between wholesome and bland. Maybe there is no line at all, because I found this film to be both.

Gretchen Mol looks great both naked and dressed, however, and I have no problem watching her hang out for 90 minutes. I can't tell you for sure that I will vote for this as the nude scene of the year in our annual December balloting, but this will certainly be the standard by which I judge all future possibilities. Gretchen is beautiful, she's a mainstream actress, and she's stark naked from all directions in good light. By all means watch it for that reason alone, but understand that there's nothing more to the film other than supplying a context, or maybe a pretext, for Gretchen's nudity.

IMDB voters score it over 7.0, and reviews were mixed-to-good (Ebert: three and half stars!. It found no audience and was distributed as an arthouse film. (There are more than 110 reviews at RT, but it was never in more than 73 theaters!)

Gretchen Mol (Three .avi's zipped together).







Mets become the first team to clinch a division, their first NL East title since 1988.
  • This could've happened as early as Thursday, when the Mets had a 3-game lead and the Phillies had a double-header, but the Phillies refused to lose and the Mets were swept over the weekend in Pittsburgh.

Candygram? Land shark? Shark that walks on its fins

"THE WORLD'S FIRST PENIS TRANSPLANT" ... "Docs give man new willy - then take it away two weeks later"

Armadillos crawling into southern Illinois

  • When will the Illinois congress seal off the southern border to prevent those foreign nuisance animals from taking the road kill jobs which rightfully belong to native Illinois nuisances.

"Man sets sights on eye-popping record"

Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19

Alibi of the week: "A Nigerian murder suspect accused of killing his brother with an axe told police investigators he actually attacked a goat, which was only later magically transformed into his sibling's corpse, officials said Thursday"

Artist ordered to repaint elephant

  • In other news, the Mona Lisa has been removed from public display because DiVinci unwisely failed to use child-safe paint.

The trailer for The Invisible

  • "From the studio that brought you "The Sixth Sense," "The Invisible" is a supernatural thriller about a teenager who finds himself trapped between the worlds of the living and the deceased. Nick (Justin Chatwin), is a high school senior with a bright future until, in a tragic case of mistaken identity, he is brutally attacked by a troubled girl, Annie (Margarita Levieva), and his body is left for dead. Now in limbo, not quite dead but invisible to the living, his spirit can only watch as his mother (Academy Award® winner Marcia Gay Harden) and the police search frantically for him, unaware that he is only hours away from truly perishing."
  • I hate it when they falsely perish.

The trailer for Mischief Night

  • "Everyone has Halloween but in Yorkshire, we have Mischief Night – for one night of the year, madness and mayhem rule! Tina Crabtree lives on the White side of the park with her three unruly children, Kimberley, Tyler and Macauley. Across the park on the Asian side, is the large Khan family including Immie Khan, his stroppy sister Sarina and his naughty brother Asif. As the clock ticks down to Mischief Night, the Crabtree's and the Khan's are unaware that their worlds are about to collide. In the course of one night, the barriers that separate both families come tumbling down in a blaze of crime, clubbing, love and fireworks – changing all their lives forever."

Three clips from Jet Li's Fearless

  • "Already a boxoffice hit in Asia, 'Jet Li's Fearless,' directed by Ronny Yu (helmer of the Hong Kong classic 'The Bride with White Hair'), is Jet Li's final martial arts masterpiece, capping a tremendous body of work in that genre."

Coming Soon has the Japanese trailer for Casino Royale

The trailer and six clips from Flyboys

"Major League Baseball career hits leader Peter Rose has reportedly signed a collection of 'confession balls.'"

  • I've never seen him called "Peter" before. The new, dignified Rose?
  • According to the New York Daily News, Rose, who was banished from the sport for gambling on games, signed the inscription "I'm sorry I bet on baseball", on the balls which are expected to become collectors' items.
  • I think I've explained why Pete bet on baseball. He had to do something. When he retired from baseball as the all-time hit leader, one of his teammates said, "I'll betcha a million bucks you get in the Hall of Fame ...?"

The ultimate "dog bites man" headline: Willie Nelson Busted for Pot

Mr Eugenides' Sex Diary (Pretty sure he's married.)

MovieJuice! reviews The Black Dahlia - Vanilla Thrilla

I've linked to this before, but if you haven't seen it, you must ... Ursula Martinez, the stripping magician

This test is based on how cooler you are now than in High School, and it is amazingly accurate. ARE YOU COOLER THAN YOU USED TO BE?


  • Joe Francis, the creator of the popular “Girls Gone Wild” series, announced open enrollment yesterday for The Girls Gone Wild University. “We spend a lot of money traveling to find college girls who will degrade themselves,” said Francis. “With our own university, the girls are now coming to us.”"


"Despite the stunning success of Lonelygirl15, another video series on YouTube, Lonelyfatguy39, has failed to generate similar interest."

The trailer for Climates

  • "Winner of the prestigious Fipresci Award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, 'Climates' is internationally acclaimed writer-director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's sublime follow-up to his Cannes multi-award winner 'Distant.' Beautifully drawn and meticulously observed, the film vividly recalls the cinema of Italian master Michelangelo Antonioni with its poetic use of landscape and the incisive, exquisitely visual rendering of loneliness, loss and the often-elusive nature of happiness. During a sweltering summer vacation on the Aegean coast, the relationship between middle-aged professor Isa (played by Ceylan himself) and his younger, television producer girlfriend Bahar (the luminous Ebru Ceylan, Ceylan's real-life wife) brutally implodes. Back in Istanbul that fall, Isa rekindles a torrid affair with a previous lover. But when he learns that Bahar has left the city for a job in the snowy East, he follows her there to win her back. Boasting subtly powerful performances, heart-stoppingly stunning cinematography (Ceylan’s first work in high definition) and densely textured sound design, 'Climates' is the Turkish filmmaker's most gorgeous rumination yet on the fragility and complexity of human relationships."





Movie Reviews:

Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Sweet Killing (1993)

Anthony Higgens plays a middle management banker who is comfortably off, but has an overbearing wife. His chief hobby is comic books, and eventually their stories inspire him to do his wife in. He goes ahead with his plan, and in the process of setting up a perfect alibi, meets the woman of his dreams, Leslie Hope  (24, Talk Radio), who is completely believable as a woman who would instantly inspire lust and affection. The murderer's plan is nearly perfect, except for an over-zealous cop, Michael Ironside, who is sure he did it, and goes to extraordinary lengths attempting to prove it.

Release info is sketchy, but it seems to have gone straight to video in the US.  According to the credits, this was a Canada-France-Great Britain co-production. IMDb credits it as being French. I haven't seen the agreements, so I am not sure, but it was made in Canada by a Canadian production company using Canadian locations, Canadian cast, and Canadian crew.

Sweet Killing is a nifty little murder story that nobody has heard of. It's original and interesting from start to finish, thanks to many delicious plot twists which are difficult to out-guess, a fast pace, and the right breast of Leslie Hope in a sex scene. That's enough for me to call it a solid C on our scale.

A statistically meaningless 22 votes at IMDb place it at 4.8, but those who bothered commenting liked it very much.

Leslie Hope








Jennifer 8


There is some brief breast (and maybe a bit of bush) in Jennifer 8 (1992). It is supposed to be Uma Thurman but it is obviously a body double.

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Code 46


Another possible body double occurs in Code 46 (2004) where we possibly see a very naked Samantha Morton. 

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Nina Sosanya is shown partially dressed.





Theresa Russell briefly shows some breast in Trade-Off (1995).



Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas


No nudity in Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas (2005) but Christina Applegate is shown partially dressed.



Game 6


Again, no nudity in Game 6 (2005) but Bebe Neuwirth looks very sexy wearing some thong lingerie. 

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The Island


Some nice topless shots (and a very brief bush shot) of Aussie actress Angela Punch McGregor in the horror movie The Island (1980). 

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The brief topless nudity in Havana (1990) is of Lise Cutter.

There are also some nice shots of Lena Olin

Betsy Brantley

 and some unidentified burlesque dancers.








Help Wanted Female (1968)

This movie is so seriously messed up it is a hoot. Take one part judo expert call girl, one part butt-ugly roommate, two parts snuff film, mix with a male lead too odd for polite words and finish off with a turning point that predates an entire season of Dallas, Oh wait, and I forgot about a Weekend at Bernie's moment that makes absolutely no froggin' sense at all. And what do you have, boys and girls?

Such a mess. A big, wet stinky mess like a golden retriever pup who jumped into the neighbor's port-o-potty ... repulsive and lovable at the same time.

I am glad I watched it. I wish to see it never again.

We got four nekkid gals. I might have said nekkid babes but, lordy, one of those gals is so far from a babe that she and the term occupy different parsecs. There are breasts and bums ... some real nice looking bums ... and they are all screen for lots of time. Lots. That you gotta like.


Diane Michaels
Inga Olsen

Joy Kahl


Lucky Winn





Kate Winterich in Kissing on the Mouth (2005)

Another angle on one of Kate Bosworth's recent slips.

Claudia Michelsen in Forever and a Day



Pat's comments in yellow...

Al Gore suggested replacing all payroll taxes, including Social Security and unemployment, with a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.  Gore said the amount of tax revenue would remain the same, except instead of penalizing businesses for employing people, they'd be penalized if they created pollution, so they'd take steps to reduce emissions.  

*  Which would lead to clean air and the bankruptcy of Social Security.

*  Of course, if it worked they'd have to bring back the payroll taxes ... Talk about an inconvenient truth!


Surgeons at Guangzhou General Hospital in China report that they performed the world's first successful penis transplant.  A man who lost his penis in an accident was given a new 10 cm (3.9-inch) penis from a brain-dead donor.  After two weeks, doctors said there was circulation and the
body wasn't rejecting it.  But they still had to cut it off because of a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife.

*  He couldn't stand the cruel irony: his name is Won Long Dong.

Richard Gere is filming a movie called "Bosnian Holiday" in Sarajevo,
and his bullying security guards haven't made him popular with the locals.  Even worse, Gere complained that he got sick from the smell of cevapi, the
traditional Bosnian grilled sausages, and some nearby restaurant owners had to close down to soothe the star's stomach.  They said they made an effort by offering him the best cevapi to be had, but were told he's a Buddhist and a vegetarian.  

*  So they offered him a nice, big bowl of American spinach.


Lindsay Lohan's wrist is in a cast after she slipped at a New York Fashion Week party and fractured it.  Her rep told Access Hollywood that "there's a
pending investigation" into the incident

* Yeah, it's a real mystery why Lindsay Lohan might have fallen down at a party