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
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
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
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!)
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
"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
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
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,
- 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
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?
GIRLS GONE WILD UNIVERSITY OPENS FOR ENROLLMENT
- 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.”"
ZACH BRAFF SIGNS MULTI-PICTURE DEAL TO PLAY WHINY INDECISIVE
"Despite the stunning success of Lonelygirl15, another video
series on YouTube, Lonelyfatguy39, has failed to generate
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."
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.
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.
(Zipped avi. divx format)
Another possible body double occurs in Code 46 (2004) where we possibly see a
very naked Samantha Morton.
(Zipped avi. divx
Nina Sosanya is shown partially dressed.
Theresa Russell briefly shows some breast in
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas
No nudity in Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas (2005) but
Christina Applegate is shown partially dressed.
Again, no nudity in Game 6 (2005) but Bebe Neuwirth looks very sexy wearing
some thong lingerie.
(Zipped avi. divx format)
Some nice topless shots (and a very brief bush shot) of Aussie actress
Angela Punch McGregor in the horror movie The
(Zipped avi. divx format)
The brief topless nudity in Havana (1990) is of Lise
There are also some nice shots of Lena Olin
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.
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
* 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
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
* So they offered him a nice, big bowl of American
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