10th and Wolf (2006)

10th and Wolf is a mob drama, and a pretty good one. The direction from first-time helmsman Bobby Moresco is solid, and it features some good performances from the leads, some strong performers (Brian Dennehy and Leslie Ann Warren) in minor roles, and some bigger names (Val Kilmer, Dennis Hopper) in cameos. Moresco also worked on the script, and he is an Oscar-winning scenarist.

So why did it basically end up as a straight-to-vid? (It played in six theaters, grossing a grand total of $54.000.)

Originality problems.

It's basically just a longer episode of the Sopranos, except with unfamiliar characters. If you watch that show, you've already seen this story played out with a different cast in a different city. This film brings not a single fresh idea to the table. Local mobsters try to avoid being muscled out by the Sicilians; the two parties have a history of bad blood; one of the local guys is actually helping the Feds bring down the Sicilians in return for freedom or leniency for his brother and cousin. The usual exercise in badabingitude.

The DVD box says that the story is inspired by a true story from the FBI agent known as Donnie Brasco. If that's true, Donnie must be like my Uncle Joe Beck. Joe would should up for all the holiday family gatherings, have a few brewskis, and then tell the same old stories again and again as if nobody had ever heard them before. They were always about things that he and my dad had done as kids, some decades earlier. The details were always a little different. He would change the location of the story from Buffalo to Syracuse, or he would add some colorful minor characters, but everyone knew that he was telling the some story. After all, how many times do guys walk home sixty miles from a night club? It's not like that was a regular occurrence.  Nobody in the family ever questioned the fact that the details of the story had changed since last Thanksgiving's version because Joe was a nice guy and none too bright. He was one of those guys so dumb that everyone feels protective toward them. The rest of the family would even allow him to win at penny-ante cards once in a while. You didn't question his stories because questions would only get him flustered. I figure that Donnie Brasco must be the Joe Beck of his family, because all of his stories also seem to be basically the same, with a few colorful details changed here and there. If you've seen the movie named after Donnie, you can safely take a pass on this one. It's the same kind of story with a little Uncle Joe tinkering here and there.

On the other hand, if you have not seen many mob movies or TV shows, or if you just can't get enough of this genre, or if you are a visitor sent from outer space to study our quaint earthling ways, this may seem like quite a good movie to you, because all of its parts are totally satisfactory. Originality, after all, is only valid currency among those who have already seen the similar works. The film may be of special interest to you if you life in Pittsburgh, because not that many films are shot entirety in Steel Town, and you may enjoy seeing some familiar haunts.

The critics didn't much care for it (36 at Metacritic), but us regular joes find it watchable (6.4 at IMDb).

Sorry to report that the nudity does not provide excuse to watch it. As in most episodes of The Sopranos, the nudity all comes from background strippers, but you older guys may be interested in this non-nude scene (zipped .wmv) with Lesley Ann Warren showing major cleavage. You youngsters may just want to skip this, since Lesley is sixty years old. She's sexy for sixty, and us old farts remember how sexy she used to be, and regret the minimal level of exposure in her career, so we have some interest. But still, she is sixty, and not even nekkid.

Unknown strippers



The House of God (1984)

Bess Armstrong is all but forgotten now, but she was almost a star, and this nude scene was meaningful to us back in the day. Here's the scoop:

Laverne & Shirley came out in January of 1976, and it was such an instant hit that it finished #2 in the Nielsens for the 1975-76 TV season, although its parent show, Happy Days, could do no better than 10th! Like any highly successful show, Laverne and Shirley immediately inspired rip-offs, and On Our Own was probably the most obvious one. It was about two women living together and trying to make it on their own (surprise!). One of them was street-wise and cautious while the other (Bess Armstrong in the "Shirley" role) was naive and optimistic. So what made it different from Laverne and Shirley? Well, these two girls were more upscale chicks living and working in Manhattan at an advertising agency, and the show was produced on location in New York.


CBS had it ready for the fall season in 1977, and sandwiched it between Rhoda and All in the Family on Sunday night. Although All in the Family was a major franchise (#5 in the Nielsens that year), On Our Own bombed and was soon gone, failing even to get renewed for a second season.

Anyway, the point of this anecdote is that Bess Armstrong would have been a star if the series had clicked, and the general consensus was that she was quite charming even though the show sucked, so many of us were interested to see her nekkid body in The House of God. This zipped .wmv is a VHS clip. To my knowledge, the film has never migrated to DVD. Beth's career never did take off, although she's still doing a lot of TV.




Third party videos:

Brenda Strong is another TV regular. You may remember as Sue Ellen Mischke, a recurring character in Seinfeld.  She is most notorious for failing to wear bras. (She was Elaine's friend from high school, heiress to the O'Henry candy bar fortune. Kramer sues her at one point.) Anyway, here is some rare nudity from her in Undercurrent, a so-so thriller filmed entirely on location in Puerto Rico. (Zipped .avi)

You have to love this Italian talk show, in which former Miss Venezuela Ainette Stephens is pictured stark naked while the audience stomps and wolf-whistles. Nice image quality as well. (Zipped .avi) God bless Italy!

Dressed to Kill is one of Brian de Palma's Hitckcockian classics. (Movie House Review - major spoilers)





The trailer and two clips from Bobby, the Emilio Estevez film about the shooting of Robert Kennedy

Colbert gives a big thumb-up to Survivor's racial divisions

Colbert Reports on the 61st Annual United Nations Open Mike Night

Colbert has some Big Apple tourism tips for Ahmadinejad while he's here for his U.N. speech

The Daily Show discusses the Pope's remarks about Islam

The Daily Show weighs in on spinach

TV Funhouse presents Pothead Theater

"SNL" Drops Sanz, Parnell, Mitchell

  • What I want to know is how Horatio Sanz ever managed to last eight years on that show in the first place.

Thief stole computers from the courthouse while he was on trial for computer theft. NOT guilty, your honor. My client is incapable of such a crime.

Three clips of some serious scenery-chewing from All The King's Men

  • Spicoli makes Richard Burton and Shatner seem subtle

Some clips from Children of Men

  • Big new Sci-Fi film directed by Alfonso Cuaron, starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore
  • "'Children of Men' envisages a world one generation from now that has fallen into anarchy on the heels of an infertility defect in the population. The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18, and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction."

A clip from the prequel to Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The international trailer from Blood Diamond

  • Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990s Sierra Leone, "Blood Diamond" is the story of Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a South African mercenary, and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a Mende fisherman. Both men are African, but their histories as different as any can be, until their fates become joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond that can transform their lives. While in prison for smuggling, Archer learns that Solomon - who was taken from his family and forced to work in the diamond fields - has found and hidden the extraordinary rough stone. With the help of Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), an American journalist whose idealism is tempered by a deepening connection with Archer, the two men embark on a trek through rebel territory, a journey that could save Solomon's family and give Archer the second chance he thought he would never have.

"Willie Nelson is denying that he did anything illegal when his tour bus was pulled over in Lafayette, Louisiana on Monday and all its occupants were cited for drug possession. On the contrary, he was working undercover for the government. 'By order of the chief executive of this great country of ours, I'm probing Homeland Security and making sure the Taliban ain't selling no weed here, man,'"

Grandma's Boy nominated as best movie

  • ... best STONER movie, that is, in the annual High Times entertainment awards - "The Stonies." It was also nominated for "best pot scene" and "best, like, acting dude."




Movie Reviews:

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


Neil's Party (2005)

Neil's Party is an indie teen sex comedy from the UK. It was shot on Hi-Definition Video by first time director/writer/producer Stephen Pidgeon, and most of the cast and crew worked with no salary. Some say it was a decent effort given what it was. I will go much further. It is an outstanding effort given what it was, and in a rather crowded genre every since the American Pie franchise started, it manages a somewhat fresh approach and some new idea. It is set in comfortable suburbia, and centers around four male friends who are all 18, just out of High School, and want to get laid. In the central story, Neil (Andrew Casey) is in love with Lauren Bigby, who is his best friend and coworker, but she loves someone else. Another of the lads is pressuring his girl for sex, and she isn't quite ready.

When Neil's parents leave town, leaving him and his somewhat older sister to mind the house, he and his friends finally decide that the answer to their non-existent sex life will be a huge party. I don't want to give many of the gags away, as this is well worth the watch, but here is one small one. Neil becomes disenchanted with his party when he fails to achieve his goal for the night, and rings up the local police to complain about the noise. The attractive female dispatcher discovers that it is his party, and talks him into going back in and enjoying it rather than making a complaint.

While it is not as original as American Pie was when it first came out, neither would American Pie be today. There are certain genre requirements, and this film has them, including a couple of gross-out jokes, embarrassing moments, and the like. The script focused on a group of normal wholesome kids doing what normal wholesome kids would in fact do, which, by itself, is refreshing. It also took some time with the characters, and made them three dimensional. All in all, this is an excellent first effort, especially for a low budget indie, and is actually a competent teen sex comedy.


60 IMDb readers have this at 5.4.

This "Unrated" DVD has breast exposure from Lauren Bigby ...

... Emma Boardman ...

... and Emma Rice.









Anne Parillaud in Innocent Blood


Shannyn Sossamon in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang


Michelle Monaghan in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang


Erika Eleniak in Under Siege






Anna Curtis in Shadow: Dead Riot

Carla Greene in Shadow: Dead Riot

Danielle Riley in Shadow: Dead Riot

Misty Mundae in Shadow: Dead Riot

Ruby LaRocca in Shadow: Dead Riot

Aleksandra Kaniak in an episode of Hot Line

Bo Derek in Woman of Desire

Sylvia Kristel in Lady Chatterley's Lover

The paparazzi catch curvy Katherine Heigl in a bikini

Erin Walsh in Defenceless

Clara Morgane acts out the Kama Sutra

Rokwatch takes it home today with a triad starting with Jennifer Aniston taking off her bra on Friends


Then Faye Dunaway in Chinatown

And some mega-cleavage from Erika Christensen



Pat's comments in yellow...

Wednesday, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed a lawsuit against the Big Six automakers, claiming that greenhouse gas emissions from the vehicles they sell contribute to global warming and have caused billions of dollars in damages.  He told reporters he will seek "tens or hundreds of millions of dollars" in damages.  Automakers dismissed it as a "nuisance suit" and a political publicity stunt, pointing out that California sets its own emissions standards which all cars sold there meet.

*  So the State of California immediately sued the state of California.

Gadfly Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman keeps sparking accusations of racism.  First, he said Texas has more crime because some Katrina evacuees were "crackheads and thugs."  Now he's being blasted for a year-old interview in which he said he'd "throw (sexual predators) in prison and throw away the key and make them listen to a Negro talking to himself."  (It was a reference to one of his 1980s novels they'd discussed earlier).  Friedman, former leader of the Texas Jewboys band, rejected demands for apologies, saying that everyone knows he's not a racist, he won't lie to avoid offending people, and if you don't like it, vote for someone else.  

*  With that attitude, he shouldn't be a governor...He should be the Pope.

Dateline NBC obtained a police tape of Paris Hilton being questioned as a witness in the robbery of an acquaintance, and she says she can't remember much because "I, like, forget stuff all the time.  I'm not, like, that smart"

* Well, we know she was telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Us Magazine claims that Whitney Houston's mentor Clive Davis is not only
producing a comeback CD, he's paying for her drug rehab and was so
concerned, he asked Courtney Love to intervene and help Whitney clean

* That's like asking Aretha Franklin for diet tips