Loverboy (2005):

Loverboy is Kevin Bacon's second full-length directorial effort, following many years after the other, a 1996 Showtime film called Losing Chase. It is, at least in theory, a drama about a psychotically possessive mother. I added the stipulation because it also includes some moments of bizarre and perhaps inappropriate comedy.

The mother in question is played by Bacon's wife, Kyra Sedgwick, whose own parents were so wound up in one another that they barely noticed her. She resolves to be the opposite kind of parent, and succeeds perfectly. Once she manages to conceive a child, after a circuitous process, she makes the boy her full-time job. (Her parents left her financially independent.) All of this seems beautiful while the child is an infant and the mother is doting and totally attentive, but ominous signs appear whenever the boy starts to develop curiosity about the outside world, because his mother insists on keeping his focus entirely on her. She reacts in increasingly extreme ways whenever she has any type of competition for her son's attention, so that her mental state is gradually revealed to be not attentive, but smothering.

This film really struggles to find an appropriate tone. The mother's own childhood is recalled in flashbacks, and since the past is seen not as objective history but through her own disturbed memories,  her parents (Bacon and Marisa Tomei) are seen as grotesque caricatures of thoughtless, self-absorbed 70s-era hipsters. Bacon does his best impersonation of Dr. Hunter Thompson, as filtered through Eugene Levy's own 1970s character, comedian Bobby Bittman, clad in tacky leisure suits and constantly misfiring rapid-fire remarks which are designed to be funny. There's nothing wrong with the Tomei-Bacon scenes. They are pretty funny when considered on their own. And there's nothing wrong with the fact that the characters are so one-dimensional, because they exist only in the mother's tormented memories. It's just that, well, the zany comedy seems to be in a different movie from the tragic story which unfolds in the present.  The inconsistency of the tone runs through the film's other flashbacks as well. Her attempts at conception, for example, play out as a sex farce.

I think the ending of the film is supposed to be a surprise, but I only know that because some other people have mentioned it. I saw the very first scene and immediately concluded that the mother was committing suicide and taking her son with her. I mean, they are in the car, the kid is behind the wheel, the ignition is clearly on, they've packed enough for a day trip, and the car is in park. What else could it be? Maybe I would have enjoyed the film more if I had been aware that there was supposed to be a secret. I can't say.

While we're on the subject of that ending, the film didn't even have the courage of its convictions. The boy survives the carbon monoxide poisoning. After the suicide has been revealed (along with the similarly grotesque fate of Bacon and Tomei in the flashbacks), it tacks on a strangely sentimental epilogue in which the boy is revealed to have grown to young adulthood, and is remembering his mother's tenderness with sad fondness.  The film got a bit muddled here, perhaps because Bacon made some changes to the original story and those changes required other elements to be reinterpreted. In the book, both the mother and the son survived the suicide. Bacon decided that he wanted the mother to die, but that change required other changes, especially the disastrous epilogue. Is this a film about an eccentric, loving woman who was a bit misguided? It seems to be that at first. Then it seems to be a satire with a pitch-black sense of humor. Then it seems to be a melodrama about a deranged psychopath. Then the epilogue returns it to "lovable but troubled eccentric" mode.

My final problem with the film is its repetitiousness. It makes the point that the mother overreacts to competition for her son's attention. Then it makes the point again, and again, and ...

It played at Sundance in 2005, but distributors knew that the film was totally unmarketable, so it was never in more than ten theaters, and even that perfunctory release occurred more than a year after its festival premiere. Because of the Sundance exposure, it did pick up some reviews, almost universally negative. (18% positive, per RT.) It hasn't generated much support at IMDb, where it is rated a feeble 5.4.

It's not an incompetent movie, but any means. Kevin Bacon has some talent as a director. I really believe that. And he certainly has the ability to attract talented people to his projects. This micro budget film is chock-full of name actors. Don't close your eyes, or you may miss Blair Brown, Oliver Platt and Matt Dillon. Bacon also has the ability to draw on the considerable acting talents of his wife and himself. Given all those elements, I'll bet he has a good movie or two in him, but if he's ever going to make the transition from acting, he needs to acquire some subtlety, and above all he needs a better script.

Kyra Sedgwick


Third party videos:

Here is Amy Smart's wild sex scene with Jason Stratham in Crank (Zipped. avi, cap below)

Here is LC's film clip to accompany his captures of Tiffany Shepis in Abominable. (Zipped. avi, cap below)



Bob Costas discusses Godzilla with Ichiro

One of the all-time great Carson moments: George Gobel comes out after Bob Hope and Dean Martin

High school running back rushes for 658 yards - and has a 77 yard TD called back on a penalty! ... He did manage 10 TDs without that one.

Comedian Pablo Francisco explains Mexican music

Looking to upgrade your home? I have a helluva place for you if you can come up with $135 million.

Idiocracy, the brilliant movie Hollywood doesn't want you to see.

February 2, 2009: President Clinton Jails 938,000 Illegal Enemy Combatants, all but one lifelong Republicans.

Kazakhstan's largest chain of cinemas confirmed on Friday it had no plans to screen Borat's forthcoming movie in either of their locations.

Honest to God, this is a real product from a real company: "Due to a fire at the Factory the Chimfex Fire suppressor is no longer available." Oh, that's OK. Never mind.

Here's the trailer for the fakumentary, Death of a President

  • "Death of a President follows the investigation of the fictional assassination of President George W. Bush in October 2007. Combining real archival footage with a credible but fictional story, Death of a President presents a fascinating and thought-provoking political thriller."

Daily Box Office for Friday, September 29, 2006

  • The films finished in the expected order, but the numbers were quite low.

The trailer for Mr. Woodcock, a new comedy starring Stifler and Bad Santa

A new Natalie Portman see-through

Here is Mark Cuban's actual semi-literate rant against YouTube

"Only a "moron" would buy YouTube" ... Mark Cuban

  • His logic is based upon the fact that 90% of the content is in violation of copyright law, so they are just a large lawsuit waiting to happen.

Is it possible to be identified by your 'clickprint'?

'Grand Theft Auto' makers sued for blame in triple killing, to the tune of $600 million.

"9/29/2006 - Here is the much talked about video of MTV host Daniella Cicarelli caught having sex with a Merrill Lynch banker on a beach in Brazil."





Movie Reviews:

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


Edmond (2005)

The filmmakers said that “we gave the script to all the studios around town and told them that we had William H. Macy starring and David Mamet writing and Stuart Gordon directing and they all said, ‘Great! We’ll read it this weekend,’ and never heard from them again.” Maybe, just maybe, there was a reason why they never heard from them again.

--- ---

Edmond is David Mamet's 2005 screen adaptation of his own 1982 stage play about a prim and naive man who decides to take a walk on the wild side. Edmond Burke (William H. Macy) visits a tarot reader. Based on her advice, he goes home, informs his wife that she doesn't appeal to him physically or spiritually, and heads to 42nd Street for some serious cruisin'. (Note that LA substituted for New York, partially because of budget, and also because the play was written in 1982, and 42nd Street is no longer sleazy.) Joe Mantagna, playing the sure-to-be-iconic role of "man in bar," convinces Edmond that he needs to get laid. "Man(tagna) in bar" sends Edmond to a gentleman's club, where he promptly refuses to spend the fifty bucks required to meet the two drink minimum, and is ejected. His next stop is a peep show, where he fails to reach an agreement with Bai Ling. His night goes downhill from there, each step requiring endless self-examination.

If I am not mistaken, the medium was originally called "moving pictures" because the technology allowed for some motion. This film seems to be the exception. While it explores some interesting themes, in the final analysis it feels too much like a stage play, in that 100% of the intrinsic value resides in the dialogue. Listening to over an hour of stage dialogue from sad sack William H. Macy is pure torture. Moreover, the theme of the piece seems to be that we have no choice in how our lives will work out, but neither the filmmakers or the author make that case compellingly, given that Edmond's night consists of a steady succession of his own mistakes and bad choices, thus showing him to have forged his own destiny.

The work has some positives. The photography is wonderful, and the cast is full of attractive women ...

... but I was very glad when the film ended. 

This is a C-.

  • IMDb readers say 6.5.
  • Made for an estimated ten million dollars, it grossed only $125,000. Macy won awards at two small festivals.


Bai Ling, who graced the cover of Playboy in June, 2005, shows breasts and buns in a T-Back.

Julia Stiles shows her right breast from the rear.









Dann reports on Santa's Slay:

If I tell you this sleeper 2005 comedy/horror flick is one of the best I've seen, you'll think I'm nuts ... but only until you see for yourself. It's funny as hell, a little gory but in a restrained way, features some top-notch performances, some cameos by big-name stars, and will forever change the way you look at Santa Claus.

The movie features a great starting scene with Fran Drescher, Rebecca Gayheart, Annie and Alicia Sorell, James Caan, and others you'll recognize. In fact, there are familiar faces throughout, and outstanding performances by Robert Culp as the hero's Grandfather, and Bill Goldberg (yeah, the wrestler) as Santa Claus.

One thousand years ago, demon Santa Claus lost a bet with an Angel, so he became a giver of toys and good spirit. Now the bet's over, so he can revert to form - killing everyone in sight with some really unique kills ... and again, the gore is there, but kept to a minimum so it won't ruin the fun for most people.

I can't rave about this one enough, and as a side bonus, it'd be a great way to tell your kids the truth about Santa.






September Spanish Movie Recap, Part 2



Caps from Rosario Tijeras (2005) ... (6.6 at IMDb)

* Lina Marcela Parra

* Flora Martinez



Caps from Lifting de Corazon (2005)  ... (5.8 at IMDb)

* María Barranco


* Mariana-Anghileri



Flauti wrote:

The following films are "classics" from Spain. I'm sure that just about everyone in Spain has seen the farcical comedies starring Andres Pajares, Fernando Esteso, and Antonio Ozores. These movies were in the late 70's and early 80's, after the end of the dictatorship, when Spain started to change and to break free from both government and church censorship. Many films tested the new sexual and satirical boundaries, reflecting the spirit of rebellious freedom which is found wherever people try out wings which have long been clipped. The quality of these movies is very bad (see the IMDb user ratings for some of these!), but they can be very, very funny. They are filled with nude girls, men in their underwear, and wicked lines of dialogue.


Caps from Los Liantes (1981) ... 5.2 at IMDb

* Adriana Vega

* Loli Tovar

* Marcia Bell



Caps from Agitese antes de usarla (1983)  ... a sterling 2.3 at IMDb

* Beatriz Escudero

* Jenny Llada

* Lali Espinet


Caps from Los Chulos (1981) ... another big IMDb winner at 2.1

* Gina Baro

* Jenny Llada






Helene Joy in Desolation Sound

You will be disappointed to hear that Lindsay Lohan does occasionally wear panties.


Elina Madison in Look @ Me

Mary-Louise Parker (or not) in Master Spy