Bittersweet (1999) is a made for video staring Angie Everheart as a woman who thinks she is helping her boyfriend win a scavenger hunt by breaking into a business, opening a safe, and photographing a rare violin. Things go wrong quickly, as the boyfriend is really stealing the violin, and a lot of
cash. A security guard shows up, and is shot by the boyfriend. When Angie tries to help the guard, the boyfriend shoots her as well. Cut to 4 years later. Angie is getting out of jail on good behavior, and has revenge on her mind. She meets a DA's office investigator who wants to get even with her boyfriends top boss, a mob kingpin, for the death of his wife and son.
Only two things save this from being an complete waste. The first is the nude cellist, and the second is a very good acting job by Everheart, in a role which called for her to be without make-up, wear ugly clothes, and generally look bad through most of the film. She actually gave a subtle
performance, in a film where everyone else is way over the top. The moral? If you are going to shoot Angie in the stomach, make sure you kill her. With the few images below, you have no reason to ever watch this film.
"The Day of the Jackal" (1973) from TomCat
This is a dynamite political thriller about a plot to assassinate Charles Degaulle. The script was based on a Frederick Forsyth novel.
It was remade two decades later as The Jackal, with Richard Gere and Bruce Willis. The remake is the film where Gere did his notorious impersonation of the Lucky Charms leprechaun. Actually, despite our joking about his accent, I thought that may have been Gere's best performance.
In the remake, with DeGaulle already dead, they needed a livelier target. They thought about Al Gore, but he didn't seem any more alive than DeGaulle, so they settled on Hillary Clinton. I didn't make that up. It was a plot to assassinate Hillary.
There wasn't any nudity in the remake, despite the magnificent presence of Mathilda May (no, she didn't play Hillary), but the original featured brief and sometimes murky nudity from Olga Georges-Picot and Delphine Seyrig. Delphine was already in her forties when she made this movie. Olga was 30ish and beautiful.
According to the IMDb, Olga Georges-Picot committed suicide in 1997, after about a decade with no film credits. I couldn't find any corroboration or further detail on the suicide.
IMDB summary: 7.5 out of 10. This score is good enough to make the IMDb Top 250 of all time, so this movie must have lost out by a hair. (Number 249 and 250 are at 7.5)
DVD info from Amazon.
IMDB summary of the remake: 5.7 out of 10.
DVD info on the remake from Amazon.
This is a handsomely mounted ghost story about a professor of parapsychology in England. He is well-known as a debunker of paranormal phenomena, and his book states that he has never found a
His inherent skepticism is challenged by an old woman who writes him to say that she's being held
prisoner by ghosts. When he arrives at the haunted mansion, he finds that the old woman is working as a servant for an extremely eccentric and debauched upper-class family, and that everyone there seems to be harboring a great secret.
Let's just say that he eventually changes his mind about the existence of paranormal phenomena.
Good looking movie, with a solid cast, great locales, and Coppola as executive producer. I enjoyed the atmosphere- the tranquil autumnal haze, the muted fall colors and the grey skies, coupled with the isolated but grand country estate in Sussex, and the old-fashioned period railroad. Great setting for a spooky story.
The story is not wildly original, and I also have to say that the ending was pretty unconvincing. Without spoiling it too much, let me just say that he requires the intercession of good spirits to save him from naughty spirits. On the other hand, the movie did develop the good spirit sub-plot, so it wasn't a complete deus ex machina. Unfortunately, if you read ghost stories and pay attention to the sub-plot, the solution will be obvious to you before it happens, but it still isn't a bad ride,
albeit a long one.
The special effects are laugh-out-load atrocious. There are many examples, but here are two:
The ghosts finally kill the crazy old woman by making her play ring around the rosie at high speed until she collapses. I didn't make that up.
Aidan Quinn must spent at least ten minutes of the film fighting off imaginary fires. I think he repeats this three times, and in each case he was obviously just sheltering his eyes against a "fire to be added later", and he used the identical physical gestures.
But it's not supposed to be a special effects film, and I think it's all good enough to hold your attention when combined with the film's other plusses in atmosphere, characterization and performance.
The film was even awarded a second place at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Films. I
believe they award that each year to the film that makes the best use of lace in the settings. Seriously, I should warn you that the same festival once gave an award to Galaxina.
What I really want to talk about is the nudity, which is plentiful, although I'm sorry to report that Sir John Gielgud did not get naked.
A few points:
1. This is probably the best example of body doubling in the history of cinema. There are four separate scenes where one can clearly see the face of Kate Beckinsale's body double:
Coming out of the water.
Posing for a painting.
In bed with a lover.
In no case is one aware that the body double is not Beckinsale when the movie is watched at normal speed. When the movie is watched frame-by-frame, it is possible to identify a separate woman, but it is not very obvious. All this magic was spun merely with artful camera angles and a solid physical resemblance between the two women..
They further cemented the illusion by showing showed several paintings of Beckinsale topless (1, 2, 3), and various other camera cuts with no visible face (1, 2,
3, 4, 5).
2. This may be artful, but it seems to me that this is also a bit dishonest. There is no body double credited. It's my opinion that body doubles should be credited in all cases, just like stunt people, but in this case the double had nearly as much screen time as Beckinsale, looked exquisite, and I think we'd all like to know who it is.
3. Why did they hire Beckinsale? Don't misunderstand me. I think she delivered the role as it was meant to be, and I'm not impugning her acting skills. But if you are going to film a movie about a family that is almost always inappropriately naked (she poses nude for her brothers, skinny dips with them, and sleeps with them as well), and if you know that the lead actress will have some very long and very frequent nude scenes, why would you hire an actress with a no-nudity clause? Does that
make sense? Beckinsale did a good job, but plenty of fine young actresses would have delivered the job and the body. That would have allowed the director to use different camera set-ups and fewer cut-aways, and he would not have to constantly had to work around Beckinsale's face.
By the way, Beckinsale has had an interesting life. Her mother is TV actress Judy Loe. Her father, who died when she was six, was prominent comic actor Richard Beckinsale. Kate obviously has a good head on her shoulders. She won two writing awards when she was younger, attended Oxford, taught herself French, studied Russian literature, etc.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Beckinsale in Cosmo UK, May, 1997 edition.
In the past, Kate has consented to the use of a body double when nudity was required. In the 1995 film Haunted, her cavortings with Aidan Quinn were performed by someone else. But, surely, the very
idea of a body double is that people see the body double and think it's you.
"Oh, that was a fucking disaster", she grimaces. "Of course, everyone just assumes it's you. I should have said no. I still get letters saying, 'I've seen your bum'. I really don't know what possessed me to agree to it. The other thing that happens is, once the body double is there, a five second scene suddenly turns into 15 minutes"
She pauses, then retrieves a particularly painful memory. "At the premier of Haunted ... Oh, God, I was so embarrassed. Afterwards you could see it in everyone's eyes. 'Mmmm, I've seen your arse'. I was with my boyfriend and he was saying, 'It didn't even look like your arse.'"
IMDB summary: 6.5 out of 10.
DVD info from Amazon. This DVD is a completely bare-bones offering. There are no special features at all, and no widescreen version. The entire DVD consists of a re-formatted full screen version of the movie with individual scene selection. The colors are muted, but I can't tell whether that is an accurate reproduction of the print.
|Comments By Brainscan:
Star Wars, the first VCR, cable and Phoebe Cates: we grew up in parallel universes. I also remember when I finally got old enough to rent Paradise. The cave shower scene with lil Phoebe? Thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Today's page 3 babe calls herself Jade, although I am told her name is Kelly Bessell. The first pic is from the page 3.com site and shows that, yes indeed, she is a fine, upstanding page 3 girl. The rest of the scans show her to be considerably more provocative. We have to get a page 3 tradition
going in this land of ours: I figure USA Today or the New York Post would be perfect rags for the job.
| and ...
|3 Great collages by Akira from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". Like Scoop said yesterday, is there anything left to say about this movie? Probably not. We've all seen it and we've all done the Time Warp. But still, it's a fun ride.
More useless Rocky Horror Trivia...
According to the IMDb, the guy who played Rocky (Peter Hindwood) vanished into thin air after the premiere of the movie.
||One more from Akira...here is Kirsten looking not too shabby on Craig Kilborn.
|A Skinemax regular. Actually, from her filmography she hasn't done anything new in 2 years. Yet her body of work lives on! These are all from a variety of movies and imaging artists.
Here is the breakdown:
1.Landon and the late Dana Plato topless and doing a little lesbo action from "Different Strokes: The Story of Jack & Jill...and Jill", by Dann
2.Donbun 'caps of Landon from "Intimate Sessions: Celeste"
3 and 4.UC99 'caps of Landon showing all kinds of skin and gettin' it on from "Sweetheart Murders"
5.Full frontal nudity from and episode of "Erotic Confessions"
6.Landon once again gettin' it on, but this time in scenes from "Masseuse 3". Thanks to Helcrom for this collage.
7.Finally, Landon looking a little more plus sized than usual in these 'caps by Uco from "Illusions of Sin"
On a side note...Interestingly enough, of the 6 movies or TV series vidcapped here, Landon co-starred with Gabriella Hall in three of them. "Different Strokes", "Illusions of Sin", and Masseuse 3". (Hey, it's a slow news day.)
|A variety of images of the popular Ms. Jolie. #1 has the most obvious exsposure. The rest are all teasers. I find #2 kinda interesting. It's the only time I can think of where I have ever seen a model or celeb pose looking like crap. Artistically, I see what the photographer was going for, and I can dig that. But still, it's not the usual Fun House post.
|Nothing is hidden from our prying eyes in these vidcaps from "Paprika, Life in a Brothel".
|For the Euro Scoopy fans...Scenes from the 1987 French movie "L'Été 36", by Touch.
#1 features Anaïs going full frontal, while #2 and #3 are topless only.
|1-3 are new non-nudes of the French actress. #4 and 5 are new 'caps of Virginie from "Heroines". Thanks again to Touch.
||Here are some, if not the first, DVD caps from the controversial "Black and White". I have no idea what the controversy is all about, I'm simply passing along the note from my inbox. Apparently it's a highly sexual, and interracial movie. Uh, ok. But that's been done. So where is the controversy? Maybe I should see the movie before I keep on typing. Regardless of my opinion, there were mixed reviews from the critics on this one, and a surprising cast of big names who jumped on the "I need to make an indie film to express myself creatively" bandwagon. Including: Ben Stiller, Brooke Sheilds, Scot Caan, Robert Downey Jr., Jared Leto, Claudia Schiffer, Elijah Wood, a truck load of gangsta rappas (you gots 2 keep it real, yo), and of course Mike Tyson! Eclectic to say the least.
||From an upcoming movie called "Requiem for a Dream". Nothing really to see here except some nice head shots of Jennifer. Being a Connelly fan (like pretty much everyone who visits the Fun House) I attempted to do a little research. Note the world "attempted". Here's what I found out....
1.Opens in limited release in LA and NY on 10/6
2.Prides itself on using over 2,000 cuts. Most films use 6-700. So basically this will be like watching the most annoying fast cut video on MTV at 2x speed.
3.They fell into the all too tragic trap of "Hey, let's build a website using tons of Flash! That way we can waste everyone's bandwidth and the site still won't give any info!"
Yup, I went to the site and sat through a good 3-4 minutes of useless Flash animation before I said 'screw this'. What's worse is that I'm connected by a super fast DSL connection that is roughly 12 times faster than a 56k modem, so I feel sorry for anyone attempting to see it with anything less.
||A great B&W of the supermodel au naturale.
||I don't recall seeing this one before. Here is Ms Crow in a very revealing see-thru top.
||Going topless in an episode of "The Outer Limits".
||Scanman 'caps of the gorgeous Ms. Hurley in a topless scene from "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" a.k.a. "Shameless".
||See-thru nipple exposure of the famous model.
|Ann Marie Davies
||Topless paparazzi scan.
||Just a hint of topless exposure from 1997's "The Climb".
STUFF WE WOULD LIKE TO SAY
1. Ahhh...I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again...
2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.
6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.
7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...
8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.
9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.
10. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit.
11. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
13. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't give a damn.
14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.
18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?
20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.
21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
23. And your crybaby whiny-butt opinion would be...?
24. Do I look like a people person?
25. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
26. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
31. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.
32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
33. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?
34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
36. Chaos, panic, & disorder-my work here is done.
37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
38. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.