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Film and TV Clips

Elizabeth de Razzo in that beloved cinema treasure, The Greasy Strangler (2016) in 720p.
If you don't like big girls, Elizabeth is not for you.


Yet another recent cinema classic, Halloweed (2015), featured nudity from Jacqui Holland


A young pre-fame Emily Blunt in Henry VIII (2003) in 720p

This clip has been enhanced by the editor, color-corrected, sharpened and enlarged. His work is a major success. It is light years beyond any previous clips from this film, because the scene was originally a dimly-lit day-for-night shot.

I reviewed this one back in the day, as follows:

Ray Winstone as a king of England? I guess Vinnie Jones was busy.

In this two-parter from Masterpiece Theater, Winstone cockneys his way through several decades in the life of Hanko Ocho, beginning with Anne Boleyn. The script rushes through all six wives, all the religious upheaval, and all the various scheming chancellors and nobles, and does it all in about four hours. It's a vast morass of political and sexual intrigues condensed and simplified for the masses, then jam-packed into the running time of a single long feature film.

In fact, so much exposition was crammed into the script that the screenwriter had to relay repeatedly on the ol' "I am so-and-so" or "you are so-and-so" technique, as in "I could never betray Ann, for she is not only my niece, and the aunt of your majesty's son, but she is also a subject of Norfolk, of which I am Duke," or "I am your wife," or "You are a lawyer," or "I am a poor butcher's son," or "Have I not served you faithfully as chancellor for 13 years, since you plucked me from obscurity?" Best of all, there is the all-purpose, "I am your king." How are you supposed to respond to that? "Hey, no kidding? All this time I thought the king was that skinny bald guy over there, the one with the salt-and-pepper beard! I thought you were the harpsichord player! My bad."

I think it would be marvelous if people were really to communicate in expository dialogue. Suppose someone sends me an e-mail asking, "Can you tell me when my subscription expires?" I could answer, "I can, for I am your webmaster, as I have been for lo these three years since you subscribed, and was for seven years before then, since the tenebrous days of the first Clinton regime." (Or, alternatively, use "since thou subscribeth," and change "tenebrous days" to "halcyon days" for Democrats)

Is Henry VIII good history? No. It omits and changes details to compress the story, and even when it sticks to the facts it still manages to give various elements the wrong weight in terms of significance.

Joking aside, is Winstone a credible Henry? Maybe. Winstone is very dynamic and a good actor, and he does look like very much like Henry VIII.  As for his working class accent ...  well I suppose we can allow some dramatic license there. Henry might have spoken very informally, despite his palace upbringing, because he was a regular guy who liked his ale and his cards and his sports, hung with the guys, and made hay with the ladies. Unfortunately, that spin is partially betrayed by the fact that the kid who plays Henry at age 17 doesn't have the same accent.

Does the script develop its characters adequately? No. Apart from factual inaccuracy, the greatest flaw of the presentation is that it focuses on events that revealed Henry VIII to be a petty and flawed man, and fails to give any real understanding of his strengths. As for the minor characters, there are so many of them that there is no chance to develop any sense of each one as a complex individual. Even if you are quite familiar with the outline of history in this era, you will have to keep asking yourself, "Now, who is this guy again?" I paused the DVD several times to go to the companion website and refresh my memory about which people were involved in which schemes, and why.

On the other hand, I think the program succeeds in a way. It does give a very good understanding of the general issues which caused England to become Protestant. It also allows us to imagine the various characters as real human beings with credible human motives, and in so doing it tries to show some of the psychological complexity that drove Henry into actions which seemed contradictory to his nature. Unfortunately, Henry's intellect is given short shrift so that the script can cover more lively cinematic matters like jousting and sex, but there is only so much that can be covered in four hours. This sort of soap-opera overview is not the kind of history that will be appreciated by persnickety scholars, but it is the kind that gives you a respectably fair overview of the issues and personalities if you don't really care about the minutiae, and it does so in a reasonably entertaining package.


Christina Ricci in Prozac Nation in 1080hd.

This was our scene of the year in 2003. We finally saw the scene that year, but it was actually filmed in 2000, and never appeared in theaters. When it reached the festivals it got reviews like this:

"Ninety-eight minutes of this movie and you may find yourself reaching for Prozac or the antidepressant of your choice. A cheap shot, to be sure, but the movie earns it."

My own review said:

The saga behind the release of this film is probably more interesting than the film itself.

Although that would not be difficult to achieve.

The history of yogurt would probably be more interesting than this film. Listening to old people discuss their lumbago would probably be more interesting than this film, particularly if, unlike me, you know what the hell lumbago is.  By the way, St. Lawrence is the patron saint of lumbago, and a damned fine Seaway to boot. See, you old people, I was listening!

Ah, yes, enough of the more interesting matters. Let's return to Prozac Nation. It is the film version of Elizabeth Wurtzel's self-portrait which focuses on the battles she fought with depression in her school years. The film zeroes in on her years at Harvard as a scholarship student, during which she apparently managed to alienate everyone she came in contact with, including her family, her suitors, her roommate, and even her shrink. The film was lensed in 2000, and had various release dates come and go, having been postponed about once or twice a year until the film finally by-passed North American theaters altogether and went to cable and DVD in 2005. One of the few people who got to see it was Elizabeth Wurzel, which is fitting since it is supposed to be her autobiography. She pronounced it "horrible." On the other hand, that may not be meaningful, because if she is like the character who represents her, she gets really depressed and pronounces everything "horrible." In fact some industry insiders said that one of Wurtzel's public outbursts managed to abort the 2001 release single-handedly. The film was shown at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8, 2001. Three days later, al-Qaeda hijacked the airliners and Wurtzel promptly made some offensive public comments. Let's just say that the promotional plan for the film probably never included any Tonight Show appearances for Ms. Wurtzel.

Is the film truly "horrible"? Nah. The problem with this film is not really its quality. It was directed by an excellent helmsman, the Norwegian Erik Skjoldbjærg, who took this on as his next project after his highly acclaimed Insomnia. It features a competent central performance from Christina Ricci and a solid support cast: Jason Biggs, Anne Heche, Michelle Williams, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and Jessica Lange. That's a lot of talent. So if quality isn't the problem, what is? Well, to be blunt, it is a boring story about a totally unlikable person, and thus fails miserably to clear the Gene Siskel Hurdle. If you aren't familiar with that term, Siskel would often get right to the point in his reviews and ask himself if he would like to have dinner with the film's characters as they discussed their interests. If the answer was "no", then why, he wondered, should he spend the same two hours with them in the theater. The central character in Prozac Nation is egotistical, condescending, whiny, antagonistic, unreliable, depressing, and depressed. Moreover, she lacks a sense of humor. Is that the kind of person you would like to have dinner with? Of course not. She would be a conversation-deadening force even if she had something interesting to say, but here she does not.

Let's face it, we can tolerate "boring" and "annoying" separately in small doses. Ben Stein? Boring as hell, but not annoying, so potentially droll and entertaining in small doses. Dick Vitale? Annoying as can be, but not boring, so able to hold our attention in bursts. But if you place boring and annoying together, they form a lethal combination. For example, how long can you listen to Bob Novak? Well, this movie is like two hours of Bob Novak.

Although if Novak looked like Christina Ricci and did his shows naked, I could tolerate him a little longer.

A little.

Not only would the Ricci character make a poor choice as a dinner partner, but she is not even the kind of person who really moves you to care about her fate at all. Even if she faced a life-threatening situation in the film, which she does in the form of suicide, the outcome wouldn't draw in your involvement because you wouldn't really care whether she lived or died.

So why release such a film?

It is a professionally crafted and performed movie, but the real problem with it, as was obviously noted by the studio execs who kept postponing its release, is that one cannot imagine why anyone else would want to watch it. One might argue that it has some artistic or educational merit, but it is completely non-commercial. I don't know if the book Prozac Nation could have been made into a watchable movie, but this review of the book gives a clue:

"By turns emotionally powerful and tiresomely solipsistic, her book straddles the line between an absorbing self-portrait and a coy bid for public attention."

A film, of course, must reduce a complex book to a two hour condensation. Perhaps the film could have worked if it had pared down the running time by discarding the "tiresomely solipsistic" and featuring the "emotionally powerful." Unfortunately, it took the opposite tack.

Britt Eckland, Susan Ann Watkins, Bridget Fonda, Joanne Whalley's body double and others in Scandal (1989) in 1080hd. A nudity classic.

Brit Eckland, girlfriend to the stars

Susan Ann Watkins

Bridget Fonda

Whalley's double


Angela Aames and Vicki Frederick in All The Marbles (1981) in 1080hd.
I was on the road somewhere in 1981 and went to see this film in theaters to kill the boredom. Nobody will compare it to The Godfather, and I would not recommend it, but I have to admit that it was not an unpleasant way to pass the time. It kind of exists in its own universe since it kind of played along with the then-current fiction that pro wrestling results were not predetermined.




Yet another shot fired by Caitlin Stasey in her war against Instagram.

Madonna topless at age 58 in ultra HQ

Cara Delevingne

Hayden Panettiere

Comic Iliza Schlesinger