"Bikini Summer II"

Bikini Summer II (1992) is a very weak T & A film that does have lots of women in bikinis when they are wearing anything at all, but seems to take place in winter, as the location is Venice Beach, California, and they have a huge rainstorm at one point. Two sisters adopt a homeless man and his girlfriend after their father runs over him. Daddy is a real estate big wig, and ignores them, and their mother, who lays in bed all day in lingerie and shops the home shopping network. Daddy is a slave to the District Attorney, aka Mistress Clarissa.

They eventually solve all [rob;ems turning the site of daddy's first business into a hot nightclub in one day. I am only covering the exposure of the main players, which leaves plenty of room for other campers. Maureen Flaherty as one of the sisters shows breasts from the side in bed. Melinda Armstrong as the other sister has two long shower scenes where she shows breasts and buns. Avalon Anders as Mistress Clarrisa shows breasts and buns. A woman I was unable to identify shows breasts and buns as the maid.

IMDB readers have this at 3.0 of 10. Even Joe Bobb only awards 2 stars, despite a huge breast count. The transfer was not at all good, the plot was puerile, and the entire thing lacked pace, but the biggest problem, for me, was the character of the father, played by Richard Arbolino. This effort was written and directed by Jeff Conaway, who also appeared in it. I usually enjoy these T & A farces, but not this time. D-.

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  • Avalon Anders (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25)

  • Maureen Flaherty (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

  • Melinda Armstrong (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)

  • Unknown (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Storyville (1992):

    There is a curious element of the Storyville saga. Director Mark Frost has never directed another film before or after this one. He has not directed anything at all since this film. He's primarily a writer. (He's currently working on a script for the Fantastic Four movie.)

    Yet the one factor that kept Frost from directing a very good film  ...

    ... was the screenplay which he co-wrote.

    Go figure.

    Storyville is a twisted over-the-top N'Awlins noir, featuring unspeakable family secrets, shameful land grabs, frame-ups, corrupt patriarchs, crooked cops, and windbag politicians - all of your minimal daily noir requirements, Southern Gothic style. Imagine Raymond Chandler re-writing a Tennessee Williams play, and you have the idea.

    I think I can give you the best idea of what the film is like by describing one courtroom scene.

    The beautiful accused killer is on the stand. The prosecuting attorney asks, "if you didn't actually kill your father, why did you keep repeating 'I'm responsible?' to the arresting officer?" The D.A. repeats this question several times, and there are several long pauses. The witness does not answer. The defense attorney approaches the bench and asks for a recess - right in between the prosecutor's asking this question and the witness's answer. You think that' s silly? The judge granted it. You think that's silly? When the trial resumed, we never heard her answer to that question. The trial skipped forward to some other portion of the cross-examination.

    That isn't the silly part. That's only the set-up.

    It turns out that the recess was necessary to round-up a surprise witness who was about to leave town. The defense attorney calls a guy to the stand, and a woman takes the stand. Wha ...? Explanation: cross-dresser. (This gender deception is kinda/sorta relevant to the mystery.) When the man/woman takes the stand, he/she turns out to be an eyewitness to events which are essential to the case, and he contradicts the testimony of a crooked cop who is sitting in the courtroom. At that point, the crooked cop stands up and says something like, "why you lily-livered fairy, I'll kill ya, ya little fag", then starts blasting away at the witness with his service revolver, hitting the defense attorney instead. Two security officers then begin blasting back at the cop, and they are having a major gunfight in the courtroom while everyone else is seeking cover. The crooked cop is not killed, and gets himself into position for a clear shot at the wounded defense attorney, hoping to finish him off at point-blank range. The cop is shielded from the gunfire of the security officers, so it seems certain that the defense attorney, the hero of the film, is about to meet his maker.

    How does the screenwriter get out of this? Are your votes locked in?

    Simple. The cop is shot from the other direction. Seeing that the security officers can't shoot the bad guy from the back of the courtroom, the judge takes out his own weapon and blasts the rogue cop to kingdom come with a virtual fusillade of gunfire.

    Now THAT is explosive courtroom drama.

    Then there is the seedy family history in which everyone is someone else's secret love child. The script actually includes the line "I am your father", whereupon I expected to hear:

    Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-wan has taught you well. If you only knew the power of the Dark Side.

    The script is just filled with that kind of material, the kind of lines that need to be punctuated by pregnant pauses and dramatic organ chords. When the plot isn't being outrageously melodramatic, it is simply illogical. You'll keep asking yourself questions like "why did he do that?", and "how could that guy have known that he needed to be there at that moment?"

    Having said all that, I have to add that I liked the film in some ways. The plot was disappointing, but a plot is only part of a movie. The visuals and the music were used very effectively to create a perfect noir ambiance. A man sitting at the riverside in the rain, awash in more than precipitation, drinking to blur his pain, lost in memories he wishes he could erase and secrets he no longer wishes either to keep or to reveal. Long glances and unspoken lusts. Colorful, nearly incomprehensible Cajun accents. Men skulking through alleys and hidden behind corners, watching people secretly. Snappy, cynical dialogue. Seedy back alleys in gray rain-swept days. Secrets inside of secrets inside of secrets, like a nested Russian egg. Beautiful buildings behind filthy exteriors in sleazy neighborhoods.

    You get the feeling that this film cudda been a contenda, but it ended up as the kind of atmospheric film critics can love (Ebert 3.5 stars), but mass audiences are indifferent to (5.4/10 at IMDb). In my opinion the film is nowhere near as good as Ebert's score would lead one to believe, but not as bad as indicated by the IMDb voters. I suppose it is one of those two and a half star films that cause ambivalent feelings for a reviewer, not quite good enough to recommend whole-heartedly, but too skillful for a pan. I reckon that the IMDb score should be about a point higher.

    • Charlotte Lewis (1, 2, 3). Charlotte is often cast as Asian women, and she does look like she might be Polynesian, or a Southeast Asian with some European blood, but she is neither. Her mother is Irish and her father Iraqi.
    • Some seriously large breasted woman (1, 2)


    Highway (2001):

    Highway is a road picture targeted at a very specific group - those in the grunge/punk scene when their God, Kurt Cobain, said sayonara to existence.

    Jared Leto plays the God of Fuck, a pool boy whose only talent is obvious from his nickname. One day he was delivering the goods to a wife of a Vegas mobster when the mobster walked in. Oops. He barely made it out of the wiseguy's house, but knew that the mob guy's goons would not rest until Leto's body is seriously damaged. His only choice was to flee Vegas. Enlisting his best friend, for a road trip was simple enough, but trying to get the friend's explanation for the Seattle destination was difficult. It seems that the geeky friend spent a night with a girl back in high school, she went away ... to Seattle.

    Along the way, the two friends made pit stops at a legal brothel and a drug dealer's office, stopped to see an alligator boy, and picked up a runaway hooker and an aging hippie. As they made their way to Washington State, they became aware that Kurt Cobain had committed suicide, and every grunge/punk geek in the country was making the same Seattle pilgrimage.

    Unfortunately, the heavy-muscled mob thugs also figured out the Seattle plan, and their fates started to intersect with those of the God of Fuck and his troupe.

    This film has some strong positives.

    • The cast is excellent. Jared Leto and Jake Gyllenhaal take the leads, while the supporting cast includes John McGinley, Jeremy Piven, and Selma Blair.
    • The photography is interesting and the locales are interesting. One Vegas scene is shot in a neon graveyard, which looks like the Las Vegas equivalent of those parks in Eastern Europe which have been created by collecting old statues from the Communist era. Of course, the outdated statues of Lenin have been replaced in the Vegas version with outdated 50s and 60s neon signs from the strip.

    The positives have to be balanced against some drawbacks.

    • The dialogue is sometimes realistic, but long scenes consist of bizarre magic realism, in which characters deliver long monologues in the form of poems. This may not be a negative, depending on your tolerance for such excesses. Both Jeremy Piven and John McGinley do these monologues, and do them brilliantly, but you have to decide if you want to see the kind of movie where characters lapse into long, long speeches which sound like the poems of Allen Ginsberg.
    • The movie also walks an uneasy line between black comedy and sentimentality. I didn't even know those two things had a border.
    • It is sometimes just plain strange. I liked it, but I can see why most people would not.

    Given what the film tried to accomplish, all in all this is quite a good movie from James Cox, the guy who went on to direct Wonderland, but it's a real oddball film, and will certainly not be everyone's cup of tea. I call it a C+ in the mini-genre of sentimental black road trip comedies, but I am also aware that not many people will dig it.

    • Kimberley Kates (1, 2)
    • Selma Blair (1, 2, 3)






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    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick Locke, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Crimson Ghost

    "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Patricia Heaton from a new shampoo commercial.  Non-nude but nice cleavage.  The Patricia Heaton images may be a Funhouse first.  They were grabbed from something appearing on the Hallmark Channel.

  •  Laura Tate from "Dead Space" starring Marc Singer, The Beastmaster himself.

  •  Jenny Seagrove from "The Guardian." 

  • Angela Featherstone in "Dark Angel: the Ascent."

  • Dann
    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "Hollywood Homicide"
    Mediocre old-cop/young-cop story about the killing of a rap group wasn't saved by having Harrison Ford as the star.

    This disappointing 2003 movie tried to be a comedy and failed, tried to be a drama and failed, tried to be a thriller and failed. The only high points were a fairly decent car-chase scene, and the hot tub scene shown in the collage.

    I expect better from Indiana Jones :-(

    Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Topless in scenes from the Spanish flick "Yerma" (1999).

    Alison Bruce Undies and brief breast exposure in scenes from the Kiwi movie "User Friendly" (1990).

    'Caps and comments by Oz:

    "Global Heresy"
    More pokies by Alicia Silverstone in Global Heresy and Amy Phillips has the old arm over the boobs trick.

    "Just Visiting"
    Plenty of excellent cleavage by Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in Just Visiting. The same for Albena Dodeva and there's some minor pokies by Christina Applegate.

    "Kill Me Again"
    Lots more cleavage by Joanne Whalley-Kilmer in the very mediocre Kill Me Again.

    • Joanne Whalley-Kilmer (1, 2, 3, 4)

    "Miss Firecracker"
    Holly Hunter is a contestant for Miss Firecracker. She's seen in her underwear with minor pokies.

    • Holly Hunter (1, 2, 3)

    "Chain of Fools"
    Salma Hayek and Myndy Crist are found in their underwear in Chain of Fools.

    It's a similar story with Raquel Welch and Eleanor Bron in the original Bedazzled.

    "Beer Money"
    Lots of cleavage by Mercedes McNab in Beer Money. The trampoline dream sequence is particularly sexy.

    • Mercedes McNab (1, 2, 3)

    With a name like Oddballs you'd expect a teen movie with lots of gratuitous nudity. It's a teen movie but the most you get is lots of cleavage by Kimberly Brooks and Konnie Krome, Kim Cayer and some unknowns.

    "Nothing but Trouble"
    More cleavage by Demi Moore and Deborah Lee Johnson in Nothing but Trouble.

    For a bit of nudity, we have a topless Judy Davis and Gillian Jones in the Australian movie Heatwave.

    "Bitter Harvest"
    More topless views of Josetter Simon and some dancers in Bitter Harvest.

    • Josetter Simon (1, 2)
    • Dancers (1, 2)

    "The Big Man"
    Julie Graham shows her delightful nips in The Big Man. Macarena Domenquez is also topless, and Carol Anne Muir and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer provide the eye candy.

    "Miss Italy"
    Miss Italy tells the story of a Miss Italy beauty pageant and is one of those frustrating Italian mini-series. You know who the characters are but the credits don't tell you who the actresses are. Lots of beautiful Italian women and few go skinny dipping at night.

    • Unknown babes (1, 2, 3, 4)