hard luck (2006)
Hard Luck, a direct-to-DVD release, is an offbeat piece of pulp
cinema involving the usual gangsters, strippers and gunplay. Not
atypically for the genre, it consists of three separate stories
which eventually converge.
The first story involves a former drug dealer (Wesley Snipes)
who is trying to get his act together and go straight. He agrees
to attend a friend's birthday bash, the friend asks for his help
in a criminal money-for-goods exchange in the back room of a strip
club, and everything goes wrong. The cash exchange turns out to
involve double-crosses and crooked cops, heavy gunfire is
exchanged, and Snipes ends up fleeing the scene with two suitcases
full of money, whereupon he kidnaps a stripper and commandeers her
car. The two of them try to drive off the grid, with cops and
crooks in pursuit. Needless to say, they bicker and fight until
they start to fall for one another.
The second story involves two crazy serial murderers (One of
whom is Cybill Shepherd!) who torture their victims on an
elaborate stage set up in their country home, complete with
spotlights, opera music, disguises, BDSM equipment, and cameras.
The third story is about a struggling young couple on their way
to New York for one of those ultimate fighting competitions. It is
obvious from the many deleted scenes on the DVD that this story
was once given equal status with the other two, but the back story
and character development was virtually eliminated in the final
cut, and the couple now appears only as two minor characters who
fall prey to the the serial murderers.
Snipes and the stripper make their way to a remote hideout
owned by a sympathetic gang lord. Unfortunately, the mobsters
sympathy is feigned, and he reveals their whereabouts to pretty
much everyone except Oprah, and he only missed her because she had
too many callers that day. Snipes and the stripper are wounded in
their battles with various baddies, and their phone is out, so
Snipes has to make it to a nearby farm to use the phone.
Can you guess who lives there, boys and girls? I knew that you
The film is actually quite entertaining for a non-theatrical
release. Mario van Peebles directed and shot the film in high
definition with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and plenty of tricked-out
lighting effects so it looks slick, albeit very artificial. I
suppose the surrealistic look was intentional.
It seems that van Peebles was going for pulp fantasy rather than
urban grit, because he let the serial murderer portion of the
story rise to the level of very high camp, accentuated by plenty
of sordid dialogue and violence choreographed to music. The
killers' portion of the film has a feel similar to Ken Russell's
ultra-camp classic, Crimes of Passion. In my opinion, the Snipes/stripper angle is the
best part of the film because it's sexy and it allows some audience
involvement, given that the main characters are decent human
beings. That part is made far better by
the fact that the stripper (Jackie Quinones) gets completely naked
twice, once to give Snipes a lap dance during the birthday party,
and again when Snipes kidnaps her. (He forces her to strip naked
and takes her clothes so she won't try to escape while he sleeps.)
Both scenes are hot, and this will definitely earn Miss
Quinones a spot on this year's Top 20 Nude Scenes list!!
The film is not wildly original, but it's oddly compelling with
storyline that moves right along, and ol' Mario has a good feel for
this kind of material. He doesn't get a lot of respect as a
director, but he knows how to make a lurid movie entertaining and
sexy, and that's a talent the world needs, in my opinion. I recommend
this flick for those who might enjoy a
really sexy, sleazy, sensationalized walk on the wild side.
I heartily recommend the film clips. (Two
.wmvs zipped together.) They are large downloads and long
scenes, altogether about 85 meg for five minutes of HQ video, but
very sexy and great fun! Well worth the wait if you have
Third party videos:
- This is wild. A film clip of Alanis Morissette taking
a pee (Zipped
.mov). In a way, you have to admire her dedication in
letting the documentary filmmakers have 100% access to her life.
As the street dudes say, she can walk the walk.
Lindsay Lohan and Keira Knightley are to play
lesbian lovers in a new movie.
- It's about the famous Welsh poet Dylan
Thomas, and was written by Keira's mom!
Turkey Testicle Festival gets to keep its name,
and people practice saying it fast three times.
Colbert unveils a new portrait for Year 2
Colbert gets an anniversary cake
Colbert celebrates his 1st anniversary by adding
new "descending screen" technology
Stephen Colbert changes his stance on gay
I wasn't very impressed with the Night of Too
Many Stars. They advertised it correctly - they
invited WAY too many unfunny stars. On the other
Triumph the Insult Dog provided a killer finish!
Triumph, part 2
The Daily Show discusses celebrity involvement
in worldwide causes
The Daily Show discusses celebrity adoption
The Daily Show looks back on ten fucking years
of ridiculing American Presidents
School Shootings: President's Remarks Observing
the Recent Overwhelming Success of the "No Child
Left Unshot" Initiative (WHITEHOUSE.ORG)
Judge Revokes Ken Lay's Conviction, and he's
starting to feel a lot more ... alive.
Roofer nails his testicle to a roof
- Don't ask.
- Wasn't he one of the Piranha brothers? Not
the one who used sarcasm, the other one.
The trailer for Venus, Peter O'Toole's new
- "Venus" focuses on a pair of veteran
actors, Maurice and Ian, whose daily routine
is disrupted by the arrival of Ian's
- In one last desperate reach for an Oscar,
O'Toole plays the grandniece.
A clip from The Pursuit of Happyness, Will
Smith's new movie
The trailer for Black Christmas
- "a sorority house is terrorized by a
killer who makes frightening telephone calls
before murdering the sorority sisters during
the Christmas break."
Death of a President: Exclusive Clip (The
first seven minutes of the controversial fake
The trailer for The Painted Veil, a highbrow
drama with Edward Norton and Naomi Watts
- "Based on the classic novel by W. Somerset
Maugham, 'The Painted Veil' is a love story
set in the 1920s that tells the story of a
young English couple, Walter, a middle class
doctor and Kitty, an upper-class woman, who
get married for the wrong reasons and relocate
to Shanghai, where she falls in love with
someone else. When he uncovers her infidelity,
in an act of vengeance, he accepts a job in a
remote village in China ravaged by a deadly
epidemic, and takes her along. Their journey
brings meaning to their relationship and gives
them purpose in one of the most remote and
beautiful places on earth."
Johnny be old.
Happy 80th birthday to rock-'n'-roll legend
U.S. Cedes Control of Iraq to Jerry Bruckheimer
... Megaproducer to Guide Nation's Transition to
- Mr. Bruckheimer was tight-lipped about his
plans for the war-torn nation, but he did
offer a sneak preview, telling reporters,
"Nicholas Cage will be playing a key role."
So who's the hottest virtual woman?
What does it take to turn an average woman into
a supermodel? (Assuming she is about the
right size to begin with.)
Human species 'may split into two separate
species in, oh, 100,000 years
This week in Unnecessary Censorship: Oct 13th,
Photo gallery: before they were famous
A Brief History of Computers, As Seen in Old TV
Everyday irony dept:
Worker protests a newspaper company by reading
their newspaper on the picket line.
SENATOR MIKE DeWINE sings: I’M DEAD IN O-HI-O
Here's your SAT analogy question of the day ...
- Lesbian: Pussy Galore :: Gay: _________.
- I think if I were a gay man named Skip
Beaver, I'd change my name. Unless I were a
Bond villain, of course.
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
La Decade Prodigeuse (1971)
This film, also known as Ten Days' Wonder, is theoretically a
mystery/thriller based on an Ellery Queen novel, La Decade Prodigeuse. It
stars Anthony Perkins and Orson Welles in a French/Italian co-production
created by Claude Chabrol, the "French Hitchcock."
Perkins wakes up in a hotel room with blood on his hands, and no memory of
the previous four days. He goes to his old friend, college professor Paul
Regis (Michel Piccoli) for help. Seems Paul is known as a logician. Perkins
invites him to his father's home to help him sort out what is happening. Each
day, for ten days, we and the professor get more information. The key piece is
that Perkins has been screwing his stepmother (Marlène Jobert), who is his
age, behind the back of his adopted father (Orson Welles, providing an
enormous back to hide behind). There is also theft, blackmail, and various
other nasty business to sort out.
In the feature length commentary, three film experts go into excruciating
detail about shot selection, movie homages, and symbolism, obviously
considering this an art film. Frankly, I just saw it as 101 minutes of
exposition with no real mystery and a completely predictable outcome. It was
filmed without live sound, as is usually the case with Italian films, so the
final English dialogue was looped in after the fact, making it sound hollow,
and I found the "arty" camera work to be both distracting and too dark.
IMDb readers have this at 5.9.
This is a D. One to skip.
Scoop's note: I have been disappointed by every
single Claude Chabrol film, and as you may remember I reviewed about a dozen of
them some 2-3 years ago, including
this one. Chabrol has
no sense of how to create an interesting narrative, and he often screws up the
dramatic tension of individual scenes which could be or should be filled with
suspense. I just have no idea why he is considered a great filmmaker.
I also graded this film a D. My summary: "Chabrol is known as a great
filmmaker, but this is a poor film, like an American drive-in movie from the era
- Roger Corman, 1970s version. The basic story is interesting, but it is lazily
edited so that there is absolutely no suspense, and the revelation of the
mystery provides none of the usual pleasure derived when a solution is posed.
The atmosphere is ordinary, and the dramatic movement is slower than continental
Notes and collages
Lisa Marie in Ed Wood
The original version is B&W as the movie was filmed. I also created an
alternate sepia version. Lisa Marie didn't have to worry about a
job while she was dating Tim Burton (who directed this film.) In case
anyone is wondering about those eyebrows, Lisa Marie was portraying
Vampira who did exaggerate her looks; Lisa Marie is actually a very
pretty lady who took a lot of make-up & lighting to help her
look haggard for this role. I can't recommend the movie to anyone
who doesn't know/care who Ed Wood was except to say that Martin Landau's
portrayal of Bela Lugosi in this film is exceptional and well deserving
of the Oscar he received for the portrayal. As for Lisa Marie, she
also portrayed the alien spy in "Mars Attacks," (another Tim Burton
film) where she showed a lot of curves in a skin tight outfit; and she
had a small role in "Sleepy Hollow," (again a Tim Burton film.)
Elizabeth Berridge in Amadeus.
wonderful film about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was publicized all wrong
from day one back in 1984; that image of a two-pistoled highwayman for
the posters and now DVD covers has nothing to do with the essence of the
film. An image of Amadeus playfully attacking Elizabeth Berridge's body
would have made more sales and been more true to the film. Amadeus, in
his time, was a rocker, a wildman who lived fast and died young as a lot
of modern rockers do. This collage from the director's cut is a scene
where his lady is trying to seduce the guy's arch enemy (Antonio
Salieri) into helping Amadeus.
Ali Larter shows off an
impressive rear view in "Heroes."
Mischa Barton see-through
Rachel Bilson kinda