Knocked Up


I've already covered the film. I liked it, but seemed to like it less than most people. It received 97% positive reviews and grossed about $150 million.

On the other hand, I LOVED this DVD. There are so many features it would be hard to watch them all. Start with 50-60 minutes of alternate scenes, deleted scenes, and gag reels. Then add another two hours of featurettes. Some of the featurettes were sorta kinda serious behind-the-scenes stuff, but the one I liked best was a 30-minute mockumentary on the casting of Ben. Now in reality, there was no casting process. The guy who played Ben was Seth Rogan, who co-produced the film. But for the purpose of this featurette, director Judd Apatow went through the casting process that never was, and he managed to get some really talented people to do "their audition" for the role. According to the story, Apatow even auditioned himself. Justin Long, Bill Heder, James Franco, David Krumholz and others were great, but my favorite was Orlando Bloom. "Do it YOUR way? Do you know who I am? I'm Orlando Fucking Bloom, dammit."

In general, the outtakes and featurettes show a bunch of friends having fun while making a movie, and their spirit is infectious. Katherine Heigl, who is not part of their clique, seemed to fit in beautifully.

Here is a film clip on the making of the stripper scene.

Here are the actual strippers. Some of these are from the film, some from the documentary, some from the deleted scenes.

#1 Nautica Thorn

#2 Stormy Daniels

both strippers in action

and here is a random woman named Emersen Riley





Some time ago I said I would break down and spend the whopping sixty one cents needed to meet the ongoing market price for this used DVD from the Amazon marketplace, and I did.

It was worth every penny.

I'm kidding. This crime film will never be confused with Miller's Crossing or even Lethal Weapon, but it has some merit, and some reasons to recommend it.

First of all, it was directed by John Frankenheimer, who may have been the best young director in Hollywood in the 1962-1964 era. His 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, made when he was only 31 years old, is one of the top 100 films of all time at IMDb, and there are three other films from that era which are not far behind on Frankenheimer's ranked IMDb filmography.

  1. (8.40) - The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  2. (8.07) - Seven Days in May (1964)
  3. (7.88) - Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
  4. (7.77) - The Train (1964)

Although Frankenheimer's career would continue for another 40 years after The Manchurian Candidate, those four early films continue to hold the top four slots on his ranked filmography at IMDb. There were lean times in Frankenheimer's career, and this film came from the leanest of all, the period from 1978 to 1993, during which his highest-rated film at IMDb was 52 Pick-Up, at a tepid 5.92. Dead Bang was just a hair behind that with a 5.66.

The storyline of Dead Bang is rambling and the conclusion is downright clumsy, but it does have one excellent set piece toward the end, in which a law enforcement team raids the Colorado headquarters of a white supremacist group and ends up in a shoot-out with some of the neo-Nazis in a secret underground lair formed from an old mine. With its dizzying drops and its labyrinth of shafts, the mine offers an excellent location for Frankenheimer to work some directorial magic by creating dramatic tension from the uncertainly of the officers. They are advancing blindly, trying to catch men who are familiar with a maze capable of bewildering any newcomer. Should the cops go left or right? Up or down? Does the next door lead to the heavily-armed suspects, or an equally terrifying abandoned shaft with a vertiginous drop What's behind the next rock, just more rocks or a meth-crazed Nazi with an AK-47?

That one shoot-out, which is dripping with suspense, just about redeems the clunky script, which includes every "renegade loner cop" cliché in the book.

  • Drinks too much? Check. So much that at one point he pukes on a perp he has apprehended after a long run.
  • Has no life but his job? Check.
  • Breaks the rules? Check.
  • Hated by his family? Check. The family which hates him doesn't even appear on camera. We only know about the loner cop's family issues because he has angry telephone conversations with his estranged wife. These seem to exist just to get that item checked off on the master cliché list.

I do give the script some props for its one original, if completely unrealistic, contribution to the rogue cop mythos. Our hero (Don Johnson) is sent to the police psychiatrist after he screws up one thing or another, and he gets through that by telling the shrink that if he is not returned to line duty he will spend the rest of his life knowing who is responsible, and obsessed by it. And he is a very violent man. "I will focus on you as the instrument of my destruction," he says, and the shrink is so intimidated that he gives our antihero a clean bill of mental health.

And this is not a comedy.

The film is said to be based on a real L.A. detective named Jerry Beck (also the character's name), but the abundant movie clichés and the entertaining but implausible psychiatrist scene seem to stretch our credulity regarding this value of this claim.


The worst element in the script comes at the very end.  I have to tell you that the following is really what happened, because if I do not you will think I am kidding or mocking the script. After the law enforcement team wins the shoot-out, they find out from the last living suspect's dying words that the main guy they were after was not the cop-killer after all. They have failed completely.

Then, the real cop-killer appears from elsewhere in the mine shaft, gets the drop on them, and confesses to every known crime from the missing socks to the Lindbergh baby, all while he's holding them at gunpoint. This probably sounds silly enough to you just because "I'll tie you up so I can tell you the plot" is such a clumsy and hackneyed device of plot exposition, but that's not the half of it. It makes absolutely no sense in this context because (1) The cops had no idea this guy was the killer. (2) The cops had no idea this guy was even there (3) The cops had already killed the four guys they sought and had warrants for, so the investigation had nowhere else to go.


The film also has some editing problems. There are at least two cases when a scene seems to end in the middle and the following scene seems to begin in the middle with absolutely no transition to explain what has happened. In one case it is particularly confusing because both interlocking scenes consist of dialogue between the same two characters, but the exchanges do not connect, so the men seem to be engaging in non-sequiturs in the manner of an Ionesco play!

Penelope Ann Miller provides the nudity, which just consists of the side of her breasts in a exceedingly dark love scene. Not only is this bare flesh gratuitous, but Penelope's entire character is gratuitous. Even using the existing footage, it would be a simple matter to cut her from the film, improving the pacing substantially, while losing nothing at all of essential plot or character development. The character either needed to be developed or cut entirely. John Frankenheimer said that the studio re-cut this film after he finished it, so I reckon we have to give him a free pass on some of these matters. Perhaps Penelope's character used to be more significant. One thing we know is that when the studio hacks were re-cutting this film, they left this character in for no good reason, but chopped out some key scene transitions, as described above. I can only speculate, but I think the reason Penelope didn't get cut completely was probably to retain the film's only nudity. Films these days seem to strive for a PG-13 to maximize the potential audience, but back in the eighties attractive nudity was considered an asset, and that would have been especially true in this case because the popular and pretty young Penelope Ann had never done a prior nude scene. (This was four years before Carlito's Way.)

Given that the film does have a few positives, I would love to see John Frankenheimer's own "director's cut," but that's not likely to appear. This film is obscure, and there is no sound business reason for Warner to issue another DVD based on this box office flop.

Particularly since the existing DVD is trading for sixty one cents!


(Total box: $8 million. It opened in the #5 slot. It was the highest-grossing new film of its week, edging out Troop Beverly Hills, but suffered an embarrassing loss to four carry-overs.)

5.6 at IMDb

Penelope Ann Miller film clip


* Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

* White asterisk: expanded format.

* Blue asterisk: not mine.

No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.








Esas Chicas Tan Putas


Esas Chicas Tan Pu... (1982), or These Girls are such Whores, is a Spanish cult comedy. Several women decide that running a whorehouse catering to lesbians and gay men would be an easy way to make a living. It does not turn out to be so easy. Broken arms, lesbian triangles and jealousy, fetish requests, and so on make life interesting and hilarious. For instance, a gay man wants two girls to show up in only fish net stockings. Then he dresses them as nuns.

This is only available on an all region PAL from RLDVDs.com in Spanish with no subtitles. The language is a problem this time, as there is a lot of dialogue, but there is also some physical humor and lots of naked women and simulated sex.


Esas Chicas Tan Putas

NUDITY: Emma Quer and Andrea Albani show everything, almost constantly. Three unidentifiable women also show body parts.



Emma Quer 31


Andrea Albani 56


unknowns 16








Invasion of the Pod People


Today a little Sci-Fi. Amanda Ward shows breasts as she is taken from behind.


A quick flash of tits from Jessica Bork.

More boobs from up and coming "B-Movie Babe" Erica Roby.






Notes and collages


Shannen Doherty, Season 3, Episode 15

Part 2







Camilla Power in Byron

Ava Fabian in Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael

A film clip of Janel Maloney in Brotherhood, s2, e4. Samples right.

Jessica Biel gets felt up in public - by another woman!

Michelle Borth again goes out on a limb by performing either real sex acts on camera or an incredible simulation, this time in episode 8 (not yet aired) of Tell me You Love Me. Film clip here, sample right.

Tricia Helfer
Britney dancing around in a too-small bikini






La Tia Fingida


In 1982, Televisión Española (The first Television Channel in Spain) produced a series of movies about women who used their looks to get what they wanted. This is the first one, about a woman who pretends to be a noble dame in order to marry her partner (who acts like her niece) to a rich aristocrat.


Beatriz Escudero





The Comedy Wire

Friday night at a packed appearance at Carnegie Hall, J.K. Rowling stunned Harry Potter fans when one child asked if  Hogwarts headmaster wizard Albus Dumbledore ever finds "true love," and she replied, "Dumbledore is gay." She explained that he was in love with wizard-turned-bad Gellert Grindelwald, whom he had to defeat in a wizard battle, so his love was his "great tragedy."  Fans had speculated about Dumbledore's sexuality, since he had no relationships with women. Rowling has said the Potter books are about tolerance, but fundamentalist conservatives denounce the books for promoting witchcraft, and she said this will give them one more reason.

*  Come on, all wizards are gay!  Ian McKellen played Gandalf, and even the Wizard of Oz was a friend of Dorothy! 

*  Why should a wizard have relationships with women? No man who spends his time reading books about wizards has relationships with any women. 

*  This should insure that if there's a Broadway musical version, it will be better than "Lord of the Rings."

Members of the Writers Guild voted to authorize a strike that could shut down movie and TV production when their old contract expires at the end of October.

Unfortunately, 13 episodes of "Cavemen" are already in the can.

On this day in 1945, the United Nations officially came into

*  And since then, there's been nothing but peace, peace, peace!