Unusually enough, today's page has four new-to-me looks at
very familiar faces: Tara Fitzgerald, Sophie Marceau, Deborah
Unger and Mathilda May.
An Awfully Big Adventure (1995):
Warning: TOTAL SPOILERS
Director Mike Newell and star Hugh Grant has
quite a solid international hit in 1994 with Four Weddings and
Funeral, so they immediately attempted to recapture their
chemistry with another film in 1995. This one. Unfortunately,
their collaboration was missing an integral element, the
talented author of Four Weddings, Richard Curtis, who is one
of the most successful screenwriters in modern British
history, having written or co-written the Bridget Jones films,
Notting Hill, Love Actually, and most of the Blackadder
series. Instead of one of Curtis's light romances, Grant and
Newell selected a dark, cynical and profoundly gloomy drama.
Probably the wrong choice.
When it comes to coming-of-age films, the
difference between comedy and tragedy is only a matter of
shading. Both are about the loss of innocence, and that is
inherently sad in some inevitable ways, but the distinction
between them lies in the way the innocence is lost and the
degree to which one may some day view its loss with fondness.
An Awfully Big Adventure is not about the mere loss of
innocence, but its utter destruction. Two students, one of
each gender, take internships at a theater company in
Liverpool after the war. They will both learn of the world's
cruelties before the theater season is over. The 16-year-old
girl will lose her virginity to the fading leading man. The
boy will lose his to the company's cruel, arrogant director.
You think that sounds depressing? It gets
worse. The leading man has only returned to the tiny
provincial theater to allow himself a chance to look for the
true love of his life, whom he romanced and lost there many
years ago, and the son he believes they had together. Are you
sitting down? He doesn't find the woman, but he does discover
the identity of his child. It is not a son, but a daughter. Do
I need to explain further? When he discovers that his
careless sexual escapades have made him not only a pedophile,
but an incestuous one as well, he ... well, let's just say it
keeps getting more and more dismal.
The boy's half of the
story is not as thoroughly developed, but it isn't any
cheerier. All of the atmospheric and characteristic details
are profoundly depressing as well. The theater is run-down,
the city outside its walls is bleak, all and the players are
broken-down. After all, the entire story takes place in an
impoverished theater group in Liverpool, so the players and
crew are basically cast-offs: underpaid wannabes, alcoholic
has-beens, and never-weres who take the abuse of the heartless
director because they have no place else to go.
It isn't bad stuff, but
it sure is melancholy. The occasional attempts at humor often
seem sadly inappropriate, making the film even more cheerless
than if it had no humor at all.
I can't give you many
good reasons to watch it. Hugh Grant is suitably despicable as
the director, but his character seems utterly one-dimensional
and full of tics. Alan Rickman is excellent, as he always is,
and his forlorn actor would be a sympathetic character with
only slight changes in the plot, but as it stands he's playing
an incestuous pedophile, so it's difficult to feel that he got
any worse than he deserved. The innocent girl is obviously
damaged goods to begin with, and the theater world damages her
still further, while shattering her dreams along with her
innocence, so we should feel her pain, but even that is
difficult given that (1) she is a very strange girl (2) the
melodramatic situations are such blatant cries for sympathy
that we expect her at any moment to get tied to a log and
conveyed into the sawmill.
More interesting than the
film is the story of how Georgina Cates got the role of the
16-year-old Liverpudlian. Her real name is Claire Woodgate,
and at the time this film was cast, she was 20, and had long
been a semi-famous juvenile BBC actress hailing from Essex. As
herself, she auditioned for this role and was rejected.
Refusing to take no for an answer, she went home, changed her
appearance significantly, and created a new identity - the
unknown Georgina Cates, an untrained and inexperienced 16 year
old from Liverpool, complete with scouse accent. In essence,
she created an actress who would have been perfect for the
role without acting! She got the part. She did not admit the
ruse until about halfway through the filming, at which point
the tabloid press fell in love with her, but her fellow acting
professionals were dismayed by behavior that they thought to
Cates continued to march
to her own drummer. Having alienated some key contacts in the
British film world, she packed her bags and headed off to
Hollywood, where she got some fairly good notices in
Illuminata, and some great praise for Clay Pigeons. There's no
doubt the girl can act. Hell, even her famous scam proved she
could act. After all, she convinced the casting director of
this movie that she was an innocent 16 year old from
Liverpool, and that's exactly what she had to do in the movie!
The very fact that she got the job proved that she could do it
well. So what has she done with her talent, and why have you
not heard anything from her recently? She just turned her back
on the whole thing. She has no acting credits at IMDb between
1999 and now. She married Skeet Ulrich, she had twins, and
concentrated on her private life. She is now divorced from the
Skeetmeister and her kids are grown and ready for kindergarten
(they're 5 1/2 as I write this), so she plans to return to
acting in 2007.
Drinkwater has only one other nude appearance. I
doubt if you would recognize her. It was 23 years earlier
in Kubrick's classic A Clockwork Orange. See below.
Twilight Zone - A Most Unusual Camera ... that takes photos of things five minutes before they happen. Two thieves, Chester and Paula, rob a curio store and discover the strange camera. They decide to use it to take pictures at the racetrack. They win every time and leave with a considerable sum, but back at their hotel, the French waiter notices their unusual camera and mentions the curious inscription "ten to an owner." They now have only two pictures left. (Cue up spooky music.)
"In the crowded sprawl of Manila, the living must compete for space with the dead."
- The author makes this seem like some kind of rarity. In Cairo, I have seen with my own eyes cemeteries which are virtually separate cities within the city, teeming with the poor, totally ignored by mainstream society, virtually ignored by the police and other social services. They usually have no trash removal. There is no sewage control other than tanks which are rarely if ever emptied. There is no electricity except what they can steal. They function much like the favelas in urban Brazil. It is estimated that five million Egyptians live in cemeteries. Details here
The Northern Lights pictured in time-lapse photography.
Because we don't already have enough fried foods.. "A new fast food is making its debut at U.S. fairs this fall -- fried Coke."
A nice piece of intellectual humor which reminds me of the early days of the National Lampoon: Johnny Knoxville's Letters to His Brother, Theo.
- "After the shoot, Giselle and I spent a blissful afternoon riding in the centrifuge of a local sugar refinery, and discovered that we share passions for Alsatian cuisine, Puccini opera, and stapling our lower lip to roof shingles. Although we have known each other for only a few days, I can already imagine Giselle bearing our children, perhaps while hanging from a bungee cord over a nest of Mexican pit vipers. "
Song parody: ‘OOOO, I NEED A DIRTY AD SPOT’
- "The GOP is getting more panicky than a guy who runs out of Viagra at the Bunny Ranch."
Daily Box Office for Friday, October 27, 2006
- Saw 3 opened REAL big - it took in almost as much as the next eight films added together. (It was expected to be strong, but not that strong. The experts thought it would cover films 2-5, not 2-9.)
- Running with Scissors had a solid average per screen to finish tenth, despite a limited run (585 theaters)
- Catch a Fire bombed. It missed the top ten (the pros thought it would be 7th or 8th) and, barring a major upsurge, is headed for a $2 million opening weekend, about half of expectations.
LiberalGreetings.com - E-Mail Greeting Cards For Progressives
Humor Online.com: Funny Audio Clips
23 year old BitTorrent Site Admin Sent to Prison
Snoop Dogg arrested for marijuana possession
- Who says the people running the war on drugs are incompetent? They've caught both Snoop and Willie Nelson with marijuana this year. What are the odds?
YouTube Takes Down Comedy Central Clips Based on DMCA Claims
Star Wars Screen Test #2
- Classic sketch from SNL spoofing behind the scenes footage of "Star Wars, the 20th Anniversary Home Video". Norm MacDonald plays Burt Reynolds as Darth Vader. Ana Gasteyer plays Barbra Streisand as Princess Leia. Kevin Spacey plays Jack Lemmon as Chewbacca.
Celebrate Halloween with the 13 Greatest Horror Movies. Ever!
Cardinals become worst World Series winner in history, with an 83-78 regular season record.
Play Halloween Hangman
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Ed and His Dead Mother (1993)
Ed and His Dead Mother (1993) is a comedy horror offering, and if you
haven't done so, read Scoop's
thoughts, which are far more interesting than the actual film.
Steve Buscemi has not adjusted to his mother's death, although her brother,
who lives with him, has not had the same problem. A salesman shows up at
Buscemi's hardware store with a solution. His company has an exclusive
process for reanimating the dead. Of course, that is the tip of the iceberg.
They know about his recent $50,000 inheritance, and plan on taking all of it.
They neglect to mention at first that there are a few issues with the living
dead, such as the need to eat living things. Buscemi's life is further
complicated by a new girlfriend across the street (Sam Jenkins), an
ex-employee out of prison and after revenge, and the understandable difficulty
of dealing with a mother who sleeps in the fridge and has cockroaches for a
late night snack.
I found it only occasionally amusing with a rather predictable outcome.
Your mileage may vary.
It is probably a C.
IMDb readers have this at 5.5.
shows her buns in one scene and her right breast in another.
Nancy Reed shows buns as
the promiscuous wife of the preacher.
Today we have a little "Hankster Light" with caps of a naked
Nicollette Sheridan providing some wonderful T & A in 1999's Raw Nerve. She
never looked like this on "Desperate Housewives."
Part two of today's Time Machine trip is a "Babe in Bondage" - Jayne
Allyson from the 1971 box office smash "The Godson." Jayne is all tied up
topless in a short skirt and boots outdoors. Here's sexy Jayne in the
zipped .wmv movie clip.
Here's a sample cap (the rest are back in the archives on Oct.15,2005).
Learning to Drive
One of the lovely Heather Graham's first movies is the teen flick Learning to Drive (1988). No nudity but a brief upskirt and some cleavage.
A short-lived series was Fastlane (2002). Jennifer Sky was down to her underwear in the pilot.
(The sex bomb with Jennifer in the second collage is Kitana Baker.)
Another sex bomb is Catherine Bell. In this episode of JAG called Persian Gulf (2004) we see a lot of cleavage (and what would have been a terrific upskirt if the lighting was better!).
In My Father's Den
Down to New Zealand for the thriller In My Father's Den (2004). There is a topless
Emily Barclay taking a bath
and pokies by Jodie Rimmer.
Good Life Delivery
Moro Anghileri is topless in the Argentinian film Good Life Delivery aka Buena vida delivery (2004).
Still in the Southern Hemisphere we have the entertaining South African movie Stander (2003). The nudity comes from
Deborah Kara Unger.
Cleavage from Melanie Merle
and Tessa Jubber
Some brief nipple exposure by Maria Flor in the Brazilian movie Almost Brothers aka Quase Dois Irmãos (2004).
Some nice breast exposure by Beate Bille in the Danish movie Manslaughter aka Drabet (2005).
In Your Dreams
In Your Dreams aka Dans tes rêves (2005) is a French film. There is a very brief nipple exposure by
and some side exposure by an unknown naked woman.
In the mainly French movie Who Knows aka Va savoir (2001) we have a topless
Jeanne Balibar taking a shower - not bad for a movie rated PG.
Continuing the French theme, we have Anthony Zimmer (2005). The beautiful
Sophie Marceau is topless but the best we see is a side view, which actually shows signs of an implant.
Kenita Larrain (Zipped
The Forced March
Finishing off with The Forced March aka Marsh-brosok (2003), a Russian movie using the Chechnya conflict as a background. No nudity but there are mild pokies by a delightful
Notes and collages
Jacqueline Bisset in "The Deep"
This fun "guy film" about searching for sunken treasure is adapted from a
novel by Peter Benchley, the same fellow who wrote "Jaws." I love this film, possibly more so because I am a scuba diver.
It's a nice, simple action flick which features a really hot woman at the peak
of her hotness.
The first five minutes of the film are worth the rental cost as Jacqueline
Bisset scuba dives in a t-shirt.
Mathilda May - she of the perfect chest,
regrettably not showing it clearly, in La Conquete de la Peur
Frequently-naked Tara Fitzgerald in Anglo-Saxon
Attitudes, whatever the hell that is.