Sunday

 Anniversaries

  • The first item of note is that this is our 11th birthday. Astounding.
  • The second is that Tuna is rapidly approaching an anniversary of his own - 100,000 images. Our site spider counted his images on October 31st, and the magic number was 95, 215. It's difficult to imagine anyone creating that many collages. I've been doing it for 11 years or so, and my total is about a fourth of that! (And I suppose I am probably the second-most prolific creator, which shows how far ahead Tuna is.) He does somewhere around a thousand per month, maybe fifteen hundred, so the magic number is coming up around Easter time.

 

Moment by Moment (1978):

Travolta: "I've had it with cheap sex. It leaves me feeling cheap."

Tomlin: "I've never had cheap sex before. I was sort of looking forward to it."

Robert Stigwood was probably the hottest producer on the planet in 1978. He was fresh off back-to-back blockbuster successes with Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Saturday Night Fever was the #3 film at the 1977 box office, behind only the two space epics, Star Wars and Close Encounters. Grease did even better, rising to the very top of the 1978 box office list in the USA, and also taking the #1 spot world-wide.

For his next project, Stigwood wanted to stick with his main man, ol' Barbarino himself, John Travolta, who had danced and sung his way to the top of the A-list in both of Stigwood's major hits, thus earning an Oscar nomination and making himself the hottest draw in Hollywood.  He was still playing Barbarino on "Welcome Back, Kotter" in 1978 as well, so he was in the rare and enviable position as the master of two media.

Stigwood and Travolta - they were magic, they had the Midas touch, they could do no wrong.

Until this turkey came along.

Realizing Travolta's popularity with female audiences, Stigwood conceived of using his white-hot star in a classic chick-flick, a May-December romance between a bored middle-aged housewife and the sexy young man who would put a spring back in her step. For his female lead Stigwood wanted Lily Tomlin, whose smash one-woman show was the hottest ticket on Broadway. Between Travolta's fans and Tomlin's, Stigwood hoped to rule the entertainment world.

There were two problems. Problem one was Lily herself. Although Tomlin had picked up some good notices for her work in Nashville, she was no dramatic actress, and was certainly not the classic romantic lead, given her monotonous robotic voice, her one-and-only non-comedic facial expression (a dazed, "deer in the headlights" stare), and her own personal sexual preferences. That brings us to problem two: Lily wouldn't play with the boys unless she could bring along her creative partner, who also happened to be her life partner, Jane Wagner. Wagner had worked with Tomlin on their many characteristically bittersweet comedy sketches, but was ill-prepared to take on the role of screenwriter for a "ladies picture" in the tradition of Doug Sirk. Indeed, she was ill-prepared to write any kind of feature-length film involving a cohesive storyline. Some of the writing in this film just makes no sense at all.

Example One: Travolta finds a stray dog on the beach and determines from the dog's responses that his name his Corky. Tell me, how does this process work? Did Travolta try out every name he could think of until one worked? It's a good thing the dog's name was in the "Cs." If the mutt had been named Zeke, Travolta would still be out there.

Example Two: Travolta tells Tomlin that he met a "really rich lady" in a disco, and she offered to take him to St. Tropez. He then asks Tomlin if he is pronouncing the port's name right. Think about that for a minute. A woman in a bar asked him to go to St. Tropez. If he knew nothing about the place, why would he be led to believe that his pronunciation was wrong? The only circumstance where one might be confused about pronouncing "Tropez" is if one had seen it written but never heard it pronounced. So ... are we to assume that the very rich disco lady gave him a written invitation? Do you think she just carries those around like business cards, or did she send a runner out from the disco to Kinko's? Ah, the rich. They are different from you and me.

Not even the slightest thought was put into the exposition used in this script. One of the most important characters remains entirely offscreen! Although Travolta talks constantly to Tomlin about his friend Greg and the friend's legal problems, and even mourns the friend's subsequent death, ol' Greg is never seen. We do, however, get a quick glimpse at Greg's probable killer, a big-time hoodlum known as (I'm not making this up) Mr. Main Event. The esteemed Mr. Event is played by that hard-faced guy who played the lieutenant on the Rockford Files. The Greg character is only one of many red herrings and dead-ends in the film. The film is essentially a two character sketch that has been padded out by various sub-plots and digressions, none of which have any bearing on the Tomlin-Travolta relationship, none of which provide any form of cinematic pleasure, many of which take place entirely off-camera.

As for the dialogue ... well, you can see a good example at the very top of this page. The highlight of the verbal badinage revolves around the fact that Travolta's character is named "Strip," and Tomlin keeps intoning, "Oh, Strip" over and over in the same uninflected half-mumble, as if it were her mantra. Don't ever get hornswaggled into playing a drinking game while watching this film. If you had to drink every time Tomlin said "Oh, Strip," you would surely die of alcohol poisoning.

The problems with Tomlin's stiff face and inexpressive voice were exacerbated by the fact that the entire film basically consists of sex scenes and many forms of sexual foreplay, verbal and otherwise, ranging from flirting to hot-tubbing in the altogether. Kathleen Turner, she ain't. Tomlin might not have done an especially good job at this with a female co-star, but she was a dead fish opposite Travolta. From Travolta's point of view, the entire sex angle would have been uncomfortable enough if he had merely been making love to just any lesbian in front of her real lover, with the lover in turn, as the director, encouraging him to make it look real. It went beyond creepy and into Greek tragedy material in light of the fact that the lesbian in his arms was almost a dead ringer for his own sister, Ellen Travolta. As Los Angeles magazine reported from the set, "The chemistry between Tomlin and Travolta began to rival that between Menachem Begin and Yassar Arafat." One crew member recalled, "Two weeks into the shooting on location in Malibu there was nobody on the set that didn't know we were in the middle of a turkey. It was like being on the voyage of the damned."

How bad is it? Check out the soundtrack:

Track listing
1.  Moment by moment
by Yvonne Elliman
2.  The lady wants to know
by Michael Franks
3.  Everybody needs love
by Stephen Bischop
4.  Moment by moment theme
Reprise-instrumental
5.  You know I love you
by Charles Lloyd
6.  Sometimes when we touch
by Dan Hill
7.  Moment by moment
Main theme-instrumental
8.  For you and I
by 10CC
9.  Hollywood boulevard
instrumental
10.  You heart never lies
by Charles Lloyd
11.  Moment by moment
"On the beach"-instrumental
12.  Moment by moment (Reprise)
Film version (Yvonne Elliman)

 

You know you're in trouble when the romantic highlight of your film is Dan Hill's notoriously sappy ballad "Sometimes When We Touch." By the way, the film's title has nothing to do with the storyline. The movie was, in essence, named after the soundtrack's recurring song, which was (one presumes) a hopeful break-out hit.

The film was indeed an utter disaster and an embarrassment to all concerned.

Well, except maybe Dan Hill. I imagine he would be hard to embarrass.

It was released as a Christmas picture in 1978, and was greeted by critical derision and audience guffaws. It soon disappeared and has been buried ever since. In all these years it has never come to video tape, laser disc, or DVD. Bad movie lovers should not despair, however, because there is still hope. The Wikipedia article says, "A high-definition video master, suitable for a DVD and/or HD-DVD release, exists and has been broadcast on Universal HD."

Travolta had one more hit (Urban Cowboy) in 1980, and received some respectable reviews in Brian de Palma's Blow-Out in 1981, but his next partnership with Stigwood in 1983 proved to be another megabomb, Staying Alive, the ill-advised sequel to Saturday Night Fever. That second failure signaled the Hollywood community that Stigwood and Travolta had obviously lost their magic. After Staying Alive, Travolta descended far from the A-list and would not be in demand again until after Pulp Fiction earned him a second Oscar nomination in 1994. The period that began with Staying Alive and ended with Pulp Fiction produced eight of the eleven Travolta films with an IMDb rating below five, but not his three worst. Moment by Moment has the second-lowest rating, and would be the worst effort on the filmography of just about any major star, but Travolta is not just anyone. More than two decades later, he managed to make a film which is considered even worse! In fact, it is currently ranked as the 36th worst of all time.

  1. (4.70) - Shout (1991)
  2. (4.69) - Eyes of an Angel (1991)
  3. (4.20) - The Experts (1989)
  4. (4.09) - Two of a Kind (1983)
  5. (3.87) - Perfect (1985)
  6. (3.83) - Staying Alive (1983)
  7. (3.71) - Look Who's Talking Too (1990)
  8. (3.52) - Look Who's Talking Now (1993)
  9. (3.28) - The Devil's Rain (1975)
  10. (2.90) - Moment by Moment (1978)
  11. (2.41) - Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000)

Travolta had his problems between 1983 and 1994, but he survived Staying Alive and Moment by Moment better than Stigwood. The one-time high-flyin' impresario would not have another IMDb credit of any kind for the next thirteen years. Hollywood has a short memory for successes, but a long one for failures.

 

Lily Tomlin

 

 

 

 

Third party videos:

A zipped file of multiple .avis -  a Funhouse favorite: Ludivine Sagnier in Water Drips on Burning Rocks. And it's a favorite despite the fact that I've never even seen it!

The final Jennifer Connelly scene in Requiem for a Dream (zipped .avi) - "Ass to Ass."  Mr Skin calls it a body double, and he is wise about such matters. Double or not, it's a hot scene for sure. There appears to be penetration on screen.

 

 

 

 

OTHER CRAP:

The Sun sends a reader to Kazakhstan to find out if Borat is right.
  • He concludes that the real Kazakhstan is different from what Borat portrays - but pretty much just as bad.

 

Daniel Craig's performance as James Bond has been hailed as "terrific" and "simply brilliant" in early reviews of his 007 debut in Casino Royale.

  • I've seen Craig in several movies, and his performances are uniformly excellent, so I have always expected him to be a great Bond despite the apparent physical mismatch that many people were worried about. He's probably the best actor ever to essay the part.

 

A CD filled with songs that dogs like.

  • They prefer the sound of sambas, squeak-toy noises, can openers, and somewhat surprisingly, "Sometimes When We Touch."

 

ABC News: Children of Nazi racial engineering meet in Germany, in an effort to banish the specter that has haunted many of them since their birth, and to eat some great sausage hors d'oeuvres.

 

A 22 minute press conference held by Borat.

 

"Unnecessary censorship" of a Batman cartoon

 

Borat's response to Kazakhstan's official defense of their country

  • His basic premise is that the alleged Kazakh officials who condemn him are actually Uzbek impersonators

 

Daily Box Office for Friday, November 3, 2006 - Borat goes insane!!!

  • Never seen anything like this. Although it was only in 837 theaters, Borat took in almost as much as Santa Clause 3 and Flushed Away added together - and they were in a combined 7100 theaters! I guess internet hype can work if the film is more than just a title. Borat took in an incredible $10,800 per theater. To give you some idea of that that means, Revenge of the Sith took in only $9,200 per theater on its opening Friday!
  • The other two openings had to be disappointing, but kiddie films don't do as well on Friday as on Saturday. Neither of them could unseat last week's champion, Saw 3, although Santa Clause 3 did manage a tie, albeit in more theaters. In terms of revenues per theater, Saw 3 remained the highest among widely-distributed films at $1,600 - about 15% of what Borat achieved.

 

"A couple that began squabbling in a motel room Friday morning carried their dispute over to an adjacent Waffle House diner in the nude"

 

Transcript of the President's Poetic, Confidence-Inspiring Stump Speech on Behalf of Congressional Republicans (WHITEHOUSE.ORG)

 

PUSH POLLING IN ACTION: See Karl Rove's Informative Surveys for 2006 Senate Battleground Races: ... (WHITEHOUSE.ORG)

 

Borat on Conan's show Thursday (Conan did a great job at working with the eccentric character, and the segment went on for about eight minutes.)

 

The Orlando Weekly reviewed Borat's movie in one sentence: " face it, Borat is the funniest movie ever made."

 

Letterman's Top Ten John Kerry excuses

  • Lightheaded from too much Botox
  • Hasn't been himself since he heard Bob Barker is retiring
  • Hoped saying something really stupid would make him seem more presidential
  • "So I botched a joke -- Letterman does it every night."
  • "Hey, it was still funnier than most of the jokes on this list"

 

"Electronic Voting Machine Slays Nine" ... Terrorizes Florida in Thrill-kill Rampage

 

"Kerry Found With Duct Tape Over Mouth" ... Dean Denies Involvement

  • Elsewhere, Britney Spears' husband Kevin Federline said he plans to write his autobiography, "as soon as I learn the alphabet."

 

"Traveling Liquid and Gel Salespeople Protest FAA Rules"

 

Doogie - gay as a blade. Gay as a caballero. Gay as the nineties. Gay as Paree.

Gayer than a magician's convention.

 

"Naked man arrested after pulling awl from rectum"

  • "Mindful that a 6-inch metal awl wrapped in black electrical tape could be used as a weapon, officers kept their weapons trained on the 33-year-old."
  • Darn the luck, if he had pulled out a screwdriver, they would have had to let him go scot-free. Hey, it's Northern California. Sadly, he was tired of being screwed in the ass, and was looking for something a little different.
  • Hence the origin of the phrase "it's awl good."

 

You know young boys love action figures, so their Christmas will be really special when they open up the Dr. Laura Talking Action Figure.

  • Make sure they open this last, because once they start playing with this, they will lose interest in their other presents - at least until Talking Dr. Laura's good counsel sets them straight!

 

Colbert Report for Thursday:

 

The Daily Show for Thursday. Note that Part 3 is Jon's interview with Borat. Part 1 ... Part 2 ... Part 3 ... Part 4

 

The 10 Coolest LEGO Creations. (Which is about like saying "the 10 coolest Lawrence Welk albums.")

 

The first six minutes of the Tenacious D Movie are now online

 

THe HD Trailer for Meet The Robinsons, a new animated Disney movie.

 

The trailer from Balls of Fury

  • An outrageous new comedy. In this secret society, the competition is brutal and the stakes are high. It is the unsanctioned, underground, and utterly unhinged world of clandestine Ping-Pong tournaments. Down-and-out former professional Ping-Pong phenom Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) is sucked into this maelstrom when FBI Agent Rodriguez (George Lopez) recruits him for a secret mission. Randy is determined to bounce back and win, and to smoke out his father's killer arch-fiend Feng (Christopher Walken).

 

The trailer for The Number 23

  • Jim Carrey plays a man who becomes obsessed and haunted upon reading a book that seems to be about his life but ends with a murder. The number 23 is woven throughout the plot.

 

Coming Soon now has 20 clips from Flushed Away

 

The R-rated international trailer for BLACK CHRISTMAS, a new horror/slasher film.

  • This comes from the team of Wong and Morgan, the same guys who created Final Destination 1 and 3, so it may have some potential.

 

 

Movie Reviews:

Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.

 

 

 

 

Witchery (1988)

Witchery is an Italian ghost witch story shot on an island in Massachusetts. There is a haunted hotel on the island, and David Hasselhoff is helping his girlfriend Leslie Cumming do some research there. Unbeknownst to him, she didn't have permission to be there in the first place. They are joined by a group of realtors and the new owner. The ghost/witch has some scheme involving killing several people in odd ways, which will allow her to come back to life and have a baby. Witchy starts sucking people through bathroom drains and into dumbwaiters, torturing them, and then doing them in imaginative ways. Another component  of her plan involves the loss of Cumming's virginity, something Hasselhoff has been totally unable to manage. That's no problem for a ghost/witch, however, who can simply ask the devil to rape her in Hasselhoff's stead. Now that I think about it, that probably worked out better for Cumming as well.

After that, things got too weird for words.

It's a bad film. In typical Italian fashion, all voices were badly dubbed. Given that most of the film took place in the rickety old hotel, there was more dialogue than action, making the bad dubbing a real problem. On the other hand, watching Witchery is not without its rewards. Any day I can see Hasselhoff both tortured and with blue balls is a good day, and then there is the matter of Leslie Cumming showing her breasts while the devil is taking her virginity, and a cast which also included a pregnant Linda Blair.

I suppose Hasselhoff's presence gives the film bad movie points, but, even so, this is a very lame effort. 

D-.

IMDb readers give this a 2.5.

 

 

 

Leslie Cumming shows breasts while the devil is taking her virginity.

 

 

 

 

Fourplay (2001)

Fourplay is a comedy set in London and starring Mariel Hemingway, Irene Jacob, Mike Bender and Colin Firth.  The original release was called Londinium, and it has been variously known as Fourplay, Four Play, Love Affairs and Love After Sex. Seems like about one title for each viewer who has seen it.

Bender plays a TV scriptwriter who is brought to London to work on a sitcom starring Mariel Hemingway's character. He is introduced to Irene Jacob, playing a make-up girl who is also working on a book about London ("Londinium"), and they become a couple. Hemingway is married to her producer, played by Firth, but the relationship is going stale. Eventually, the couples end up switching partners. That is pretty much it, except for Colin Firth's method of letting off steam. He gets pissed in a pub with his mates, then takes them outside and kicks the crap out of them.

The message seems to be that marriage will always go stale. If you find that a humorless theme for a comedy, I agree with you.  Fourplay is competently filmed with good production value, and does make London look very inviting, but has no other merit. It is a complete failure even at simple story-telling, much less being amusing. Don't look to the sexy premise and stars for some guilty pleasures, either. For a film that is entirely about sex, marriage and infidelity, than is not much in the way of sex or nudity.

This is a D.

IMDb readers say 4.9.

The only review listed at IMDb says 2 stars of five.

 

Mariel Hemingway shows her left breast from the side in her one sex scene.

 

 

 

Irene Jacob shows her right breast from the side in her one sex scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Today we have a delicious "Babe in Bondage" in the person of Amy Huberman" in "Hell's Gate" aka "Bad Karma."

Caps and clips (two .wmvs zipped together) of Amy as she strips while being watched by a peeper in a gas station rest room. She is then chloroformed and taken captive by the creep, who proceeds to tie up and torture the nubile Amy.

This is a baaaad movie, but at least all the action is in the first 15 minutes, then you can just turn it off. After this scene the movie skips ahead in time and Miss Huberman's character is then played by Patsy Kensit (Plastic surgery, you know).

Guess Patsy didn't want to do the nudity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes and collages

Bev D'Angelo in Pacific Heights

 

...a couple of tangent comments about this collage/film:

1) Michael Keaton is one scary son-of-a-biscuit in this tale of a "bad tenant."

2) Ms. D'Angelo is not in this film's credits on screen. If you look at "Four Rooms," Bruce Willis is not listed in the credits. Kevin Spacey is not listed in the front credits of "Seven" per his request, since he was the serial killer and he felt that his name in the opening credits would make his role in the film obvious... (I agree.)

...and then there is that older film "The List of Adrian Messenger" which Hollywood created because it could with a gigantic all-star cast (which no one knew about until the unmasking at film's end...see the film if you like such trivia...)

 

 

 

Laura Dern in Rambling Rose

 

... if I may say, Laura Dern is an average looking woman with a phenomenal torch personality; when I saw her walking away from the camera in those worn jeans in "Jurassic Park" I just stared and stared...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halle Berry in a see-through. 2003 picture, but an upgrade in quality. I don't really know what Halle is up to these days, but she sure was hot there a couple of years ago

Wacky supermodel Kristin McMenamy

LeAnn Rimes

Susan Bayliss in Murder One

Kelly Reilly in Russian Dolls. A treat for those who loved her in Mrs. Henderson.

Helen Mirren in Shadowboxer. I can see why Mr. Skin listed these in his nudity section, but I'm just not sure whether his conclusion about that dark spot  is correct.