Kisses and Caroms

(2006. Aka American Pool)

There is a recipe that will allow you to form a mental picture of this film. Start with Kevin Smith's Clerks. Update it to the present time, colorize it, and shoot it in digital video. Relocate it from a video store to a billiard supply store.

That's about it. This film is an unabashed homage to Kevin Smith. Here are a few subtle hints of that:

  • There is a character who does not talk. Her name is Silent Bobette. She wears a backwards baseball cap and a long overcoat, even though the other characters are dressed for summer.
  • There is a discussion of Rufus, the 13th apostle, a character played by Chris Rock in Kevin Smith's Dogma.
  • The designated horny guy looks very much like Ben Affleck.
  • There is a fast food place named Mooby's.

If that isn't enough to convince you, you might notice the quote from Kevin on the DVD box.

There's no inherent problem with all of that. Sometimes homages work out, sometimes not, and even some famous directors have made homages to other directors. The pairs that come immediately to my mind are Woody Allen /Ingmar Bergman and Gus Van Sant /Alfred Hitchcock. But the problem with copying Kevin Smith's movies is that the success of the originals is based on the crazed charisma of Jason Mewes and Kevin's own unique talent for interesting, witty reflections on life and pop culture. If you remove those elements, Clerks consists of bad actors talking way too much in front of static camera set-ups. To a  certain extent, that describes Kisses and Caroms. The characters do prattle on as they do in Kevin's films, and they even read their lines like the actors in Smith's films, but the film misses Smith's wit and Mewes's hilarious rants. And artificial dialogue without the spin of Kevin's wit is just stiff dialogue. On the positive side of the ledger, the film does capture a certain kind of brutal Smithian honesty and deals with the kind of gritty subject matter that will remind you of Clerks. The characters seem to express the concerns of 20-somethings about their relationships and their place in society, and they do so in direct, uncensored ways. Some authenticity must derive from the fact that writer Michael Hutchinson's IMDB bio sounds very much like the back story of the character named David, a guy who got his college degree then bummed around for years in a string of summer jobs.

There are a few variations on the basic Kevin Smith themes:

Unlike the early Smith films, there is no discussion of films or superheroes, and there is very little of the amusing reflections about pop culture trivia that normally characterize a Smith film. This film is almost 100% focused on sexual relationships and the correlation of those relationships to love.

While there is minimal nudity in Kevin's films, there is plenty here. Nicole Rayburn shows her breasts after a threesome. Patty Souza gets down to her garter belt in one of those "sex with the pool boy" scenes - except this time it's a different kind of "pool." Drew Wicks and Keith Beaton offer up their buns to provide some man-flesh for the female members of the audience.

While it's far below Smith's films in the humor department, Kisses and Caroms held my attention about 80% of the time, the exceptions occurring when some minor characters got too much screen time unrelated to the development of the story. For example, the billiard store employs a really dumb guy who forgets to flush after a bowel movement, then drops his wedding ring into the toilet. That scene probably didn't go on that long, but it seemed like an eternity at the time, especially given that the dumb guy could have been written out of the script entirely without losing a blessed thing.

Patty Souza (film clip)
Nicole Rayburn (film clip)

A week ago I didn't know who she was. Since then I've seen her in two films, this and Cougar Club. She was topless in each film. (I mistakenly called her Nicole Radburn in the Cougar Club article.)



"Secret Diary of a Call Girl"

This is from episode 7. There is a long four-way sex scene. The female participants are Billie Piper and Heather Bleasdale. Billie does not remove all of her clothing, but looks great in the Victoria's Secret look. Heather is topless. She is a familiar TV actress in the UK, usually playing small parts, but sometimes in important shows like EastEnders. The pinnacle of her career as "the unimportant character in important productions" was to play Hermione's mother in the second Harry Potter film. If you're looking for her in that film, don't blink.


* 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.








Saints and Sinners


Saints and Sinners (1994) is a crime drama staring Damian Chapa, Scott Plank and Jennifer Rubin. Chapa has returned to his old New York neighborhood and has teamed up with his old high school buddy (Plank) to run the crime in their old neighborhood. What Plank doesn't know is that Chapa was a crooked cop who was given a chance to avoid jail by cleaning up his old neighborhood. He meets Jennifer Rubin in a health food restaurant and beds her, but it isn't long before all three of them are sleeping together. Before the film reaches its violent conclusion, we see that everyone has a  hidden agenda.

Saints and Sinners was meant to be gritty, but that, for me, is its downfall. There was entirely too much scenery chewing and very little subtlety, and the script does not quite sell the friendship between Plank and Chapa.

It is available on DVD from on a region 0 PAL in English with optional subtitles in all of the Scandinavian languages.

Saints and Sinners (1994)

IMDb readers have this at 5.7 with 50 votes.

It is considered by some to be the best career nudity for Jennifer Rubin, who shows breasts and buns, and shows the fun way to put on a condom. Scott Plank also does a full frontal.

Jennifer Rubin








"The Hitchhiker"



A "Damsels in Distress" day ...



Jessica Bork shows the boobs as she has some rough, choking sex.


Shaley Scott as a "Babe in Bondage," then topless as the bad guy attempts to rape her.



Shaley is joined by another "Babe in Bondage", Sarah Lieving, who keeps her clothes on.







Notes and collages

The Silencers

Part 1 of ?

Stella Stevens

For those of you unfamiliar with the Matt Helm films, Dean Martin did a series of spy spoofs with lots of  beautiful half-naked ladies. "The Silencers" is one of them. (I'll collage the ladies of all those films after I wrap up my Ms. Stevens series...)  






Here are the Johnny Moronic videos that go with the collages in yesterday's Fun House

Here is a young Genevieve Bujold from Act of the Heart, which came out about a year after her star-making breakthrough in Anne of 100 Days, a role which won her an Oscar nomination as the Best Actress of 1970. She was been nominated for a Genie five times, winning once for her supporting role in Murder by Decree.

Speaking of Anne Boleyn, here's C2000's take on Jodhi May in The Other Boleyn Girl. Samples below

Here's Eliza Dushku's tiny bit of exposure in Nobel Son

Lohan out in public in a flimsy black shirt without a bra.
Meagan Good falls out of her dress in public.

 Sample right.

Claudia Schiffer: see-through for a Chanel ad.

(I think.)










Abbie Cornish







The Comedy Wire

Comments in yellow...

University of Massachusetts researchers compiled a list of the worst jobs in America, based on pay, benefits and chances of advancement, and some are surprising. Counting down from #10, they are: Movie projectionist, dishwasher, model or product demonstrator (supermodels pull up the curve, but the median pay for most models who do catalog or auto show work is $11.22 an hour), tour guides (repetitive outdoor work with no benefits), waiter or waitress, lifeguard, fabric or apparel patternmaker, usher or ticket taker, snack- or coffee-counter attendant, and the #1 worst job, restaurant host or hostess.  That has almost no chance of advancement.

*  They're wrong: The least rewarding job of all is waitress for Hillary Clinton. 

Researchers from UC-San Diego and Yale found that people tend to subconsciously gravitate toward things that share their initials.  For instance, a Tom is more likely to drive a Toyota and marry a Teresa, while a Joe might marry Jill and buy a Jeep.  The more you like your name, the stronger the attraction even for undesirable things.  For instance, baseball players whose name begins with K, the scorecard shorthand for a strike out, are more likely to strike out.  And the highest-ranked law schools have a higher percentage of students with the initials A or B because they make higher grades than students whose names begin with C or D. 

* This explains the academic career of Kevin Federline. 


Stanford University sociology Prof. Paula England, who teaches a class on "Sex and Love in Modern Society," discovered that women are suffering what she calls an "orgasm gap."  She surveyed over 4,000 undergrads at five US universities and found that when couples "hook up" - defined as any sexual activity from kissing to intercourse -  44 percent of men have orgasms, compared to only 19 percent of females. During heterosexual sex, men's orgasms outnumbered women's by 60 to 25 percent. England can't say why this is, although it could involve both sexes' ignorance about the female body and women's societal inhibitions.  But she said the "orgasm gap" for women is worse than the pay gap.

*  This is the first scientific research paper to be published in Cosmo. 

Jennifer Lopez canceled the final date of her concert tour due to the California wildfires; and also finally admitted she's pregnant

* Apparently, with quintuplets

* Not surprising, considering she's so big that when her water breaks, it will put out the California wildfires.