"To Live and Die in L.A."

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) is a well respected crime story centered around Secret Service agents in L.A. who are after a major counterfeiter. It is by William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection), and is best known for a chase scene, going the wrong way on the long beach freeway. Agent Chance (William L. Petersen) and his partner are after counterfeiter Willem Dafoe. When his partner is killed, Peterson tells his new partner that he will get Dafoe, no matter what it takes. To get money that the agency won't authorize for a sting operation against Dafoe, they hold up what they think is a cash courier for a stolen diamond buy, but who is, in reality, an FBI agent working on his own sting. Petersen's main informant ad sex partner is played by Debra Feuer, and Dafoe's girl friend is played by Darlanne Fluegel. Both women show breasts and buns. IMDB readers have this at 6.8 of 10. Ebert awards a full 4 stars, praising the theme of the loyalty for the agents to their partners. Virtually everyone liked the film. I would have preferred a little more character development, and, other than the chase scene, was never really involved in the plot. From my viewpoint, cops that break the law to catch bad guys for revenge are no better than the bad guys they are trying to catch, thus leaving me with nobody to root for. This is the classic C+, a very well done genre effort.

  • Thumbnails
  • Thumbnails

  • Darlanne Fluegel (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Debra Feuer (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)


    Alien (1979) is again available on home video, this time as part of a 9 disk set that includes all four films, a special features disk for each of the films, and a ninth bonus disk full of trailers scripts, etc. Alien has been remastered, and is resented in both the original theatrical cut, and in the new directors cut. Someone recently requested caps of Sigourney Weaver in her undershirt and panties from this film, and this new release allowed me to fill that request. Although this is decidedly not my kind of film, there is no denying its popularity, as it is still the #61 film of all time with an IMDB rating of 8.3. Fans of the series will be pleased with the transfer and special features of this, and the other three films in the series. This is a the rare case where I do not personally enjoy the film, but have to award a B, as I am in the minority on this one.

  • Thumbnails
  • Thumbnails

  • Sigourney Weaver (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)


    • Updated volumes: Ludivine Sagnier, Charlotte Rampling, Rebecca Romijn, Milla Jovovich, Ashley Judd



    Helen of Troy (2003)


    "Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships,
    And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?"
          --- Christopher Marlowe, "Faustus" ---


    Helen is Troy is a lavishly produced TV mini-series, shot on location in Malta by the USA network.

    It is an alternate version of the story. Although it assumes that Homer's version contains the core of truth, the mini-series views some of the incidents from a completely different perspective. Many people objected to it for presenting a dumbed-down alternative to an important epic, or for unwarranted historical revisionism.

    Does that make sense to you? I doesn't to me.

    The Trojan War is one of the most commemorated events in human history. The greatest painters of every generation have memorialized it. The greatest authors have lionized its heroes. Various incidents are immortalized in every form of iconography from modern advertising logos to linguistic idioms to ancient pottery. Many people who completely ignorant of real events in their own times can probably identify a "Trojan horse" or describe why a certain aliment is called an "Achilles heel", because of events that happened 3200 years ago.

    All of that makes it seem real to us.

    But frankly, there are not many things we know about the Trojan War. We can't even say that it really happened.

    If it did occur, it probably happened around 1200 B.C. If Homer really existed, he probably composed The Iliad around 700 B.C. It was probably written down for the first time around 500 B.C. The only thing we're pretty sure of is that the version known in 500 B.C. is still virtually identical to one we can read today if we choose to and are able to do so. It is also likely that this written version was very close to the original composition from a couple of centuries earlier, since the work was in a very complex poetic meter (dactyllic hexameter), which didn't really allow it to be altered much from telling to retelling. To avoid the interruption of constant disclaimers, I will assume for the remainder of this essay that there was a single author named Homer, and that he composed his works orally in the period between 750 and 650 BC. I will also assume that there was a Troy, and it fell between 1250 and 1180 B.C. These are not certainties, by any means, but they are based on the best available evidence. (See notes and links below.)

    Homer's work is, was, and always will be great literature. It may be the most important unifying cultural treasure of European civilization. It was the first great mythical work to be written down, it is still regarded as complex and beautiful poetry by Greeks, and its endurance and popularity in other languages speak volumes for the timeless quality of the story. The problem comes when people want to treat it not as literature, but as history. At best, it was composed five centuries after the events which inspired it. The legend therefore grew over five centuries of embellishment by superstitious, primitive, ignorant, people who took pride in their heroes and their country, and believed in a pantheon of ludicrous superhuman dieties. If you could go back with pictures and a battery-powered TV/VCR and tell these people about Space Ghost, they would think he was real, and would build a temple to him.

    It is not known to what extent Homer thought his account was true. Did he really believe that everything happened as he recounted it, including the constant interference of gods and goddesses, or did he simply use the gods to mythify his story even though he knew it was a crock? We will never know the answer to this with any certainty, but presumably the ancients did believe that the gods intervened directly in their lives, so Homer may have thought all of it happened as he described it. Clearly there are elements in the Iliad that give it a gloss of authenticity, like the minute accounts of the commanders and their ships and the men that sailed with them. Did Homer simply fabricate these details to overlay an encyclopedic patina which would make the myth seem more authentic, or were these details handed down with accuracy for centuries? Or is there a third explanation? We will never know these answers, either.

    But there is one thing we know for sure: Homer's account was bullshit, whether he believed it or not.

    1. The most obvious reason is that there are no prophetesses and there are no gods wandering among humans. Helen wasn't the daughter of a god who disguised himself as a big duckie, Achilles wasn't virtually invulnerable because he was bathed in the River Styx, Cassandra could not see the future, and so forth. Those things should give you a pretty good whiff of some major bullshit in the vicinity.

    2. There is a less obvious reason as well. The Iliad is the Greek version of the story, and nobody wrote the Trojan version. There are two clichés worth remembering in this context:

    • History is written by the winners.

    • There are two sides to every story.

    Imagine an account of the history of President Reagan's administration, as written entirely by the admirers who want his likeness on Mt. Rushmore. Then imagine an account written entirely by the Reagan detractors who think he was a dunce and that his administration was riddled with criminality. You see what I'm driving at? The Iliad is a partisan account, and it had 500 years to become embellished by people who were so ignorant they really believed that women could get pregnant from having sex with a waterfowl. Surely the ancient Greeks were no less susceptible to partisanship and pride and bias than we. Perhaps they spun events even more than we do. And they were a lot more ignorant.

    So how much of The Iliad should we believe? I can answer that. Go back to my original point about the Reagan administration. Imagine that the account was only written by his supporters. Imagine that his supporters sincerely believe that Jesus personally intervened to make Reagan defeat godless Communism. Imagine that their account is handed down verbally for 500 years, with no libraries or other records to dispute the oral accounts, and nobody left alive to remember what really happened for 450 or those 500 years. Now imagine that the people who tell the Reagan story over the centuries truly believe that a woman can get pregnant from goose-fucking. Got a picture? How much of that account do you think you could believe 500 years later? That's how much of the Iliad you should believe.

    The script for this mini-series simply postulated that some of the Homeric account was pseudo-religious myth, and some of it Greek "spin". It tried to humanize and de-spin the story, hypothetically of course. The Homeric account says, for example, that the Trojan prince, Paris, was treated as visiting royalty by Menelaus, and that Paris responded to this kindness by kidnapping Menelaus's wife (Helen of Sparta, later Helen of Troy), with the help of the goddess Aphrodite. The mini-series chooses to adhere to the basic facts - Paris visited, was feasted, left with Helen - but spins it another way. Menelaus and his brother were scumbags. They humiliated Helen and treated her like they treated their prize cattle. She fell in love with the noble, unaffected Paris, who had been raised as a shepherd. The Spartans had long intended to conquer Troy for its riches. They did wine and dine Paris for a time, but only to milk him for information which would facilitate a battle plan. When Paris escaped a certain death sentence in Sparta, Helen insisted on accompanying him. In fact, she swam out to the Trojan boat, which was already underway.

    There are many other places where the mini-series offers an alternative to The Iliad, but the one example above should give you the general idea of the revisionist premise. The new legend in brief: King Priam of Troy was wise and just, Helen really loved Paris because he was a great guy, King Agamemnon was a complete asshole, and his younger brother Menelaus was a spineless toady.

    I reckon this version makes just as much sense as Homer's. Maybe far more. At least all of the events seem justified, the behaviors seem properly motivated, and the convenient impact of the "hand of the gods" has been mostly excised from the account.

    (Inexplicably since they claimed to tell the "true story", Paris's encounter with the three goddesses and the apple of discord has been left in, as have Cassandra's flawless prognostications, the fact that Helen was the daughter of Zeus, and a few other minor supernatural elements.)

    I liked what they did with the story. Although some of the characters are one-dimensional (Achilles is a total asscrevice), some of the others (Menelaus, for example) are allowed to breathe and to grow.  I liked the fact that the script made Iphigenia a beautiful, bouncing, loving, pre-schooler who was killed by her father after she ran merrily into his arms. I very much liked the way they had Clytemnestra kill her husband, the arrogant Agamemnon, who had killed their innocent little daughter as a sacrifice for favorable winds, and I could feel her anger when she did it. I felt that I would have done what she did. Isn't that how drama is supposed to work?

    I would have been completely thrilled if the script had gone one step further. I would love to see a script about the Trojan war which assumes that there were no supernatural events at all, and gives a hypothetical recreation of the actual historical events which could have inspired the mythical version, using the best available archeological and historical evidence.

    • Assume Helen had a normal father.

    • Assume Cassandra was a madwoman (or didn't exist at all)

    • Assume there were no gods and goddesses, but that the characters believed in them. This interpretation would still allow Agamemnon to kill his daughter, because he believed it would bring the favorable winds. Perhaps a few weeks later, the winds would reverse, and their superstitious minds would make the connection with the sacrifice, because they'd assume that gods do not always act immediately.

    • Show the spin doctors at work. Picture the actual events, then show the balladeers' version of what has been pictured earlier.

    Oh, well. I guess if I want that script, I'll have to write it myself. Fat chance of that. In the meantime, this project gets about half way to what I'd like to see, and gets there in a very entertaining, sometimes moving way.

    It isn't perfect. The dialogue can be cheesy, the attitudes of the characters seem too modern (ala Xena), other characters are too one-dimensional, Helen seems like a petulant 14 year old, and the actor playing Paris has the depth of Ashton Kutcher.

    But if If you like the whole epic costume drama kind of thing, and you don't really care that this version does not agree with the Iliad, you might pick it up at Blockbuster some weekend. I wasn't unaware of the project's weaknesses, but I got involved enough with the characters that I watched it without the fast forward button.

    Nice female nudity, as well!

    Footnotes and reference:

    1. Who was Homer? Is The Iliad historically accurate? Very brief overview, if that's all you want

    2. This site gives a complete summary of the Homeric Legend and asks if there was a real Trojan war.

    3. This site gives a good overview of how the events of the Trojan War have been pictured in the art of the subsequent millennia.

    4. What do we know about the real Troy? This is a very good academic summary of the archeological evidence as well as the other, non-Homeric ancient texts. Extremely detailed and scholarly.





    Other crap archives. May also include newer material than the ones above, since it's sorta in real time.

    Click here to submit a URL for inclusion in Other Crap




    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Graphic Response
    • Barbara Bach, Mrs. Ringo Starr and the former Bond Babe going topless in scenes from the World War II movie, "Force 10 from Navarone" (1978).

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    Cameron Diaz
    (1, 2, 3)

    nmd 'caps of Diaz topless (hands and hair covering her breasts), showing a little cleavage and looking fantastic in a bikini in scenes from "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle".

    Chloë Sevigny PK Orion 'caps of the indie star topless in scenes from the controversial film by Vincent Gallo, "The Brown Bunny". As you may recall, the controversy stems from a sex scene with Sevigny giving Gallo a real BJ.

    Sherilyn Fenn
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Charlie Spradling
    (1, 2)

    A new Vejiita comic featuring both ladies topless in scenes from "Meridian" (1990).

    Charlie Spradling
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    It's a slow news here are a few bonus pics of Spradling showing skin in scenes from a few of her movies.

    Links 1-2...More toplessness from "Meridian".
    Links #3...Topless in scenes from "Johnny Skidmarks" (1998)
    Links 4-8...Topless, black undies and working the brass pole in scenes from "To Sleep with a Vampire" (1993).

    Misty Mundae
    Mundae with Darian Caine

    From the less than B-grade softcore 'parody' of Spider-Man called "Spiderbabe" (2003). Both ladies show breasts and bush and get in on in a lesbian love scene. 'Caps by PK Orion.

    Rosario Dawson The co-star of "Josie and the Pussycats", "Men in Black II" and "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" showing some leg and a whole mess of cleavage for the red carpet cameras.

    Joan Collins
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    Señor Skin 'caps of the "Dynasty" star baring breasts and bum in scenes from "The Bitch" (1979).

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    She Comes Out Of The Closet, Not The Chimney - Playwright/actor Harvey Fierstein, who stars in "Hairspray" on Broadway in drag, appeared in Macy's Thanksgiving Parade as Mrs. Santa Claus accompanied by a man in a penguin costume. But he annoyed Macy's by writing an op-ed in the New York Times called "What if Santa really was gay?" Macy's got complaints from customers and quickly issued press releases saying that Fierstein represented his "Hairspray" character's wacky idea of Mrs. Claus while Santa would appear separately with the "real" Mrs. Claus, who was played by a woman, so kids wouldn't think Santa was gay.

  • They considered having Santa and Mrs. Claus simulate sex, just to drive home the point.
  • If Santa's not gay, why does he wear a red suit with fur trim like Elton John?
  • Santa is NOT gay!...Dancer and Prancer are...
  • If Santa were gay, he'd redecorate every house he stopped at.
  • Harvey's companion wasn't a giant penguin, it was David Gest in a tuxedo.

    Mickey Rourke's Doctor - Dr. Jordan Rubin of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, says it's healthier to smell bad. He claims that scented lotions, shampoos and colognes destroy your body's natural pH and can introduce dangerous toxins into the body. He also says that using antiperspirants stops the body from sweating out wastes and disrupts lymphatic drainage which can lead to breast cancer.

  • That's right: Russell Crowe is the healthiest man on Earth!
  • Finally, a little good news for France.
  • So stop using shampoo and start smelling like real poo.
  • And don't even get him started on toothpaste!
  • He doesn't have many patients because nobody can stand being in his waiting room.

    He Just Sings Like It Is - After Britney Spears tried to embarrass Justin Timberlake by hinting on MTV that he had a tiny male organ, his grandmother came to his defense. Justin's granny, Sadie Bomar, told the Sun, "I helped raise him, and I can assure you there is nothing wrong with him physically."

  • Which is worse? Having your ex-girlfriend say your penis is tiny, or having your grandmother say, "No, it's huge!"
  • Most grandmas just embarrass you by kissing you in public.
  • Is there anybody else Justin knows who'd like to make this worse?