Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989):

When I was in college, in the dying embers of the sixties, there were about five books that you had to have read (or at least claimed to have read) in order to maintain intellectual credibility within the university-educated portion of our generation. I'm not talking about "To Kill a Mockingbird" or "Catcher in the Rye" or any of the books that we all had to read because they appeared on our mandatory summer reading lists in prep schools.  Quite the opposite. The books I'm referring to would merit detention and a phone call to your parents if you were caught reading them in a poncy high school. That list included such boho fare as "On The Road," "Naked Lunch," "Tropic of Cancer" ...  and "Last Exit to Brooklyn."

In "Last Exit," Hubert Selby, Jr. wrote about the lives and problems of the disaffected urban poor. This was back in the days when the pre-gentrified inner cities were totally run-down, and were still filled with poor, ethnic white people wearing cheap hats and smoking several packs per day. Selby specifically focused on the problems of Brooklyn longshoremen struggling for a decent life amid the heroin addicts, street gangs, and prostitutes that defined their squalid neighborhoods. Of course, many of them used to be in the gangs themselves, and they were generally hard men who had abusive upbringings, and very often dropped out of school. They were racist and hateful, in that special way that uneducated, downtrodden people with dead-end lives can be. Selby's book showed all of that. It shocked middle America back then in many ways, not the least of which involved the colorful vocabularies employed by his characters. Their language was ... well, kinda salty. English has an expression "swears like a longshoreman," and that cliché didn't gestate without reason.

It's a depressing movie. Here are some of the events you can expect to see:

A father finds out his daughter his pregnant, then beats her boyfriend up, only to embrace him as a new son-in-law. He only beat the kid up out of love. That goes on fairly well until they get into another drunken fistfight at the wedding, and carelessly knock a baby on the floor. But they only did it out of love.

Then a prostitute is dumped by her one and only gentle lover, a naive army lieutenant. In order to drown her sorrows, she gets drunk and offers herself and "the best tits in the Western world" to every man in a bar. Oh, sure they gang-rape her violently. But they only do so out of love.

I'm really having a hard time remembering why we felt it important to read this book back in the sixties. I guess it was to expose us to the seedy underbelly of America, which was filled with lives very different from the ones we shared with our suburban prep-school friends. In fact, we didn't even know that people like this existed. Some of us had blue collar dads, but they weren't like the guys in this book. My dad was a machinist who grew up in the inner city, but he wasn't violent, even when he drank too much, and I can't even remember him raising his voice in anger. I never heard him use a cuss word until I was in my forties, and even then I was the one who started it. Some of my other friends had dads who worked in one of the Kodak plants or at the Genesee brewery, and some of my uncles were regular working Joes, but they were all decent guys, guys who helped out with Boy Scouts when they could, mowed their lawns, paid their bills, bought Christmas presents, and generally disqualified themselves from becoming Hubert Selby characters.

I knew only one down-and-outer, an uncle who became a hopeless alkie and ended up panhandling. It's kind of a sad story. He had been our family's most decorated war hero, but adjusted so miserably in civilian life that he re-enlisted when he was in his early thirties. Even though it was the Vietnam era, the Navy drummed him out when that term was up because he was nearly forty and there was still a draft in those days, churning out an endless supply of young guys. The family gossip was that he had simply disappeared, or maybe that's just what they told the young 'uns. One night when I was sixteen, I was wandering through downtown Rochester on my way to pick up my girlfriend from ballet class when my long-lost Uncle Joe approached me. He failed to recognize me (he hadn't seen me since I was ten, back before his re-enlistment), and asked me for spare change. I recognized him, of course.  He was the guy who taught me how to shoot pool, and he was still only 39 years old when I saw him that night. Hell, he looked about the same as the last time I had seen him. The sad part is that he was still wearing his navy uniform - his whites, no less, with the cuffs all soiled by slush - and he had no overcoat, although it was the dead of winter. His situation was heartbreaking, but the point is that he was the only low-life I had ever known, and he was basically a decent guy who turned out pathetic, not dangerous - no needles, no violence - so Selby's Brooklyn world seemed completely fictional to me. It seemed like an ugly fairy tale, and frankly it still does, even after I lived in and even taught school in places like the Bronx.

In that respect, I guess the film has some value, because it manages to give shape to the world of its characters, whereas I never really could have pictured these lives on my own.  On the other hand, I wasn't really convinced by it. I'll give you an example. The prostitute Tralala was gang-raped in multiple locations by dozens of guys who carried her from place to place. When the ordeal was over, she was still wearing her skirt. Huh? You mean after so many guys did whatever they wanted to do to her, not a single one of them ever wanted to just rip off that skirt and see the goods? I'm not buyin' it. In addition, her hair wasn't even messed up very much. By lowball urban hooker standards, she looked fresh enough to do a Summer's Eve commercial. Does this mean that drunken, uneducated, violent men have a certain standard of respect for womanhood, or does it mean that the director tried to create the "mean streets" and just didn't know how to go about it? My guess is the latter.

So, it's a very ugly and depressing movie, virtually devoid of any hope or optimism for the lives of its characters, and yet it still seems like a bit of a whitewash, in a way.

The film has one characteristic that is kind of noteworthy. Although it was lensed in 1989, it is about the fifties and the director not only tried to re-create a fifties atmosphere, but also used fifties-style film technique, including the pre-Strasberg acting styles, the neatly posed group shots, and the big, symphonic Broadway-style musical score. All of that was reminiscent of the similarly themed films of that era. (Let's say "On the Waterfront," for example.) Of course, the real fifties movies didn't have any nudity or truly hard language, so this is more like what the films of the fifties would have been like without all the artificial restrictions of that era.

The critics generally admired this movie, so I guess it must be good or something. Let's assume that their 93% agreement must mean something. I know that I'm a hard sell, but frankly I didn't like it much at all, and the Region 2 DVD is just atrocious. It offers no widescreen version, and has no features of any kind. The film itself is very poorly mastered and filled with motion blur. The movie would get a C if it were properly mastered, but the DVD score has to be F. Unfortunately, there is no Region 1 DVD available at this time.

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Other Crap:

Keith Olbermann reviews wacky British inventions

Bush and Cheney Break into Daniel Ellsberg's Psychiatrist's Office

  • (Wow, talk about obscure satire.)

Allah Cancels "Virgins for Martyrs" Program

James Cameron looking for new faces for his next (semi-animated) movie.

  • What the hell? He hasn't made a movie in about a decade. You think he might have come up with somebody in all that time.

Filthy, the Dean of The School of Hard Knocks, and the world's greatest film critic, is back - with a review of Aeon Flux

  • "I wish I'd been hit by a truck on the way to the Olde Town Cinema and missed Aeon Flux. Traction and a cast has got to be better than this shit. "
  • "the movie was made by a director and writers so fucking clueless they think this is really deep thinking, or at least original enough to presented with an awestruck flatness."
  • "I wouldn't call Aeon Flux lazy so much as it is incompetent, like everyone involved was in way over their heads. And I guess that's better in moviemaking than in engineering or surgery. Fuck, if this thing were the operating room, someone would have a hand sewed onto his face. If it were engineering, the top three floors of a Holiday Inn would be filled with sewage."
  • "Aeon Flux is bad, bad like a cold or herpes, bad in a way you could avoid if you tried. And you should, because this One Finger shitfest sucks ass."

Hundreds of fans packed the Philadelphia streets Saturday for an open casting call for extras for the new 'Rocky' movie.

Shock Rocker Manson Reportedly Marries

  • "Marilyn Manson married his longtime girlfriend Saturday in Ireland, People magazine reported on its Web site."

A question from a future history test: what came after generations X and Y? The MySpace Generation

  • "They live online. They buy online. They play online. Their power is growing"
  • Also known as "generation @"
  • Hey - where does the Pepsi generation fit within the historical continuum?

Press Plagiarist of the Year Award

  • It is a backdoor way to document when press journalists steal material from blogs (or at least to accuse them of doing so.)

Merriam-Webster's introduces the Open Dictionary, their own version of a wiki.

  • They have no idea how inaccurate (and obscene!) this will get before they get it under some control!

"A drunk who claimed he had been raped by a dog was yesterday jailed for 12 months"

Padster's choice: the filthiest joke of the week.

I dunno, the BCS system doesn't seem that bad to me.

  • There isn't much doubt that the right two teams are playing in the Rose Bowl for the championship. Texas won 70-3 in their conference championship game (and they went ahead 70-3 halfway through the third quarter. It looked like a lock for a century until they put in the band and the cheerleaders.) Meanwhile USC won 66-19 against the 11th best team in the country!
  • As Comic Book Guy might write: Best ... Rose Bowl ... ever ...?

Daily Box Office - Friday, December 2, 2005

  • Aeon Flux came very close to unseating Harry Potter for the top spot!!! It actually beat Potter in revenues per screen, and by quite a wide margin! (The film was released on Friday and there were no screenings for critics until late Thursday night, thus there were no reviews in the Friday papers.)
  • It will make for an interesting case study, because reviews are now in, and the New York Post called it the worst of the year BY FAR. Another critic noted: "Charlize Theron has her Oscar. Now she has her Catwoman."

Uncle Scoopy's Guest House presents Mother (aka Seduction of a Nerd) (aka Up Your Teddy Bear)

  • Not only is it the Citizen Kane of Yodeling Porn, but it is probably the only film in which Wally Cox does a nude sex scene.

First RIAA lawsuit heads to trial

Which celebrity do you look like? It told me I look like Jean Claude Van Damme and Mark Hamill. I don't really see the resemblance, but Van Damme does look like exactly like my father's brother looked 30 years ago, so I guess it makes some sense. At least it wasn't Abe Vigoda or Clint Howard.

Hangman promises good job

  • "Mr Singh, 74, is Singapore's chief executioner and has hanged more than 800 prisoners over 45 years."

Celebrity mug shots in needlepoint.

Wooden Laptop Works Great, Except For the Splinters

Paris Hilton Releases Her Own Line Of Computer Viruses

Jennifer Aniston Sets New Toilet Paper Fashion Trend

Letterman's "Top Ten Messages Left On Oprah's Answering Machine"

  • "This is Ashton. Letterman really thinks you're coming! This is gonna be the best 'Punk'd' ever!"


Movie Reviews:

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


"Starship Troopers"

Starship Troopers (1997) is the strongest anti-war film ever made. Paul Verhoeven adapted it from a Robert Heinline anti-war novel, and chose to pattern it after WW II propaganda films. It is a future society where all barriers have dropped, including racial, gender and national. We are one world, The Federation, and things seem to be working well, until a group of Mormons colonize another region of space populated by arachnids. In this society, only "citizens" can vote, and you must serve in the military to become a citizen. There is little or no social stigma attached to not being a citizen. Indeed, most wealthy merchants are not.

The story centers around the son (Casper Van Dien) of one of these wealthy families. He is the football captain, in love with the prettiest and smartest woman in his class (Denise Richards), and is the object of lust for his quarterback, Dina Meyer. Since Richards wants more than anything to be in the military and fly space ships, Van Dien followers her into the military, but as his math skills are low, he only makes it into the mobile infantry, while Richards goes to flight school, along with another footballer, Patrick Muldoon, who has eyes for Richards as well. She is clearly not immune to his charms, either, creating one of the more controversial ideas in the film with test audiences.

While our main characters are completing basic training, the bugs destroy Buenos Aires with an asteroid, and war is declared. We must eradicate all bugs for the good of the human race. What follows is a series of blood and guts battles interspersed with relationship stuff among the four main characters.

The genius of the film, ironically, is proven by negative reaction to it. The critics nearly universally panned it, some for not following the themes of Heinline, but the most heard criticism was that it glorified war, and was pro Fascist. They were almost there, but it went over their heads. The keys to understanding this film are small moments at the beginning and again at the end of the film. Near the beginning, we learn that the bug problems began when we invaded their world with a Mormon colony. The bugs were simply defending their homes. This is reaffirmed at the end, when someone psychically listens to the brain of a bug, and happily announces that it is afraid of humans. The war went badly up to this point, as we knew nothing about the bugs, and assumed that they had no intelligence and no society, and deserved extinction.

Both Verhoeven and writer Ed Neumeier, as their first comment in the commentary track, state unequivocally that the message of the film was that war turns people into Facists, and that is a bad thing. One might say that they completely failed, in that audiences generally did not come away with that message. However, as was the case with WW II propaganda films it was structured after, they were sucked into the belief that it was a battle of the good guys (us) against unspeakable evil guys (the bugs), never even considering that it was the humans who started the whole thing, made no effort to understand this other race, but set out to annihilate them. In other words, the average audience member, and most of the critics as well, missed the few facts about the bugs, and bought into the propaganda. No wonder they reacted so badly when Verhoeven made the military seem Fascist, as they took this as a personal affront to their country and belief system.

It was also somewhat confusing for audiences that the soldiers were made to seem so heroic. There is currently some lip service being given to the idea that you should hate war, but not the warrior. The fact that the Starship Troopers here were fighting an immoral war that their leaders instigated does not make their actions any less heroic. The film shows very well how you turn youth with moldable young minds into soldiers. The mobile artillery here seem heroic and altruistic here because they are.

Test audiences raked Verhoeven over the coals for having a female character who not only picked career over a relationship, but also had feelings for two different men. I find it fascinating that audiences could not accept a female character who was more ambitious than romantic, and found more than one man desirable. Clearly, there is still a double standard at work. These same audiences never questioned Van Dien and his relationship with two women in the film.

Some found the film a good popcorn movie with lots of neat action and special effects, but marred somewhat by the inclusion of a love story, and they were a little bothered by the fact that us, the good guys, sometimes looked uncomfortably like Fascists. Others thought it was glorifying war. The special effects and visual effects are extraordinary. The action sequences are top notch. But to me, the greatest achievement of the film is that they did such a good job on the military propaganda aspect of the film that most people were sucked in, and never noticed that the Federation was the bad guy here.

There are many buns, male and female, in a shower scene, including Dina Meyer. Meyer also shows breasts in a love scene.

This is a film that gets better every time you watch it. I saw it first with no pre-conceptions, as I had never read the Heinline book, or read any reviews. I can't help but wonder if the public reaction was not at least somewhat caused by some initial reviews. The correct score is C+. People who like this kind of action film can enjoy it at that level. I would encourage those of you who may have seen it once to watch a second time, especially in light of my theory as to what it is about.

Dina Meyer



Today from the Ghost...Asian-American beauty Nicole Oring showing off her robo-goodies while gettin' it on in scenes from an episode of "Hollywood Sexcapades"

Nicole Oring

Today the old Time Machine is back in 1984 for the schoolgirl by day and streetwalker at night epic "Angel".

We kick it off with Donna McDaniel with some boobs dead in bed and the killer is ready to drop his drawers.

Donna McDaniel

Then on to Graem McGavin titties before she winds up dead in a bloody mess.

Graem McGavin

Next is a movie within a movie an unknown in a porn movie who seems to like a toe rub on her boobies.


More unknowns flashing their titties getting ready for the shower and then all three B's as they scrub down.


Donna Wilkes played Angel and as usual the star in this flick did not get naked. But she's cute with her short skirts and some pokies.

Donna Wilkes

2 actresses, 2 movies, 7 clips. Playing today.

Schtonk! (1992) was German Veronica Ferres' de facto film debut. The movie won or was nominated for several awards, including an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film in 1993. Since then Veronica became a big star in the German speaking part of Europe. In this year's "Klimt" she stars alongside John Malkovich, but according to messages on the IMDb, the film is struggling to find a distributor. Anyway, in these three clips you can see Veronica as we like her best...

  • Veronica Ferres (1, 2, 3)

    French actress Florence Pernel stars in 1997's made for TV Mon amour. It looks like she doesn't have much luck in her love-life. In one clip she gets roughed up in a rest-room, in another she's tied (hankstered?) to a bed. All in all 4 clips with Florence showing breasts and buns.

  • Florence Pernel (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Needless to say that both Veronica and Florence have their own entry in our beloved Encyclopedia, which is far more interesting than those you can buy from traveling salesmen, don't you all agree?



    A few things I found on the web of the most attractive actress, Benedetta Valanzano. A couple of them are scans from Interviu magazine. The rest are the fruits of the paparazzi.


    Benedetta Valanzano




    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "The Scorned" (Unrated)
    The gimmick of this 2005 horror/thriller is that the cast is composed of ex-Reality TV contestants. It should come natural to them, because there's certainly nothing real (or unrehearsed) about reality TV.

    A guy is boffing his fiance's close friend when the fiance interrupts. She's none too pleased, and during the heated and violent argument that ensues, she winds up nose down in the hot tub with her throat cut. Yeah, that's really the plot....I couldn't make this stuff up.

    Many months later, our guy rents the beach house out to four friends for the summer. They are, of course, unaware of what took place in the house. Things turn nasty when what appears to be the ghost of the victim turns up with a real bad attitude, and the renters start to become deaders.

    I don't watch reality TV. The brief portions of a few shows I've seen were more than enough to convince me that the whole genre is pure crap, and there's nothing realistic about it. Even so, lots of people like it, and for them, it may be enjoyable to watch people who pretended to be in an unscripted contest pretend to be actors. As a horror B-movie, however, it's pretty weak.

    Jenna Lewis Tonya Cooley Stacie Jones Upchurch
    Trishelle Cannatella   Trish Schneider

    'Caps and comments by Spaz:

    "Degrassi: The Next Generation"
    From the episode 'The Lexicon of Love part one'. Sweepsweek two-parter starring Jay and Silent Bob from Clerks with some lesbianism thrown in.

    Deanna Casaluce:
    sexy kissing Lauren Collins.
    Lauren Collins:
    Melissa DiMarco:
    MILF cleavage
    Alanis Morissette:

    From episode: 'Baby Bomb'. First episode of the minseries. Tara Spencer-Nairn shows dorsal nudity in the obligatory sex scene during the first five minutes.

    Tara Spencer-Nairn

    ""Intelligence" (TV) (2005)
    Television pilot from the makers of Da Vinci's Inquest, Da Vinci's City Hall and the upcoming Da Vinci's Banana Republic. Taylor Hill (not to be confused with the porn actress of the same name) is seen in her bra and panties.

    Taylor Hill

    A 1990, sci-fi thriller starring Billy Zane.

    Kristen Cloke:
    nice downblouse

    From that nowhere-land in between theatrical release and the DVD launch in is "Pirates of the Caribbean" Keira Knightley topless in scenes from "Domino".

    From the Skin-man...a little bit of flesh from two recent episodes of the made for Showtime series, "Masters of Horror".

    Carrie Fleming, shows breasts and bum views from the episode "Jenifer", directed by Dario Argento.

    Lucie Laurier, also bares the two more common Bs in scenes from the episode, "Chocolate".

    Carrie Fleming

    Lucie Laurier