Down to the Bone (2005 - unrated DVD)
This is a fictional drug-addiction drama based very
closely on a real person whom the director met in the process of
filming an earlier documentary. The film and its star received some
unexpected attention last week when the L.A. Film Critics by-passed
all the famous names to award their Best Actress statuette to the
ultimate long shot, the obscure Vera Farmiga.
Vera who? Yeah, I know. Nobody ever heard of her but,
mark my words, she is about to break through into the public
consciousness. She will play the female lead in the next film from a
little fella you may have heard of, name of Scorsese. Her co-stars in
that film are three other guys whose names you may recognize:
DiCaprio, Nicholson, Damon. Ms. Farmiga also has a starring role in
Minghella's next film, which will undoubtedly have the exact same plot
as The English Patient, except during a different war.
Here is the entire press kit if you want to read all about Down to
the Bone. The reviews have been pretty good - it's a 74 at Metacritic
- but the IMDb score is an abysmal 3.9 (which doesn't seem to make
sense, because the comments are mostly positive, and some are very
Crooked Hearts (1991):
One of the comments at IMDb calls this film "a gem
amongst Hollywood hogwash."
Well, here's what happens. Dad is in love with the
same waitress as his oldest son. Dad loves her so much that he leaves
town and moves Out West to avoid ruining his marriage. Flash forward
about a decade. The oldest son has sex with and impregnates the true
love of the middle son, whose narration reveals that he also had a
childhood crush on that same waitress Back East. The younger two sons
find out from their mean-spirited brother that dad is still so much in
love with that waitress that he couldn't bear to throw away her scores
of love letters. In the process of burning dad's letters, the youngest
son is run over by a truck. The family would all meet at the family
home to commiserate, except that the oldest son had by then burned it
down. They do manage to come together briefly after the youngest son's
funeral, whereupon the two other sons get into a fist fight. The only
daughter, meanwhile, has a psychological sleeping disease, and she
nods off whenever there is any tension. In the company of her family
that offers her plenty of sack time.
Does that smell to you like a welcome April-fresh
breeze amid the stench of Hollywood hogwash, or does it smell like
enough wash to feed a herd of swine? You be the judge, because I can't
consider myself an adequate judge of April freshness. No matter how
hard I try, no matter which products I use, I have never been able to
get fresher than Valentine's Day, except that one time, in college,
when I got as fresh as St Patrick's Day. Or so my friends told me. I
don't remember much about that night. And besides, doesn't everyone
experiment with freshness in college? When I was in my thirties I even
tried to get as fresh as April 15th, but it was just too taxing.
The film was performed by an excellent cast of
established performers and then-rising stars. Noah Wyle, Vince
D'Onofrio, Marg Helgenberger, Joshua Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Peter Berg and Juliette Lewis all passed through this turnstile on
their way toward the subway to success. Lewis was 17 at the time,
Jackson only 11.
I really liked the first half of this film, which
seemed to be delivering a drama about a dysfunctional family. Up to a
certain point in the script, it was very real and believable, as if
the author was telling the true story of people who really exist.
Since the performances were also excellent for the most part, I
started out quite satisfied with the experience. Then the script just
piled tragedy on top of tragedy until the drama turned to melodrama
and there were so many meaningful, pause-punctuated conversations that
I thought I might be watching "Days of Our Lives." The script lost
credibility, and I just lost interest.
Jennifer Jason Leigh shows her breasts, as she so
often has, and a woman named Sasha Moisewitsch shows one breast. I
would suggest that Sasha might benefit from choosing a more memorable
stage name, but I guess that won't be necessary because she seems to
have left the business without getting her share of the career riches
bestowed on this cast. This movie was made 14 years ago, and Sasha
never had another role in which her character had a name. Her only
subsequent IMDb credits were two movies in which she played "whore"
Maybe she'd now be bigger than Julia Roberts if she
had been named Ashley Moss.
So it goes.
|Jennifer Jason Leigh
Holiday classic update:
IT'S A WONDERFUL INTERNET
SNL's Celebrity Mugshot Poker
The Penis Project
The William Shatner DVD Club
- No, thanks. I still haven't recovered from the William Shatner
Record Club or the William Shatner Hair Club For Men
- (By the way, the DVD Club is real, assuming we can enlist Bill
Clinton to give us a really slippery definition of "real," not to
The ol' "golf balls in the car" prank
"What was the world's first banner ad?"
Suicide Shuts Down "The Daily Show"
The trailer for Poseidon, the remake of the Poseidon Adventure.
- Very attractive trailer, but is it legal to make a sinking
ship movie without Billy Zane?
NBC Cuts Pamela Anderson Pole Dance Video.
- Damn! That was my favorite part of Meet the Press.
The Weekend Warrior's Box Office predictions for December 16-18
- He thinks Kong will open at $67m, with Narnia falling to half
that, and The Family Stone logging in with a sleepy $9m.
Key West Fantasy Fest 2005 - photos (nudity!)
Here is the complete list of Golden Globe nominations
Critics Are Savaging 'GEISHA' . . .An Oscar Hopeful Gone Horribly
Ugueth Urbina: awaiting trial in Venezuela.
"Car Buried in 1957 to Be Unearthed in '07"
What Santa Does With Your Letters
Indiana Bart (Simpsons parody of Raiders)
Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- " ... the world's first hypertext encyclopedia of toons which
will soon, I hope, come to be regarded as the Internet's most
comprehensive source of information about the U.S. toon scene.
40 Year-Old Virgin DVD launches with chest-waxing contest
Weenie Babies - The Christmas package with a package
Three clips from Jim Carrey's Fun With Dick and Jane
Yo, Adrian ...
Rocky Balboa has a blog?
The trailer for Confetti
- "A sharp and affectionate comedy featuring an ensemble of UK
comedic talents, "Confetti" follows three couples as they duke it
out to win a bridal magazine contest for "Most Original Wedding of
the Year." The talented cast -- which includes Martin Freeman
("The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Love Actually," "The
Office"), Jessica Stevenson ("Shaun of the Dead," "Spaced," "The
Royle Family," Stephen Mangan ("Green Wing"), Felicity Montagu
("I'm Alan Partridge"), award-winning comedian Jimmy Carr in his
first screen performance and Alison Steadman ("Topsy-Turvy," "Life
is Sweet") -- was afforded total creative freedom within the
confines of a carefully crafted story frame. To prepare, the cast
took part in weeks of intense workshops where they began the
process of developing and inhabiting their unique roles."
"ANISTON, KONG TO WED" ... Friends Star, Giant Ape Are
Hollywood's Latest Power Couple
- "The two stars came into each other’s lives at the perfect
time, the friend said, with Ms. Aniston nursing her wounds from
her breakup with actor Brad Pitt and Mr. Kong nursing his wounds
from being shot down from the top of the Empire State Building."
2006 Brings Many 'Da Vinci'-Esque Books
Brokeback Mountain tops Golden Globe nominations.
"San Jose officials are still wondering how a miniature golf course
landed on a federal list of the most attractive terrorist targets. "
- Osama is not forgiving when those little windmills trap his
Letterman's "Top Ten Perks Of Winning The Heisman Trophy"
A script review of Jason Stratham's Crank.
This week's movies (3500 screens):
King Kong - 95% positive reviews. Pretty much universal raves
for this film, which is also expected to kick some serious ass at
the box office.
This week's movies (2250 screens):
The Family Stone - 86% positive reviews.
- This retro holiday movie has been compared to the films of
Frank Capra and Doug Sirk. I guess you better bring handkerchiefs.
Conan O'Brien - quotables for the week of December 6-9
- "It's been reported that Justin Timberlake has been turned
down for a role in a movie because his voice is too high. Which is
weird, since Timberlake was auditioning for the role of
'Frightened Little Girl No. 3.'"
- "Earlier this week, President Bush lit the candles on the
White House Menorah. There was an awkward moment because when Bush
saw the Menorah he said, 'Cool, a flaming rake.'"
- "The New York Mets announced that they are pursuing first
baseman Julio Franco who is 47 years old. Franco will be back-up
for the Mets' current first baseman, Morley Safer."
The trailer for The Other Side
- "Award-winning writer and director Gregg Bishop delivers a
fast-paced supernatural thriller about Samuel North (Nathan
Mobley), who has just been murdered and sent to Hell. There, in
"the Pit", two other damned souls on the run help Samuel escape
back to the world of the living to be reunited with the girl he
loves. But now, Samuel has Hell to pay: the Netherworld has sent 3
Reapers (invincible bounty hunters from Hades) to hunt and kill
each of the escaped men. Samuel must solve his own murder and
fight for his soul's redemption in order to escape The Other
Coming Soon has links to four clips from Hostel, Eli Roth's new
horror flick. (He did Cabin Fever)
A new featurette about Spielberg's Munich
Here's a clip from The New World, Terrence Malick's new film.
There's no Wikipedia entry for 'moral responsibility'! (There is
now! I guess somebody read the article.)
The internet has really arrived. Newsweek looks at search engine
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
40 Year Old Virgin (2005) is a comedy/romance staring Steve Carell as a
virginal 40-year-old employee in a mall stereo store. When his co-workers find
out he has never had sex, they alternate between heckling him, and trying to
get him laid. He develops an interest on his own in Catherine Keener, a sexy
grandma who owns and operates a Sell Your Stuff on EBay store across from the
stereo shop. His attempts at dating are, of course, a disaster with a number
of women from hell.
The unrated DVD has breasts from Laura Bottrell as a college sweetheart,
Stormy Daniels in a fantasy, Jamie Elle Mann as a weather girl and Kimberly
Page at a dating seminar. The special features include additional nudity from
all four, including a full frontal from Stormy Daniels, plus a possible nipple
slip from Catherine Keener.
IMDb readers have this at 7.5, and it earned $112M worldwide against a
$21.4M budget. Franky, I can't imagine why. I honestly fell asleep 5 times,
and had to back up to get through the whole thing once. Carell's character was
pathetic, and his friends were a bunch of losers as well. I did enjoy Keener's
character, but that was not enough to carry the film for me. Ebert awarded 3.5
stars. Berardinell was also enthusiastic at 3.5 stars, calling it better than
American Pie and There's Something About Mary. Maybe I am just comedy
impaired. This is clearly a C+, based on its box office popularity and
reviews, but left me snoring.
Jamie Elle Mann
Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess (1971)
Since I love
exploitation in general, women in prison films in particular, and films that
give me a glimpse into another culture, I am excited to find the "Pinky
Violence" genre of Japanese exploitation films from the 1970's. At that time,
the big screen staple was Yakuza films, but they had begun to run out of new
plot ideas. Enter these films, as the B feature. Most start as "women in
prison" films to set up the characters, then jump ahead into the story. In
this case, Reiko Oshida, who starred in all four Delinquent Girl Boss films,
is a loveable reform school girl. Upon her release, she starts meeting friends
from school, most of whom work as bar girls. When she stops at the business of
a former classmate to return something to her, she finds that the classmate is
living with a no good gambler and Yakuza, and that the Yakuza are trying to
put her father out of business using gambling debts run up by the husband.
The father offers Reiko a job and a place to stay. The former classmates
become closer, and then decide to help on the old man, and try to reunite him
with his wayward daughter, Yumiko Katayama. This means going after the Yakuza
Reiko Oshida never got naked that I can discover, but is seen here in a bra
and panties. Yumiko Katayama shows breasts in a shower and buns in a hot bath.
IMDb lists a handful of these films, but nothing from this series. A genre
unto itself, these pinky violence films feature nudity, violence, often S & M,
and show women who are much smarter than, and get the best of, Yakuza, which
is contrary to recognized Japanese culture at the time. This was from a set of
four such films, all of which I will cover. Each of the films includes a
commentary track, and rather nice subtitles, which make some effort to not
only translate the dialogue, but provide the same connotation in English as
the original Japanese. These are hurriedly and cheaply produced exploitation
films, but are all shot on 35 mm and presented in Wide Screen. In some ways,
these are to Japanese women what blacksploitation was to blacks. The women are
empowered in these films. As a pinky violence film, this is a C+ as one of the
better ones. However, if you classify it as a crime story, I would give it a
B-, as it will appeal to some who do not usually enjoy Asian martial arts
Now that Mr. Bean has informed us how Jesus become
the Son of God, we can continue and wrap up our uncoverage of Edwige Fenech in
La Pretora (1976). There's 13 clips of Edwige and one short clip of Marina
Hedman. Please refer to yesterday's contribution for more information on the
Here is a short resumé of what you can expect
in today's clips:
13-15: Rosa in the Snow White photo shoot, the
highlight of the film in my opinion. Marina Hedman joins in as the fairy
- 17-18: Viola at home with her fiancé. (17,
19-20: Rosa in the court-room pretending to be
Viola. She says to the other magistrate that she feels things must be very
HARD ON him, so much so that the desk rises, or not. Furthermore she wants to
know if he loves justice. He answers that he venerates it. (19,
21-25: Viola fooling around with her fiancé,
initially pretending to be Rosa. She does so to find out if it is really Viola
he wants and not just an easy going woman, before she decides to become more
loose in her ways and maybe even marry and give up her job permanently. (21,
Marina Hedman as the fairy queen of Snow White
provides a fitting end to today's contribution by brushing her hair. Need I be
Yes, 2005's Death to the Supermodels is really, really, REALLY bad,
and I loved it. I loved the stupid jokes, site gags, goofy slapstick, and
general silliness. This one definitely fits the so bad it's good
The razor-thin plot is that a group of supermodels gather on a
deserted island for a shoot. Someone starts killing them off one by one.
Who could it be? Who cares?
There's actually not a lot of nudity in this one, but there's bikinis
everywhere. The women look great, even though Marcelle Larice
sports a huge fake ass, and Brooke Burns has a big crop of hair
hanging from each armpit (eeuch). The only downer is that Jaime Pressly,
who plays the production assistant, stays mostly clothed.
Remember, it's really bad, horrible in fact. Then watch it, because
you'll laugh your ass off, and enjoy the yummy women.
||Sung Hi Lee
Hong Kong actress Christy Chung has made a
couple dozen movies and this disk of her photoshoots. Looks like the photos
were meant for a book or calendar. Who knows. While posing Christy shows off
her shapely bum a lot and gives me a couple of nip slips, but the disk is
deadly boring except for the behind-the-scenes stuff. Turns out Christy likes
to laugh and does a killer Moon Walk. Yep, great stuff. Uh huh. Oh well, she
is pretty and there is some exposure but just about every frame of it is in
Pat's comments in yellow...
SCHOOL P.C. ALERT: NO CHRISTMAS COOKIES
Oh, Bite Me! - In a new benchmark for political correctness, US News
columnist John Leo reports that some schools have banned students from bringing
red cookies and green cookies to school on the same day during December because
the two together are symbolic of Christmas, which is a religious holiday.
* So they can only bring red cookies on SAINT
Valentine's Day and green cookies on SAINT Patrick's Day.
* It's also obvious that our schools are run by people
with no Christmas balls.
MALE NUDITY NOT AS POPULAR AS FEMALE NUDITY
It's Utilitarian, Like A Jeep - The Mark Jason Gallery in London removed a
print of a painting of a nude man after more than 30 men complained, saying it
was pornographic or would upset women. The gallery owner said he would have
stuck to his guns and kept it; but the number of people coming in to complain
almost equaled the number who wanted to buy it, and he didn't anticipate how
angry and uncomfortable British men would be about male nudity. However, they
don't seem to mind female nudity. In fact, the painting was replaced with a
* The men also complained about all the paintings of
women with clothes on.
SUPERMAN'S SHRINKING PACKAGE
Fetch The Kryptonite! - The London Sun reports that movie newcomer Brandon
Routh's upcoming debut as Superman may require some unexpected special effects.
They say studio heads are concerned that the extra-large bulge in the crotch of
his skintight costume could prove distracting to audiences. A source claims the
director was ordered to use digital effects to shrink Superman's potentially
* It's the same technology they used in "Star Trek"
movies to shrink William Shatner's ass.
* They won't be able to call it "Super-Man"
anymore...They might have to call it "Smallville."
$12.50 MOVIE TICKETS
Revenue Producer - Manhattan's Ziegfeld Theatre plans to charge a record
$12.50 for standard tickets to "The Producers" during its first week, after
which prices will drop to $10.75. A theater spokesman said he used to think
there was a $10 psychological ceiling on movie prices, but people are now used
to paying more for gas and concerts, so compared to other entertainment options,
a $12.50 movie ticket is still reasonable. Coincidentally, the stage version of
"The Producers" was the first to charge over $100 a ticket.
* That must've been part of their strategy to make a
flop that backfired.